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European Research Consortium for Informatics and Mathematics        ERCIM Working Group "User Interfaces for All"

The Kiss of the Spiderbot

Steven Pemberton,
Amsterdam, The Netherlands


The Web is currently bedevilled with inaccessible websites. Even if you have good eyesight it can be difficult, with the host of websites that render their texts with tiny fonts sized in pixels. If you have poor eyesite, or are blind, it is truly a torture: vast numbers of current websites are designed for visual use only, on fixed screen sizes, on a single platform.

But it doesn't have to be like that. The new versions of HTML now emerging have been designed explicitely with usability, accessibility and device independence in mind, and this talk demonstrates how closely intertwined these three topics are.

But there's more. There's a blind billionaire user out there, with millions of friends who listen to his every word, who's going to make website builders realise that there is also an economic reason for making websites accessible for all...

Steven Pemberton is Chair of the HTML and XForms working groups at the World Wide Web Consortium. He is also editor of ACM/interactions.

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