A paper on “From Web Accessibility to Web Adaptability” is now available from the University of Bath Opus repository (in HTML and PDF formats). This paper, which was co-authored by Liddy Nevile, David Sloan, Sotiris Fanou, Ruth Ellison and Lisa Herrod, was published in Disability and Rehability: Assistive Technology (Vol. 4, Issue 4).
As I described last year “Unfortunately, due to copyright restriction, access to this version is embargoed until next year“. I’m pleased to announce that the paper is, at last, available.
As described by David Sloan:
This paper focuses on ways to strike a balance between a policy that limits the chances of unjustified accessibility barriers being introduced in web design while also providing enough flexibility to allow the web in a way that provides the best possible user experience for disabled people by acknowledging and supporting the diversity of and the occasional conflicts between the needs of different groups.
As described in a recent post such considerations have been accepted in the draft Web Accessibility – Code of Practice. I would like to be able to say that our paper had been influential in the development of the BSI Code of Practice. However since the paper has been embargoed the influence of the ideas described in the paper will be limited and as is it costs £33 to order a copy of the paper from the publisher this will have provided an additional barrier – although the post on “From Web Accessibility To Web Adaptability”: A Summary” at least provided a publicly-available review of the ideas described in the paper.
I would conclude that the strict copyright embargo which the publishers placed on this paper has acted as a barrier which to the take-up of the ideas in the paper. I normally try to avoid submitting papers to publishers which have such restrictions but in this case it was an invited paper based on a paper on “Accessibility 2.0: People, Policies and Processes” which was presented at the W4A 2007 conference – the opportunity to build on our ideas and have additional input from two new co-authors to the paper was really something I felt would be foolish to turn down. But although I am willing to accept such real-world compromises this doesn’t mean that I agree with the publisher’s approaches – and I will try and avoid such restrictions in the future.