W4A 2015: Improving Accessibility of the Web, Mobiles and Wearables!

Posted on Monday, 13 October 2014 by Mike Paciello

Hot off the press, the complete lowdown on the 2015 Web for All (W4A) conference. Hope you can attend. I am psyched about going to Florence!! TPG will again sponsor the Accessibility Challenge. The information that follows came directly to me from Yevgen Borodin, one of the conference organizers:

We encourage you to submit your best work on improving accessibility of the Web, Mobiles, and Wearables for people with and without disabilities to the International Web for All Conference (W4A’15), conveniently co-located with WWW’15 and MobiSys’15.

W4A’15 (www.w4a.info) will take place in Florence, Italy (May 18-20):

  • IBM will provide travel grants to both grad and undergrad students with disabilities
  • Google will sponsor 6 PhD students to participate in the Doctoral Student Consortium
  • Intuit will award $2,000 and $1,000 to the best technical and communication papers
  • The Paciello Group (TPG) will give awards to the winners of the Accessibility Challenge

Please note that Submission deadlines: Jan 23rd, Notifications: March 4th

As you know, devices are getting smaller, and more of them are now wearable: smart glasses, smart watches, and smart clothing are all working their way into our lives and onto our bodies. These devices are online, web-accessible, and increasingly interconnected. As with many technologies that have come before, wearable devices present incredible opportunities for improving accessibility for people with and without disabilities, but also present accessibility challenges in ensuring that people are able to equally benefit from them regardless of disability, context or situation. Acknowledging the importance of this topic, the theme of the 12th International Web for All Conference is “The Wearable Web”.

Don’t be deterred by the theme; we invite your best work on improving and understanding access for people across the accessibility continuum. Papers are expected to detail technical solutions and scientific insights into Web, Mobile, and Wearable technologies addressing diverse user needs. Areas of interest include but are not limited to the following: age, cognition, culture, education, emotions, dexterity, disability, diversity, health, hearing, income, infrastructure, language, learning, literacy, mobility, situation, society, and vision.

The main keynote on the “Sense and sensibility: smartphones and wearable technologies to support seniors” will be delivered by Lorenzo Chiari who is a Professor and the Vice-Director of the Health Sciences and Technologies – Interdepartmental Center for Industrial Research at the University of Bologna. At the close of the 1st day, join us for the evening of wine, food, and live music. The “William Laughborough” after-dinner talk “Sense and sensibility: smartphones and wearable technologies to support seniors” will be given by Kevin Carey, the Chair of the Royal National Institute of Blind People, UK.

Don’t come just for W4A’15 – stay for the entire week! W4A is conveniently co-located with WWW’15 and MobiSys’15 conferences. WWW’15 (http://www.www2015.it/) is the best and the biggest Web research conference attended by famous Web researchers and practitioners, such as Sir Tim Berners-Lee (the inventor of the Web). MobiSys’15 is the top research conference dealing with all aspects of mobile systems: http://www.sigmobile.org/mobisys/2015/cfp.php.

About Mike Paciello

Mike is the Founding Partner of The Paciello Group. He has been in the accessibility business since the mid-80's, both as a usability and accessibility engineer. In 2006, along with his friend and colleague Jim Tobias, he was appointed co-chair to the United States Federal Access Board's Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC). In years past he has been involved in several well known accessibility ventures including ICADD, WAI, and WebABLE (his first official web site and start-up). Most recently, together with TVworldwide.com, he launched a new internet channel, WebABLE.tv, dedicated to building greater awareness about technology and people with disabilities.


  1. I’ve been to two WWW conferences and this will be my first Web4All participation. These are top notch events and I highly recommend everyone participating. It’s truly a career highlight to give a presentation.

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