Contextual web accessibility - maximizing the benefit of accessibility guidelines

Abstract

We argue that while work to optimize the accessibility of the World Wide Web through the publication and dissemination of a range of guidelines is of great importance, there is also the need for a more holistic approach to maximizing the role of the Web in enabling disabled people to access information, services and experiences. The persistently disappointingly low levels of usability of Web content for disabled people indicates that focusing on the adoption of accessibility guidelines by content authors, tool developers and policy makers is not sufficient for a truly inclusive Web. This approach fails to acknowledge the role of the Web as an enabler in a broader context and may stifle creative use of Web content and experiences to enhance social inclusion.Using e-learning as an example, and describing current metadata developments, we present a framework that will guide Web authors and policy makers in addressing accessibility at a higher level, by defining the context in which a Web resource will be used and considering how best existing or new alternatives may be combined to enhance the accessibility of the information and services provided by the site in question. We demonstrate how guidelines such as those produced by the W3C's Web Accessibility Initiative have a role to play within this wider context, along with metadata and user profiling initiatives.

DOI: 10.1145/1133219.1133242
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@inproceedings{Sloan2006ContextualWA, title={Contextual web accessibility - maximizing the benefit of accessibility guidelines}, author={David Sloan and Andy Heath and Fraser Hamilton and Brian Kelly and Helen Petrie and Lawrie Phipps}, booktitle={W4A}, year={2006} }