Saturday, September 27, 2014

Accessibility Camp Toronto Slides: Selfish Accessibility

I've updated this post to include the video from the live stream, some links, and a few photos.


There was a live stream throughout the day, which was broken into a morning video and afternoon video. I've embedded the morning stream because it includes my talk. I don't feel this was one of my better performances, but I also have not watched the video yet. You are welcome to do so and wince on my behalf. If the embed doesn't start at the right place for you, you can either fast forward to 2:01:00, or you can view it set to start at that point on YouTube.

Surprisingly Flattering Tweets

I'm pleased to sat that if you only watched Twitter, it looks like I did a good job getting my point across.

Some Pics

I snapped some photos, but I'm going to lead with this awesome sketchnote (I've never had a sketchnote of one of my talks, so this is pretty exciting for me):

Sketchnote from Andrea O Pietkiewicz. View the original tweet or on her site.
Sporting an AODA hat & Kirk tie, @DavidLepofsky fits into #a11yTO pretty well.
A sneak preview of The Viking & the Lumberjack at #a11yTO. That will never air.
Whose responsibility is #a11y? @dboudreau addresses in his talk for #a11yTO.
Food-oriented, with reluctant hero, hockey. @karlgroves wins the hand with Strange Brew. @FYCGame

Related Links

Update, December 6, 2014: AMI Event Recap

AMI Inside banner at the start of the video.

Toronto's Accessible Media Inc (AMI) interviewed me in its coverage of the event, which is now live on the AMI site (season 1, episode 1, as this link will show the current AMI Inside episode not this specific episode over time). The abstract:

AMI Inside provides an all access pass to Accessibility Camp, Toronto. D.J. Demers takes us to OCAD University to learn about some of the most relevant digital accessibility topics. Find out what’s new in technology and hear firsthand from some of the attendees as well as Accessibility Specialist and camp co-organizer, George Zamfir.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

10 Years Ago: TOevolt

Photo from TOevolt.

During Buffalo WordCamp last weekend, co-organizer Ben Dunkle asked about what he said was one of the best conferences he ever attended — TOevolt. It prompted me to look up the photos I took and I discovered that it was 10 years ago today.

TOevolt was the Toronto version of an official conference. Founded 16 years ago (1998), was for years the de facto web site and mailing list for web developers to learn from one another. Without ever having any sponsors or corporate backers, we managed to successfully build a community where everyone seemed comfortable sharing. Looking at the names of active list members is like a who's-who of industry names today.

The same grassroots approach to everything was behind TOevolt. Organized by Tara Cleveland, it was an impressive affair for having no financial support from a mother ship. It was also my first speaking gig and probably the only time I'll be on the same ticket at Dan Cederholm. The following is quoted from the announcement on the site (a briefer announcement went to each mailing list):

We've got great speakers (Joe Clark, Jesse Hirsh, Dan Cederholm and Adrian Roselli) talking about everything from web accessibility and standards to the use of technology in politics.

I cannot find the slides from my talk on localization (I'm still looking), but I did find Joe Clark's, WCAG 2: All the sugar and twice the caffeine™

However, I do have photos from the event. Matthew Hoy's photos are missing, but his recap is still live. Javier Velasco's photos are still available, as are John Handelaar's photos. Dan Cederholm's event recap is also still online.

I really do miss the old days of, even if it was slowly replaced with the advent of platforms like Stack Overflow, or the rise of blogging, or even near real-time support on the Twitters. Even today the site still stands, but as a monument to those of us who cut our teeth in the early days of the web. Heck, without, I never would have been able to get into the speaking and writing world, nominal though it is (even if I did recall yesterday my incorrect prediction for MNG as a popular file format) or met some truly awesome (and bizarre) people, let alone shared an elevator with many of them at SXSW in 2001.

Workers of the web (gone by), evolt!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

WordCamp Buffalo Slides: Selfish Accessibility

Photo of Buffalo WordCamp t-shirt.
The Buffalo WordCamp shirt was again printed by You and Who (whose logo is visible where the tag would be), which means that 1,600 meals were donated (one for each shirt) to those in need. I think every WordCamp should do this. (related tweet)

Buffalo WordCamp has just wrapped up and folks are hopefully going to take new ideas back to their own projects. There were many great talks and even panel discussions that turned into more of a WordPress support group for the audience and panelists alike. A first for Buffalo WordCamp that I hope they repeat. Also a plus, 48% of the attendees and 35% of the speakers were female, better ratios than I've seen at many other conferences.

My Slides

If you just come for my slides, then you are at the right spot. I've embedded them here, or you can go see them at SlideShare. In addition to questions and feedback from the audience, I've already gotten some feedback from the Twitterverse. In particular my use of the word "continuum" on slide 77. I am open to suggestions for a better word, so feel free to share.


I grabbed some photos from the event as well, captioned below (originally posted on my Tumblr, where they are larger).

Panoramic view of Canisius College Science Hall
This year the event was held in the new Science Hall at Canisius College. This is the atrium where lunch was served and announcements were announced (shot taken shortly after the lunch crush).
The crowd at the start of the event.
Some of the announcements being announced by announcers and co-organizers Ben Dunkle and Andy Staple.
The breakfast table.
A nice spread of pastries to get the day going. I am amazed I only ate one.
Attendees for my talk.
Accessibility talks never net a huge crowd, but at least those who did show up wanted to learn more, had good questions, and challenged me.
My shirt.
After a quick Twitter poll, I broke from my normal pattern of wearing more professional attire and went with the Montgomery Ward mechanic's shirt with the fur collar.
My badge and the schedule
The badge had the day's schedule printed on the back (handy), and they also provided a printed schedule (also handy).
View of the cemetery from one of the talks.
Buffalo skyline.
A view from the after-party at Western New York Book Arts Center.
Type bits.
Some sample type at Western New York Book Arts Center. If you've never been and you are at all interested in type, you should visit.