Okay folks, I think we'll get started. Web Accessibility: Principles, Strategies & Tactics.
Sean Yo, BA & MA with a focus on digital media. Despite his youthful facade, he's been at the university twenty years.
Works at subunit of web solutions, for many departments on campus. Has presented many times on accessibility. I give you Mr. Sean Yo.
Sean: I started my undergrad in 1994, I'll leave the arithmetic as an exercise for the audience. Thank you, welcome. Last year I presented "Real World Accessibility" where myself and Rob Geddes presented a case study on some sites we'd launched with our Web Solutions team. Was gratifying to receive the response, but also seemed that our expectations weren't quite as far behind as we thought. Had a lot of people asking us questions we thought we be assumed.
We wanted to step back, practice what we preach, start off with fundamentals and not make so many assumptions.
I'm a web analyst with a group on campus called Web Solutions, part of Computing & Communications Services. I'm an accessibility advocate - I chose that word, because it's not "expert". I think it's a challenge to lay down the gauntlet to be an expert.
Before we get into it, I want to go over some fundamentals. Anyone here seen this abbreviation: A11Y, people who have drank beer with me don't get to answer.
Randy: I've seen it, yes.
Sean: That's awesome.
A11Y stands for accessibility. Anyone know why?
Number of characters. Me trying to use this abbreviation more. Good on Twitter.
So to make sure we're on the same page, what is web accessibility? I like the Wikipedia definition, though it's a week and a half old. "the practice of making websites usable by people of all abilities and disabilities. All users can have equal access to information and functionality".
Very strong, lots to work with, clearly centered on people.
When we talk about disabilities, four categories: visual, hearing, motor and cognitive. Visual: blindness or low vision, contrast, colourblindness. Hearing: low hearing or deafness. Motor: physical issues, limited or fine motor control. Cognitive: learning disabilities, distractability, focus.
Have to think about why are we doing this? I think our keynote speaker gave us some great information or ideas about why it's important.
Following all coding best practices, XHTML/CSS, readable whitespace in your code. Pride in craft, but the purpose of a website is to communicate. Ignore accessibility and you're not communicating with a wide audience. Pay attention to website, better for everyone.
Built environment: ramps are accessibility feature, but useful to anyone. Not going to spend a lot of time on the rationale, I'm going to assume most of us at an accessibility conference see the value. If you need more information, here are a couple of links and a high-level overview of the key points. Most important one is the first one, it's the right thing to do.
Other two: saving resources and Google will love you.
These slides will be up within minutes of the presentation, so don't worry about copious notes.
So something before I get into the presentation, finish up with a small shift in my thinking lately. Last couple of years, if you read web design blogs and sites, you've noticed there's a new terms; UX for user experience. Usability, more people-centric, tied into specific experience. I like it, moves away from lab tests and checklists. Focus design on people.
I've stopped talking about accessibility, trying to talk more about accessibility experience. It helps remind us and keeps us anchored on people. If there's one thing you take away today, accessibility is all about people.
People have experiences, checklists don't. Not to say they aren't useful, I use them in accessibility testing and in my life. But they can give you false positive re