Web Accessibility 3.0
Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 19 September 2008
I previously mentioned a joint paper on “Redefining Accessibility for a Web 2.0 World” which has been accepted for the ADDW08 conference to be held at the University of York on 22-24th September 2008. David Sloan, the lead author for the paper, will present this paper.
In addition to this paper Liddy Nevile and myself have had a paper on “Web Accessibility 3.0: Learning From The Past, Planning For The Future” also accepted at the ADDW08 conference. This paper describes three scenarios: it explores the limitations of a vision for Web accessibility based on use of the WAI approach to provide “universal accessibility” and then describes the limitations of the “holistic approach to Web accessibility” developed initially by myself, Lawrie Phipps and David Sloan. The paper describes how these approaches focus on, in the first scenario, on the accessibility of individual resources and, in the second scenario, on institutional approaches to enhancing the accessibility of the purposes of the Web services. However neither of these approaches seems to have much relevance to the accessibility of the globally popular Web 2.0 services. And if we are serious about Web accessibility we should be looking at the accessibility of the global World Wide Web, and not just individual resources or the resources managed within our institutions.
But how should be go about addressing such large-scale challenges? In the paper we suggest that we should be exploring how the relationships between resources might help to provide users with access to related resources and how personalisation approaches might provide users with access to resources which are accessible to the individual user, rather than being universally accessible. The vision, Liddy and I feel, can be regarded as an implementation of the W3C’s vision for the Semantic Web. But we also argue the need to have the scepticism which failed to be applied to WAI’s model for Web accessibility.
The slides which will be presented at the conference are available on Slideshare and are embedded below.
And as we argued the need for a critical approach to proposals for Web accessibility (which we have taken in the past to the limitations of the WAI model and the WCAG guidelines) we invite your comments on our paper and this presentation.