Yesterday I presented a paper on “One World, One Web … But Great Diversity” at the W4A 2008 conference  which was being held in Beijing. After the presentation and responding to the questions I received I went to the Claverton rooms at the University of Bath for coffee with my colleagues.

For the first time I presented a peer-reviewed paper which I had previously recorded and made available on my Web site and also via Google Video. The 22 minute long video was played at the conference and I was available to respond to questions via a Skype connection with the conference chair, David Sloan.

This was a very valuable learning experience. My previous use of video to give a presentation was at the UCISA 2008 Management Conference, where Andy Powell was available to complement my introduction with his live participation at the conference. On both occasions I’ve found that my talk has sounded ‘flat’ without the feedback one gets from presenting to a live audience.  Perhaps the next time I do this I should record a talk I give to a live local audience. But at least I saved an estimated 2.9 tonnes of carbon emissions and was able to get back to pressing items of work after the presentation.

The paper build on previous papers on accessibility, and explored how the holistic approach to Web accessibility we have developed previously can be applied in a Web 2.0 context. The paper arguing the need for a user-centred approach to Web accessibility, rather the the resource-centred approach which is the underlying basis for the accessibility guidelines developed by WAI.  


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