Discussion: engaging more people in workspace and education (Meeting Room)

Session notes

  • Author: Maya A. / Etherpad

    Problem:

    • how to motivate students to attend a11y-related events
    • how to bring awareness to these topics ("something beyond our own bubble")
    • empathising is not enough; more engagement is needed
    • a lot of the (research) literature on a11y is not accessible for the novice reader [MA thesis in progress]

    Ideas:

    • invite experts
    • organize events, invite not only students from course, but everybody (+ drinks, opportunity to meet pros from companies who might be future employers)
    • simulate the experience (e.g. only play sound from one side, to simulate one-sided deafness); risk: people are empathising but get scared
    • think whether there are classes/units in the curriculum that could incorporate a11y as a topic
    • make talking about a11y aspects a natural part of the work
    • make a11y an evaluation criteria
    • connect project work to an a11y competition that involves winning a prize (e.g. from big companies or public institutions)
    • make it clear that this is an issue that we are all related to, not just a "small group of people" (e.g. ask to imagine losing their glasses and having to wait for a week for new ones)
    • in evaluating our own work, focus on those students who took the a11y learnings and count it as a win, rather than focus on the inevitable cases who are not willing to change
    • argue through business value, PR aspects
    • a university educating professionals in the interaction design field should be very concerned about enabling their graduates to be employable in industries that do or will fall under a11y regulation (including finances, public services, health etc.)
    • recruit more people affected by poor a11y for testing sessions etc. (problem: experience shows it is very difficult to recruit test persons through german organisations - to overcome maybe think about unconventional ways to find such persons, through conferences, private networks of students, etc.; "it's a matter of statistics: everybody knows somebody severely disabled"; this can also contribute to breaking stigma, e.g. with mental illnesses)