W4A 2012: Call for Papers

Topics and Content

The World Wide Web has changed the way we search, access, consume and produce information. While existing superficial content allows us to browse and interact with the Web, we are far from taking full advantage of it. Laying beneath the surface of the Web there are a number of phenomena such as trends and patterns in information structure and in user behaviour that do shape the way we communicate, consume and browse. As far as accessibility is concerned, Web content plays a central role in an ecosystemwhere user agents, authoring tools, crowdsourcing frameworks and testing tools determine how accessible is the Web. As these components are moving to the cloud, their mere activity and interplay produces large amounts of data. For instance, thousands of testing reports are being generated every day by automatic tools and auditors. Moreover, crowdsourcing tools are facilitating a myriad of accessibility fixes and providing guidance to users.

In parallel, announcements made by UK and US governments, amongst others, to make public data available are contributing to adding enormous amounts of data to the Web. While some of these data repositories consist of raw data, some other are explicitly structured and semantically annotated set of documents. However, users still find it difficult to access to these data mainly because of information overload and access barriers. So even if the major goal of Open Government initiatives is to foster transparency, the reality is that citizens struggle to access.

So we can find data produced by the accessibility ecosystem -users and tools- and intentionally uploaded data. The former, if adequately exploited, can yield invaluable knowledge to better understand web accessibility as a phenomenon. The latter provide us mechanisms to arrange these data on the web so that they are accessible for machines although not for humans. As a result, topics of interests include (but are not limited to):

  • Intelligent processing of the massively produced reports by accessibility testing tools
  • Web mining and AI techniques for accessibility testing and repairing
  • Usage patterns of accessibility tools on the cloud
  • How to use data produced by means of crowd-sourcing accessibility fixes
  • How data produced while interacting and traversing the Web can improve accessibility
  • How to create user profiles from log data
  • The characterization of the Web at a macro and micro-scale
  • Accessibility of Linked Data repositories
  • Using Linked Data to better organise knowledge on Web accessibility
  • Web authoring guidelines and tools
  • Mobile accessibility
  • User modeling and the adaptive web
  • Adaptation and transformation of existing Web content
  • Design and best practice to support Web accessibility
  • Technological advances to support Web accessibility
  • End user tools
  • Accessibility guidelines, best practice, evaluation techniques, and tools
  • Psychology of end user experiences and scenarios
  • Innovative techniques to support accessibility
  • Universally accessible graphical design approaches
  • Accessible graphic formats and tools for their creation

Keynote Speakers

Microsoft Web Accessibility Challenge

Sponsored by Microsoft since 2008, the “Web Accessibility Challenge” is organised to give an opportunity to researchers and developers of advanced Web accessibility technologies for showcasing their technologies to technical leaders in this area not only from academia and industry but also from end-users. Find more details at http://www.w4a.info/2012/submissions/challenge

Google Student Awards

The third “Student Awards Programme”, sponsored since 2010 by Google, is organised to give an opportunity to high quality students with limited funding to attend the W4A Conference. Thanks to generous sponsorship from Google, two awards, each of up to US$1200, are available to support students to attend W4A 2012. We now invite applications from interested students. Find more details at http://www.w4a.info/2012/submissions/student-awards


We will accept position and technical papers, and short communications. Position papers should only be submitted as a communication of (up to 4-pages) whereas technical papers should be infull paper format (up to 10-pages). The official language of the Conference is English. Submission details are available at http://www.w4a.info/2012/submissions

Important Dates

All Submissions Close (Midnight Hawaii Standard Time): 04-Feb-2012
Author Rebuttal Period Ends (Midnight Hawaii Standard Time): 18-Feb-2012
All Decisions: 28-Feb-2012
All Final Versions: 16-Mar-2012
More details: http://www.w4a.info/2012/submissions/important-dates


General Chairs

  • Julio Abascal, University of the Basque Country (Spain)
  • Markel Vigo, University of Manchester (UK)

Programme Chairs

  • Rui Lopes, University of Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Paola Salomoni, University of Bologna (Italy)

