[Athen] Looking for Info on Web 2.0

John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program jfoliot at stanford.edu
Thu Apr 19 15:18:07 PDT 2007

Jennison Asuncion wrote:

> Hello,


> It may be too late for most from a planning perspective, but there

> will be a two day conference on web 2.0 and accessibility in Banff

> Canada May 7 and 8. The site is www.w4a.info


> Jennison


FWIW, I saw this a while ago. While it certainly looks interesting, note
that it is but part of a larger conference. The financial barrier attendance
presents is quite steep: 400 Canadian Dollars for the w4a sessions (BUT!!
that is on top of the W3C conference: $395/one day to $1695.00/5day + hotel
and travel)... You are looking at a fair chunk of change here.

I recently attended the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco, and after crawling
the expo floor for about 5 hours, my overall impression of the numerous "Web
2.0 solutions" out there is that:

A) AJAX is their savior...(sic), and that eventually everything will be
one big mash-up.

B) "Accessibility? Oh, that's Section 508, right?" (and that was the
positive responses: I got equal quantities of blank stares). One booth told
me that they were almost completely "Section 508" (as if it were a state of
being - curiously as well, they were "almost"...)

C)"I don't think we're there yet" and/or "We plan on addressing that in
the next release".

In short, most of these folks didn't get online accessibility in Web 1.0,
what makes you think they will get it in 2.0? I was hugely disappointed.

While I can commend the organizers of this conference (The International
World Wide Web Conferences Steering Committee (IW3C2) [www.iw3c2.org]) for
adding this "a la carte" module to the conference, it also saddens me that
once again, Web Accessibility has been marginalize in this manner: why was
this W4A module treated as a bolt-on and not part of the mainstream
conference? If this is how the such a preeminent international body
addresses Web 2.0/Accessibility, is it any wonder that those poor folks on
the expo floor in San Francisco were so clued out?

Sign me cynical and frustrated...


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