ACM ASSETS 2012: The Best Paper According to Me!

Well I’m finally back from ASSETS and the jet lag is disappearing. While ASSETS allocates the official Best Paper prizes most years I disagree. This year is no exception and for me the best paper – and science at ASSETS 2012 was ‘Evaluation of dynamic image pre-compensation for computer users with severe refractive error’


Accessibility at Apple – One Year On

Friday, October 5 2012 marked the one-year anniversary of the passing of Steve Jobs, Apple’s visionary CEO that brought the iPod, iPhone, iPad and a bevy of other devices into the world. Jobs and Apple essentially jump-started the smart-phone revolution, and that revolution has been very useful for the accessibility community.

The Uptake of Web 2.0 Technologies, and its Impact on Visually Disabled Users

Our analysis shows that for the most popular 500 sites, JavaScript is used in 93%, Flash in 27% and about one-third (30%) use XMLHttpRequest, a technology used to generate dynamic updates. Uptake of XMLHttpRequest is approximately 2.3% per year across a random selection of 500 sites and is probably higher in the most popular sites. So, when examining dynamic updates from the perspective of visually disabled users, evidence suggests that, at best, most users can currently reach updated content, but they must do so manually, and are rarely given any automated indication that any update has occurred. With technologies enabling dynamic updating of content currently deployed in about 30% of the most popular sites, and increasing annually, action is urgently required if visually disabled users are to be able to use the Web.

An Online Health & Social Support System for People With Lung Cancer

Or rather – “A cross-disciplinary approach to identifying requirements for an online health and social support system for people with lung cancer”. This was our submission to the ACM ASSETS 2012 Conference, but unfortunately was rejected – to some extent because it didn’t fit a limited -in my opinion- view of the definition of accessibility and its link with disability.