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Call for Papers: Easy to Read on the Web

Invitation

The W3C WAI Research and Development Working Group (RDWG) invites you to contribute to the online symposium on easy-to-read on the Web.

     Symposium date: 3 December 2012

     Abstract submission date: 12 October 2012

Accepted papers will be published online in an attributable form as part of the symposium proceedings. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to participate in the symposium panel.

Introduction

This symposium brings together researchers, practitioners, content authors, designers, developers, and users with disabilities to share research-based experiences, including examples, tools, concepts, and ideas, on how to make information on the Web easier to understand by different audiences. The symposium aims to explore the user needs and state of the art in research, development, and practice to contribute to a common understanding of easy-to-read on the Web. It is intended to encourage the development of better guidance, support, and tools for developers, designers, and users, and to inform researchers, standards developers, and policy makers on how to better address easy-to-read on the Web. In particular, it is intended to analyze how to better connect, elaborate, and integrate the user needs in web accessibility guidelines and techniques.

Contributions to this aim from related research fields such as usability, linguistics and language technology, and interaction design are welcome too.

See the easy-to-read on the Web Symposium page for Background, User Group, and Objectives.

Important Dates

  • 12 October 2012: Deadline for paper submissions
  • 26-30 October 2012: Author rebuttal period
  • 2 November 2012: Authors notified of conditional paper acceptance (with requests for edits if applicable)
  • 12 November 2012: Deadline for final publication-ready papers
  • 20 November 2012: Registration opens
  • 3 December 2012: Online symposium event, probably 15:00-17:00 UTC
  • Further deadlines planned:
    • Symposium proceedings published, including transcript: January 2013
    • Symposium Report available for public review as a Working Draft: Early 2013
    • Symposium Report published as a W3C Working Group Note: Early 2013

Contributions

We invite researchers, practitioners, users, and others to submit research and position papers that:

  • Outline and share a definition of easy-to-read
  • Describe, define and compare the needs of different user groups regarding easy-to-read
  • Analyze the current state of the art (guidelines, examples, tools, concepts, and ideas) in the field of easy-to-read on the Web
  • Propose strategies, workflows, and approaches to make information on the Web easier to understand by different audiences.
  • Inform researchers and practitioners of existing work and promising current and future research avenues
  • Guide web content authors, designers, and developers on providing information that is easy to understand by different audiences
  • Support standards developers, policy makers and others on how to better consider and address the user needs
  • Encourage the continued development of tools, techniques, and implementations to support people with disabilities


Core Topics

It is the core objective of this symposium, based on a comprehensive presentation and analysis of the state of the art and day to day practice, to develop a common understanding of the broad domain and diverse practice of easy-to-read and how to best integrate it into web design, development and evaluation. This should support a coherent definition which is suitable for the work on guidelines and standards for practice. Therefore the Symposium calls for contributions related but not limited to topics such as:

  1. State of the Art and Practice: Examples, tools, concepts, and ideas in implementing easy-to-read in practice:
    • Presentations and analyses of approaches, guidelines, methods and tools in use to implement easy-to-read, for example comparative studies of guidelines and standards for easy-to-read and "plain language"
    • Analyses of the coverage of easy-to-read in existing web accessibility guidelines, standards, and recommendations
    • Working examples of information that is designed to be easier to read, especially in web applications such as social media, online shops, and blogs
    • Experiences with texts written by people with learning disabilities
  2. User Needs: Analyses, definitions, and comparisons of the accessibility needs of different user groups regarding easy-to-read
  3. Scope of easy-to-read on the Web:
    • Aspects and components of easy-to-read on the Web, such as language use, design, layout, navigation and their relation
    • Discussing easy-to-read on the Web as an aspect of mainstream "design for all" (for example use of "plain language") versus specialized or individualized easy-to-read adaptations
  4. Internationalization:
    • Comparing national and transnational easy-to-read guidelines and standards for different languages and analyzing the potential of transfer and international standardization.
    • Exploring the characterization of easy-to-read guidelines in a language-independent way.

