[Athen] Looking for Info on Web 2.0

John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program jfoliot at stanford.edu
Wed May 16 09:46:33 PDT 2007

Thanks for this Terry... Now off to do some reading and playing... ReefChat
eh? Cool!


Terry Thompson wrote:

> Hi All,


> A couple of weeks ago I promised to get back with the list regarding

> the W4A conference, and my thoughts regarding its being offered as a

> "co-located" but separate conference, rather than integrated into the

> larger conference. Now, back from beautiful Banff, here's my report:


> The W4A conference itself contained a wealth of information on web

> accessibility. Regarding Web 2.0 specifically, Becky Gibson of IBM

> and Cynthia Shelly of Microsoft each shared their perspectives on Web

> 2.0 accessibility, including specific techniques and demos of

> functioning, accessible apps. Michael Cooper of WAI also discussed

> Web 2.0, and gave an excellent overview of the potential that

> emerging technologies bring for improving accessibility, as well as

> accessibility problems and solutions

> related to these technologies from a W3C perspective.


> Case-in-point of AJAX actually improving accessibility, Peter

> Thiessen of the ATRC at the University of Toronto introduced

> ReefChat, his accessible chat application that depends on AJAX and

> the W3C's techniques for Accessible Rich Internet Applications

> (ARIA). He demonstrated this application with Fire Vox (the talking

> browser extension for Firefox), though supposedly it also works with

> Window-Eyes and JAWS. Here's the URL if you'd like to sample it

> yourselves:

> http://reefchat.overscore.com/


> Including the above, there were over two dozen technical papers on

> various aspects of web accessibility, the overall quality of which

> was quite good. The online schedule includes links to all of the

> papers:

> http://www.w4a.info/2007/prog/index.shtml


> Oh, I should mention that the papers are only available in... um...

> untagged PDF.


> On the issue of accessibility being "separate" from the larger WWW

> conference, I actually thought long and hard about this when I was

> filling out my comment form. As tempting as it would be to suggest

> that the larger conference should include a specific track on

> accessibility, in many ways I liked that it was a separate event. The

> best thing that happened at W4A was the networking. The same group of

> 80 or so people spent two solid days together, which created

> opportunities for discussion and collaboration that probably wouldn't

> have happened if people were selecting accessibility-related sessions

> here and there among a larger mix of sessions within the context of

> the full conference. Also, the WWW conference actually did include

> some accessibility sessions of its own, one of which was even

> nominated for Best Paper from among the hundreds of papers that were

> presented (the nominee was "CSurf: A Context-Driven Non-Visual

> Browser", developed at Stony Brook University:

> http://www.www2007.org/paper649.php)


> A UW colleague of mine Rick Ells joined me at the conference, and has

> provided even more detail in his W4A/WWW Trip Report:

> http://staff.washington.edu/rells/conferences/www2007/


> Terry


> Terry Thompson

> Technology Specialist, DO-IT

> University of Washington

> tft at u.washington.edu



>> -----Original Message-----

>> From: John Foliot - Stanford Online Accessibility Program

>> [mailto:jfoliot at stanford.edu] Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2007 9:15 PM

>> To: tft at u.washington.edu; 'Access Technologists in Higher Education

>> Network' Subject: RE: [Athen] Looking for Info on Web 2.0


>> Terry Thompson wrote:

>>> One note of clarification: Attending the WWW conference is optional.

>>> One could choose to attend only the W4A conference if one were so

>>> inclined. That's not obvious from the registration form - I had to

>>> ask, and that's what they told me.


>>> As for integration of accessibility into the larger community of Web

>>> 2.0 ideas, I think W4A is a positive step. It's part of the larger

>>> conference and occurs prior to the main conference so attendees will

>>> be fully emmersed in accessibility for two full days plus a banquet,

>>> then can take that accessibility-focused mindset into the main

>>> conference and contribute informed accessibility-related ideas to

>>> the larger discussions. That's what I expect to happen anyway. I'll

>>> be there, and will let you know if I'm still feeling good about it

>>> afterwards.


>>> Terry



>> Thanks Terry, I will check my cynicism for the moment then,

>> and look forward to hearing back from you.


>> Cheers!


>> JF





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