Christian Heilmann

Today was a great day for accessibility!

Wednesday, October 25th, 2023 at 10:42 pm

Today was a great day, even when it started at four in the morning to get to the airport in time. WeAreDevelopers LIVE is a series of online events covering a specialist topic. And today we ran the event with one of my favourite topics of all time: accessibility.

Originally we had planned a different topic, but the yield of the call for papers was slim pickings, so the people normally running the event thought of canceling the instance. When I was asked if there is something I could do I was at the excellent Beyond Tellerrand conference, proposed accessibility as a topic and immediately pestered friends and experts if they could help me run an accessibility event. And I got lucky indeed.

Today I talked to Dirk Ginader, Hidde De Vries, Karl Groves and Piccia Neri and magic ensued. You can re-watch the whole live video or wait until next week when I got to editing and captioning the videos.

I want to thank all the people involved and especially Hidde who managed to jump in at the 11th hour as another presenter fell ill. I really loved that we managed to cover the whole breadth of accessibility in the event:

  • Dirk talked about “Preventing Accessibility Issues Instead Of Fixing Them” covering how to label and mark up designs and communicate between design and development departments.
  • Piccia came from a less technical but much more human impact angle with her “Dizzy users close browsers – balancing creativity and accessibility” talk, questioning if creativity needs animation or not.
  • Hidde did tons of research to separate the chaff from the wheat in “ARIA – the good parts”.
  • Karl dove deep into his years of knowledge in his “Data Mining Accessibility” presentation, covering findings of decades of auditing software products.

Having spent a lot of time at expensive and huge accessibility conferences and seeing dozens of talks over the years, I just loved how much knowledge we managed to cover in this simple online gathering. And there was a gorgeous no-nonsense feeling in each of the talks.

I am right now on the train back home, it’s 22:45 and I am shattered, but happy to have been part of this. Thanks for everyone involved and I will get to video editing and describing the talks over the next few days.

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