Related Topic:

A related symposium addresses the specific topic of Text Customization for Readability. The easy-to-read on the Web Symposium is planned in close connection with this Symposium to avoid overlap and facilitate exchange.

Additional Topics

Contributions addressing the following or other topics are also welcome:

  1. Tools: emphasize challenging research and development questions related to supported or automated development and use of content:
    • Readability evaluation
    • Text and layout adaptation
    • Easy to understand audio playback
    • Text annotation with standard or individual symbols, pictures and multimedia
    • Text translation into symbol language
    • Re-usable open source resource for creating easy-to-read checkers
  2. Related fields contributing to easy-to-read such as:
    • Linguistics and language technologies including Natural Language Processing (i.e. conversation / communication analysis; how can language technologies contribute to an automatic provision of information that is easy to understand)
    • Readability, usability and the impact of "quasi standards" in interface design (for example social media) on easy-to-read
    • Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), for example the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication (ISAAC)
    • Text-audio integration (for example Digital Accessible Information System - DAISY)
    • Assistive Technologies for blind and partially sighted people (such as screen-reader, speech output, screen enlargement, audio description) and their potential to increase easy-to-read and easy to use information
    • Assistive Technologies for people with auditory disabilities (for example captioning, visual signing) and their potential to increase easy-to-read and easy to use information
  3. Education:
    • How to teach and learn writing/designing easy-to-read
    • How to teach and how users can learn to make better use of information in easy-to-read
  4. Cost benefit analysis of different implementation approaches of easy-to-read and feasibility of easy-to-read at large scale

Paper Submission

Papers should be extended abstracts of about 1000 words. We encourage concise contributions that are scientifically sound with appropriate references. Papers should clearly explain the:

  • Problem addressed
  • Relevant background
  • Approach - how was the problem addressed, what methodologies were used, what strategies were pursued to address the problem
  • Challenges - major obstacles or difficulties found during the process or that could be encountered in the way forward
  • Outcomes
  • Future research

Papers must be submitted in accessible, valid HTML in the template provided.

Paper submission will close on 12 October 2012 (midnight UTC).

Review Process

Contributions will be reviewed by the Scientific Committee and each paper will get at least three independent reviews for criteria including relevance, clarity, soundness and power of the arguments, understanding of user needs, and contribution to knowledge about easy-to-read. Papers will be accepted based on these criteria and space availability.

Copyright Policy

Accepted papers will be published in an attributable form as part of the symposium proceedings.
(For more information, see the FAQ sections RDWG Publications and RDWG Practice for Writership and Credits.)

Formalities: The Symposium Report will be published under the W3C Document License. Paper authors shall grant W3C a perpetual, non-exclusive, royalty-free, world-wide right and license to copy, publish, use, and modify the contribution and to distribute the contribution under a BSD License or one with more restrictive terms, as well as a right and license of the same scope to any derivative works prepared by the W3C and based on, or incorporating all or part of the contribution. The Contributor further agrees that any derivative works of this contribution prepared by the W3C shall be solely owned by the W3C.



Easy to Read on the Web(main page)

Online Symposium 3 December 2012

This symposium brings together researchers, practitioners, content authors, designers, developers, and users with disabilities to share research-based experiences, including examples, tools, concepts, and ideas, on how to make information on the Web easier to understand by different audiences. The symposium aims to explore the user needs and state of the art in research, development, and practice to contribute to a common understanding of easy-to-read on the Web. It is intended to encourage the development of better guidance, support, and tools for developers, designers, and users, and to inform researchers, standards developers, and policy makers on how to better address easy-to-read on the Web. In particular, it is intended to analyze how to better connect, elaborate, and integrate the user needs in web accessibility guidelines and techniques.

Dates

  • Submission deadline: 12 October 2012
  • Registration opens: 20 November 2012
  • Symposium: 3 December 2012, probably 15:00-17:00 UTC

Background and Context

Providing information in a way that can be understood by the majority of users is an essential aspect of accessibility for people with disabilities. This includes rules, guidelines, and recommendations for authoring text, structuring information, enriching content with images and multimedia, and designing layout to meet these requirements.