Microsoft Challenge Chairs

  • Jeffrey Bigham, University of Rochester (USA)
  • Eugene Borodin, SUNY (USA)

Google Student Award

  • Anna Cavender, Google (USA)
  • Shari Trewin, IBM Research (USA)

Special Issue

  • Chieko Asakawa, IBM Research (Japan)
  • Hironobu Takagi, IBM Research (Japan)


  • Tiago Guerreiro, Technical University of Lisbon (Portugal)
  • Shaun K Kane, UMBC (USA)
  • Sergio Sayago, University of Dundee (UK)
  • Peter Thiessen, eBuddy (Netherlands)

Programme Committee

  • Shadi Abou-Zahra (W3C)
  • Margherita Antona (ICS-FORTH)
  • Myriam Arrue (University of the Basque Country)
  • Melanie Baljko (York University, Canada)
  • Armando Barreto (Florida International University)
  • Giorgio Brajnik (Università di Udine)
  • Andy Brown (University of Manchester)
  • Luís Carriço (University of Lisbon)
  • Olga De Troyer (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)
  • David Duce (Oxford Brookes University)
  • Inmaculada Fajardo (University of Valencia)
  • Renata Fortes (University of Sao Paulo)
  • Greg Gay (University of Toronto)
  • Becky Gibson (IBM Emerging Internet Technologies)
  • Simon Harper (University of Manchester)
  • Sarah Horton (Author and Consultant)
  • Matt Huenerfauth (City University of New York)
  • Caroline Jay (University of Manchester)
  • Brian Kelly (University of Bath)
  • Arun Kumar (IBM India)
  • Katherine McCoy (University of Delaware)
  • Eleni Michailidou (The Cyprus University of Technology)
  • Klaus Miesenberger (University of Linz)
  • Silvia Mirri (University of Bologna)
  • David Novick (The University of Texas at El Paso)
  • Zeljko Obrenovic (Technical University Eindhoven)
  • Mike Paciello (The Paciello Group)
  • Enrico Pontelli (New Mexico State University)
  • IV Ramakrishnan (Stony Brook University)
  • Gustavo Rossi (Universidad Nacional de La Plata)
  • Cynthia Shelly (Microsoft Corporation)
  • David Sloan (University of Dundee)
  • Hironobu Takagi (IBM Research)
  • Shari Trewin (IBM T.J. Watson Research Center)
  • Douglas Tudhope (University of Glamorgan)
  • Konstantinos Votis (Centre for Research and Technology Hellas)
  • Takayuki Watanabe (Tokyo Woman’s Christian University)
  • Yeliz Yesilada (METU NCC/University of Manchester)


Accepted papers and communications will appear in the conference proceedings contained on the Conference USB key, and will also be accessible to the general public via the ACM Digital Library website. Selected authors will be invited to submit extended versions of their paper for publication the International Journal of Universal Access in the Information Society (UAIS). In 2011, UAIS journal was accepted by ISI. The journal will be indexed from 2009 and it will receive an Impact Factor for 2011. The Impact Factor for this year will be released in June 2012.

W4A stats

As of December 2011 average downloads per article at the ACM Digital Library is 424 and average citations per article is 2.89. To see the stats check the ACM Digital Library site for the W4A conference.

W4A on the Web

Main site: http://www.w4a.info
RSS/ATOM News Feed: http://www.w4a.info/updates.xml
Blog: http://www.w4a.info/2012/blog


This years W4A is endorsed by the IW3C2 in cooperation with the ACM and its Special Interest Groups SIGACCESS, SIGWEB and SIGCHI. The Web Accessibility Challenge is sponsored by Microsoft, and the Student Awards are sponsored by a Google.

DON’T BE DETERRED! While ‘The Web of Data’ is this years theme, please don’t be deterred if this somewhat unique area is not yours. We would like to see all quality work on Web Accessibility regardless of the particular field within accessibility. The overriding reason for a paper being accepted is its high quality in relation to the broad area of Web Accessibility.

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