Web accessibility and assistive technology

While the necessity and benefits of accessible services on the web are pretty obvious, web accessibility is still not a widespread practice. Common reasonsings range from putative additional efforts, tight budgets to the misbelief that «validity equals accessibilty». In many cases, however, it seems that the majority of developers simply has no clue where to start — which comes as no surprise as most of them have never gotten their hands on assistive technology.

The Accessibility Club wants to give you the chance to get some real-world experience with assistive technology, deepen your knowledge about web accessibilty and get you in touch with like-minded webworkers. The goal is to enable you to make accessibility a natural part of your daily work and mindset.

The first ever a11yclub conference: Be part of it!

When the Accessibility Club started in Nuremberg back in 2014, it was nothing more than a tiny meetup with one blind guy, his screenreader and a bunch of web geeks. It was the initial Berlin edition in 2016 that attracted international guests and presenters for the first time — a big leap forward which also made the format shift towards a mixture of presentations and barcamp like discussion sessions.

Luckily, the awareness for accessibility matters seems to be steadily growing — not only among enthusiasts but also on the stages of «regular» web conferences. It's this very momentum that makes Joschi and Stefan think that it's time for the next level on November 5th, 2018: For the first time, the Accessibility Club will take the form of a full-day, single-track conference, aiming for ~150 attendees, with 4-5 hand-picked speakers and a few more community contributions.

November 5th, 2018 — Meet Our Speakers

So far, we are in the extremely fortunate position of being joined by:

Black & White portrait of Léonie Watson
Léonie Watson — Director of Developer Communications at The Paciello Group, member of the W3C Advisory Board and co-chair of the W3C Web Platform WG, technology writer and speaker. She began using the internet in 1993, turned it into a career in 1997, and (despite losing her eyesight along the way), she's been enjoying herself thoroughly ever since.
Portrait of Raúl Aguayo-Krauthausen
Raúl Aguayo-Krauthausen — activist, author, speaker and consultant for all things inclusion and accessibility. Together with a group of fellow campaigners he founded several charities and runs a handful of award-winning online and offline services.
Portrait of Charlie Owen
After contracting as a front-end developer in London, and writing code for the front page of BBC News, Charlie Owen is now happily working as a senior FED for Springer Nature in Berlin. There she helps make the world of scientific publishing a better place by constructing design systems, banging on about inclusive design, and utilising those wonderful web standards.
Portrait of Alistair Duggin
Alistair Duggin is Head of Accessibility at the Government Digital Service and is responsible for making sure that GOV.UK is as accessible as possible. He was a frontend developer at the BBC for over 11 years with roles including Lead Frontend Developer and Accessibility Champion on the BBC 2012 Olympics websites and Principal Web Developer on BBC Weather.
Alistair's talk will outline a 4-part strategy for making digital products accessible — and maybe even give us some insights into the new GOV.UK Design System?

Call for Papers — Get Involved!

The Accessibility Club's main purpose has always been to bring people in touch with each other: Accessibility specialists, aspirants, users and people who are just curious about that whole a11y fuzz. Following this tradition, we consider community involvement essential and want to mix the full-length speaking slots with a couple of shorter «mini-talks».

For that reason, we're running an open Call for Papers and strongly encourage everyone — specialists as well as novices — to send us their proposal for a 15-20 minutes speaking slot. The selection process is meant to be completely anonymous (therefore, please don't include personal details or profile URLs in your proposal). We are expecting a variety of both technical, educational and motivational topics and are very much looking forward to your suggestions until July 15th, 2018.

What we're up to

These are some of our objectives for 2018:

  • Diverse line-up of presenters and topics
  • Warm atmosphere, welcoming both experts and novices
  • As non-commercial and affordable as possible (as always)
  • No swag and other useless stuff
  • The venue and its facilities must be fully accessible for wheelchair users
  • Presentations should be recorded, subtitled / captioned and publicly available
  • A sign language interpreter would be great; same about printed information in Braille, etc.

Code of Conduct

We have a Code of Conduct in place for your event. It's there to ensure maximum inclusivity and that everyone feels welcome and comfortable throughout the event. Please make sure your read and understand its contents before registering and attending.

Venue

Our venue will be the 030 Eventloft at the beautiful, historical Spreespeicher (Stralauer Allee 2, 10245 Berlin).

Photo of the Spreespeicher building, taken from the river waterfront

The historical grain silo is situated right by the river Spree with a beautiful view on the "Oberbaumbrücke" (bridge) and amidst the trendy media district of Berlin Friedrichshain. If the weather plays along we can also use the waterfront terrace for the smaller breaks.

Photo along the Spree waterfront, taken from in front of the Spreespeicher building

The venue is fully accessible for wheelchair users (including the bathrooms).

Inside the Spreespeicher venue, conference chairs facing towards a speaker desk

Tickets

The Regular Ticket will cost € 80 (including 19% German VAT) for the conference day. Coffee, tea, softdrinks and some small snacks throughout the day are included. There will be an extended lunch break which you can use for grabbing a snack somewhere around — there are plenty of cafés and small restaurants within short walking distance.

Get your ticket now!

We also have a Diversity Supporter Ticket for € 120 (or more if you feel generous — just «pay what you want»). Each supporter ticket will unlock an additional scholarship / diversity ticket for someone else (see below).

Diversity / Scholarships

We want our conference to be as accessible and welcoming as possible — for everyone. That's why we try hard to keep the ticket price as low as possible and skip all unneccesary cruft. Additionally, we'll give out free Scholarship / Diversity Tickets and strongly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups in tech to apply. This includes, but is not limited to: women-identifying persons, people of color, LGBTQIA people, people with physical and mental disabilities, people facing economic and / or political hardships. An additional scholarship / diversity ticket will be unlocked for every supporter ticket we sell (see above). To apply for a scholarship / diversity ticket, please send a brief informal email to hello@a11y-club.org and let us know why the conference shouldn't happen without your attendance.

We need your help!

  • If you think you can contribute by giving a presentation, please consider our Call for Papers!
  • If you think you or your employer can support as a sponsor, please get in touch.
  • In any case you can help spreading the word and let your friends on Twitter, Facebook and Colloq know that you will be part of it!

Thanks for your support! ❤️

On a side note ...

For those of you interested in this kind of things, the Accessibility Club is offering a couple of hands-on workshops on various topics in June and July:

  • Web accessibility basics for designers, developers & content creators
  • Writing texts in «Leicht verständlicher Sprache» (similar to Easy-To-Read)

Please find the details over at Colloq.

Your host: Joschi Kuphal

Portrait of Joschi Kuphal

Joschi is an interior designer, programmer and restless tinkerer from Nuremberg.

He's working on the web since the mid 90s, founder of tollwerk and the Open Device Lab Nürnberg, IndieWeb enthusiast and author of several of Open Source tools. Since 2013 he launched several event series like the border:none and Material conferences, the Accessibility Club and the CoderDojo Nürnberg. He's running IndieWebCamps, the Homebrew Website Club Nürnberg and is one of the driving forces behind the Nürnberg Web Week.

Your host: Stefan Judis

Portrait of Stefan Judis

Stefan started programming 7 years ago and quickly fell in love with web performance, new technologies and automation.

He is also a curator of the web performance online resource Perf Tooling, organizer of the Web Performance Meetup Berlin, contributes constantly to a variety of open source projects and enjoys sharing nerdy discoveries.