Category: review

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

2014 Year in Review

2014 was surely a much busier year than expected. It started a bit slow, but sure got busy!

In the most recent blog post, the hot topic of Google’s new version of reCaptcha dubbed “No Captcha” was addressed. Although there are remaining challenges, Google’s No Captcha Shows Some Progress.

In a guest post by Jennison Asuncion, a new date for Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) was announced. It’s now the third Thursday of May.

In the post Floated Labels Still Suck, problems and fixes are discussed for the terrible design pattern of putting input labels inside input fields.

Great progress for accessibility continues in WordPress; a podcast with two WordPress contributors, Joe Dolson (@JoeDolson) and Joseph O’Connor (@accessibleJoe), was published in September.

Web Axe author Dennis Lembree read Steve Krug’s excellent book, “Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited” and Twittered a series of accessibility-related points. The series was published in the post Tweets quoting “Don’t Make Me Think, Revisited”.

In May, I announced that Easy Chirp now provides accessible images for Tweets. This feature is badly needed and isn’t available on any other Twitter app. Unfortunately, and surprisingly, the feature is grossly underused.

In March, we posted a summary of CSUN14, the 29th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference. It was another great event; thanks again to California State University, Northridge. (Look for Dennis at CSUN15!)

On a more personal note, Web Axe author Dennis Lembree released an open-source Accessible HTML5 Video Player in September via his day job at PayPal. He recently changed jobs and is now Product Manager, Accessibility at eBay.

More from 2014:

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

Web Axe 2012 Year in Review

It was another great year for Web Axe and its creator Dennis Lembree.

Early in 2012, we published the Podcast 94: Women of CSUN12 featuring six female presenters (one of my favorite podcasts); then a quick review of the conference.

May was the month of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD). Here’s the GAAD podcast and Reflecting on GAAD by guest author Jennison.

To address the most bothersome trend of the year, we wrote Placeholder Attribute Is Not A Label!

Mid-year, Dennis was fortunate enough to attend Google IO12; here’s the blog, Google IO12 Review and Accessibility.

In September, we published a extensive book review on Pro HTML5 Accessibility. Then, Dennis presented How To Build An Accessible Web Application virtually at the Boston Accessibility (Un)Conference.

In October, a huge change came to the New Web Axe Website! We moved from Blogger to WordPress. The RSS feed has also changed. Please update your links.

In November came Accessibility Camp LA and a podcast featuring great improvements in WordPress accessibility.

Lastly, here are some blog responses and website reviews over the year:

Looking forward to another big year in 2013!