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One World, One Web ... But Great Diversity

This page contains access to a paper on "One World, One Web ... But Great Diversity" which was presented at the International Cross-Disciplinary Workshop on Web Accessibility. This workshop had the theme "One World, One Web: Surfers become Designers?" and was held in Beijing, China on 21st-22nd April 2008.

The paper was presented as a pre-recorded video by Brian Kelly on Tuesday, 22nd April 2008.



This paper is available from the University of Bath institutional repository.

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Citation Details

One World, One Web ... But Great Diversity, Kelly, B., Nevile, L., Draffan, EA. and Fanou, S. WWW 2008 Beijing, China, 21-22 April 2008. Proceedings of the 2008 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4A), Beijing, China. Pages 141-147, Year of Publication: 2008. ISBN:978-1-60558-153-8 DOI:
<> (multiple formats).


The mantra "One World, One Web" has a strong appeal to Web developers. They think of it as a design philosophy based on use of internationally agreed open standards for providing universal access to networked resources and services available on the World Wide Web. But does the available evidence show that practices match this philosophy? How would such an approach work in a Web 2.0 environment in which users may be authors of content?

This paper reviews the limitations of the dependence on a single WAI model and WCAG 1.0 guidelines. It describes a holistic approach to Web accessibility that has been discussed previously. There are additional complexities of accessibility in a Web 2.0 environment, in which not only can readers be creators of Web resources in a variety of formats, but also content can be surfaced in a variety of ways, addressed in this paper. The authors describe how the holistic model, initially developed to support the development of accessible e-learning in a Web 2.0 context, is well-suited for a Web 2.0 environment.

The paper provides a case study to illustrate how this holistic approach can be applied in the development of Web resources for users with learning difficulties. The paper concludes by arguing that future work to enhance the accessibility of Web services should focus on the development and commissioning processes rather than continue the current narrow emphasis on the compliance with universal accessibility guidelines of the digital resources themselves, independently of the context of their use.

Finally the paper refers to two new developments that support the wider focus, providing for individual user-centred accessibility with descriptions of resources and components enabling adaptation of resources to individual needs and preferences.

Categories and Subject Descriptors
H.5.2 [User Interfaces - Evaluation/methodology];
K.4.2 [Social Issues - Assistive technologies for persons with disabilities]
General Terms
Measurement, Documentation, Human Factors, Standardization, Verification.
Web accessibility, people with disabilities, WAI, WCAG, guidelines, methodologies, AccessforAll, metadata


"© ACM, 2008. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in Proceedings of the 2008 international cross-disciplinary conference on Web accessibility (W4A), Beijing, China. Pages 141-147, Year of Publication: 2008. ISBN:978-1-60558-153-8"

Author Details

The co-authors of this paper are:

  • Brian Kelly, UKOLN, University of Bath, UK. ORCID: 0000-0001-5875-8744
  • Liddy Neville, La Trobe University, Australia.
  • EA Draffan, University of Southampton, UK. ORCID: 0000-0003-1590-7556
  • Sotiris Fanou, University of West of England (UWE), UK.

Brian Kelly was the lead author. You can view Brian's Google+ page. His email address is currently

Blog Post

A blog post entitled One World, One Web But Great Diversity has been published on the UK Web Focus blog.


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