Microsoft Web Accessibility Challenge

Sponsored by MicrosoftThe Fifth “Web Accessibility Challenge”, sponsored since 2008 by Microsoft, 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. To encourage and accelerate development of innovative and practically usable Web accessibility technologies; the Challenge is one part of the conference in which new experimental systems and technologies are submitted, compared, and judged by our independent panel of experts as to the most significant advance in research technology in accessibility for that year.

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.

Submission materials

Conference attendance

A presentation and demonstration session will be part of the W4A event, so at least one of the authors is required to attend the conference.


  • 2012 Web Accessibility Challenge: Judges Award Decided by the invited judges, who are experts from academia, industry and end-users.
  • 2012 Web Accessibility Challenge: Delegates Award Decided by the participants of the conference.
  • In addition, you can get feedback from judges and participants.

System requirements

  • Any kind of system is acceptable, such as standalone assistive technologies, voice browsers, browser plug-ins, server-based services, and telephony systems. Other accessibility technologies can be accepted (e.g., tactile browser).
  • Open source systems are welcomed.
  • Please contact us, if you have any questions about the coverage (

Submission details

  • Submissions should be sent to this email address:
  • You can also consider alternative methods for submission of large movie files such as uploading the file to YouTube. In this case, please add a tag “w4a2012″ to the movie, and send the URL of the movie to the submission address (
  • Abstracts and movies should emphasise the innovative ideas in the system. Do not demonstrate whole functions including usual or average functions.
  • The demonstration movies should also be non-visually accessible, since some of referees are blind. Please consider to add audio descriptions to the submission movie, and do not add unnecessary audio (e.g., background music). In reality these presentations are intended to remove the need for the judges to install experimental application code and libraries on their own computers – in this case the technology is judged on its intended use – and so a screen reader for blind users may not have a textual output; in this case captioning the audio would be inappropriate. However, any visual presentation which is not part of the system – ie textual titles – should be audio described, and any audio, such as supplementary narration, should be captioned. In this way nothing is added to the system demonstration contained within the presentation, unless the submitter has augmented their work with additional descriptions etc.
  • Abstracts should be in ACM/W4A paper format, since abstracts will be published in the proceedings. Abstracts and movies will be stored in the ACM Digital Library.

Challenge Judges

  • Jennison Asuncion, Adaptech Research Network
  • Jerry Randell, Helen Keller Services for the Blind
  • Cynthia Shelly, Microsoft
  • Glenda Watson Hyatt, Soaring Eagle Communications

Contact (

  • Jeffrey P. Bigham
    University of Rochester, USA.
  • Yevgen Borodin
    Stony Brook University, USA