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Mobile Accessibility
Online Symposium 30 May 2012

{@@ this paragraph needs editing, per 21 March e-mail} Mobile devices are widely used, especially for accessing web pages. However, there are many accessibility challenges associated with mobile devices and this symposium aims to bring researchers and practitioners together to scope the extent and magnitude of existing mobile accessibility, and to develop a roadmap for future research and development in the field. The symposium will be held on 30 May 2012; paper deadline will close on 18 April 2012.

Yeliz Yesilada suggests this: Mobile devices are now - globally - the primary form of accessing the Web. From farmers in India using the SpokenWeb, through traders in Africa using Web micro payments, to business people in Europe on the go 24/7; mobile Web usage now predominates. However, people with disabilities experience many difficulties when they access the web with mobile devices. This symposium aims to bring researchers and practitioners together to discuss these difficulties and possible solutions, and develop a roadmap for future research and development in the field. The symposium will be held on 30 May 2012; paper deadline will close on 18 April 2012.

Background

Since the launch of the Mobile Web Initiative at the World Wide Web Conference 2005, there has been a high degree of work undertaken on UAAG, WCAG and MWBP. There has been also work in understanding the relationships between these. Recently, this work has also moved into the application domain and sparking work on different mobile platforms. Although these efforts are crucial in supporting accessibility on mobile devices for people with disabilities, there still areas where further research needs to be conducted. The number of people with disabilities using mobile devices to access the web is also increasing rapidly, but at the same time the complexity of interaction with mobile devices is also increasing. Especially, the use of Web 2.0 and recent developments in web applications make the interaction with mobie devices complex. Further, with the creation of new mobile interaction paradigms and their formalization within specifications, such as Touch Events, there is need to further investigate mobile interaction accessibility and understand how it both benefits and hinders mobile access.

{@@ Shadi: Some points still seem a little unclear or they seem to get lost within the text. It may be useful to break up the section into more than one paragraph; for example to separate general (historical) background from technical background discussion?}

{@@ Shadi (editorial): Avoid link texts such as "different" and "these" because it is unclear to the reader what is behind these links. Instead of "on _different_ _mobile platforms_" consider rewriting to "on different mobile platforms such as _iOS_ and _Android_".}

{ Yeliz Yesilada suggests this:}

Since the launch of the Mobile Web Initiative at the World Wide Web Conference 2005, there has been a high degree of work undertaken on UAAG, WCAG and MWBP. There has been also work in understanding the relationships between WCAG and MWBP.

With the developments in the mobile web field (e.g., MWBP), we have also started to see some work on mobile web accessibility. For example, there has been some work on iPhone accessibility and Android accessibility. Although these efforts are crucial in supporting accessibility on mobile devices for people with disabilities, there still areas where further research needs to be conducted.

The number of people with disabilities using mobile web is rapidly increasing, but we also observe that the complexity of interaction with mobile devices is also increasing. Especially, the use of Web 2.0 and recent developments in web applications make the interaction with mobile devices complex. Further, with the creation of new mobile interaction paradigms and their formalisation within specifications, such as Touch Events, there is need to further investigate mobile interaction accessibility and understand how it both benefits and hinders mobile access.

{@@ Shadi another suggestion in the discussion tab.}

Objectives and Research Questions

The primary objective of this symposium is to gather, analyze, and discuss practical experience with mobile web accessibility. In particular, the objective is to investigate:
  • the technical challenges in terms of API, platform, browser, and web content accessibility;
  • the cover of mobile accessibility by existing standards such as UAAG, WCAG, MWBP, and MWABP;
  • new interaction models such as touch interfaces and their accessibility.

{@@ Shadi (minor): The following seem more like "goals" rather than "objectives". Consider a sub-heading or another structure to make it more easy to spot for a reader. It is really an important part of the CfP!}

{ Yeliz Yesilada I think this is fine as it is. We have research objectives above and research questions below. I think it is perfectly fine to have them together. I have just updated the title of this section.}

These research objectives can be supported with the following research questions:

  • What is the state (i.e., problems and successes) of mobile web accessibility?
  • How can new interaction paradigms be leveraged for mobile web accessibility?
  • How do existing interaction models such as touch interfaces and gesture interaction support accessibility?
  • How does W3C guidelines and best practices (UAAG, WCAG, MWBP, and MWABP) apply to websites and web applications accessed via mobile devices?

