damn it’s early. the clock on my computer says 5:03; the clock in the room says 8 am.

so far I’ve met 3 people from washington state, including the webmaster from evergreen, and I know there are at least 2 more. which would mean I’m meeting more web people from washington here in new york state than I have in almost 4 years in my job.

listening to the introductory remarks, which mostly have to do with how this conference merged with some other conference. some good conversation at the table this morning…lots of people are doing some of the same things we are. I don’t know if that makes me more or less confident about my presentation. I may do some last-minute tweaking to focus on what made our project unique.

now the keynote speaker: Shawn Henry (?) from the W3C, talking about accessibility.

[note for later “the worm ouroboros”? a book.]

what do we use the web for? what if everyone else could, but you couldn’t? and that’s how it is.

how many have looked at their sites with mobile phones? (actually, that’s a good question. I should find somebody on campus who actually uses the web bits of their phone, since I don’t. too expensive for what it is, I think.)

this table is too tall to type very comfortably…my wrists are going to hate me later.

if you were going someplace and could only take 3 things…but you can’t understand the weather page because no alt text. she used a screen reader to demo. (this is pretty intro level stuff.) then a demo with the alt text — yay, she just says “text” not attribute. but what would you expect, e? everybody here seems to know about this.

she brings up cnn to look at alt text…only we discovered en masse that christopher reeves died. ow. amazon is painful. interesting contrast between the attitude I see in this room: of course we all use alt text vs. commercial sites with none.

that we can be an example.

question from the audience about laws: NY has a state law, most don’t. but what about 508, ADA…mostly just elided over that point for now. will we come back later?

video of a friend of hers typing with a pointer. too often we think about just blindness.

why isn’t stuff accessible? callouts from the audience: design driving development, people w/out skills, word & frontpage, understaffed. early standards not incorporating accessibility. awareness & understanding: people don’t think about or don’t understand.

myths. “that’s not our market” but might actually be the opposite, people w/disabilities using web maybe more than others. (yep, it’s easier when you don’t have to actually go anywhere to do stuff.) small number of people? [materials will be online]

shows W3C document on developing a business case for accessibility. I think I’ve read/skimmed that before. social, technical, financial, legal/policy benefits. if you can make your registration (!) accessible, save money by needing less human interaction. (oh, I need to see someone from CIS here.)

it could be you! (disabilities) includes not just congenital, but disease, illness, accident. (and then there’s age…Mom A’s eyesight is deteriorating gradually, vs Dad losing an eye) ah, she just mentioned it “enlightened self-interest” nice exercise with people standing, sitting down when “your person” gets a disability. by 75, 2/3 have a disability.

more myths: complicated & expensive. retrofitting is more expensive. she shows off the quick tips card (I have a stack on my desk) — she brought some with her. “the basics are extremely easy” (I think lots of technology stuff is like that; I found sql that way, same with css. but then the hard stuff is just crazy, IMHO.) whenever you hear of a new project, get in at the beginning. of course that assumes you *know* about a project….

tools. little chart showing how developers connect to users. developers -> authoring tools -> content < - browsers, media players, assistive tech <- users. so much is being put on developers that should be put on authoring tools...burden should shift to those tools. oy, use of acronyms...different guideline-setting groups. okay, I need way more caffeine. is there someplace I can get a mocha? I'm starting not to track, and she's talking about stuff I know already: priority levels of wcag vs. section 508. she wasn't prepared to talk about this.... go to your vender: how do you meet ATAG. as if. like I'm gonna go to redmond and say: make it easier to make word/frontpage generated content accessible. question from the audience: how do you make that graph accessible: she goes there with HPR. just really good alt text. other way is with longdesc. what if the graph's content is described in the main text? only if it's really equivalent. on this particular document, it's still being worked on and some committee members are blind, so they really need to know exactly what's being representative. text-only version? product being promoted to make text-only! related point: accessible design is dull & boring. digression on 508 re: yes, if you can't do anything else, text-only is okay, same thing in WCAG, but that's a problem. basic assumption: everybody disabled is blind & using screen-readers. whereas for some text-only is a problem. "let's look at cnn: no, I'll get sad again"! different colors identify different groups of information (U Buffalo business school). crazy stuff, some of which I missed: link between normal site and accessible version (spelled wrong!). "so many points here I don't know where to start" ouch. text-only is almost never equivalent. plus we have limited resources, so often forget, can't add, to text-only. and it's an excuse not to make main site accessible. sidebar conversation at our table re: css. I think there's a gap in terms of methodology using css effectively. for temporary disabilities, loss of context. for cognitive, colors and shape are important. screen maginification. demo of magnified. again, color and shape can provide signposts. (what she doesn't mention is that having 2 sites takes up twice as much space.) ah, the zen garden. is there anyone talking standards, css, etc. *without* the zen garden? (dave shea is THE MAN.) what is our role? educators: incorporate into the curriculum. plus workshops, etc. developers: do it right, up front. demand that your authoring tools meet the guidelines. (hrm.) little things: involved in awards? don't forget accessibility. make it business as usual. (which I think is where I'm at 95% of the time.) if you use a site that's not accessible, tell them! (she mentions opera, I told susan about the web developer extension. which, of course, rocks my world.) she shows a tiny bit of a video clip of a blind guy talking about how the web makes a difference for him. personally, I like the way the image insert thing works in wordpress because of that: always a popup asking for an alt attribute when you post an image. "attitude" and yep, that is the difference: grudging vs. enthusiastic. lead a revolution in higher ed.

3 Replies to “keynote”

  1. The Worm Ouroboros. E.R. Eddison. Fun if oddball book, lovely baroque language, hopelessly sexist but there’s one good female character, Lord Gro is wonderful, don’t bother with the other three. 🙂

  2. hey, thanks! I was live-blogging and someone saw the name of my one-off of feed on feeds, which I call ouroboros, and asked if I’d ever read the book. I’ll have to check out that other thing after I read it.

    oh joy the web…I can reserve a book from 3000 miles away, assuming they have it….

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