[Accessibleweb] SxSW, An Event Apart, etc.

Dylan Wilbanks wilbanks at u.washington.edu
Fri Mar 16 11:42:46 PDT 2007

I just returned from SxSW Interactive in Austin, and I came away with so much info it has turned into this giant tarball I'm trying to gzip.

Two points I did come away with are:
1. We need to reconsider how we're getting the accessibility message out to the schools/departments/centers/etc. Other universities have done some great work in bringing everyone around to the importance of web accessibility, and I think we should look at if we can apply some of their lessons here. It's not that daunting, and there's lots of help. We've done some great work here through Rick and Dan and Terry and the cast of thousands, but I would like to build on what we have and see if we can put some energy into getting the changemakers onboard. (And yes, I'm volunteering myself, 4 hours of sleep and all.)

2. Flash is now quite accessible, so long as the Flash developer knows what he/she is doing. In fact, it's more accessible at this point in time than most Ajax stuff out there. However, Ajax is becoming accessible as well. It looks like we will see a set of best practices wrt Ajax accessibility emerge in 2007, if not codified, then at least written and understood. The key thing will be training.

Other things:
An Event Apart 2007 is coming back to Seattle June 21-22. It's a two-day now, and admittedly expensive ($795). I went to the one-day last year (and shared the insights with the group last fall) and am begging for the money to do it this year. Shawn Henry has a slot to discuss WCAG 2.0, and two of my favorite current designers (Khoi Vinh and Andy Budd) are also there.

I would like to see more than just me go to this, though. If you can find the money, register now.

One last thing: Is anyone going to the Access U conference in Austin in May? I don't see how I'm going to get the airfare and hotel for that, but was hoping someone on here was going. Derek Featherstone will be doing an extended workshop on accessible Ajax that I'd love to see, and I'm hoping someone will be going and can tell me what he's doing.


Dylan Wilbanks
Web Producer
School of Public Health and Community Medicine
University of Washington
F-350 Health Sciences Bldg
1959 NE Pacific St
Box 357230
Seattle, WA 98195-7230
V: 206.221.6395
F: 206.543.3813
E: wilbanks at u.washington.edu

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