Accessibility Toronto Conference 2018 Review

The second Accessibility Toronto Conference was another success! It was held at TELUS in beautiful downtown Toronto, Canada. Hosted by the lovely Léonie Watson (@LeonieWatson) and the always entertaining Makoto Ueki (@mak_en).

#a11yTOConf
Accessibility Toronto Conference hash tag #a11yTOConf

Presentation Resources (partial list)

If your presentation resource is not listed, please leave a comment or contact me on Twitter at @WebAxe.

Welcome To My World
by @SteveFaulkner

Assistive Technology: Training, UX And Design: What Devs Need To Know About UX And Aging
by @SassyOutwater

Finding The Place Where Accessibility And SEO Happily Co-Exist
by @CarieFisher

If It’s Interactive, It Needs A Focus Style
by Eric Bailey @ericwbailey

A Primer On The Designer’s A11y Responsibility
by Hala Anwar @halathinkeths

The Dark Side Of The Grid
by Manuel Matuzović @mmatuzo

Creating Accessible React Apps
by Scott Vinkle @svinkle

Making Bulb More Accessible
Related article: Making Bulb accessible – introducing the new Bulb site
by Heydon Pickering @heydonworks

Photos

view of stage from back of large room with may people seated
Billy kicking off the event
projected slide with title of craptions and the grinch with caption saying hate hate hate double hate
Grinch don’t like bad captions
John standing on left of stage and projected slide on right
John Foliot talking WCAG
Makoto and Leonie on stage introducing Hala.
Makoto and Leonie on stage introducing Hala.

Collection of A11yTO 2018 photos on Google Photos

Tweets

Last Thoughts

Unfortunately, Eric Wright (@EWAccess) wasn’t able to give his presentation “Speech Recognition Solutions” due to breaking his ankle while he was in Toronto for the conference. Feel better Eric!

Was great to meet several folks in person for the first time whom I had known for a while online including Heydon Pickering, Eric Bailey, and Manuel Matuzović.

I discovered Steam Whistle pilsner (brewed in Toronto) which was very good!

Billy Gregory announced that the event will take place again next year in the same location (and Cordelia and Heydon invited to host!)

Here’s the review of last year’s conference (2017), Accessibility Toronto Conference a big success!

WCAG 2.1 article series via Knowbility

As you may know, WCAG 2.1 was recently published as a Recommendation (see my WCAG 2.1 post in this past June). It adds 1 new guideline (2.5 Input Modalities) and 17 new success criteria.

To help understand the new criteria, check out this excellent “Exploring WCAG 2.1” article series on the Knowbility website and written by Becky Gibson.

Overall: Welcome, WCAG 2.1! The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines get an update.

Knowbility logo

More WCAG 2.1 articles

Digital Accessibility Jobs, summer 2018

Lots of terrific opportunities!

On Twitter, follow me, @a11yJobs, @EasyChirp and @LyndonDunbar for more!

Jobs written on newspaper with magnifying glass

WCAG 2.1 Now A W3C Recommendation

On 5 June 2018, WCAG 2.1 was published with a Recommendation status, which means it’s stable and ready for implementation. The new guidelines help fill gaps in WCAG 2.0 particularly in the areas of mobile, low vision, and cognitive disabilities.

The new guidelines are backwards compatible with 2.0 as the official W3C announcement by Andrew Kirkpatrick and Michael Cooper explains:

All the criteria from WCAG 2.0 are included in WCAG 2.1, so web sites that conform to WCAG 2.1 will also conform to WCAG 2.0.

Learn more in an upcoming A11Y Talks What’s New with WCAG 2.1 with Carie Fisher and Andrew Macpherson, 27 June 2018.

Summary

Here is a quick list of the new criteria:

Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 W3C Recommendation 05 June 2018 W3C
W3C page heading for WCAG 2.1

Further Reading

The Accessibility Interpretation Problem

Some aspects of digital accessibility can be straight-forward. But many are complex and can be subjective, especially when interpreting WCAG 2.0 guidelines. The following tweet is humorous because there’s a strong ring of truth to it—if you ask 10 accessibility specialists you will get 20 different answers.

Inconsistency in accessibility reporting can be a big problem in an organization and its employees. In the white paper A11Y Wars: The Accessibility Interpretation Problem, Glenda Sims (@goodwitch) and Wilco Fiers (@wilcofiers) do a deep dive into this issue. Topics in the paper include:

  • Summary of Findings
  • Causes of Interpretation Problems
  • Causes of WCAG 2.0 Interpretation Differences
  • Accessibility Peace Model
  • Standardization
  • Recommendations

The paper proposes an “Accessibility Peace Model” which helps clearly define the perspective your organization is using for accessibility testing. This will reduce inconsistencies in accessibility testing and reduce the natural tension between the goals of users, designers, developers, testers, trainers, project managers, and executive employees. In turn, this will save much time, hassle, and ultimately lower costs.

The Accessibility Peace Model recognizes that there are different, equally valid, ways to use WCAG 2.0. To get consistent results, organisations should define with what perspective they want their tests to be done. This is by no means the only measure that needs to be taken to ensure consistency, but it does make discussions on interpretations significantly more effective.

If your organization is serious about accessibility, consider reading A11Y Wars: The Accessibility Interpretation Problem.

This white paper was presented by Glenda and Wilco at CSUN 2018 in San Diego, CA, and are also presenting on the topic this week at AccessU 2018 in Austin, TX.