Category Archives: John Slatin AccessU

AccessU 2015: Put People First

accessU2015(1)

Registration is open for this year’s AccessU themed, ‘Accessibility: Put People First’ at http://www.knowbility.org/v/accessu-registration/.

The conference will provide practical resources, encouraging participants to explore various aspects of digital inclusion and master the role-based skills involved in launching successful accessibility initiatives.

AccessU is a conference that brings leading experts from around the globe to Austin, Texas to teach t accessible design skills.  AccessU promotes universal access to the web, including for people who are blind, have low vision, are deaf or hearing impaired, have mobility impairments or have other kinds of disabilities. The conference was first launched in 2004, and has since then been an annual event conducted by Knowbility with sponsorship and support from St. Edwards University and Deque Systems, and other leading tech companies.

The conference will feature internationally known leaders in accessible design and development, including:

  • Accessibility pioneer and superstar Henny Swan (lead editor of BBC Mobile Accessibility  Standards and Guidelines and a regular speaker at conferences like SXSW, the World Wide Web Conference, Tec share, Accessibility 2.0, access, Mobile Monday and CSUN),
  • The development team from the Web Accessibility Initiative and Education and Outreach working group of the W3C – Shadi Abou-Zahra, Shawn Henry, Kevin White and Eric Eggert.
  • User Experience guru, Whitney Quesenbery (author of Storytelling for User Experience and Global UX: Design and research in a connected world)
  • Sarah Horton (User Experience Strategy Lead with The Paciello Group and award winning author of the book Web Teaching Guide) among others.

For the full list of speakers and instructors, visit http://www.knowbility.org/v/accessu-course-list/John-Slatin-AccessU/3k/.

Join us May 11th – 12th at St. Edward’s University, Austin, Texas and for a post conference workshop May 13th for three days of learning, sharing, exploring, and fun!

Tommy Edison at AccessU 2015

Tommy-Edison

Knowbility is excited to welcome Tommy Edison as keynote speaker at AccessU 2015 this May.

“Being blind since birth, one of the greatest challenges I faced was accepting that I’m visually impaired.” Tommy told us.  “As I became an adult, I was forced to face my own reality and needed to make a choice – either embrace my blindness and live a happier life or do something I might regret. Eventually I chose the former which led me to a long career in radio, living my dream of reviewing movies, and sharing my experiences as a blind person to a worldwide audience. In my talk, I explain how I faced my greatest obstacle – myself.”

Popularly known as The Blind Film Critic, Tommy’s YouTube channel, TommyEdisonXP (https://www.youtube.com/user/TommyEdisonXP) has 195,000 subscribers and garners a million views per video. By addressing the barriers he faced, Tommy will illuminate the AccessU theme of “Put People First.”

In my talk, I explain how I faced my greatest obstacle – myself.

“I watch movies and pay attention to them in a different way than sighted people do”, says Tommy, who offers a unique take on movies, audio and daily life through his signature sense of humor.

In addition to being the Blind Film Critic and a YouTube celebrity, Tommy has been a radio professional for nearly 25 years, having spent the last 19 at STAR 99.9 FM in Connecticut as a traffic reporter.

Tommy Edison was endorsed by film critic and journalist Roger Ebert and his reviews were posted on the Chicago Sun-Times blog and on Tosh.0, Comedy Central’s blog. Tommy has also been featured on various TV and news channels including CNN and Headline News. Visit his website http://blindfilmcritic.com/ for more information.

“I’m not distracted by all the beautiful shots and attractive people. I watch a movie for the writing and acting.”

Tommy will also host a special event “Film & Audio Description with the Blind Film Critic” at Alamo Draft house as part of the conference.

AccessU participants are invited to events organized as part of the conference including a Film & Audio Description with Tommy Edison at Alamo Draft house, a bicycle pub crawl in Austin and networking luncheons.

Remote training for those who can’t make it to Austin for AccessU

Good news / bad news about AccessU

Good news first – people are loving this year’s AccessU lineup of accessibility topics and instructors. Classes are beginning to fill  up, and the excitement is building about our upcoming gathering in Austin in May. The teaching schedule is just great this year and we are looking forward to a vibrant three days of teaching and learning from one another.

