denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
Denise ([staff profile] denise) wrote2012-08-30 04:53 pm


Both [staff profile] mark and I got notice this afternoon that our proposed tutorials have been accepted for LinuxConf Australia in Canberra in January!

I will be giving (with help from [personal profile] deborah on the development thereof, but alas, she had a conflict with the conference itself) a one and a half hour tutorial called "Beyond Alt Text: What Every Project Should Know About Accessibility":

You know it's important for your web project to be accessible to people who use all kinds of assistive technology to access the internet. But all the guidelines for web accessibility you can find don't go much beyond "make sure all your images have alt text", and all the resources you can find treat "accessibility" as a synonym for "making your site work in a screen reader". You know there are other things you should be doing and other forms of assistive technology you should be accomodating, but all the best practices documents are a complicated morass of contradicting information (if you can find best practices documents at all.)

Have no fear! This tutorial will guide you through the basics of improving web-based open source projects until they work with all kinds of assistive technologies -- and there are more assistive technologies out there than you might think. Together, we'll cover:

* the wide range of assistive technology people use (including things most people wouldn't think of as assistive technology);

* quick demonstrations of what the experience of using assistive technology is actually like (no more guessing about how screenreaders treat elements of a page or how voice recognition software allows for keyboardless navigation);

* common myths about accessibility (and the truths behind the myths);

* "attractive nuisances" (things people think are helping, but actually make the situation worse);

* simple, concrete examples of changes you can make to your site -- right now!

Code samples will be provided, along with basic exercises to reinforce the lessons, so please bring a laptop if you can. You won't leave as an accessibility guru, but you'll definitely leave with a toolkit full of ways you can move beyond alt text.

I'm totally looking forward to it. We went to LCA a few years back (the year it was held in Wellington) and it was a fabulous conference full of fabulous people talking about smart and fabulous things. I'm looking forward to being able to return.

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