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Accessible digital culture: past, present and future<br />Helen Petrie and Christopher Power<br />Human Computer Interacti...
Overview<br />The past: websites, <br />WCAG1<br />The present: <br />Podcasts,<br />Multimedia,<br />WCAG2<br />The futur...
Interacting with the web<br />The Past<br />
The past: a mid-noughties burst of interest!<br />mid noughties (2003 – 2005)<br />Considerable interest in accessibility ...
Very quick primer on WCAG<br />Web Content Accessibility Guidelines<br />A set of guidelines from the World Wide Consortiu...
The MLA accessibility audit<br />Assessed the accessibility of 300 websites in the museum, library and archives sectors<br...
What happened then ….?<br />Government failed to follow through very visibly on its commitment to accessibility of website...
What happened then … ?<br />European Commission continued to push for eAccessibility as part of its “Information Society f...
Interacting with technology<br />The Present<br />
Where are we now?<br />Ten years on, WCAG 1.0 has aged poorly<br />Changes in technology, changes in interaction and chang...
The Mystery Release of WCAG 2.0<br />Instead of fanfare, WCAG 2.0 appeared in waves of silence<br />December 2008 was the ...
Is WCAG 2.0 harder than WCAG 1.0 to understand and use?<br />
Is WCAG 2.0 harder than WCAG 1.0 to understand and use?<br />Hopefully this is not the case – but it is very different!<br...
WCAG 2.0 Structure: Principles and Guidelines<br />Four principles<br />Perceiveable, Operable, Understandable and Robust<...
WCAG 2.0: Success Criteria<br />Each guideline has success criteria<br />These are like the old checkpoints from WCAG 1.0 ...
How are success criteria tested?<br />The new ‘futureproofing’ has removed the technology from the success criteria themse...
There is an interesting catch<br />Techniques come in a few different types:<br />Sufficient – endorsed by the WCAG WG as ...
What does that mean for us?<br />We are not bound by the W3C technologies – we can try to use WCAG 2.0 (even with all of i...
What does this mean for us?<br />First – when tools come out we have to, as a community, check what those tools are testin...
Interacting with content<br />The <br />Future<br />
What is our end goal?<br />Is it to build accessible technology? <br />Is it to push the boundaries of technology?<br />Is...
What type of meaning?  Any kind!<br />
Contentversus Delivery<br />
Distortion of meaning<br />
What does accessible content mean?<br />We need to develop ways to maintain and transmit the meaning to the person experie...
Personalisation of content<br />Matching of<br />user <br />preferences<br />
Measurement of the impact of the meaning<br />One thing that we are missing is a true understanding about the experience o...
An EU supported eAccessibility NetworkStrand X: eAccessibility for digital culture<br />
A group of 25 organizations around Europe is in final negotiation with the European Commission to start aneAccessibility N...
Contract has not been signed, so it is still unofficial at the momentHowever, it is very clear (for reasons that we cannot...
Activities we plan:<br />Workshops, tutorials at conferences, other events …<br />Online support – website from the point ...
What would YOU find helpful?A practical exercise …<br />
Key issues – what topics in accessibility are of interest to you?What support – how can we help address these issues?When?...
