Accessibility Summit II: A User-Focussed Approach to Web Accessibility


Brian Kelly was a co-facilitator and speaker at the Accessibility Summit II held on 2nd November 2006 at TechDis, TechDis, The Higher Education Academy, Innovation Way, York Science Park, York, YO10 5BR.


This meeting is a follow-up to the first Accessibility Summit which was hosted by TechDis in February 2004. At that invitation-only meeting a small group of people who were active in addressing Web accessibility issues, especially with relation to e-learning, met to discuss concerns related to conventional approaches to e-learning accessibility, which was based on a simple application of W3C's WCAG 1.0 guidelines. The meeting agreed that, although the accessibility guidelines were useful, there was a need for a more user-focussed approach to the development of widely accessibility e-learning resources.

Following the broad agreement reached at the meeting, UKOLN and TechDis worked together to develop a user-focussed approach to e-learning accessibility. A paper entitled "Developing A Holistic Approach For E-Learning Accessibility" which described this approached was published in the "Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology" in 2004 [1].

Further work in this area sought to address the relationships between accessibility and usability and the legal framework within the UK and build on the evidence collected through surveys of Web site accessibility. A number of papers were written which described the development of the initial approaches [2], [3], [4] and [5]. The developments of the initial work was supported by contributions from experts outside UKOLN and TechDis, including David Sloan, Professor Helen Petrie, Fraser Hamilton and Andy Heath.

About The Accessibility Summit II

Accessibility Summit II seeks to build on the work described above. The summit aims to produce the following deliverables:

A list of topics for consideration prior to the event has been suggested as starting pints for debate, so please consider your views on the following - a Web page will be set up in a couple of weeks' time to enable some online pre-event discussion:


Brian Kelly gave a brief presentation on "Web Accessibility: Limitations Of Conventional Approaches".


[HTML format] - [MS PowerPoint 97/2000 format]

Useful URLs

For a list of related resources please see the social bookmarking Web site (for the tag 'accessibility-summit-2006-11'):


  1. Developing A Holistic Approach For E-Learning Accessibility, Kelly, B., Phipps, L. and Swift, E. Canadian Journal of Learning and Technology, 2004, Vol. 30, Issue 3.
  2. Forcing Standardization or Accommodating Diversity? A Framework for Applying the WCAG in the Real World, Kelly, B., Sloan, D., Phipps, L., Petrie, H. and Hamilton, F. Proceedings of the 2005 International Cross-Disciplinary Workshop on Web Accessibility (W4A). ISBN: 1-59593-036-1.
  3. Implementing A Holistic Approach To E-Learning Accessibility, Kelly, B., Phipps, L. and Howell, C. ALT-C 2005 Conference Proceedings
  4. Holistic Approaches to E-Learning Accessibility, Phipps, L. and Kelly, B. ALT-J Research in Learning Technology, Vol. 14, No. 1, March 2006, pp. 69-78.
  5. Contextual Web Accessibility - Maximizing the Benefit of Accessibility Guidelines, Sloan, D., Kelly, B., Heath, A., Petrie, H., Hamilton, F and Phipps, L. WWW 2006 Edinburgh, Scotland 22-26 May 2006. Conference Proceedings, Special Interest Tracks, Posters and Workshops (CD ROM).


A report on the meeting published in the E-GOVERNMENT BULLETIN (ISSUE 226, 13 November 2006) is available.


A small number of photographs of the meeting, taken by Patrick Lauke, are available on Flickr.