Five years after the very first Accessibility Club and one year after our first conference it's time to celebrate that accessibility matters seem to have become a bit more mainstream! More and more a11y topics appear on the stages of non-specialised conferences and many new meetups have formed in the last few years, like the A11y Meetup Berlin, the Munich Accessibility Meetup or most recently the Accessibility Club Turku (some more are in preparation).
As we are, for several reasons, not able to run a full-blown conference in 2019, we thought it's a good time to try something new and more community driven: Let's gather at the first Accessibility Club Summit where meetups from all over Europe come together, share their experiences and get new input to keep them thriving.
Like in the years before, we're teaming up with the wonderful beyond tellerrand // BERLIN 2019 conference and run the summit as a side event on the weekend right after.
Join us for two days of gaining knowledge about web accessibility, exchanging experiences and meeting like-minded enthusiasts from all over Europe and bexond: November 16th-17th, 2019, in Berlin!
How do I benefit?
As an accessibility enthusiast, you will meet a lot of like-minded people from various disciplines and with all sorts of skill level. You will be able to share your experiences, broaden your horizon and make new friends.
As a meetup or event organiser, you will get new impulses for your events, put them into a bigger context and just have a lot of fun with your usual attendees who will hopefully join you to the Summit. Take it as a super-social excursion that takes you out of your usual boundaries. ;)
Organising? Join in!
If you're organising an accessibility meetup, inclusive design related event or anything similar and want to get involved with the Summit, please get in touch. So far, a11y enthusiasts from Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and Finland have teamed up, and we'd love to expand this even further. We'll try to get in touch with as many groups and meetups as we get to know of, but you're welcome to be faster than we are. You don't necessarily have to take an active role but we'd still appreciate your input.
Barcamp + Workshops
For the first time ever we'll run the this as a 2-day event, taking place at 4 different locations in Berlin:
- Day 1 is all about conversation and sharing experiences. Barcamp-style sessions mixed with a handful of prepared presentations for all attendees, pretty much like we had at the Accessibility Club Meetup #8 in Düsseldorf in May 2019.
- Day 2 is for learning, expanding our knowledge and putting things into practise. Visit one of the workshops about developing and designing accessible websites and digital content, run by community members like yourself.
For the barcamp day, we'll use a hybrid schedule style and mix both spontaneous barcamp sessions with pre-planned presentations. In order to find the most interesting topics we ran a Call for Presentations which has ended on September 27th.
We finished reviewing and picking the most exciting proposals and are thrilled to wecome on stage: Franziska Hauck (Germany), Sergei Kriger (Germany), Sarah Brodwall (Norway), Anna Karoń (Poland) and Andreas Cederbom (Sweden).
Accessibility 101 (Meeting Room)
Preparatory, informal session for all people who are new to the web accessibility field. Our goal is to give them some basic knowledge about the most important terms and topics so they can feel welcome and are enabled to better engage with the rest of the day. Open session with some demos and lots of space for questions and answers.
Official opening Day 1, introduction & session planning
How to Ally: Accessibility in Community Meetups (Atrium)
Accessibility has been gaining in importance in web design and development generally. However, there has always been and still is the important point of accesibility in "real life". More and more community meetups have sprung up all over our region. Accessibility is present as a topic, sometimes in the form of talks, but also in the way groups, initiatives and conference organizers are taking measures in their event design. Yet, more can be done to anchor the topic even further. In the talk, I will tell my personal story of why accessibility is so dear to my heart and I will give tips on what organizers can do to make their events more inclusive.
Coming from the point of view of having chronic illnesses myself, I see many things that might not. Both as an ally and a person with chronic illnesses, I can do my part to make meetups more inclusive.
In the talk, I will first delve into my background and explain which path has led me to be an advocate for diversity and inclusion and a speokesperson for inclusivity of persons with handicaps and chronic illnesses.
