During last year’s post-@media drinks, Kath Moonan took me aside and asked me if I would be willing to talk at an accessibility conference she was planning to put together in London.
Sure! I said. Well, it turned out that Kath didn’t just want me to talk at the conference, she wanted me to give the opening keynote! That’s an order of magnitude more pressure.
I spent the last week trying to get a jumble of disparate thoughts out of my head and into writing for the keynote. It was quite a struggle but after beta-testing the finished talk on my workmates and my wife, I was pretty happy with the result.
On the day, the keynote seemed to go down pretty well. I had fun delivering it and I enjoyed answering related questions afterwards.
The talk is called Open Data, a long-zoom view of accessibility based on this stated premise:
It is my contention that what is good for digital preservation is good for accessibility.
I’ve published the text in the articles section. I’ll also record a soundfile and post that there too.
I took notes during the rest of the conference but the WiFi situation was a little odd so I didn’t have the chance to properly liveblog. I’ve since posted all my notes so I’ve got a written record of the day:
- Open Data by Jeremy Keith.
- Making Twitter Tweet by Steve Faulkner.
- Fencing in the Habitat by Christian Heilmann.
- Rich Media and Web applications for people with learning disabilities by Antonia Hyde.
- User-generated Content by Jonathan Hassell.
- A case study: Building a social network for disabled users by Stephen Eisden.
- Tools and Technologies to Watch and Avoid by Ian Forrester.
- Panel discussion with Mike Davies, Kath Moonan, Bim Egan, Jonathan Hassell, Antonia Hyde and Panayiotis Zaphiris, moderated by Julie Howell.
All in all, it was a great day of talks with some recurring points:
- Accessibility is really a user-experience issue.
- Guidelines for authoring tools are now more relevant than guidelines for content.
- Forget about blindly following rules: nothing beats real testing with real users.