Summary of Accessibility Toronto Camp

Accessibility Toronto Camp occurred Saturday, May 18 at OCAD University in incredible city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. For information on Twitter, search #a11yTOCamp and follow @a11yTO.

#a11yTO Camp logo

The camp kicked off with a warm welcome and announcements from organizers Billy Gregory, Oskar Westin, and Jenny Hiseler. Learn about all of the camp organizers on the event’s website.

Announcements during the event included the launch of a new conference Accessibility In Real Life (#a11yIRL) and an axe-pro beta program for web developers from Deque Systems.

Below are session resources, select Tweets, and a few personal notes.

Session Resources

Here’s a mix of resources from presenters of the conference.

Tweets

Personal Notes

  • I loved exploring downtown Toronto; came across a wicked good place to eat called Rolltation — sushi burritos!
  • It was my first time at OCAD so it was cool just being there. It’s quite a funky/artsy place!
  • Met more great folks in the community including Sophia Morgan and John McNabb.
  • I have a few photos on the Instagram #a11yTOCamp feed.

Summary of CSUN ATC 2019

The 34th CSUN Assistive Technology Conference has come and gone (held March 11-15, 2019). It was another terrific event, and with approximately 5000 attendees! The big difference in this year’s event was the new location—the lovely Anaheim Marriott hotel outside of Los Angeles, California. The official Twitter hashtag is #CSUNATC19. Next year’s event is planned for the same venue next March 9 to March 13, 2020.

CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, logo

Sandy Plotin (Managing Director, Center on Disabilities, CSUN) and Jennison Asuncion (Digital Accessibility Leader!) hosted the keynote event where Johanna Lucht, a Deaf Engineer at NASA, was honored. In addition, Sean Keegan, Director of California Community Colleges Accessibility Center, was announced this year’s Strache Leadership Award recipient.

Below are a great list of session resources, a few announcements made, photos, and some fun tweets! Lastly, links to past CSUN events are listed.

Recommended Session Resources

For much more, check the Great big list of CSUNATC19 accessibility presentations (Google Sheet). Also see the TPG CSUN 2019 Round-up and the Deque Systems Presentation Slides.

Announcements

Please leave a comment with anything missed.

More Related Links

Photos

Several people standing in front of meeting room with slide still projected.
David Swallow answering questions after his session.
Large meeting room with woman standing behind table and in front of large slide projection.
Sarah Pulis of Intopia presenting.
Front of room with projected slide on left, two people standing in center, and live captions on monitor on right.
Microsoft presenting on Narrator.

Fun Tweets

Past reviews of CSUN ATC conferences

About the HTML Epidemic, WebAIM “Million” Report, and Teach Access

It’s been about a dozen years since I first realized that there is a world-wide HTML epidemic. Although I speak about the importance of semantic markup and tweet about it often, I wish I’d written specifically about it before. Thankfully others have such as Bruce Lawson, Manuel Matuzovic, and Laura Kalbag.

Web developers overwhelmingly fail when it comes to implementing semantic HTML, whether they actually know how to or not. There are many negative ramifications of this in the areas of device interoperability, reader modes, converting to PDF and EPUB formats, SEO, graceful degradation, code consistency/maintenance, and demonstrating professionalism. But particularly web accessibility.

WebAIM Million

Recently, WebAIM published a report analyzing the accessibility of the top one million website homepages in the world, called The WebAIM Million. This is striking empirical data on how poor accessibility is and how poor the quality of HTML is on the Web. For example, here are some figures from the study.

  • There was an average of 59.6 [accessibility] errors per page.
  • 97.8% of home pages had detectable WCAG 2 failures.
  • 5 of the top 6 issues were due to solely to improper HTML (missing alternative text for images, empty links, missing form input labels, missing document language, empty buttons).
  • 2,099,665 layout tables were detected compared to only 113,737 data tables (note that tables are for data, not layout).
  • On average, home pages had 36 distinct instances of text with insufficient contrast.

This is obviously bad. And, it’s important to point out that the study was done using an automated tool, which is capable of detecting only a portion of actual accessibility issues/errors. I estimate that the amount of issues would at least double or even triple if full audits were done.

Also, as a result of web developers’ poor HTML implementation, accessibility consultants are increasingly required to teach HTML to web developers rather than address “actual” accessibility issues.

illustration of the letters HTML written on a chalkboard with confused cartoon-like character pointing to it

Resolving the HTML Epidemic

This is obviously a huge problem that must be addressed. What can we do to help resolve this HTML epidemic?

Digital accessibility must be considered when hiring and training employees. Accessibility must be considered when creating a web-based product. Accessibility must be a part of ongoing training for web professionals. Accessibility needs to be taught in education.

An organization called Teach Access (@teachaccess) is helping in some of these areas. Teach Access is a group of tech companies (including Apple, Google, LinkedIn, Adobe, and Microsoft) which is preparing designers, engineers and researchers to think and build inclusively. They have several initiatives including Faculty Grants and a web accessibility tutorial. And another way to fight the good fight for HTML semantics and accessibility is to become a member of Teach Access.

Teach Access is in partnership with PEAT (Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology) which is a program funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor.

Teach Access logo

If you’re involved in education, please reach out to teachers and professors about Teach Access and about digital accessibility in general. HTML and web design are often part of computer science, software engineering, and mass media, advertising, and news programs. You can also offer to give a guest lecture.

If you have further ideas on how to improve the use of HTML semantics (and web accessibility), please leave in a comment on this post.

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Digital Accessibility Jobs, February 2019

Wow, so many great opportunities!

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Digital Accessibility Events in 2019

Happy new year! Below is a list of many great conferences and events targeting digital accessibility which are coming up in 2019! I’m sure some are missing; please leave others in comments.

Webinars and more!

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