Typical web developerGreat tech scene in NYDevoured articles.Went to numerousquality talks
Saw Victor Tsaran’s intro to screen readersScreen Reader “read aloud” the Yahoo homepageHadn’t seen articles or talks about thisEven if I had, article doesn’t do it justiceIf I was ignorant about this whole new world, most other devs must be too
Got a wonderful gig in Los Angeles.Missed the tech scene. Saying: Don’t know who your organizer is? Look in the mirror, it’s YOUBootstrapped a bunch of programming usergroupsThey said it wouldn’t work in LASilicon Beach is HUGE today
Meantime Dad got olderLost hearing and visionBanking at, let’s call it ACME BANKHad issue with bank statementA physical trip to the bank w/ LA Public Transit was a full day propositionWrote a message to bankGot phished in the pastCan’t click on reply link in emailCan’t call because of hearingInaccessible website, new message link invisibleI got angry
http://mysqltalk.wordpress.com/2011/11/27/challenge-accessibility-know-how-needs-to-go-mainstream-with-developers-now/Wrote a blog post in November 2011 proposing GAADBut no one reads my little blogAmazingly, @Jennison didWe picked a date, and ran with itLeveraged our respective communitiesExpected little
Dan Malca @ Yahoo was a strong supporter of the ideaYahoo! flew in very same Victor Tsaran (and Todd Kloots)Hence GAAD already came full circle in year 1
A mere few months after my little blog post, GAAD had momentumReached the newspaper in Montreal, the town where I was born!Government, corporations, media. Everyone wanted to be involvedUnfortunately, the following year would prove a personal challenge
* I was in no shape to plan anything
Got employee involvementMindy, a FE dev, “not a designer”, designed a logo.Logo was seen around the worldThis little event went viral
* Once again, GAAD comes full circle* Acme Bank is running internal event* I wanted awareness, spurred on by a big corporation, and in 3 years, they are well aware* Mission Accomplished. (Not really)
Developers & everyone involved in building websites and apps are lucky to have great reachEven those who solely work on small business, reach at least thousands of people with their workCommon dev mantra, “Change the World”But if you code and aren’t semantic and accessible, you are changing the world already, but not in a good way
* Many in this room work for some companies whose reach is mind blowing.* Win one battle, you reach a city’s worth of people. Maybe a Country. Some of whose world is greatly enriched by what you’ve done.* Stats circa 2013
You can make a difference, but not aloneJoin a thriving communitySpeak at meetupsAnd if there’s no community? Create one yourself!
Global Accessibility Awareness Day Presentation @ Facebook
The Story of
From web developer to co-founder
of a global movement
GAAD a11y tech camp @ Facebook May 14, 2014
Hello. My name is Joe Devon
Circa 2007, I was a
Freelance Dev in NY.
Big tech scene. Lots of
Studied my craft
One day, I stumbled upon a video by
Yahoo! programmer Victor Tsaran
Moved to Los Angeles
Got a gig @ AmericanIdol.com. Unfortunately,
no tech scene in L.A.!
Dad @ JPL
Speaker of 10 languages. Survivor of Auschwitz &
Dachau. He lost much of his hearing & eyesight.
• Mindy designed a new logo…
• which made front cover of .Net Magazine
• FCC blog post & #GAAD tweets all day
• #GAAD had a tweet a minute!
• More engagement than I could have ever
• I guess we hit on something
GAAD comes full circle
Remember the bank
interface inspired my
Twist of Fate