W4A 2014 Trip Update

W4A

W4A

Well a slightly delayed post from the W4A 2014, on account of me getting a nasty virus halfway through and only just being able to both write, and then back post this entry! Now as you may know I’m pretty well connected with the W4A organisation, and the conference changed a little this year with regard to it’s accessibility focus. Indeed, the tagline now reads “Addressing information barriers (barrier: a circumstance or obstacle that keeps people or things apart or prevents communication or progress). In fact next year it is turning into a full three day event (hopefully for the same price) with an additional Industrial track! Anyhow, back to this year!

Well, again, better, better, better. Little to no filler, and the policy session produced one of the best debates (for 45 minutes) on Accessibility, disability, and definitions of social inclusion and good policy I’ve ever witnessed! Thankfully, one of the papers could not present in that session, so we ate their time and some of the coffee break too!

The technical submissions were great too, and I can really tell why; if I’m reviewing a Web Accessibility paper for any venue I expect to see multiple W4A citations; and as the ACM bibliometrics state the average downloads per article are 417.76 with the average citations per article 4.16. ASSETS, a much more general and established conference, gets average downloads per article 344.22 and average citations per article 4.6; while CHI (the biggest, best, most established, and most broad) gets average downloads per article 550.82 and average citations per article 9.69.

The thing about the W4A though is it’s very specific focus, its very social atmosphere, and the ability to talk with and know everyone in the area at one conference. In general if your work has not been at the W4A then you are not doing Web Accessibility!

So get the dates in the diary for Florence next year!

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