I will then go on to delve into suggestions and success factors of inclusive event design. What can organizers proactively do to make events more accessible and help people with handicaps and chronic illnesses to feel empowered to go?
Session 1 (Foyer)
Session 1 (Meeting Room)
Drag & Drop components for blind users? Are you kidding me? (Atrium)
One of the most used patterns in the web - Drag & Drop - can bring a lot of users to your site due to its convenience as well as decrease the traffic cause it's quite hard to make it accessible for disabled people. This talk solves this problem, so it will be very useful for all developers.
Moving things is so natural for us that we brought this behaviour from the world of things into the web. Sorting to-do lists, organising dashboards, uploading files — we can't imagine all these things without dragging elements. But what if we couldn't see the screen? Would dragging and dropping be still doable or same convenient for us? Could we accomplish all these familiar tasks with no vision?
In this talk you will learn the main principles of the drag-and-drop pattern and figure out best practices of making draggable elements accessible for visually impaired people.
Session 2 (Foyer)
Session 2 (Meeting Room)
Pulling the lever: Real-world prioritization of accessibility issues (Atrium)
Regardless of whether we are willing to actively prioritize accessibility issues, reality forces our hand. How do we take control of the process and decide which issues to address first?
For those of us who work with inclusive design, our goal is to ensure that the products we make are not just accessible, but that they provide a good user experience for as many people as possible. We don't want to leave any of our users behind, but the fact of the matter is, we have limited resources. We won't be able to fix everything. Regardless of whether we are willing to actively prioritize accessibility issues, reality forces our hand. How do we take control of the process and decide which issues to address first?
In this talk we’ll explore the reasons why prioritization of accessibility issues is such a touchy subject. We’ll look at factors that affect how prioritization happens in our organizations, and what factors should ideally be affecting these decisions. I’ll propose a method that can give us some guidance about how we can prioritize issues for maximal effect. Finally, we’ll take a look at some examples to demonstrate how we can apply this method in real life.
Session 3 (Foyer)
Session 3 (Meeting Room)
A11y — from «waaaat?» to a core part of dev team's workflow (Atrium)
A closer look on how I implemented a11y-focused thinking in a web development team. How to convince stakeholders, project managers, designers, UX/QA specialists and bunch of developers that accessibility matters and it has to become a default, non-negotiable approach.
Working on web accessibility is not a task for one person. Building accessible web services require cooperation on every level of development process and it is not easy to start. So how to coin ones hipe into common practice across a company workflow? I want to share my experience and my path; show dos and don'ts, obstacles and joys on the way, where we are now and where we wanna be soon. No marketing stuff, all code & technology examples showed on open source projects. I am a front-end developer building principally e-commerce solutions. 3-4 years ago, I did not even know what this accessibility thing was all about. Coincidence caused that I started to focus on this topic. It took me about 2 years to see the results of first mine and finally my colleagues' work. It was an interesting journey and I want to share my experiences with others. Especially, there is absolutely no easy and obvious way if you're just me 3-4 years ago.
Session 4 (Foyer)
Session 4 (Meeting Room)
How to succeed with the web accessibility directive in large organisations (Atrium)
Public sector organisations need to provide accessibility statements for all external websites and apps in less then a year. This talk is about our experiences on how to make this happen in large organisations with few if any skilled accessibility advocates. Helping people to help themselves!
The web accessibility directive forces public sector organisations to publish detailed accessibility statements on all their external websites and apps. In some organisations that could mean 70 + interfaces. At the same time many organisations only have a few if any, skilled accessibility advocates. How do we go from 0 to 100 in less than a year? Our experience is that we need to enforce robust, and simple routines, use the right tools and work with the skills within the organisation to make this happen. It’s not enough to analyse existing interfaces, we need to change the way the organisation work and gradually raise the level of awareness and know how. In this session I will share my experiences working as an accessibility specialist with organisations in Scandinavia, and show you our methodology to engage the organisations we are involved with.
