Category: interview

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

Podcast 100: Joe & Joseph on WordPress Accessibility

Welcome to Podcast 100! Over the last few years, WordPress Accessibility has been making much progress and continues to do so. In this podcast, Dennis speaks with Joe Dolson (@JoeDolson) and Joseph O’Connor (@accessibleJoe) who share their knowledge of accessibility in WordPress and how they’ve been helping.

After brief introductions, the guys discuss theme guidelines, current accessible themes, and the accessibility of the Admin area. The terrific WP Accessibility plugin is also mentioned. Also discussed is WordCamp San Francisco which happens October 25-26 plus three days of contribution and community work after the conference.

Download Web Axe Episode 100 (Joe & Joseph on WordPress Accessibility)

[transcript of podcast 100]

Resources:

Podcast #97: Responsive Design and Accessibility

Dennis speaks with George Zamfir on his background, his activity in Toronto, and how Responsive Web Design (RWD) can benefit web accessibility. The conversation stems from George’s talk Responsive Web Design & Accessibility from the Accessibility Camp Toronto last fall. A notable quote from the 50-minute conversation:

Let go of fixed widths

George is a web accessibility consultant for Good W-ALLY (@good_wally) in Toronto, Canada. He and @Jennison co-host the Toronto Accessibility & Inclusive Design meetup.

As techniques for usability and accessibility have some cross-over, so do RWD and accessibility. Case in point, this recent article on Mashable, 6 Easy Ways to Make Your Website Tablet-Friendly. The main points of George’s presentation are that responsive web design:

  • is like a user’s custom stylesheet
  • adheres to web standards
  • thinks mobile first & uses progressive enhancement (PE)
  • caters to users’ needs

Download Web Axe Episode 97 (Responsive Design and Accessibility)

[transcript of podcast 97]

More reading

Sponsor

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Podcast 93: Teaching Mistakes

Dennis talks briefly about a couple of his recent presentations, a few other presentations and articles, and has a great conversation with Katherine Lynch.

Download Web Axe Episode 93 (Teaching Mistakes)

[Transcript of podcast 93]

Happenings

  • Busy new day job for Dennis at PayPal.
  • Two recent presentations by Dennis. Shout out to Norm Coombs of EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information) and John Croston (@jfc3) for putting on the Accessibility DC meetup.

Articles

Discussion with Katherine Lynch.

Katherine Lynch who works for Drexel University Libraries in Philadelphia. Katherine is a Drupal and accessibility professional and has done many presentations and written many articles. Find her on Twitter at @katelynch. Dennis and Katherine discuss her recent article 5 Teaching Mistakes Accessibility Advocates Make:

  • We assume that others don’t know anything.
  • We assume that others know too much.
  • We get hung up on one cause of accessibility.
  • We try to convert people who don’t need converting.
  • We blame people for not already knowing.

Related Links

Podcast #81: HTML5 and John Foliot

HTML5 is hot. It’s new, powerful, and exciting. But what is it exactly, and how will it make the web more accessible? Dennis discusses these issues and more with web accessibility veteran John Foliot. Topics include background on HTML5, browser support, new form functionality, how Canvas can be accessible, and much more!

Mr. Foliot runs the Stanford Online Accessibility Program. He is an active member of the W3C and is an integral part of the web accessibility community. He writes a blog entitled Unrepentant and you can find John on Twitter.

Download Web Axe Episode 81 (HTML5 and John Foliot)

[transcript of podcast 81]

Mentioned Resources

Other HTML5 Resources