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Accessibility & the Cloud: Current & Future Trends - Dr Scott Hollier at the WA Accessibility Camp 2014
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Accessibility & the Cloud: Current & Future Trends - Dr Scott Hollier at the WA Accessibility Camp 2014


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Dr Scott Hollier provides an analysis of the features, benefits & issues regarding accessibility of cloud services, including outcomes and risks of implementing cloud technology in business vs. …

Dr Scott Hollier provides an analysis of the features, benefits & issues regarding accessibility of cloud services, including outcomes and risks of implementing cloud technology in business vs. consumer settings. Access recommendations are provided for government, industry and consumers with disabilities.

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  • 1. Accessibility & the Cloud: Current & Future Trends Dr Scott Hollier WA Accessibility Camp 2014
  • 2. 2 • Australia’s only independent not-for- profit organisation devoted to increasing access to media for people with disabilities • Provides expert knowledge and advice on existing and emerging mainstream technologies • Works as a catalyst for change in multiple areas of access Who is Media Access Australia?
  • 3. Who am I? • Professional: • Project Manager & WA Manager for Media Access Australia • W3C Advisory Committee representative • Academic: • Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Edith Cowan University • PhD thesis ‘The Disability Divide’ • Personal: Legally blind, first-hand knowledge of access issues
  • 4. Business v Consumer cloud • Cloud represents online service integration • Business definition relies on all three NIST elements: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS • Consumer cloud framed more into terms of storage and synchronisation of device settings (IaaS) and cloud software (SaaS)
  • 5. Business benefits & issues • Benefits: • Workplace flexibility • Reduced costs • Issues: • Privacy • Security • Data ownership • Business cloud is a choice between local and online infrastructure
  • 6. Consumer benefits & issues • Benefits: • Storage beyond the limitations of device • Free or low-cost services • Share data with family and friends • Issues: • Privacy • Security • Data ownership • For consumers, cloud essential for effective device use
  • 7. Cloud for people with disabilities • Given consumer cloud is essential, are people with disabilities getting the access they need? • Are there disability-specific benefits the cloud can offer?
  • 8. Cloud comparison • Analysis of major device OS and associated cloud services including Google, Apple Microsoft and cross- platform service Dropbox • Assessment includes OS access, app access and web portal access
  • 9. Cloud access comparison CATEGORY MICROSOFT APPLE GOOGLE DROPBOX OS Windows 8+ iOS 8+ Android 4.2+ NA Cloud storage OneDrive iCloud Drive Google Drive Dropbox Storage support on other OS iOS, Android Windows Windows, iOS Windows, iOS, Android Free storage space 15GB 5GB 15GB 2GB Storage web portal Yes No Yes Yes Document web portal Yes (view/edit) No Yes (view/edit) Yes (view) WCAG 2.0 compliance of web portal No – some issues present NA No – some issues present No – significant issues present
  • 10. Disability-specific services • Microsoft is the only company storing accessibility preferences in the cloud • In Windows 8+ if you log into multiple machines with the same account, accessibility preferences automatically synchronised in real time • Includes themes, preferences on boot and preferences on login
  • 11. Potential of cloud accessibility • Cloud + access represents huge potential in addressing issues • Key initiative: Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) • AT preferences stored on the cloud • After identification, device automatically gets your preferences and configures itself • Same interface layout and AT across all devices: mobile, desktop, tablet, TV • Voting case study resolved!
  • 12. GPII video
  • 13. Business benefits of cloud accessibility • Workplace flexibility allows for connection of user-controlled accessible environment to private cloud • Potential to incorporate consumer benefits from public cloud
  • 14. Business risks of cloud accessibility • People with disabilities may not want to explain to employers their access needs • Employers may view accessibility as a low priority when making cloud purchasing decisions
  • 15. Consumer benefits of cloud accessibility • Device independence • Real-time customisation • Consistency in assistive technology support • Less training • Global rollout of updates reduces local ICT costs
  • 16. Consumer issues of cloud accessibility • Security • Privacy • Lack of infrastructure such as broadband • Localised device accessibility issues • GPII-style setup, training and support requires high level of support from government and industry
  • 17. Factors that impact on cloud accessibility • Need for all stakeholders to be involved • Lack of W3C standards implementation • WCAG 2.0 • WCAG2ICT • ATAG 2.0 (draft) • Lack of high-speed broadband: • Hong Kong: first place 78Mbps • Australia: 56th place 14Mbps
  • 18. Recommendations – Government • Incorporate cloud-related W3C accessibility standards into their policy requirements, in particular the use of WCAG 2.0, ATAG 2.0 and WCAG2ICT. • Implementation of cloud-related policies are effectively resourced, implemented and promoted. • Work with industry to improve fixed and mobile broadband
  • 19. Recommendations - Industry • Cloud service providers need to ensure that W3C standards are implemented on their operating systems, web portals. • Developers building apps should ensure that W3C accessibility standards are incorporated. • Synchronisation of accessibility preferences across multiple devices should be more widely implemented
  • 20. Recommendations – Consumers with disabilities • Consider carefully which ecosystem they wish to use before purchasing. • Encourage promotion and use of cloud-based accessibility products and services. All stakeholders: • A GPII-style trial should be considered to properly explore the issues in a non-competitive environment with a sharing of the results. This would be best centred around making a government service accessible, and should have equal involvement of government, industry and consumers.
  • 21. White paper availability • Sponsored by the Australian Web Industry Association (AWIA) • Release date mid-August 2014
  • 22. Other MAA projects Professional Certificate in Web Accessibility Compliance • Six week training course • Delivered by UniSA and MAA • For ICT professionals to integrate web accessibility into work practices • • Additional accessibility info available on Access iQ
  • 23. Further information • E-mail: • Telephone: (08) 9311 8230 • Website: • Twitter: @mediaaccessaus