Questions?Further questions/thoughts/comments?helen.petrie@cs.york.ac.ukcpower@cs.york.ac.uk<br />
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Accessible digital culture: past, present and future

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Helen Petrie from HCIRG, University of York on accessible digital culture

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Accessible digital culture: past, present and future

  1. 1. Accessible digital culture: past, present and future<br />Helen Petrie and Christopher Power<br />Human Computer Interaction Research Group, Department of Computer Science, University of York<br />
  2. 2. Overview<br />The past: websites, <br />WCAG1<br />The present: <br />Podcasts,<br />Multimedia,<br />WCAG2<br />The future: personalization, localization, … beyond WCAG ….<br />
  3. 3. Interacting with the web<br />The Past<br />
  4. 4. The past: a mid-noughties burst of interest!<br />mid noughties (2003 – 2005)<br />Considerable interest in accessibility of the digital world, including digital culture<br /> Disability Rights Commission Formal Investigation<br />eGov Unit, target set for government (-funded) websites of midway between WCAG** Level A and Level AA accessibility<br />Culture Online funded innovative projects in digital culture area – accessibility mandatory<br />MLA funded an accessibility audit of websites in the museums, libraries and archives sector<br />
  5. 5. Very quick primer on WCAG<br />Web Content Accessibility Guidelines<br />A set of guidelines from the World Wide Consortium on how to make websites accessible to people with disabilities <br />Three levels of conformance<br />Level A = most basic<br />Level AA = middle<br />Level AAA = most advanced, fully accessible<br />14 guidelines, divide into 65 checkpoints<br />Automatic tools available, but only test a minority of these checkpoints<br />
  6. 6. The MLA accessibility audit<br />Assessed the accessibility of 300 websites in the museum, library and archives sectors<br />46% of websites met minimum WCAG Level A on automated testing (so real level of accessibility probably lower)<br />Only 3% met level AA – the government and EU target<br />Substantially better than commercial websites (only 19% met Level A) (evaluated in the DRC FI)<br />
  7. 7. What happened then ….?<br />Government failed to follow through very visibly on its commitment to accessibility of websites – relevant government unit closed<br />Disability Rights Commission merged with others to become EHRC … bogged down in other issues<br />No cases brought against organizations for lack of accessibility of their websites (at least two settled out of court)<br />
  8. 8. What happened then … ?<br />European Commission continued to push for eAccessibility as part of its “Information Society for All” plans<br />eEurope 2002, eEurope 2005, i2010 strategy<br />Is anyone listening?<br />Have the targets been set too high?<br />Is it too hard to implement accessibility in digital culture and related areas?<br />UK government has now appointed Martha Lane Fox as Chairman of a Digital Inclusion Task Force<br />
  9. 9. Interacting with technology<br />The Present<br />
  10. 10. Where are we now?<br />Ten years on, WCAG 1.0 has aged poorly<br />Changes in technology, changes in interaction and changes in user activities on the web chipped away at its relevance<br />Rumours of a new WCAG circulated; drafts were submitted, revised and eventually promised for 2008<br />Release was expected to be received with much fanfare<br />
  11. 11. The Mystery Release of WCAG 2.0<br />Instead of fanfare, WCAG 2.0 appeared in waves of silence<br />December 2008 was the official release <br />Many did not know this release happened<br />One year on, there are few tools addressing WCAG 2.0 criteria<br />Why is this the case?<br />
  12. 12. Is WCAG 2.0 harder than WCAG 1.0 to understand and use?<br />
  13. 13. Is WCAG 2.0 harder than WCAG 1.0 to understand and use?<br />Hopefully this is not the case – but it is very different!<br />WAI has made some definite improvements over WCAG 1.0 in the following ways:<br />Guidelines are grouped into categories or principles so that developers can orient themselves easier<br />Guidelines are (mostly) technology independent for ‘futureproofing’<br />W3C-speak is properly defined and explained<br />But we need to look deeper to understand this upgrade to WCAG<br />
  14. 14. WCAG 2.0 Structure: Principles and Guidelines<br />Four principles<br />Perceiveable, Operable, Understandable and Robust<br />Under each principle are guidelines<br />These are general statements about what designers and developers should aim for in their websites<br />
