Environments for Humans
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The online, live Accessibility track for AccessU Conference

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Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in Accessibility for an all-new, one-day only online conference, the AccessU Summit! Bring the experts to your desktop May 15th from 9AM to 4PM (CT).

Don't miss this great event and purchase your tickets now!

May 15, 2012 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Molly Holzschlag mugshot

One World, One Web 9am CT

by Molly Holzschlag, Open Web Evangelist

Transcending platform, operating system, browser, location, language, ability--that's what the Web can empower us to do. And while many of us do our best to keep up with the best practices and methods of the day, there's simply so much to learn!

In that frenzy, many people coming to the Web in the past decade didn't get to see the rise of the Web Standards movement and what that has done to positively impact how we develop sites.

What's more, in our need to get through what's on our desk simply to make ends meet - many of us do what we have to do and put aside the ideals the Web can offer.

In this session, Molly will speak about Open Web, describe some of the philosophies useful to webfolk everywhere, and inspire others to think beyond the Web and into the wide, wide world with all its diversity and challenges.

About Molly Holzschlag

Speaker background information forthcoming.

Shadi Abou-Zahra mugshot

Before and After Demonstration 10am CT

by Shadi Abou-Zahra, Activity Lead at WAI International Program Office

The W3C/WAI Before and After Demo (BAD) shows many of the frequent accessibility barriers on the Web and different ways to avoid them. Learn about these barriers and how not to repeat them.

Explore the Demo and the examples it provides to learn more about the W3C/WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and to teach it to others.

About Shadi Abou-Zahra

Shadi Abou-Zahra works with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) as Activity Lead of the WAI International Program Office, which includes groups that are responsible for education and outreach, coordination with research, general discussion on web accessibility, coordination with the WAI Technical Activity, and WAI liaisons with other organizations including standards organizations and disability groups. Shadi coordinates WAI outreach in Europe, accessibility evaluation techniques, and international standards promotion and harmonization activities. He is the scientific coordinator of the WAI-ACT Project (IST 287725), chairs the Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG), is the staff contact of the Research and Development Working Group (RDWG), and participates in the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG). Shadi previously also participated as key staff in the WAI-AGE Project (IST 035015) and WAI-TIES Project (IST 038471).

Glenda Sims mugshot

Practical Accessibility Testing 11am CT

by Glenda Sims, Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque

How do you know if your web site is accessible? Can automated testing tools help?

Glenda Sims will share gems from her 10+ years of experience testing sites for accessibility.

Equip yourself with free and powerful testing tools. Learn how to turn it up a notch when you need to monitor accessibility across a vast enterprise.

See some of the very latest testing tools that will help you evaluate color contrast, dynamic content and WAI-ARIA compliance.

About Glenda Sims

Glenda Sims is senior accessibility consultant at Deque sharing her expertise and passion for the open web with government, education and companies that range from small business to Fortune 500.

Glenda is an advisor and co-founder of AIR-University (Accessibility Internet Rally) and AccessU. She serves as an accessibility consultant, judge and trainer for Knowbility, whose mission is to support the independence of children and adults with disabilities by promoting the use and improving the availability of accessibility information technology ? barrier free IT.

She spent over a decade as a Web Analyst at the University of Texas at Austin. As a member of Team Web, Glenda helped support the central web site for the University. She was an accessibility expert and web standards evangelist at UT along with her mentor and hero Dr. John Slatin.

She recently co-authored the book InterACT with Web Standards: A holistic approach to Web Design. She gives back to the web by volunteering on the Web Standards InterAct Project and the W3C Open Web Education Alliance.

Sharron Rush mugshot

Planning Accessibility Management 1pm CT

by Sharron Rush, Executive Director of Knowbility

In this session, we cover how to bring various elements of company policy, IT development, procurement, and user experience testing into an action plan.

We go through the communication and implemention plans for IT accessibility throughout both large and small organizations and with distributed teams.

About Sharron Rush

Sharron Rush is the co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, a leading authority on web accessibility since 1998. Ms. Rush developed Knowbility programs to raise web accessibility awareness and skills and has led the organization to national prominence.

Since 2007, she has served as an invited expert to the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C. In 2009, she began as liaison from WAI to the e-Government Interest Group developing standards and best practices for using the Web to improve government accountability and transparency.

Ms. Rush has led Knowbility to recognition by the Clinton White House and the US Department of Labor for excellence in employment practices for people with disabilities. She has been invited twice to the West Wing to confer with Kareem Dale, President Obama?s Special Advisor on Disability Issues.

In 2000 she was named Community Tech Champion by the Congressional Black Caucus. Under her leadership Knowbility received a Peter F. Drucker Foundation award for Innovation in the service of people with disabilities. Ms. Rush is a ComputerWorld Laureate and an advisor to the SXSW Interactive Media Conference. In 2001, she was named one of the Top 25 Women of the Web.