Session 5 (Foyer)
Session 5 (Meeting Room)
Final Session / Discussion Panel (Atrium)
Closing Day 1 (Atrium)
Accessibility for Mobility
at Immobilien Scout, Room III, Andreasstraße 10, 10243 Berlin
Mobility is essential to transport people and goods. People with physical mobility challenges are restricted in their flexibility to move around. Access to private or public transportation is sometimes challenging and more complicated for people with limited abilities.
The question is "how to improve access to transportation and enable as many people as possible to travel and be an equal part of the society."
We are heading towards automated future, driverless vehicles and mobility-sharing concepts. Autonomous vehicles will enable anyone (without the ability to drive) to get around. How to ensure access without drivers' assistance?
Thinking about accessible design packages of vehicle interiors from the beginning will include mobility challenged individuals and avoid expensive and not integrated add-on features. What are the solutions, existing technologies and accessible user experience design concepts for highly automated on-demand vehicles of the future?
Connecting the Accessibility Dots
at .Henkelhiedl, Urbanstraße 116, 10967 Berlin-Kreuzberg
It is easy to get lost in the requirements for accessibility, the needs of people with disabilities and intricate specific workings of assistive technologies. I addition there’s lots of jargon around that does makes picking up accessibility hard.
Eric's workshop tries to give an holistic view of accessibility. Why is it important? What are the important concepts? How do people with disabilities actually use the web? How can we create accessible websites without consulting WCAG all the time? When, and how, can we make sure that we don’t step into the same traps all the time again and again?
The second half of the workshop will then answer the specific questions of the audience (which Eric will ask them to provide beforehand so he can prepare a few good examples). Basically applying the approaches learned in the morning to practical use.
The audience of the workshop are people who have a good understanding of parts of the web or even of accessibility but who desire a framework which they can apply in their daily life.
Designing and Developing Forms on the Web and Ensuring They Are Accessible
at Thoughtworks, Zimmerstraße 23, 10969 Berlin
Forms are the #1 method for users to interact on a website — with the site owner or with each other. Forms are how content is created and how visitors convert to customers. Forms are how work is performed during our jobs. Despite their importance, usability and accessibility issues with forms outnumber all other issue types. During this full-day workshop attendees will learn how to design and develop more usable accessible forms – from design to development.
During a highly interactive and collaborative hands-on workshop, attendees will go through the process of planning, designing, and developing a form. Throughout several breakout sessions, attendees will collaborate on tasks that include:
Along the way the attendees will be creating their own form and testing their form for usability and accessibility with the ultimate goal of having a well-designed form at the end of the workshop.
Disability Mainstreaming — How to think beyond technical accessibility
at Immobilien Scout, Room II, Andreasstraße 10, 10243 Berlin
Often accessibility is an afterthought in the development of new content, products and services. This is not enough and can create a bad customer experience for people with disabilities. In this workshop, you will learn how to put aspects of accessibility right in the center of your core product instead, which will benefit all users. Raul and Holger will bring many practical examples for content creators, website and mobile app developers and everybody who builds products with users in mind.
Exclusive Design — The role of design (education) in digital accessibility
at Immobilien Scout, Room I, Andreasstraße 10, 10243 Berlin
Roughly said, in the past 25 years we have been designing websites mostly for people who design websites. This means there is an incredible body of knowledge when it comes to designing for people who use their computers in a similar way as we do.
But if we want to create truly inclusive websites, expertise in ourselves is not enough. We also need expertise in designing interfaces for people who are excluded. This expertise is lacking. During this half-day workshop we are going to work with the question:
What if we design websites exclusively for (and with) people with disabilities?
Starting a Design System with Accessibility in mind in a startup environment
at Immobilien Scout, Room V, Andreasstraße 10, 10243 Berlin
Accessibility, Design Systems and Startups: Three elements hard to mix, right? But what if I tell you that building a library of accessible UI components will help you develop and iterate on products faster. Together, let's set up the foundation for your future accessible design system.
