Category: conference

Accessibility Toronto Conference a big success!

The inaugural Accessibility Toronto Conference was a big success! The event was held September 28-29, 2017 in the TELUS building in downtown Toronto. (Toronto has been a leader in conducting accessibility “camps” but this was the first “conference”.) Major thanks to the event organizers and sponsors.

#a11yTOConf

Addendum Nov 6, 2017: AMI Inside: a11yTO Conference (YouTube)

Presentation Resources

Here are resources for many of the presentations. Feel free to add any to the comments.

Notes

  • The 7th #a11yTOCamp is scheduled for November 18 at @OCAD. Follow @a11yTO for more info.
  • Great moment: Makoto strips off his flannel shirt and proudly displays a Toronto Blue Jays baseball jersey which was hidden underneath!
  • Personally, it was great meeting some folks in person for the first time whom I’ve know online for years, especially @vavroom. Also met some great new folks!
  • I also really enjoyed visiting Toronto—a very clean, fun, friendly, and diverse city!

Twitter

Below are some selected tweets from the conference. The event’s account is @a11yTO and the hash tag is #a11yTOConf.

https://twitter.com/aardrian/status/913434555410939910

CSUN17 Preview

The 32nd CSUN Assistive Technology Conference is coming up soon—27 February to 4 March at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Diego, California.

CSUN Assistive Technology Conference

This is the largest disability and technology conference in the world. Attending is quite an experience, so much learning, networking, sharing, and fun!

If you’re unable to attend in person, there’s always great info from the conference on the web, and the Keynote Address will be streamed live on YouTube.

The Exhibit Hall is free and open to anyone, simply register for Exhibit Hall only.

Besides the workshops and sessions, there are many events happening. Look out for Accessible Karaoke, role=drinks, Google’s party (if you’re privileged enough to get an invite), a Microsoft social, the aXe Hackathon (Saturday morning), and a Structured Negotiation book party. There is no Tweetup this year.

Web Axe author Dennis Lembree is co-presenting two sessions: Inclusive Design Fundamentals for Web and Mobile (workshop) and Creating Successful Accessibility Programs through Governance.

The Twitter hash tag is #CSUNATC17 which is a new format. Tweeps are also using #CSUNATC and #CSUN17. The conference Twitter account is @CSUNCOD.

The usual large companies will be present (and sponsoring) such as Adobe, Oracle, Microsoft and Google. Here are schedules and more info from a few sponsors:

Are you new to the CSUN conference? If so, I recommend you read these articles:

Last few years:

CSUN15 Review & Interviews in Podcast 101

Another CSUN conference has come and gone. This year was the 30th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (Twitter hash tag #CSUN15) held in downtown San Diego, California from March 2 to March 7, 2015 at the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Below is a podcast with three interviews; some resources on recommended sessions; info on fun special events and activities; two award events; a short Best Of list; about a conference theme; and next year’s dates plus links to conference tips.

Podcast Interviews

I had the opportunity to speak to a few folks while attending; check it out!

Download Web Axe Episode 101 (CSUN15 Interviews)

[transcript of podcast 101]

  • Sandy Plotin: Managing Director of the Center on Disabilities; California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
  • David MacDonald (@DavidMacD) of CanAdapt Solutions
  • Steve A Lee (@SteveALee) of Open Directive

Recommended Sessions

Fun Stuff

I want to give a shout-out to three Tweeps I’ve known online for a while now and finally met in-person: Mike Gifford (@mgifford), Adrian Roselli (@aardrian) and Jason Kiss (@jkiss).

The 30th Anniversary Party featured keynote speaker Mick Ebeling (@mickteg) of Not Impossible Now (@notImposs). It was very interesting and moving—a great keynote.

“Surround yourself with people who make you feel stupid.”
-Mick Ebeling

Geri Jewell, one of the past Keynote Speakers, served as the program’s emcee and introduced performances by comedian Chris Fonseca (who was hilarious!) and musician and humorist, Mark Goffeney.

Once again, happy CSUN birthdays to @Jennison and @MarcySutton. The birthday celebrations sure brought a lot of income to The Cheesecake Factory across from the hotel!