This domain is commonly referred to "Easy to Read". Considerable work has been done in this field and different approaches, tools, and heuristics have emerged. This includes the development of different guidelines, rules, and recommendations such as those listed in "European Standards for making information easy-to-read and understand".

However, more research is needed to better understand the accessibility needs of the users, to analyze the different approaches, and to propose a way forward in providing more comprehensive access to language on the Web.

In parallel, other research fields share similar goals or include complementary development. For example, research in usability on the Web contributed to the concept of Plain Language and the development of different methods and tools to measure readability This domain provides a wide spectrum of guidelines and methods to make the Web easier to use (such as design guidelines for homepage usability, international user interfaces). These invite investigation regarding overlap with the needs of users with cognitive disabilities.

The domains of linguistics and language technologies, including Natural Language Processing have made significant progress in grammar & style-checking (sometimes called Controlled Language), translation, annotation, enhancement and summarizing. Compelling research and sophisticated tools have been developed to support content authors and users, and there is apparent mutual benefit of further investigating the deployment of these tools in the domain of easy-to-read.

Finally, research and development in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) provides a related set of resources on user requirements, guidelines, methods, techniques and tools for the use of language, including the use of symbol systems and symbolic languages. While this primarily addresses a more specific group of users the research, experience, and tools from this domain could benefit easy-to-read for a wider audience.

But still easy-to-read on the Web today is first of all driven by day to day practice of translating information (on demand). More research is needed to better understand the needs of the users, to analyze and compare the different approaches, to come to a common definition, and to propose a way forward in providing more comprehensive access to language on the Web.

For further background information visit the easy-to-read topic page.

User Groups

  • People with cognitive disabilities related to functionalities such as
    • Memory
    • Problem solving (conceptualizing, planning, sequencing, reasoning and judging thoughts and actions)
    • Attention (Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder - ADHD)and awareness
    • Reading, linguistic, and verbal comprehension (Dyslexia)
    • Visual Comprehension
    • Mental health disabilities
  • People with low language skills including people who are not fluent in a language
  • Hearing Impaired and Deaf People

Objectives

The main objectives of the Symposium are

  • Outline and share a definition of easy-to-read
  • Describe, define, and compare the needs of different user groups regarding easy-to-read
  • Analyze the current state of the art (guidelines, examples, tools, concepts, and ideas) in the field of easy-to-read on the Web and to propose how to make information on the Web easier to understand as well as discussing easy-to-read as an aspect of mainstream, design for all or individualized adaptations.
  • Integrate easy-to-read into web accessibility guidelines and standards
  • Provide guidance to standards developers and policy makers on how to better consider and address the user needs
  • Encourage the continued development of tools, techniques, and implementations to support people with disabilities.
  • Identify lack of research and encourage further research on easy-to-read on the Web

Beyond these core objectives the symposium welcomes contributions addressing questions like tool support, R&D in linguistics, language technologies, and natural language processing as well as concepts and models for implementation of easy-to-read in practice.

Call for Papers

We invite research and position papers of about 1,000 words. We encourage you to submit new research, ongoing research, and analysis of past research related to easy-to-read.

Accepted papers will be published online in an attributable form as part of the symposium proceedings. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to participate in the symposium panel.

See the Call for Papers for more information on scope, topics, paper submission, and dates.

Participating

You can participate in the symposium in several ways:

  • E-mail before the symposium – Sending questions and comments to the RDWG mailing list (which is publicly-archived)
  • Phone conference – listening and asking questions during the symposium
  • Live captioning – reading the captioning (transcript will be available after the symposium)
  • Chat – reading and contributing comments and questions

Registration

Registration to participate by phone will open November 20. Participation is free; spaces are limited.

Participants are expected to read the papers (which will be online beforehand) before the symposium.

Agenda

The agenda will be posted in November. Generally it will be:

  • Introduction to topic and symposium
  • Panel discussion with paper authors
  • Q&A with participants
  • Conclusion and next steps

Notifications

To get notification of updated information on this and other RDWG symposia, see Getting WAI Announcements.

Organization

The easy-to-read on the Web symposium is organized by the W3C WAI Research and Development Working Group (RDWG). For information about RDWG, see the RDWG FAQ. If you have additional questions, contact hadi Abou-Zahra (W3C Staff Contact).


