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“Accessibility” online can have many definitions and contexts. For most developers, we fall into the trap of thinking adding alt text to images is enough to make our websites “accessible.” What can you do to provide a quality interface that truly meets the needs of users?
Does your jQuery crash accessible browsers? Can users find their way around your applications? Does FireFox read the entire menu at the start of every page?
Join Ed Schipul, CEO of Tendenci, and blind motivational speaker Rachel Magario, Assistive Technology Specialist at PACER Center’s Simon Technology Center, as they discuss what accessibility online really looks like to both developers and visually impaired end users.
This session will cover best practices, testing, and pitfalls to avoid in implementing accessible web and program design. You will walk away with actionable tips you can use in your development projects as well as a new mindset on how to approach accessibility.
Why is accessibility important?
Dignity. Everyone should have the ability to be independent and everyone has
a right to be effective and efficient. Rachel Magario, the first totally blind interaction designer, will explain how this is a social issue as well.
Openness. Open Source development should be accessible to all. We lose the contributions of many communities when we develop without a mindset of accessibility.
Because it can happen to you. Rachel Magario will share her story.
Because accessibility is not just a problem for people with a disability. Accessibility affects everyone in the technology that they encounter.
What is the current situation?
There is widespread lack of awareness and narrow mindset towards accessibility. The speakers will raise participants’ awareness by asking such questions as, “Have you ever noticed that there is no systematic place in buildings to display braille,” and “Did you know that a blind person’s mind works the same way as yours, and that they can still be a visual learner?” The speakers will help participants to be aware of what it’s like to access the web without sight or without an arm.
Breakout into stations:
Participants will have the opportunity to work blindfolded with a screen reader, google glass and iPhone.
What can you do? (Participants remain at stations for hands-on demonstrations.)
The presenters will cover best practices, testing, and pitfalls to avoid. They will also share resources posted on github and will encourage participants to use insights from this session to follow the spirit, not just the law, of accessibility.