There were a couple sky-diving outings planned and executed, wow!

There was a tandem bike event organized by @MarcySutton, @Nethermind and sponsored by @SimplyAccesses.

Highly successful Sign Language Karaoke event organized by Wendy Chisholm (@WendyABC) in conjunction with @DequeSystems. [Note that eBay and other folks donated to this event but don’t believe it wasn’t announced.]

CSUN15 Photo query on Twitter (no alt text of course, you need to use @EasyChirp for that!)

Added March 22: CSUN15 Flickr Album by @DennisL

Awards

The good folks at @Knowbility held an event to announce and present awards to the Community Heroes of Accessibility. Also, here’s a cool tote bag I picked up at the Knowbility exhibit booth.

Project Possibility (@ProjPossibility) held the SS12 Finals on Saturday morning. Congrats to the winner USC‘s “Stealth Fly” team who edged out CSU Northridge. The team presented a competitive vertical-scroller game to three judges.

Best Of

  • Most popular session: Jamie Knight (@JamieKnight) “Cognitive Accessibility 101”. So much in demand that it was actually repeated the next day!
  • Best Dressed: Sam Ogami of HP. He is one nice, classy fellow!
  • Best slide: Dude, where’s my ARIA?
  • Best nearby restaurant: Puesto (wicked tacos and drinks)

Theme

A theme which became obvious throughout the conference is this: embed accessibility into the development process—everyone is responsible. This topic was mentioned in numerous sessions, and with good reason. Teams must work together; from execs to content owners, to designers, to developers, to quality engineers.

Next Year

The conference next year is planned for March 21-26 2016 (a bit later than usual). There will be a new exhibitor call for papers (in addition to science research and general session), and less paper/Braille programs (more digital). If you plan on attending, you’ll find some great advice in these two articles:

Other CSUN15 Reviews

Open Web Camp 6 – a brief review

Recently I attended Open Web Camp 6 (@OpenWebCamp) at the beautiful PayPal headquarters in sunny San Jose, California. Like every year, the event is coordinated by @JohnFoliot. If you want to review the Twitter feed, the hash tag is #OWC6.

Like last year, the cost of the event was only $10, and attendees get a nice lunch, a t-shirt, and some other swag. The networking was good and the energy was great!

Featherstone standing in front of a projected slide
Derek Featherstone presenting at OWC6

There was a variety of topics but accessibility was the most prominent. Here are the highlights:

  • Derek Featherstone (@feather) presented Accessible Design: Which “everyone” do you mean? where he discussed accessibility challenges for users of assistive technology such as voice recognition and screen magnifiers.
  • Dylan Wilbanks (@dylanw) presented a thought-provoking session Meditations on making fire-proof, failure-proof, future-proof things.
  • Dirk @Ginader presented Teach your Browser new tricks where he discusses longdesc and browser extensions.
  • @KarlGroves spoke about accessibility testing and his app Tenon.
  • The Twitter talk “Connecting to the pulse of the planet” was disappointing. It was much more of a 25-minute sales pitch than a tech talk.

All in all, it was another successful web event. Hoping for an OWC7!

Factoid: I’ve attended every OWC event since its inception at the first Open Web Camp at Stanford, and spoke about the then newly created @EasyChirp (then called Accessible Twitter).

CSUN14 Review

Another CSUN conference has come and gone, and they only get better each year. Of course I’m referring to the CSUN (California State University, Northridge) Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference which happens at the incredible Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel in downtown San Diego, California.

The conference was officially kicked off Tuesday evening with a keynote speech by Tommy Edison (starts at 9:45) who is also well known as the @BlindFilmCritic.

Tommy Edison
Tommy Edison, standing at the podium, presents the keynote address at CSUN14.

Events & Happenings

Besides the plethora of sessions to attend, many events (official and unofficial) and fun things were going on:

Highlighted Sessions

There are too many great sessions to note, but here’s are several to get you started:

Summary Next Year’s 30th

Next year is the 30th CSUN and promises to be even bigger and better than ever. Seriously, there are tremendous plans for CSUN15 are already under way. Hope to see you there!

More Resources