But there is a downside. Not everyone can get to Austin in May and we will miss some of you!  Looking for a way to include everyone – we are all about inclusion after all – we have an idea, but we need your help.

Below you will find class descriptions of some of the most popular classes. Some have filled up for the in-person training and some are only available in post-conference sessions.  You can help! Please read the following descriptions and then take the on-line survey to tell us which classes you would like to see in a one-day, online version of AccessU.

We have included twelve courses in our short list, but we can only broadcast six. And we may have left out one or two that you are especially interested in. So feel free to checkout the full list of AccessU classes and request that we include any of those in our broadcast webinar day of AccessU at Your Desk.

The survey will also ask which day you prefer.  If we have sufficient interest, we will produce one day of remote training. AccessU at Your Desk would present six courses in an elearning format and make the archives available to all. Thanks for your input!

What to do next

You have a few choices, you can choose form the list below, look at all of the AccessU course offered and finally, vote for the classes you would like to see included in AccessU at Your Desk.

  1. See Knowbility’s Short List of suggested classes for AccessU (just below)
  2. and/Or see all of the AccessU classes and choose your own
  3. Vote for your Top Six!

Knowbility’s Short List

Basic HTML Accessibility Techniques

Basic HTML Forms & Tables

Captioning and Audio Description Strategies

Cultural Shifts and Enterprise Accessibility

E-Learning for All

Google: Taking on Accessibility Challenges in Complex Web Applications

Mobile Accessibility Clinic

Open Source Tools for Building Accessible Websites

Principles of Accessible Documents

Strategic Accessibility

The 508 Refresh is Coming – How Will Federal Compliance Testing Change?

Walk through WAI Resources

and, a reminder that you are also free to choose other classes from the full list of courses offered at the in-person AccessU.

Vote now and win a free seat at the virtual conference

Your vote puts your name into a drawing for a free seat at AccessU At Your Desk. Even if you are attending, your free ticket is fully transferable.  So  vote today and thanks again!

30-Second Sponsor Feature: Deque Systems

In a different type of 30-Second Interview, we’d like to introduce you to the Platinum Sponsor of the 2012 John Slatin AccessU, Deque Systems. Deque not only boasts a long-time commitment to accessibility and a great love for Knowbility, but the company’s dynamic team includes some great accessibility experts and evangelists with deep ties to our organization: Paul Adam, Glenda Sims, and Karl Groves- just to name a few!

Deque Systems Logo

Tell us a little bit about Deque Systems, and how the company got its start.

Deque Systems is a web and software accessibility company that works with major government agencies, educational institutions, small and mid-size businesses, and Fortune 500 companies to eliminate the risk associated with their customer-facing digital properties being inaccessible to handicapped users.

We were founded in 1999, and our first accessibility tool was a product called RAMP for testing static sites back in the days of HTML3. The company has grown very rapidly in the 10 years since RAMP was introduced, and the product has since been replaced with FireEyes and Worldspace Sync which were developed to address the challenges of the jungle of modern, dynamic web content.

When did you first get connected with Knowbility?

Years ago!  Sometime in 2007.

Why do you love Knowbility?

We love Knowbility’s mission and commitment to its mission. Deque share’s Knowbility’s dedication to making technology accessible and helping the disabled to live with the level of independence enjoyed by able-bodied users. Knowbility also does an excellent job training people and educating them about accessibility.

You’re coming back to AccessU as our top sponsor for the second year in a row – why did you decide to support the John Slatin AccessU again this year?

We see no reason to stop now!  AccessU is exactly the kind of event we want to encourage and support. And I know our employees who will be in attendance are excited about a number of programs at this year’s event, including offerings on mobile accessibility, rich internet applications, and the fully accessible evening at Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar.

 

We are so grateful to Deque CEO Preety Kumar and the rest of the Deque leadership team for their ongoing support of Knowbility and our programs. Visit their website at www.deque.com, follow them on Twitter (@dequesystems), and check out all the presentations by the Deque team at AccessU next week: