Review Web adaptability

Having finished reading the report of Web Adaptability Mr.Brian Kelly published, I am going to review it.

What is Web Adaptability?

At first, I could not understand exactly what we can do in Web Adaptability framework. Web Adaptability is not clearly defined in what we should do while Web Accessibility is clearly defined in what we should do in WAI-model like WCAG2.0.

Web Adaptability was a holistic approach and Web Accessibility made Web resource accessible. I found that these approaches were essentially different and it was easier for me to understand the framework and examples.

Beyond Web Accessibility

There are limitations in Web Accessibility. I would give you two examples.

At first, a lot of elderly people believe that they can use the Web. I don't think that they can use sufficiently. WCAG 2.0 says

Guideline 3.3 Input Assistance: Help users avoid and correct mistakes.

This is a very important principle. When some elderly people meet the error message, however they perhaps press the back button of the browser or close the window in surprise. Web Accessibility is important for them, but they cannot sometimes use the websites with accessible format.

Secondly, I would give you another example.

Although "accessibility" in hotels and public facilities has been improved in Japan, people with disabilities and elderly people cannot still satisfactorily use the information on their Websites. Why?

In the Websites of some hotels and public facilities, they offer information on accessibility, which is provided with accessible format. But there isn't enough information for people with disabilities and elderly people on the websites, or, if any, they cannot find it successfully. This is caused not because there is a problem in Web accessibility itself, but because hotels and public facilities don't listen to their needs. We are planning to produce a guideline for them to create their accessibility information with. Of course it is provided with accessible format. It is important that people with disabilities and elderly people can use it "in practice".

Some Questions to Web Adaptability

I have some questions to Web Adaptability.

  1. Web Accessibility can eventually benefit a wide range of users by focusing on people with disabilities. On the other hand, I feel that Web Adaptability focuses so much on them that other users cannot benefit from the websites with Web Adaptability framework.
  2. I wonder if a simple website with only HTML and CSS, which doesn't use Ajax, Flash or new technology can be applied with Web Adaptability.


Web Adaptability is one of the most important views to make a Website usable and accessible. We still need more cases and practices.