June 30, 2005
Here’s one for your boss. Next time he/she moans that accessibility is weight around the neck and is not doing anything positive for the business, be prepared with a good answer. Not sure how you might do that? Perhaps you could attend the BSi conference Defining and Developing a Profitable Web Accessibility Strategy and get some ideas? Julie Howell (of RNIB) will be speaking there, as will representatives of AbilityNet (Robin Christopherson was very entertaining at @Media 2004, by the way).
<rant>A note about the BSi web site - when promoting a conference about web accessibility, it would pay dividends to include the seminar details on your site in good old-fashioned HTML and not to force users to download a PDF. By all means, include a link to a PDF as an option (in case you want it to be printed exactly as-is) but be aware of the audience and provide an HTML version at least.
June 26, 2005
Registration is now open for the first Accessible Design in the Digital World Conference, taking place in Dundee, Scotland, on 23-25 August 2005.
The conference will explore the frontiers of inclusive design in the real world, by examining the challenges in both implementing guidelines andmeeting legislative responsibilities. There will be opportunities for discussion and debate among those at the front-line of design anddevelopment work and those providing guidance regarding accessible and inclusive design.
- What design trade-offs are most commonly made and why?
- What are the practical issues and how can these be tackled?
- How can theory and practice be brought closer together?
We intend the conference to be an informal, friendly atmosphere, where delegates can share opinion, debate the issues and hear from colleagues in academia, public sector and industry about how the challenge of inclusive technology design and accessibility is being tackled.
Our keynote speakers are all leaders in their fields:
- Professor Helen Petrie, Professor of Human Computer Interaction at City University, London
- Dr Vicki Hanson, Manager and Research Staff Member, Accessibility Research, IBM
- Chris van der Kuyl, former CEO of VIS Interactive, and leading figure in the computer games industry
- Professor Alan F Newell, Division of Applied Computing, University of Dundee
The event will be of interest to web designers and authors, software and technology developers, e-service providers, researchers, policy makers, those involved in disability support, and in general anyone interested in the design of technology that enhances quality of life for the widest possible audience.
Early bird discounts are available until 12th July; special discounts are also available to students and for group bookings - please enquire for more details.
More details on the Access Design in the Digital World conference site.
June 24, 2005
Manchester Digital, a trade association of Manchester’s digital business sector, is holding the first meeting of the Accessibility Working Group, 6pm, 13th July 2005.
The aim of the AWG is to establish a forum where knowledge, experience and excellence in accessible website design, build, testing and marketing will be shared.
More information can be found at:
June 16, 2005
This is not where you can find the slides from my presentation Accessibility Building Blocks. No, this is an apology to anyone who had wanted them and not found them. I have a slight problem getting them uploaded (just maxed out on hosting space here, and cannot jump over to new design/build/hosting for Accessify for a little while). The presentation files will be hosted somewhere soon, I promise. In the meantime, if there’s anything specific you’d like to know/get hold of, just drop me an email.
June 13, 2005
For anyone unfortunate enough to have spent more than a couple of minutes with me at @Media 2005 harping on about the current difficulties I find myself with, apologies. For everyone else, a little update.
Since taking a year off, I have not been able to fully settle back in UK. The reason can largely be put down to noisy next-door neighbours. Their loud music saw us ‘fleeing the scene’ back in January. I’d only just got a telephone line installed and broadband set up and found myself making every excuse to get out of the house. This was at Manda’s house (my other, and some would say better, half). My plans for Accessify.com’s redesign were once again put on hold. We then spent some time house-sitting, and then moved back to my house while we set about putting both my house and hers on the market. I’ve been at mine for a couple of months with no telephone line and the impending moving-out date hanging over me. Neither of us want to go back to hers, one because of the noise and two, because if we do, we will not be able to claim ignorance with any potential buyer ("Oh, we’ve been house-sitting elsewhere for a couple of months, don’t really know who the neighbours are.")
So, that was a long-winded way of apologising for my personal inactivity since coming back to UK. No-one can really understand how stressful it can be living next door to people like this, and it has totally affected everything that I normally do on the web. To that end, I floated an idea with Patrick Lauke at @Media last week. I did not want to hold the re-launch/re-build of Accessify any further - something that is at least 90% done (rebuilt in PHP/MySQL, all new style sheets, some new features/functionality) - and asked if he could make it happen. Hosting is already covered, the work is mostly done; the only thing that has been holding up a relaunch is me and my general unconnectedness. So, thanks to Patrick for taking this on - he’s got the source files, the drive (and by that I mean impetus, not a hard drive!) and the required presence near a net connection to do necessary uploads and fix things as they occur. I’m a hurdle that needs removing, albeit temporarily, and Patrick should see this through to its conclusion.
If you’ve missed the chance to see Derek Featherstone at @media2005, you may be interested in his @media web accessibility masterclass, delivered by Vivabit.
Mike Davies again, this time providing us with an excellent write-up (well, a near perfect transcription, or an act of prestidigitation) of Joe Clark’s @media2005 presentation Simple facts about accessibility.