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 2016! Bring the experts to your desktop May 10th from 9AM to 4PM (CT).

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

May 10, 2016 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Designing Accessible Forms 9am CT

by Jim Allan, Accessibility Coordinator at Texas School of the Blind and Visually Impaired

Form input fields can pose unique accessibility challenges to those using assistive technologies.

This hands-on session will review current practices and strategies for making form fields usable to people with disabilities, as well as how screen-readers and speech recognition technologies interact with online forms.

The use and accessibility support of HTML5 forms will also be reviewed.

About Jim Allan

Jim Allan is the webmaster at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. He has worked in the field of assistive technology and accessible information access for over 30 years. He has been an essential advisor, consultant and friend to Knowbility since 1998.

Jim is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium's-Web Accessibility Initiative (W3C- WAI) and is Co-Chair of the User Agent working group, having previously served on the W3C's Authoring Tools & Education and Outreach working groups. He served as the alternate representative for W3C-WAI to the Section 508 Refresh committee (TEITAC).

For his work on the advisory board of AIR Austin, Jim received a Distinguished Service Award from the City of Austin's Mayor's Committee on People with Disabilities. He is currently the Accessibility Coordinator and webmaster for the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired. As webmaster, he is committed to the accessible Web design and the development of accessible multimedia textbooks, learning materials and assessments for all students. Jim has a Ph.D. in Special Education from the University of Texas at Austin.


How to Make Your Accessible Content Look Great 10am CT

by Anna Belle Leiserson, Front-end Web Developer

So many otherwise wonderful accessible sites look dull, drab, out-of-date, etc. The typical result of this? A significant percentage of potential users take one quick look and are gone.

Just as there are a lot of easy things you can do to make your site more accessible, so too there are lot of easy things you can do to make it more attractive and easy on the eye.

This class will take you through a series of steps to first identify your site’s optimal style and then start incorporating elements into it that move it in that direction.

About Anna Belle Leiserson

I'm a retired (ha!) front end Web developer who has been building websites since 1994. From 2004 to 2013 I was in charge of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center website, VICC.org, first as Webmaster and later as Health Systems Software Engineer. Under my watch, VICC.org was ranked by the Journal of Healthcare Management (Jan/Feb 2012) as a top 10 hospital and health system website (out of 4,037 facilities / 636 websites) based on four criteria including accessibility. My passion is making accessible websites (especially WordPress sites) beautiful. ×

Accessible Data Visualizations 11am CT

by Michelle Michael, Accessibility Specialist at Dept. of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services

This session will discuss accessibility of data visualizations. What makes a data visualization accessible? Accessible to whom? We will look at examples and case studies of data visualizations published in Microsoft Excel, Adobe PDF, HTML, and Tableau-generated content.

There's no one solution for every use case, but if you oversee content publishing, are a content creator, or are responsible for reporting on or fixing accessibility issues, you will find this to be an engaging discussion. This session will include discussion about:

  • Evaluating data visualization content for accessibility.
  • How to address data visualization accessibility issues.
  • Evaluating publishing options to optimize for the best data visualization experience for everyone.
  • Overcoming the pains of accessibility as an afterthought and maintaining multiple versions of content.

About Michelle Michael

Michelle Michael is an Accessibility Specialist at the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services. She is passionate about empowering others and has a background in making difficult or complex information and tasks easy to work with. She taught high school Algebra and Pre-Calculus in the 1990s and was a fan of data visualizations well before it became mainstream. Michelle has worked on accessibility for several data visualization projects at DARS, and has a deep knowledge of Microsoft Excel. In a former life, she was software engineer specializing in user interface development.

Michelle?s roots in accessibility started in 2000 at the Texas Workforce Commission, and as a Knowbility AIR developer during that time. Michelle currently works on the DARS Accessibility Team, testing, consulting, remediating and teaching accessibility for various types of electronic and information resources. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, teaching yoga and studying stock charts.


Digital Accessibility Legal Update 2016 1pm CT

by Lainey Feingold, Lawyer

What does the law say about web and mobile accessibility?

We still do not have web regulations in the U.S. for private companies or for state and local governments, but the U.S. Department of Justice has settled a significant number of cases requiring web and mobile accessibility for people with disabilities. Other federal agencies are doing important web work, too.

In this session, we will:

  • Explore those settlements and look at what courts are saying about the legal right to access digital content.
  • Speculate about the future of federal regulations and give a shout out to companies who have voluntarily engaged in Structured Negotiation with the disability community without lawsuits to improve the usability of their digital content.
  • Consider the recent spate of demand letters and lawsuits about web access that some on social media are calling accessibility trolls.
  • Touch briefly on what's happening in digital accessibility law just over the border and around the world.

About Lainey Feingold

Lainey Feingold is a disability rights lawyer in Berkeley California who has long worked with the blind community on information and technology (including web and mobile) access issues.

Using the dispute resolution process known as Structured Negotiations, she has negotiated digital accessibility agreements with many large U.S. commercial entities, including Major League Baseball, Charles Schwab, WellPoint (Anthem Blue Cross), Bank of America, CVS Pharmacy, and Weight Watchers. No lawsuits were filed against any of these companies. More information is available at http://lflegal.com/.

Lainey has twice been recognized as a California Lawyer of the Year for her work and is currently writing a book about Structured Negotiations.


Advanced ARIA 2pm CT

by Paul Adam, Accessibility Evangelist at Deque

With ARIA Live Regions we can make the screen reader say whatever we want including speaking form validation error messages aloud, speaking status messages, or even audio descriptions of scenes in a video for blind users. Learn how to use WAI-ARIA and JavaScript to make dynamic websites and apps accessible and avoid creating a web interfaces that are not keyboard or screen reader operable.

You will learn:

  • Introduction to Web Accessibility APIs
  • Keyboard Accessibility (and why you should never use positive tabindex values)
  • The pros and cons of JavaScript Frameworks & Single Page Applications like Angular, React, and Ember
  • The accessibility implications of using other frameworks like Bootstrap, jQuery, and jQuery Mobile will also be covered.

About Paul Adam

Paul J. Adam is an Accessibility Evangelist at Deque Systems, Inc. by day and spends his spare time creating websites or learning iOS development.

He's worked as an Accessibility Specialist at the Texas Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services (DARS), a web designer for UT-Permian Basin and A&M-Central Texas, and has trained students, faculty, and staff in a wide variety of IT & Accessibility subjects.

Paul is also an Apple Nerd who got hooked after using the first accessible iPhone.


Automated Accessibility Tool Crash Course 3pm CT

by Luis Garcia, Accessibility Evangelist at Deque

This class will be a crash course on freely available tools used by accessibility testing professionals. Accessibility experts use automated tools to help them assess sites every day, but no two tools are created equally.

We will discuss features of each and situations in which some might be more well suited than others. We will looks at discrete examples of bad code and compare the results of each tool to see how some tools may be better at identifying certain types of issues.

About Luis Garcia

Information coming soon. ×

About the AccessU Summit 2016

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.

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!
★ Free Recordings

Can't make it the day of the conference? Recordings are part of registration, so you can watch the recordings whenever you want!

Within five business days after the event, we email you information on how to view recorded sessions.

Testimonials from
This conference was a load of fun. I loved the instant feedback from the speakers and the atmosphere.

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
5by5.tv Producer

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

Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

Buy Tickets


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 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.