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  • 1. Accessibility in the cloud: The benefits and barriers Dr Scott HOLLIER Presentation for OzeWAI November 2009
  • 2. Introduction
    • Cloud computing: what is it?
    • Benefits and barriers of the cloud
    • Addressing the cloud access issues
    • MAA and RMIT research initiative
  • 3. Access trends
    • Windows 7 and Mac OS X Snow Leopard significantly improved access features
    • Netbooks cloud-focused
    • Free AT: NVDA and WebAnywhere
    • iPhone: many access features
  • 4. Cloud computing
    • Internet-based development and delivery of computing technologies
    • Removes the need for the user to worry about physical computing infrastructure
  • 5. Types of cloud computing
    • Software as a service (SaaS)
    • Platform as a service (PaaS): app creation
    • Database as a service
    • Utility computing (storage)
    • Web services: developer contribution
    • Managed: cloud task before user
    • Commerce platforms: SaaS + managed
    • Internet integration: all combined
  • 6. Popular cloud examples
    • Mainstream cloud generally refers to SaaS and Utility, although future PaaS and Integrated likely
    • Current examples: Google Apps, web-based e-mail, Apple MobileMe, Amazon Kindle
    • Future examples: Windows Azure, Chrome OS
  • 7. Benefits of the cloud
    • Device-independence: most accessible devices can be used to access the cloud
    • Ease of use: no need to worry about hardware issues
    • Data security: lost or stolen devices do not mean lost or stolen data
    • Affordability: netbooks, free AT and SaaS equal affordable computing
  • 8.
    • Collaboration:
      • Overcome mobility issues
      • Disability perceived differently
      • Access to new services: health, education through NBN
      • Share experiences with family and friends
      • Crossover with social media (Google Docs)
    Benefits of the cloud
  • 9. Barriers of the cloud
    • Broadband access poor
    • Steep learning curve
    • Data security: hacking potential 24/7, and can we really trust service providers?
  • 10. Barriers of the cloud
    • Accessibility of the cloud itself:
      • Extremely hit-and-miss
      • Is it web? Is it application? Research still needed on how to make cloud accessible
      • Closest standards: WCAG 2.0 and ATAG 2.0 (draft), but not cloud-specific
  • 11. Addressing the issues
    • Broadband (NBN rollout)
      • Universal availability
      • Quality of service: speed, reliability
      • Regulation: broadband as essential service
      • Affordability: how will NBN pricing work?
      • Service offerings: clarity for bundle plans
      • Equipment: public kiosks for NBN access
      • Support programs: training
  • 12. Addressing the issues
    • Research initiatives for cloud access
      • Joint research between MAA and RMIT
      • Ultimate question: how can we provide cloud access to people with disabilities?
      • Work with both users and developers of the cloud and their respective technologies
      • Create metadata
      • Feed results into standards creation process
  • 13. Further information
    • Large collection of web resources: www.mediaaccess.org.au/newmedia
    • Advice is free
    • E-mail: [email_address]
    • Phone: (02) 9212 6242