Accessibility Evangelism for the Non-Specialist*
So, you probably know why accessibility is important already (and if you don't we can talk about that a little too!). Maybe your blind friend uses your app, or you're super passionate about W3C standards. But you're having a hard time getting that idea across to the other people working on your project.
How do you motivate people to work on accessibility, and change the perception that it's hard and obscure? This talk will draw from the toolboxes of accessibility evangelists and community managers. We'll discuss a range of strategies to help contributors understand the value of accessibility, and help you incentivize contributions in this area.
So, you probably know why accessibility is important already (and if you don’t we can talk about that a little too!). But you’re having a hard time getting that idea across to the other people working on your project. How do you motivate people to work on accessibility, and change the perception that it’s hard and obscure? Join me to learn the secrets of accessibility evangelists and community managers. Bring your own experiences, war stories, and questions about your projects in progress – we’ll include time for open discussion.
This talk will cover:
- understanding how to make a compelling case for accessibility by fitting it in a larger ecosystem of technical priorities such as SEO, standardization, and mobile.
- using those priorities to decide when you should worry about accessibility in your process.
- dealing with negative perceptions about accessibility – including that it slows development, is only for specialists, is hard, or stops you from adopting new technologies.
- teaching new contributors how to do screenreader & keyboard testing as part of teaching them how to find bugs.
- strategies for incentivizing contributors to work on this problem
* I haven't given this particular talk before: this is an experiment in mashing up and adding new material to a couple different talks I've previously done.
* I've done accessibility evangelism speaking to developers within large organizations like Disney, as well as speaking about accessibility standards at technical conferences.
* I regularly give talks at conferences about building accessible online communities to nontechnical audiences.
* I talk multiple times a month to small business owners about using technology tools to build community around their business and evangelize their products.
Katherine Mancuso is an experienced accessibility specialist and disability advocate. In 2008, she joined the staff of GimpGirl Community, and subsequently spoke around the country for this dynamic community of women online on designing accessible communities. She was the accessibility specialist at Disney Parks & Resorts, which is now a thought leader within the company in web accessibility. She worked at the Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access and was responsible for putting together a plan for Second Life engagement which won them a $6 million NSF grant. She has worked with the IETF & the W3C to develop accessibility standards. She currently works with the Tech Liminal team to deliver accessible websites to clients.