Category: conference

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

Podcast #99: Jennison Powers Up Silicon Valley

Dennis speaks with @Jennison Asuncion about his big move to Silicon Valley from Toronto, new Meetup groups and camps, CSUN14 and other fun things.

Download Web Axe Episode 99 (Jennison Powers Up Silicon Valley)

[transcript of podcast 99]

Event announcements:

More new groups:

Tidbits:

Podcast #98: AHG13

The 16th Annual Accessing Higher Ground Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference (hash tag #AHG13) was held recently in Westminster, Colorado at a very nice venue, the Westin Westminster. Representing my day-job employer, I was able to attend and present one session, Usability and Accessibility CSS Gotchas. I was happy to learn that it was being recorded and live broadcast over one the conference’s two virtual tracks. While there, I had the opportunity to interview a few great folks in the business; namely, Greg Kraus, Jayme Johnson, and Kathy Wahlbin. Have a listen!

Download Web Axe Episode 98 (AHG13)

[transcript of podcast 98]

Greg Kraus Greg Kraus (@gdkraus), the University IT Accessibility Coordinator at North Carolina State University. He presented The Gamification of Accessibility, which included details about a great online tool he implemented at NCSU.

Jayme Johnson Jayme Johnson (@hippyjo), Instructor at HTCTU The High Tech Center Training Unit, provides training and support to the faculty and staff of all California Community Colleges. Jayme was on the panel at the plenary lunch during the second day of the conference.

Kathy Wahlbin Kathy Wahlbin (@wahlbin), CEO/Founder of Interactive Accessibility and invited expert in the W3C. She presented Accessible Responsive Web Design.

I met Greg and Kathy in person for the first time which was great. I also met keynote speaker David Sloan (@sloandr) in person for the first time as well. Wonderful people.

CSUN13 Summary

Last week, my author Dennis Lembree attended the 28th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (better known as CSUN) at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego, California.

Dennis presented one session “Developing an Accessible Widget with ARIA” representing his day job company. You may download Dennis’ PowerPoint file here.

Dennis, Joe, Henny

WebAIM announced that there is now an API for WAVE, their web accessibility evaluation tool. It has a very affordable pricing model, and the first 100 “credits” are free with registration.

Besides the sessions, there are many activities happening at CSUN including the Tweetup, SS12 Finals, and the first WordPress accessibility meetup! A highlight was Deque Systems’ “Amazing Evening” event featuring a guitar player who played with his feet, and who was also a hilarious comedian!

Props to the Toronto accessibility crew who had great representation again. Met more Canadians this year (thanks to @Jennison) including Bill Gregory, George Zamfir and Jorge Mori.

Recommended session presentations:

Other great resources:

Mark your calendar for CSUN14 which is scheduled for 17-22 March 2014. In the meantime, you can plan for the upcoming, second annual Global Accessibility Awareness Day (#GAAD) on May 9th!