Raising Awareness

"A centre of excellence in digital information management, providing advice and services to the library, information and cultural heritage communities."

UKOLN is based at the University of Bath.

Holistic Approaches To Web Accessibility

Designing for Disability Seminar: 5 December 2008


Brian Kelly gave a 30 minute talk on "Holistic Approaches To Web Accessibility" from 16.50-17.20 at an event on "Designing for Disability". The seminar took place from 10.45-17.35 at the British Museum, Great Russell St, Camden, London WC1B on 5th December 2008. This event was being organised by the Museums Association and the Jodi Awards.


The work of W3C's WAI (Web Accessibility Initiative) has been successful in raising awareness of how digital resources can enrich the experiences of people with disabilities. WAI also developed a series of guidelines, including WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines), which provide pragmatic approaches for helping institutions to enhance the accessibility of their Web-based services.

However as the Web has developed we are now seeing it being used in a wide variety of ways: the Web is no longer purely a distributed information service, but is used in to enhance learning, provide access to cultural resources, inform and entertain users and provide communications and collaborative services.

Such developments to the Web, which are often referred to as Web 2.0, can provide tangible benefits to all by providing a diversity of services and experiences, rather than the 'one-size-fits-all' approach which was initially felt to be the most appropriate solution to enhance accessibility.

The 'holistic accessibility' has been coined to describe the approaches which are being taken to enhance accessibility in a Web 2.0 environment. This term was originally used to describe a blended approach to e-learning accessibility, in which real-world solutions to accessibility challenges can be used to address limitations in the accessibility of digital resources. However it quickly became apparent that this also reflected approaches which were being taken within the cultural heritage sector.

The talk will review the developments in our understanding of Web accessibility and describe how such approaches can be embedded in today's Web development work.

Biographical Details

Brian Kelly Brian Kelly works for UKOLN, a national centre of expertise in digital information funded by the Joint Information Systems Committee (JISC) and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) and located at the University of Bath, Bath, UK. Brian's job title is UK Web Focus - a national Web coordination and advisory post. His areas of work include Web standards, Web accessibility and promotion of best practices for use of Web 2.0.

Brian was the holder of the Information World Review's Information Professional of the Year in 2008.

Brian's UK Web Focus blog, available at provides a high profile discussion and dissemination channel for his interests.



Holistic Approaches To Web Accessibility
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Holistic Approaches To Web Accessibility
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Talk on 'Holistic Approaches To Web Accessibility'
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