Accessibility – Event Amplification

About This Page

This page aims to document the policies and practices of the event amplification for the IWMW 2015.  The approach taken aims to conform with the BS 8878 Web Accessibility code of practice. Note that, as described by Access 8878, BS 8878 describes 16 steps which can help to ensure the production of an accessible product and compliance with BS8878. In addition to documentation in accordance with BS 8878 this page also contains a risk assessment.

It should be noted that this accessibility statement is in draft. It will be used in a workshop session at the IWMW 2015 event.

BS 8878 Steps

Research & understanding in the initial conception and requirements analysis for the web product

  1. Define the product’s purpose
    The web product (to use the terminology of BS 8878) is the event amplification of the IWMW 2015 event. The purpose of the event amplification is to

    • Maximise the outreach and engagement of the ideas presented at the event so that access to the content and discussions is not restricted to those who are physically present.
    • Enhance the experience for those who are physically present by helping to extend the reach of discussions.
    • Enhance access over time, by providing an archive of resources and accompanying discussions.
  2. Define who your audiences are
    The key audiences for the event amplification are:

    • Those who would like to attend the event but who are unable to do so.
    • Colleagues of participants who are physically present at the event.
    • Potential delegates at future IWMW events.
    • Others will interests in the topics addressed at the event.
  3. Analyse the needs of your target audience
    The key audiences will need:

    • To be aware that the event amplification is taking place.
    • To have access to hardware and software to access the event amplification.
    • To be able to access resources after the event is over.
  4. Define your technology preferences and assess impact on end users
    The preferred technologies to provide the event amplification are Twitter (for announcements, alerts and discussions), Lanyrd (for providing access to event amplification resources and facilitating access to speaker profiles) and Slideshare (for hosting speakers’ slides). Since these are mature products which are widely used and have been used at many recent IWM events we feel that this will help provide a positive impact for the key target audiences.
  5. Define the relationship between the audience and your product (i.e. will they want or need to register? Can user preferences be set by the user?)
    Those who wish to simply consume information (Twitter discussions, slides, etc.) will be able to do so without having to register to use any of the tools. For those who wish to actively engage in the discussions or make their participation in the event amplification known to others will need to have an account on the services (which can be done for free). Once registered users will be able to configure the service to reflect personal preferences.
  6. Define the goals and tasks that a user should be able to do
    The goals for the key audiences are to be able to find out about the event amplification and the tools need to participate. The tasks would be to, optionally, contribute to discussions and view archives.

Making strategic choices based on that research

  1. Consider the degree of user experience that you will provide (the level of accessibility and usability)
    The user experience for Twitter users will be dependent on the Twitter client they choose. Since Twitter is well-used by the key audiences it is assumed that users will use a client they are familiar with. It is expected that many users will access Slideshare using a Web browser, although Slideshare apps are also available for mobile devices.
  2. Inclusive design and user personalized approach to designing your web product
    The main tools used to deliver the event amplification web product are existing well-used tools, so it is not relevant to address the development of these tools.
  3. Choose the delivery platforms that your web-product will support
    Twitter, Lanyrd and Slideshare work well on modern browsers or MS Windows and Apple Macintosh computers, iOS, Android and Windows 8 mobile devices and are also available on other platforms but these have not been tested).
  4. Choose the technologies that you will support
    The event amplification tools are available as HTML5 products and apps for popular mobile devices.

The decision whether to create or procure the web product in-house or contract out externally

  1. Choose whether to create or procure the web product in-house or contract out externally
    The event amplification web product uses existing third-party tools which are freely available.

The production of the web product

  1. Define the web technologies to be used in the web product
    The event amplification tools are available as HTML5 products and apps for popular mobile devices.
  2. Use web guidelines to direct accessible web production
    WCAG guidelines will primarily have relevance for ensuring images have relevant textual descriptions. However annotations of images using mainstream Twitter clients is not possible and the EasyChirp client would not be appropriate for use in ensuring content was provided in live event amplification. In addition slides uploaded to Slideshare are unlikely to have textual descriptions of embedded images, although textual content will be accessible.

The evaluation of the product

  1. Assure the web product’s accessibility through production
    The tools used are mature and should not change significantly during the event, although we are unable to guarantee this as they are third-party products.

The launch of the web product

  1. Communicate the web product’s accessibility decisions at launch
    This policy page will be announced. In brief the policy decisions affecting the accessibility of the event application are:

    • Creation of digital content relating to the talks and discussions at the IWMW 2015 event will be encouraged in order to enhance access to the resources and discussions which otherwise would be inaccessible to those not physically present at the event.
    • Speakers are responsible for creation of resources such as slides. Speakers will not be required to ensure that their slides are accessible when they are uploaded for sharing.
    • Links to resources shared on Twitter are unlikely to have relevant textual descriptions due to the characteristics of use of Twitter, especially at events.

Post-launch maintenance

  1. Plan to assure accessibility in all post-launch updates to the product
    We will publish links to archives of relevant resources and ensure they are linked to from multiple locations, thus helping to ensure the resources can easily be found.

Risk Assessment

A risk assessment on publication of this policy and the risks of the decisions made will be provided shortly.

No. Risk Notes
 1 Use of BS 8878  has no relevance. BS 8878 is a ratified British Standards code of practice. It has replaced PAS 78, which expired in 2010.  It addresses limitations in accessibility policies based solely on WCAG guidelines, by providing a framework for contextualising use of standards such as WCAG.
 2 Use of BS 8878 is counter-productive in highlighting limitations in approaches to web accessibility. Many Web accessibility polices based on WCAG typically say “This web site conforms with WCAG A or AA“. This can be risky if the web site fails to conform fully with WCAG (and complete conformance is difficult to achieve). Web accessibility polices which say “This web site aims to conforms with WCAG A or AA” may provide more flexibility but do not address, in a standardised way, deviations from WCAG conformance.
 3 Established practice is to use WCAG guidelines in institutional web accessibility policies. It is true that Web accessibility policies based on WCAG are the norm, and use of BS 8878 appears to be low. The aim of the workshop session at the IWMW 2015 event is to seek to encourage take-up of BS 8878. It should be noted that BS 8878 isn’t intended as a replacement for WCAG, but as a way of documenting how policies such as WCAG can be used.
 4 Use of BS 8878 may fail to encourage additional resources being taken in enhancing accessibility of web products. BS 8878 aims to ensure that policy decisions related to web accessibility are made in an open and transparent fashion. Such transparency can help limitations to be identified and rguments made for providing additional resources.
5 The policies address internal discussion-making and are not described in a way which is clear to users of the service. This is probably a legitimate criticism. The policy deliberately shows the BS 8878 stages in order to make the processes clear to participants in a workshop session on BS 8878. In practice this policy would probably need to be written in a form more meaningful to end users (e.g. see the policy statement on the Hassell inclusion web site).
6 Institutions may wish to make use of “blended accessibility” approaches in which limitation in the accessibility of digital resources can be addressed by real-world alternatives. Unlike WCAG guidelines (which only address Web resources) BS 8878 can embrace real-world alternatives to web products.



This accessibility statement is available under a Creative Commons CC-0 licence (content is available for reuse, without a need to acknowledge the source).