Web4All Conference 2010

Examples of JavaScript pop-up Calendars from online ‘widget’ libraries - Brown,  Jay, and Harper - Audio access to calendars

Examples of JavaScript pop-up Calendars from online ‘widget’ libraries - Brown, Jay, and Harper - Audio access to calendars

This years conference focused on Developing Regions wishing to investigate accessibilities Common Goals and Common Problems1. The rationale was that the community thought that a revolution in the information society was starting, based on the use of mobile phones in developing countries. The hyper-growth of mobile phone penetration was deeply changing the lives of people in most of the world; their ways of communicating, working, learning, and structuring their societies. The promising next step was obviously to access the Web. The Web had already touched the lives of over a billion people and now was the time for the next billions.

As such there seemed to be very few substantive technical papers on this topic but more communications, and discussion papers. This suggests to me that the conference was successful in raising awareness and leading the research call, but that there isn’t very much being accomplished within the intersection of the two domains so far. There was a bumper set of paper submissions but not that many which showed substantive technical advances from the research technical aspects. However, there were plenty on ‘Challenge’ submissions which showed the real depth and breadth in real working research systems for Web Accessibility. The acceptance rate was 30% and 65 delegates showed up for the 2 day conference which benefited from keynotes delivered by Steve Bratt and Gregg Vanderheiden as well as the sadly cancelled After Dinner Speech by William Loughborough.

I really always come away with something when I attend the W4A, and this year was no different.

2010 Best Paper Award

Andy Brown, Caroline Jay, and Simon Harper; for Audio access to calendars
ResearchBlogging.org
Andy Brown, Caroline Jay, and Simon Harper (2010). Audio access to calendars W4A ’10: Proceedings of the 2010 International Cross Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (W4A), 1 (1), 1-10 : 10.1145/1805986.1806028

The rise of ‘Web 2.0’ has brought a much more interactive aspect to the Web: users are no longer just reading pages, but creating them, modifying them, and interacting with them. The Web is increasingly becoming the preferred means of communication, and particularly booking events and appointments; online personal and corporate diaries allow friends and colleagues to arrange meetings and coordinate activities. Many of these types of online activities require users to perform the apparently simple task of entering a date. For sighted people who have access to pop-up calendars, selecting a date is quick and easy. Unfortunately, this facility is not currently available to people with visual impairments, for whom entering a correctly formatted date can be a difficult and time-consuming task, with mistakes having potentially serious consequences. Here we describe the process by which we designed and evaluated an audio interface for entering dates. An eye-tracking study gave insight into how tabular calendars help sighted people enter dates, This understanding was used to design an audio interface that used the cognitive advantages of the visual design, rather than mimicking the visual representation. Iterative testing was followed by an evaluation using participants with visual impairments that highlighted the problems with manual date entry, and which showed the audio system to be effective and popular.

@inproceedings{1806028,
author = {Brown, Andy and Jay, Caroline and Harper, Simon},
title = {Audio access to calendars},
booktitle = {W4A '10: Proceedings of the 2010 International Cross Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (W4A)},
year = {2010},
isbn = {978-1-4503-0045-2},
pages = {1--10},
location = {Raleigh, North Carolina},
doi = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1805986.1806028},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},}

2010 John M Slatin Award for Best Communication Paper

Brian Kelly, Sarah Lewthwaite, and David Sloan; for Developing countries; developing experiences: approaches to accessibility for the real world
ResearchBlogging.org
Brian Kelly, Sarah Lewthwaite, and David Sloan (2010). Developing countries; developing experiences: approaches to accessibility for the real world W4A ’10: Proceedings of the 2010 International Cross Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (W4A), 1 (1), 1-4 : 10.1145/1805986.1805992

The need for developing countries to consider appropriate strategies for enhancing access to networked resources by disabled people provides an opportunity to assess the merits and limitations of the approaches which have been taken in western countries. This paper reviews the limitations of dependence on a constrained technical definition of accessibility, and builds on previous work which developed a holistic approach to Web accessibility and a generic model to assist policy makers in understanding the complexities of addressing Web accessibility. We explore how such approaches can be deployed by practitioners and developers with responsibilities for the deployment of Web services within the context of limited resources, flawed technologies, conflicting priorities and debates within disability studies on the nature of disability. A pragmatic framework is presented which supports promotion of digital accessibility within a wider social inclusion context. It learns from past difficulties and aims to assist policy makers and practitioners across the world in decision-making when seeking to deploy accessible Web-based services within the context of limited resources, conflicting priorities and the limitations of technical accessibility guidelines.

@inproceedings{1805992,
author = {Kelly, Brian and Lewthwaite, Sarah and Sloan, David},
title = {Developing countries; developing experiences: approaches to accessibility for the real world},
booktitle = {W4A '10: Proceedings of the 2010 International Cross Disciplinary Conference on Web Accessibility (W4A)},
year = {2010},
isbn = {978-1-4503-0045-2},
pages = {1--4},
location = {Raleigh, North Carolina},
doi = {http://doi.acm.org/10.1145/1805986.1805992},
publisher = {ACM},
address = {New York, NY, USA},}

2010 Web Accessibility Challenge sponsored by Microsoft: Judges Award

Nikolaos Kaklanis, Konstantinos Votis, Konstantinos Moustakas, and Dimitrios Tzovaras ; for 3D HapticWebBrowser: towards universal web navigation for the visually impaired

2010 Web Accessibility Challenge sponsored by Microsoft: Delegates Award

Jeffrey P. Bigham, Chandrika Jayant, Hanjie Ji, Greg Little, Andrew Miller, Robert C. Miller, Aubrey Tatarowicz, Brandyn White, Samuel White, and Tom Yeh; for VizWiz: nearly real-time answers to visual questions

Footnotes

  1. In the interests of Full Disclosure I’m on the Steering Committee of this conference, and helped found it eight years ago, so I may be bias.
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s