You know it’s important for your web project to be accessible to people who use all kinds of assistive technology to access the internet. But all the guidelines for web accessibility you can find don’t go much beyond “make sure all your images have alt text”, and all the resources you can find treat “accessibility” as a synonym for “making your site work in a screen reader”. You know there are other things you should be doing and other forms of assistive technology you should be accomodating, but all the best practices documents are a complicated morass of contradicting information (if you can find best practices documents at all) and the standards are incredibly high-level.
Have no fear! This tutorial will guide you through the basics of improving websites and web applications until they work with all kinds of assistive technologies — and there are more assistive technologies out there than you might think. Together, we’ll cover:
Code samples will be provided, along with basic exercises to reinforce the lessons, so please bring a laptop if you can. You won’t leave as an accessibility guru, but you’ll definitely leave with a well-stocked toolkit.
Denise Paolucci is the co-founder of Dreamwidth Studios (www.dreamwidth.org), an open-source blogging and community platform. She also serves on the board of directors of the Ada Initiative, a nonprofit working to improve the representation of women in “open stuff”. She’s been working in open source for fifteen years, and will talk your ear off about accessibility, disability, diversity, creativity, community, privacy, and knitting, although probably not all at the same time.
An over-achiever, who is the Digital Resources Archivist at Tufts University by day, Perl coder and accessibility specialist for Dreamwidth by night, and book reviewer, sysadmin, & professor in her copious free time.
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