Symposium Chairs

Klaus Miesenberger, University of Linz, Institute Integriert Studieren

Andrea Petz, University of Linz, Institute Integriert Studieren

Kerstin Matausch, KI-I

Scientific Committee

Shadi Abou-Zahra (W3C/WAI)

Sami Älli (The Plain Language Centre)

Ulla Bohman (The Centre for Easy-to-Read)

Christian Bühler (TU Dortmund)

Christian Galinski (InfoTerm Austria)

Shawn Henry (W3C/WAI)

Leealaura Leskelä (The Plain Language Centre)

Mats Lundälv (DART)

Annika Nietzio (Forschungsinstitut Technologie und Behinderung (FTB) der Evangelischen Stiftung Volmarstein)

Birgit Peböck, (KI-I)

Luz Rello, (Pompeu Fabra University)

Felix Sasaki (DFKI GmbH)

Kath Straub (Usability.org)

References

  1. Tronbacke, Bror: Guidelines for easy-to-read materials; IFLA professional reports ed. 54; IFLA headquarters 1997.
  2. Jakob Nielsen's Blog on usability, Last: January 2012.
  3. European Standard "Information for All", Last: January 2012.
  4. Website of "Information Architects", especially:
  5. Information Site of the Swedish Easy to Read Center, Last: January 2012.
  6. design to read - Designing for people who do not read easily
  7. Flesch Reading Ease, Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Index, Wiener Sachtextformel, Simple Measure Of Gobbledygook (SMOG), Gunning fog index (FOG), (Jaan Mikk: Textbook: Research and Writing. Lang, Frankfurt u. a. 2000)

Call for Papers: Easy to Read on the Web (e-mail)

The W3C/WAI Research and Development Working Group (RDWG) invites submissions which share experiences, ongoing and planned R&D work related to the use of easy-to-read on the web for an online symposium to be held on December 3, 2012.

This symposium brings together users with disabilities, researchers, developers, industry and practitioners to share ongoing or planned R&D work related to experiences, examples, tools, concepts and ideas how to best integrate easy-to-read on the Web. The symposium aims at exploring existing work in this field and identifying promising avenues for further research and standardization. For a detailed description of the symposium, please visit:

- Easy-to-read Symposium main page: <http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/2012/EasyToRead/>
- Call for Papers: <http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/2012/EasyToRead/cfp.html>

We invite research and position papers of about 1,000 words from a range of disciplines. Submissions will be peer-reviewed.

Accepted papers will be published online in an attributable form as part of the symposium proceedings. Authors of accepted papers will be invited to participate in the symposium panel.

*If you are interested in contributing to this Symposium*, please submit your paper by:
     *12 October 2012*

If you have any questions, contact Shadi Abou-Zahra: shadi@w3.org

---------
RDWG Background:

The Research and Development Working Group (RDWG) helps:
- increase accessibility considerations in research on web technologies, including mainstream research,
- suggest research questions that may contribute to web accessibility research projects,
- inform development of web accessibility solutions,
- decrease the number of potential barriers in future web-related technologies.

RDWG Symposia bring together researchers, practitioners, and users with disabilities interested in a particular aspect of web accessibility to advance research and development in that area. The online Symposia include a panel with the authors of accepted papers, and provide an opportunity for participants to ask questions. Symposia proceedings, transcript, and a report are available publicly online afterward.

For links to an FAQ and a wiki that includes potential topics for future Symposia, see the RDWG home page <http://www.w3.org/WAI/RD/>

We welcome your ideas on this topic and your ideas for future RDWG work. Please send comments to the publicly-archived mailing list: public-wai-rd@w3.org

This Symposium is developed with support of the EC-funded WAI-ACT Project (IST 287725) described at: http://www.w3.org/WAI/ACT/

Feel free to circulate this message to other lists; please avoid cross-postings where possible.

Regards,
Shawn Lawton Henry, WAI Outreach
Simon Harper, RDWG Co-Chair
Shadi Abou-Zahra, RDWG W3C Staff Contact