In addition, Ms. Rush was instrumental in developing the ATSTAR online teachers? resource project in collaboration with the Austin Independent School District Special Education Department. In 2002, she received the Dewey Winburne Award for Community Service through Interactive Media. Ms. Rush has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She is co-author, with Dr. John Slatin, of Maximum Accessibility a definitive web accessibility resource.

Jason Kiss mugshot

Screenreaders, ARIA & HTML5 2pm CT

by Jason Kiss, Accessibility Researcher

Despite varying support in browsers and assistive technologies, HTML5 and WAI-ARIA provide real accessibility benefits. This is especially the case for screen reader users.

Understanding how different screen readers handle HTML5 and WAI-ARIA is important to knowing how best to use them. Fortunately, implementing even the simplest aspects of HTML5 and WAI-ARIA can go a long way to improving a page's accessibility.

Updated with results for early 2012, this session will review the behaviour of current screen reader and browser combinations when dealing with some of HTML5's basic elements and related WAI-ARIA roles and attributes.

About Jason Kiss

Jason is a web accessibility consultant and researcher.

He is currently employed by the New Zealand Government where he advises on the implementation of the NZ Government Web Standards, and works to promote accessibility and best practice in government websites.

In his spare time, Jason writes on accessibility issues at accessibleculture.org, occasionally speaks on related topics, and volunteers on various web projects. Thanks to the Internets, he has learned to like cats.

Henny Swan mugshot

Mobile Accessibility 3pm CT

by Henny Swan, Inclusive Design and Accessibility Consultant for the Web

Knowing where to start can be the hardest thing to figure out sometimes and with a lack of published information, guidelines and resources, mobile accessibility is no different.

Henny will take you on a practical walk though of mobile accessibility covering strategy, design and build techniques, and testing. She'll look at the the cross over between the desktop and mobile web, where you stand with HTML5 and WAI ARIA and the breakpoints in responsive design.

About Henny Swan

A major area of interest for Henny is web standards in general and how internationalisation and mobile access complement web accessibility. Having started out working for a search engine in China in the late 90's she then went to work for UK charity RNIB as a Senior Web Accessibility Consultant. Now Henny is a Web Evangelist for Opera promoting web standards and one web everywhere.

Henny is an active member of the Web Accessibility Initiative Education and Outreach Working Group as well as joint lead of the Web Standards Project (WaSP) International Liaison Working Group (ILG). She speaks at various international conferences and contributes to the Opera Developer Network and blog as well as her own blog iheni, which looks at accessibility, internationalisation and mobile access.

Outside of work Henny kick boxes, subjects people to her Chinese cooking, as well as hangs out in Second Life. She also raises funds to buy equipment for a 4 your old friend of hers called Sam who was paralysed in a car accident at Stuff4Sam.


About the AccessU Summit

With flexible content delivery and adaptable applications, the truly Accessible Web is available to everyone all the time, regardless of ability. Spend some time with the Accessibility experts and find the inspiration and practical knowledge you need to make your Web presence truly universal.

A part of the AccessU Conference taking place deep in the heart of Texas.

In-kind Sponsors

New Riders
Why attend the online conference?
  • Attending a conference online means no travel hassle!
  • Bring the experts live to your desktop!
  • Time spent on the road is better spent instead in the office or with family, friends!
  • Sessions are developed to dive deeper into the material!
  • Ask questions directly to the speakers!
  • Can't make it the day of the conference? Watch the recordings whenever you want!
Testimonials from
This conference was a load of fun. I loved the instant feedback from the speakers and the atmosphere.

John-David Dalton mugshot
John-David Dalton
Web Application Developer
& Web Performance Summit Attendee

I love these online conferences. It's convenient and you can still learn a lot from the comfort of your home or at work.

Candi Ligutan mugshot
Candi Ligutan
5by5.tv Producer

An absolutely fantastic event. Well done—will definitely be back for more!

Russ Weakley mugshot
Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

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Once you are registered, you will receive a follow-up email to confirm your reservation. Later on, as the event draws near, you will receive a more detailed message, with the full schedule and other helpful information to help you take full advantage of your conference-going experience and plan your day.

On the day of the conference, you will receive an email invitation about 45 minutes before everything starts. Click on the enclosed link to sign in and enter the virtual meeting space. Once you are signed in, you'll be able to see and hear the presentations as they happen, ask questions as needed and chat with the other attendees if you like!

Technical Specifications: to attend The Summit, you will need a modern web browser (Firefox 1.5, IE 6 & Safari 2 or newer, for example) and a recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. Follow this link to run our system diagnostic (opens in a new window). It will let you know right away which plug-ins, if any, you will need to update before the event.

Still have questions? Drop us a line or contact us at e4h@heatvision.com if there's anything else you'd like to know.