The research note resulting from this symposium will constitute the basis from which to further explore a research and development roadmap for mobile accessibility.


{@@ Shadi: The target page below now needs more work since it will become referenced. It needs to be aligned to the CfP.}

Further open research questions and ideas have been identified and we welcome contributions related to any of these too.

Call for Papers

Contributing

We invite extended research abstracts of no more than 1000 words. We encourage concise contributions that are scientifically sound with appropriate references. We specifically seek reports and guides, which can be theoretical or practical in nature, that will help us to form our opinions and educate future readers. Papers should follow the template provided to clearly explain:

  • the previous work that the proposed approach based on;
  • the problem that was addressed;
  • the major hurdles found in the process;
  • the main outcomes, lessons learned, and mistakes made;
  • the future perspectives opened with this work.

Paper Requirements

Papers (of no more than 1000 words) must be provided in accessible HTML in the template provided. No modifications to this template or additional styling is permitted to facilitate amalgamation of the contributions into a consolidated publication.

Paper submission closed on 18 April 2012 (midnight US Eastern Time).

Review Process

Contributions will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee, and each paper will get at least three independent reviews, based on criteria including relevance, clarity, soundness and power of the arguments, generality of results/claims, novelty. Papers will be accepted based on this critieria and space availability. Accepted papers will be published - in an attributable form - as part of the proceedings {@@ I thought we agreed to delete this last part ~Shawn}and in the ensuing publication (RDWG Publications and RDWG Practice for Writership and Credits). Authors of accepted papers will be invited to present their work during the symposium.

{ Yeliz Yesilada I cannot find the resolutions on this matter.}

{@@ shawn suggests putting Paper Requirements before Review Process} { Yeliz Yesilada I have reordered the sections.}

Important Dates

  • 18 April 2012: deadline for paper submissions.
  • 02 May 2012: notification of accepted papers and announcement of symposium agenda.
  • 30 May 2012: online symposium event (expected between 12:00-16:00 UTC).
  • 13 Jun 2012: symposium proceedings (minutes, presentations, and papers from the symposium).
  • 27 Jun 2012: draft consolidated findings (in form of a W3C Note) for for public review.
  • 19 Sep 2012: publication of consolidated findings (in form of a W3C Note).

Organization

Online Symposium on Mobile Accessibility is organized by the W3C WAI Research and Development Working Group (RDWG).

Symposium Chairs

Scientific Committee

Copyright Policy

@@ TBD

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Background

Suggest to remove the current text:

Since the launch of the Mobile Web Initiative at the World Wide Web Conference 2005, there has been a high degree of work undertaken on UAAG, WCAG and MWBP. There has been also work in understanding the relationships between these. Recently, this work has also moved into the application domain and sparking work on different mobile platforms. Although these efforts are crucial in supporting accessibility on mobile devices for people with disabilities, there still areas where further research needs to be conducted. The number of people with disabilities using mobile devices to access the web is also increasing rapidly, but at the same time the complexity of interaction with mobile devices is also increasing. Especially, the use of Web 2.0 and recent developments in web applications make the interaction with mobie devices complex. Further, with the creation of new mobile interaction paradigms and their formalization within specifications, such as Touch Events, there is need to further investigate mobile interaction accessibility and understand how it both benefits and hinders mobile access.

To replace with the following text:

The mobile world is rapidly evolving with increasingly sophisticated devices, platforms, APIs, and web browsers. Also the complexity of the web content and applications provided via mobile devices has become increasingly sophisticated. At the same time, the many sensors and gauges deployed on mobile devices are being utilized to provide new interaction paradigms such as touch events and gestures.

While these developments provide vast opportunities opportunities for people with disabilities they also entail accessibility challenges. In particular, it is not sufficiently clear how well existing standards such as WCAG, UAAG, WAI-ARIA, MWBP, MWBAP, Touch Events, and others address accessibility in the mobile context, despite some initial work on mapping between WCAG and MWBP.

There is a need to better understand these challenges and to develop a roadmap to guide further research and development activities.