the cups blog


posted by harraton
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SOAPS Opening Session

It’s a treat this year to have the Symposium on Accessible Privacy and Security (SOAPS ’08) as one of the SOUPS workshops.

Welcome: Harry Hochheiser.

Mark Riccobono (National Federation for hte Blind)- Security and Accessibility: A Single Track for Innovation

Internet security – prevention of unauthorized access to computer systems via Internet access.
Accessibility – Used to describe the degree to which a product is usable by as many people as possible.

People see these two things in conflict.
– Prevent access from unauthorized vs.
– Expand ability for as many people as possible to access functionality of systems

How do we limit and widen access at the same time?

This contradiction is the gap we wish to bridge.

For the blind, the Internet provides a great deal of access. We can now access functionality from data that used to be difficult to obtain (screen readers).

Exploding Internet = dearth of knowledge to developers of knowledge of accessibility and design, and security for the blind.

– Non-visual information presented on screen.
– Internet promises blind greater independence (finances – online banking, and previously paper based)
– Due to lack of eyesight, the blind are often deemed unauthorized and denied access to information, if only they could see. The blind are denied access only b/c of security.

We need to ask ourselves whether or not security and access. are opposite concepts. NFB believes that security and accessibility should be a single track for driving innovation rather than parallel tracks creating frustration w/ all involved.

Due to the desire of blind people to access the Internet, we must extend Internet services. Lots of technology initiatives have been implemented to accomplish this. The NFB is building some innovative partnerships w/ Oracle and Towson University (i.e. a Non-visual web certification program).

Security and accessibility are a single track and equal parts of the equation, the solution is an innovation that is greater than the sum of the parts.


posted by harraton
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SOUPS 2008!

Welcome to SOUPS 2008, in Pittsburgh, PA. We will be live-blogging the SOUPS conference.

To keep track of the program, visit

So far, the weather is great as is this year’s program.

The favor this year is a clear round bar of soap with the SOUPS logo embedded in it.