  15. 15. WCAG 2.0: Success Criteria<br />Each guideline has success criteria<br />These are like the old checkpoints from WCAG 1.0 – these are the things that we can test for in the site<br />Each success criteria can be evaluated to a level, like WCAG 1.0 priorities (A, AA, AAA)<br />Some checkpoints can have conditions on content that allows them to satisfy multiple levels<br />But … the success criteria do not tell you how to test your technology<br />
  16. 16. How are success criteria tested?<br />The new ‘futureproofing’ has removed the technology from the success criteria themselves<br />Tests are separate from the criteria – they are stored in separate documents called ‘Techniques’<br />There are sufficient techniques that have been judged by the WCAG WG to be sufficient to meet the success criteria; however:<br />Only for W3C technologies currently in use<br />Often contain multiple tests and conditions before we know we can use them<br />Retains the major criticism of WCAG 1.0 – not evidence based, but value based decisions<br />
  17. 17. There is an interesting catch<br />Techniques come in a few different types:<br />Sufficient – endorsed by the WCAG WG as being sufficient for meeting a guideline<br />Advisory – they might help in some way<br />General – independent of technologies<br />Technology specific – for W3C technologies only<br />Most importantly – these techniques are not part of WCAG itself – they are not binding – meaning they don’t have to be used, nor are they part of any kind of conformance statement<br />Essentially, the WCAG WG has moved the responsibility of developing correct tests onto the development community<br />
  18. 18. What does that mean for us?<br />We are not bound by the W3C technologies – we can try to use WCAG 2.0 (even with all of its flaws) to test lots of different technologies<br />Podcasts<br />Audio blogs<br />Picture sharing<br />Video sharing<br />Social networking<br />AJAX, Flash etc.<br />
  19. 19. What does this mean for us?<br />First – when tools come out we have to, as a community, check what those tools are testing<br />Second – begin to develop techniques for non-W3C technologies and validate them with users<br />Third – share good practice an validated techniques<br />
  20. 20. Interacting with content<br />The <br />Future<br />
  21. 21. What is our end goal?<br />Is it to build accessible technology? <br />Is it to push the boundaries of technology?<br />Is it to develop guidelines and standards?<br />No! In the end we want to communicate some kind of meaning with people! We want to share our concepts, our culture with them<br />
  22. 22. What type of meaning? Any kind!<br />
  23. 23. Contentversus Delivery<br />
  24. 24. Distortion of meaning<br />
  25. 25. What does accessible content mean?<br />We need to develop ways to maintain and transmit the meaning to the person experiencing an exhibit<br />Can people understand what you are trying to communicate? <br />Can people perceive the information? <br />Can people interact with it?<br />Pretty hard to do that for everyone in one content presentation<br />What is the solution?<br />
  26. 26. Personalisation of content<br />Matching of<br />user <br />preferences<br />
  27. 27. Measurement of the impact of the meaning<br />One thing that we are missing is a true understanding about the experience of the person interacting with a cultural artefact<br />How do we know if our intended meaning is getting through?<br />How do we know what emotions are being evoked from our meaning?<br />If someone gets a different meaning, or feels something different, in what ways is that interesting? How do we describe these modified experiences? <br />
  28. 28. An EU supported eAccessibility NetworkStrand X: eAccessibility for digital culture<br />
  29. 29. A group of 25 organizations around Europe is in final negotiation with the European Commission to start aneAccessibility Network it will support the exchange of knowledge about eAccessibility in a number of areas: websites, ticket machines, banking machines, digital television …. digital culture … <br />d<br />
  30. 30. Contract has not been signed, so it is still unofficial at the momentHowever, it is very clear (for reasons that we cannot articulate) that the Commission wants to support this initiativeOf course, the funding from the Commission is not great and we will be seeking further funding in the UK<br />
  31. 31. Activities we plan:<br />Workshops, tutorials at conferences, other events …<br />Online support – website from the point of view of developers, not obscure techno-speak …<br />examples of good/bad practice <br />what else? In what areas? <br />
  32. 32. What would YOU find helpful?A practical exercise …<br />
  33. 33. Key issues – what topics in accessibility are of interest to you?What support – how can we help address these issues?When? Where? How? <br />
  34. 34. Questions?Further questions/thoughts/comments?helen.petrie@cs.york.ac.ukcpower@cs.york.ac.uk<br />

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