One of the most effective ways to build accessible products is to develop a series of standardized UI components. Working with a reusable component spirit—or being component-driven—can help your team to iterate faster while ensuring a minimum level of accessibility across critical user journeys. But how many projects are truly building a component library from the beginning in our fast-paced and changing environment?
This workshop is a full-day hands-on session for designers and developers in which you will develop a strategy to kickoff and develop an accessible design system, regardless of the size of your product.
At the end of the day, you should have the political and technical foundations to start a small but effective Design System that will cover the needs of your product without requiring a dedicated team for it.
Perform your own accessibility quickscan
at Immobilien Scout, Room I, Andreasstraße 10, 10243 Berlin
Workshop for beginners / intermediates, suitable for people with basic accessibility knowledge (web editors, designers, developers, product owners).
With a few basic tests, it is possible to get an indication of what the major easy-to-find accessibility issues are on a website. Learn how to do a quickscan of any website, be it your own private site or your company's.
Accessibility Testing with Screen Readers
at Immobilien Scout, Room II, Andreasstraße 10, 10243 Berlin
In some countries making inaccessible websites is already illegal. Section 508, European Accessibility Act and other federal or regional laws require websites to be accessible. That's why more and more companies prefer their websites to be accessible and it's our job to make them accessible. In order to test websites for accessibility, we need to learn some new tools, such as a screen reader.In this workshop, you will dig into screen readers and learn how to use a screen reader of your choice (JAWS, NVDA or VoiceOver) for testing accessibility of your websites.
Still thrilled by the fact that we had more than 200 attendees at our conference last year we're hoping that many accessibility enthusiasts from all over Europe will follow our call to Berlin. Let's reach for the stars and aim for 150-200 attendees this time!
Please be aware that the barcamp (day 1) and the workshops (day 2) will take place at different locations:
Day 1: Barcamp @ Microsoft
On the first day — Saturday, November 16th — we will meet at the Microsoft Atrium for full day of barcamp sessions and some preselected presentations. The venue is very centrally located and fully wheelchair-accessible (wheelchair users are asked to enter through the Digital Eatery). Service animals are allowed and welcome. There will be a wardrobe and we will provide at least some basic refreshments throughout the day (still working on a lunch option ... want to sponsor?)
Day 2: Workshops
For the second day — Sunday, November 17th —, we'll use 3 different workshop locations at
- Thoughtworks, Zimmerstraße 23, 10969 Berlin (on the map; fully wheelchair-accessible)
- .Henkelhiedl, Urbanstraße 116, 10967 Berlin-Kreuzberg (on the map; toilets are not wheelchair-accessible)
- Immobilien Scout, Andreasstraße 10, 10243 Berlin (on the map; fully wheelchair-accessible)
with varying capacities between 8 and 40 people. Beverages and small snacks / fruits will be provided at all locations.
Map & recommendations
Four your convenience, we started compiling a list of various locations on Foursquare. It's still a work in progress and will include
- all summit locations,
- public transport stations,
- some restaurant and bar recommendations,
- other interesting spots.
You can find the list at https://locations.a11y.club.
While the Summit is set to be a community event, run by enthusiasts for enthusiasts, we will still need some funding for major matters of expense and to keep the financial barrier for attendees low. If you'd like to support our effort — by contributing money, food or anything else that might truly benefit our attendees — please get in touch. We're very flexible will try to match your needs as much as we can. However, please don't expect us to distribute useless swag or other materials that aren't sustainable or have no association with accessibility matters.
Code of Conduct
As with all our events, we've got a Code of Conduct in place which will be enforced during both days of the Summit. It's there to ensure maximum inclusivity so that everyone can feel welcome and comfortable. Please make sure you read and understand its contents before registering, attending or submitting a presentation or workshop proposal. It goes without saying that our Code of Conduct also applies to our valued presenters, sponsors and supporters.