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Archive for July 17th, 2009

“From Web Accessibility to Web Adaptability” Paper Published

Posted by Brian Kelly (UK Web Focus) on 17 July 2009

I’m pleased to report that a paper on From Web Accessibility to Web Adaptability has been published in the Disability and Rehability: Assistive Technology journal. The full citation details are:

From Web Accessibility to Web Adaptability, Kelly, B., Nevile, L., Sloan, D., Fanou, S., Ellison, R. and Herrod, L.
Disability and Rehability: Assistive Technology, Volume 4, Issue 4, July 2009, pages 212 – 226.
doi:10.1080/17483100902903408
http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a912788469

I’ll summarise the contents of this paper in a subsequent post. For now I thought it would be worth describing how this paper came to be written.

I, along with other authors of paper published at the W4A 2009 event, was invited to submit an updated version of my paper, entitled “One World, One Web … But Great Diversity“, although there was a requirement that the requested paper would be substantially different.

I received this invitation in early January 2009, with the deadline of  early March. As I had been invited to give the opening plenary talk at the OzeWAI 2009 conference in January and was already thinking about further developments to the holistic approach to Web accessibility I had been involved in developing over the past 5 years or so, this invitation provided an ideal opportunity to put down in writing the approaches I intended to talk about at the OzeWAI conference.

As I have described previously, immediately following the talk I received tweets from two participants at the conference saying how valuable they found my talk and wished to have further discussions about the ideas I had described.

Following those further discussions I invited Ruth Ellison and Lisa Herrod to provide case studies based on their involvement in Web accessibility work in Australia as examples of the ‘Web adaptability’ approach which the paper describes.

Although I was a bit grumpy at having to submit the final edits to the paper over Easter, I’m pleased that our paper has been published. And the ideas described in the paper were strengthened by the concrete examples provided by Ruth and Lisa. A good example of how Twitter can help in bringing together people with shared interests who can then engage in publishing a paper in a peer-reviewed journal :-)

The other aspect of the process which I was pleased with was the two pages of comments we received from the anonymous reviewer of the first draft of our paper. The reviewer pointed out a number of weaknesses in our arguments, challenged us to justify a number of our assertions and queried whether our criticisms of the traditional approaches to Web accessibility could be interpretted as suggesting that institutions could ignore accessibility considerations. Our responses to these comments helped us to submit a much-improved final version to the publisher – and we were pleased when the reviewer warmly endorsed the final version.

The paper is available on the publisher’s Web site. In addition my version of the paper is available on the University of Bath Institutional Repository.  Unfortunately, due to copyright restriction, access to this version is embargoed until next year :-(

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