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Sixth International World Wide Web Conference
The Theme is Accessibility...

Everyone Everything Connected

Most of us take for granted our ability to communicate with other people. While face-to-face communication is most natural, there is often some intervening technology which enables us to cut across time or distance. This technology ranges from simple pencil and paper to complex telecommunications systems involving computers, modems, telephone systems, the Internet, the World Wide Web, and satellites. Increasingly, businesses and government departments are turning to machine-based communication systems for handling interactions within and beyond the workplace. If you want to make a reservation on an airline, look up a book in a library, or balance your checkbook, you may be obliged to use one of these systems. This may work well for people who already own computers and are able to use them. But what about the other segments of the population?

As we move towards a highly connected world, we must ensure that the tools for working in that world are usable by anyone, regardless of individual resources, capabilities and disabilities. Everyone


The disadvantaged come in many forms. Let us not forget the needs of the community just around the corner. While we worry about global scale networks and global economies, we shouldn't neglect the inner city youth yearning for access to the delights of the world of information available on the web.

Disability Community

While browsers continue to develop capabilities for the sighted, we should not forget the visually impaired are using the web, too. Other disabilities are affected by what content providers present and what browser developers develop. Audio tracks are great, but the text equivalent is useful to the hearing impaired.


Imagine a world where the remotest hospital in Liberia can track the latest developments in Cholera treatment via the World Wide Web. The tools are there, the information is available, but what does it take to provide Web access to remote sites such as this?
What does it mean to have everything connected? Why can't my mechanic query my car as to the last time the oil was changed? Wouldn't it be great to turn the oven on from your desktop? How about the lights in your house from a remote location?
When we say "It's a small world" we mean that we are all connected in some way. What we do here affects people around the globe. This was never more true than with the World Wide Web and the capabilities it promises. Let's explore the ways in which connectedness can bring us together to a common place of knowledge and understanding.

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