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About the Access 2.0 blog

Disability and digital life meet here

Times they are a-changin'. Back in the old days, you could just log on to the internet, read the papers, or buy a book or a CD or whatever, and that was it - somebody had done all the hard work for you. Interactivity hadn't even been invented - unless you're talking about calling Noel on the phone to make a swap on a Saturday morning. Now though, you're expected to set up a page on a social networking website, write your own content and even access radio and TV down your broadband wires. Sheesh! And if you can't do that, you're nothing. A big useless, socially innept, unemployable, media-bankrupt nobody.

The point of this blog is to look at all the things happening on the web now and in the future; the good, the bad and the downright fugly. But we'll be looking at it from the point of view of inclusivity.

Gizmos, gadgets, toys, tools and all sorts of new applications, are now starting to appear on the web. They're media rich, they're networky, they're futureweb and they're regularly referred to as web 2.0. Everyone has been so busy designing and building this cool new stuff, though, that no-one has gotten around to properly defining what Web 2.0 really means yet. But the accessibility has to be right.


A big part of the blog is to track the work that the BBC are doing around accessibility current and future technology. Have you seen how many pages the BBC has got? have you seen The diversity of content? The new projects on the horizon? Finding an access path through all this can be different again for a big corporation. We'll be spying on auntie, sharing, pointing, inviting comment, positive preferably, and hopefully allowing users and innovators to speak, and the industry to speak to itself. Everyone needs solutions and inspiration, it ain't just the Beeb.

The BBC has many interesting new projects, all with a commitment to accessibility. The goodwill is high, the importance is noted, and people are in place to make sure all this goes as smoothly as possible as the BBC's digital offerings start to melt into 2.0 content. We're here at the start and we'll be talking to some of the players making it happen.

"Web access is the new stairlift or ramp."

Of all the things that could have opened up new horizons for visually, physically and the otherwise-impaired user groups, then the internet was it. It's the thing. Isn't it the thing?

It's only in recent times that legislation and awareness has compelled website creators to make the web more accessible to everyone. So there we have it, you've got to read this blog! We're now building our lives around the web, in the same way we used to build them around the high street or other physical places. Web access is the new stairlift or ramp.

And why will this blog be any good?

We'll be assessing the latest developments in and outside of the BBC, raving about the good, railing against the bad and reviling the fugly along the way. But en route, we'll be looking at real disabled people, how they use the net, how they want to use the net, and throwing in things that fascinate and interest us in terms of blue skies accessible tech thinking for the digital future. Did we just say 'blue skies'?

Paul Crichton, writer

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