Web for All Conference 2019 — Global Accessibility

Dragan Ahmetovic, Chieko Asakawa, Eshed Ohn-Bar, Joao Guerreiro, Kris M. Litani, Victoria Yaneva, Ted Drake, Elaine Pearson and Volker Sorge
Elaine Pearson, Javier Perez, Volker Sorge, Eshed Ohn-Bar, Joao Guerreiro, Chieko Asakawa, Ted Drake and Victoria Yaneva

Congratulations to Dragan Ahmetovic, Chieko Asakawa, Eshed Ohn-Bar, Joao Guerreiro, Kris M. Litani, and Victoria Yaneva for Web4All Best Papers.

And all of the participants, including co-chairs Ted Drake, Elaine Pearson and Volker Sorge.

Web for All Conference is the premiere venue for accessibility research, on all aspects of web accessibility.
W4A embraces the potential of new technologies to provide an accessible user experience for everyone.

No longer do we look at technology and only look to overcome the potential challenges it could present to users, but we look for how technology can be used to provide an accessible user experience for all. In recognition of the emergence of this new age, the theme for the 16th International Web for All Conference is “Personalisation – Personalising the Web”.

Personalisation pervades all aspects of technology from home appliances to mobile phones, from shopping experiences to education. AI affords the potential for improved personalisation to each individual’s contextualized abilities. The Web of Things (w3.org) means that we now have the web on all kinds of devices (including wearables) – that will require better and seamless personalisation for all.

The benefits of personalised technology can bring new or increased independence to people with disabilities and may offer opportunities to explore activities, experiences or new freedoms that were previously not within reach. Personalised technology can enable people to make important life choices; it can empower people to live more independently and safely. We embrace opportunities for personalisation to place the user in control of the kind of access they want and welcome the challenge of using personalisation as a vehicle for a more accessible and satisfying user experience for all technology users.

Personalisation may, though, encourage designers and developers to assume that accessibility is taken care of by the individual. There may be a temptation to neglect their responsibility to make web technologies accessible. But many open questions remain – how will users specify their preferences? How will personalisations move across devices without sacrificing privacy, and how will we collaborate in a world in which everyone is using a slightly or greatly different interface?

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