CSUN 2016 roundup

Posted on Thursday, 21 April 2016 by Henny Swan

We had another great year at CSUN, the annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference, which is held in San Diego.

It’s always good to meet up with the members of the team, colleagues, and friends in the industry, and make new friends. This year TPG had a series of first, but that made it all the better. We welcomed our newest recruits, Michiel Bijl (complete with his dinosaur onesie), Adrian Roselli, and Jon Metz. All the UX team made it to the conference for the first time and helped run the CSUN 2016 UXathon. TPG announced a strategic partnership with NV Access. And last but not least, our fearless leader, Mike Paciello, won the Knowbility lifetime achievement award (29 minutes in).

TPG was also out in force at various events including the CSUN Tweetup, Wendy Chisholm’s karaoke night, and the Viking and Lumberjack hangout.

But it wasn’t all karaoke and margaritas—we also gave a number of presentations. Here’s a quick roundup:

Extreme Accessibility—Karl Groves

This session provided a road map and job aids for Extreme Accessibility including tooling and processes for making Extreme Accessibility an integral part of quality processes.

AD, CC and Me – Billy Gregory

If accessibility is about inclusion, videos about accessibility should be too. Part case study, part primer learn how the Viking and the Lumberjack filmed, edited, added audio description, and captions to their series.

Crossing the streams—Léonie Watson

In this talk, Léonie used the Vibration API, Web Speech API, and CSS Speech module to cross the streams between mainstream and assistive technology for more accessible UX.

Exploring the Use of the Web Audio API to Improve Chart Accessibility—Matt Atkinson

Charts and plots are engaging and widely used, but present barriers to people with vision impairments. AudioChart provides an aural, keyboard-accessible means to experience them. Note: if you’re a screen-reader user, please disable styles in your browser. If you actually want to try AudioChart, the best thing to do is visit the AudioChart website and explore the examples linked from there.

Matt also did his own write up of CSUN which is well worth a read.

Breaking Silos—Ian Pouncey and Henny Swan

A new take on an old problem. Breaking down silos to build a more collaborative accessibility process. Accessibility should be a collaborative effort in any organisation and team. Where guidelines, quality assurance and compliance provide the framework actual human beings are building products for other human beings and it’s that human factor that can get lost. In this talk we looked at some of the causes of these silos drawing on current industry practice as well as our own experience of working in large and small organisations.

Embracing plain language for better accessibility—Ashley Bischoff

This talk covered techniques that we can use to make our writing more understandable when we’re writing for those who might not work with accessibility.

Accessibility Research Study: Humanizing the Need for Inclusive Design—David Sloan, Sarah Horton and Monica Reha

We talked about a research study we ran with people who use assistive technology, exploring how they manage finances online. We shared our findings, and also discussed the logistical planning issues to consider in order to make sure that up-front research like this can be a valuable part of inclusive design.

Designing for people—David Sloan and Sarah Horton

This session prompted an audience discussion of three future scenarios we proposed, as radical accessibility for lasting change: What if we prioritised people with disabilities when making design decisions? What if we integrated accessibility into computer science and design education? What if accessibility investment was for new projects rather than fixing existing ones?

David also wrote a CSUN reflection on his blog, CSUN (re)visited.

About Henny Swan

Henny Swan is a User Experience and Design Lead with The Paciello Group. Prior to TPG she worked at the BBC where she was lead author on the BBC Mobile Accessibility Standards and Guidelines, UX lead for accessibility and looked after BBC iPlayer, the BBC Standard Media Player, the 2012 Olympics, Weather and Sport. Henny has also worked as a Web Evangelist in the Developer Relations team at Opera Software ASA, and as a Senior Accessibility Consultant at the Royal National Institute of Blind People in the UK where she set up the RNIB Web Access Centre. Henny has been involved with Web Standards and Accessibility since 2001, actively participating in W3C initiatives such as the Web Accessibility Initiative Education and Outreach Working Group, the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group. She is also a former lead of the International Liaison Group within the Web Standards Project (WaSP).

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