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WAI: Strategies, guidelines, resources to make the Web accessible to people with disabilities

[Archived] Call for Papers: Easy-to-Read on the Web
Online Symposium 3 December 2012

Page Contents


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

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.


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


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

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 1,000 words. We encourage concise contributions that are scientifically sound with appropriate references. Papers should clearly explain the:

Papers must be submitted in the template provided, be valid HTML, and meet WCAG 2.0 Level AA.

Paper submission form

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 text customization for readability. Papers will be accepted based on this criteria and space availability.

Copyright Policy

Accepted papers will be published online 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.)

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.