This year the a11yTO team put together its third conference, adding a day for the built environment (#a11yIRL) and another day for gaming (#a11yTOGaming), bringing the entire conference to four days. The collection of three conferences has been branded #a11yWeekTO.
Throughout the conference, attendees were incredibly positive about the venue, organization, speakers, and overall feel of the conference. A11yTOConf has quickly become the accessibility conference (or suite of conferences) to attend.
I have collected the schedule for each day below and added links to the presentation slides where I could find them. I will add more if I get them. Otherwise, most of the content of this post are my tweets over the four days.
In Real Life: #a11yIRL
I did not tweet each talk at the first day, but I did capture some moments.
- Accessible Design in Japan by Makoto Ueki
- Improving Mobility for People Living with Dementia by Samantha Biglieri
- Elevator accessibility: Tips to be aware, making the user experience more uplifting by Jason Boychuk
- Your Building. Our Future. by Julie Sawchuk
- Digital Frictions in Nonvisual Accessibility and the Built Environment by Chancey Fleet
- IAAP/GAATES Certification Program for the Built Environment by Pina D’Intino
- Fixing Built Environment Design Education by Thea Kurdi
- Holistic Design for the Built Environment by Maxwell Ng, Amy Pothier, Dan Seljak
- This is Real Life! Deaf and Hard of Hearing Experiences of the Built Environment by David Fourney
- Accessible Maps and How They Create Welcoming Inclusive Spaces by Alastair Somerville
- What Are the Barriers Impeding Our Society from Creating an Accessible Built Environment, and How Do we Remove those Barriers? by David Lepofsky
- Axess Condos: Seamlessly Integrated by Lorene Casiez, Karl van Es
- Designing for Dwarfism by Sarah Manteuffel
The core of the week is the conference, which covers more than that just accessibility as a technical concept, but addresses inclusivity overall.
HTML is accessible by default, right? by Scott O’Hara
Accessibility for Content Creators by Caitlin Cashin
#A11yTOConf @Acuity_Design on exploration of using VR as a way to mimic access to an otherwise inaccessible space (Mail Rail). User research suggested don’t replicate, integrate. pic.twitter.com/IpprWgkUeo
The Inevitability of Accessibility by Natalie Patrice Tucker
Systems of Systems by Tatiana Mac
Speech Recognition Solutions by Eric Wright
Beyond Accessibility: Learning From The Disabled Community by Liz Davis
#a11yTOConf @lizdavis__ opens the day with an anecdote about designing a tool for users to walk behind and realizing she has no idea how walking works: “I don’t have time to talk to a walking person. They’ll adapt.”
“Your biases and experience will influence your design.” pic.twitter.com/2tRQjBtNjE
Accessibility & Procurement — Where It All Goes Wrong! by Mike Gifford
#a11yTOConf @cherryrae points out that the very act of testing for painful barriers — vestibular, flashing, noise, etc. — causes pain. The job is literally hurting them.
Sobering thought for cavalierly tossing known problematic experiences over the testing wall. pic.twitter.com/zimhWnY5DT
Accessibility Is A Hydra by EJ Mason
Cognitive Dark Patterns & Dragons by Shell Little
Dimensions: Community Tools For Nonvisual Access To Spatial Information by Chancey Fleet
Unconventional Tech For Users With Divergent Abilities by Javed Gangjee
#a11yTOConf @jgangjee in his talk identifies a critical factor in getting users to trust new interfaces — terrible prior experience.
Also talks about hardware AT including switches, eye tracking, etc, all in context of their limitations. pic.twitter.com/BR97yKncog
A Sustainability Based Approach To Accessibility — Why We Need To Treat Exclusion Like Pollution by Neil Milliken
Designing Accessibility Education In Organizations by Devon Persing
Value by Derek Featherstone
#a11yTOConf @feather opens with the infamous tweet showing individually packaged peeled orange wedges with the person calling it out as wasteful.
Accidental accessibility and value. pic.twitter.com/lcpzuAEWfC
Yes, this lectern has been great to see in action, useful for most of the speakers today: mak_en/status/1187…
I understand it is a modded Ikea stand-up desk.
#a11yTOConf @mak_en showed a video of the Canadian rugby team helping to clean up homes from the typhoon in Japan; Makoto & Junko brought Japanese candies as a gift to the conference as thanks. The conference presented them with Raptors jerseys to round out their collection. pic.twitter.com/k4nZV5CVJA
At the post-#a11yTOConf tweet-up of unexpected lightning talks, @codingchaos explained why tool-tips are a mess. Asked by @lizdavis__ what to so, Sarah responded “Burn them to the ground.”
Then the room decided to get #DeathToTooltips trending.
The New Normal by Ian Hamilton
Finding The Sweet Spot Between Bored And Overwhelmed by Shell Little
Old School — Gaming And Aging by Earl Cousins
#a11yTOGaming @thefantasticjen is showing that the same challenges we have with subtitle display quality exists in games, is probably worse. Shows data that users leave subtitles on when defaulted to on. pic.twitter.com/vA52fayd5Q
Course Corrections: Shepherding Accessible Design Through The Development Process by Douglas Gregory
Open Source Adaptive Gaming Controllers by Stewart Russell
#a11yTOGaming @MakerMakeChange expands on its existing library of 3D-printable adaptive devices to also include gaming aids, including switch devices for the XBox adaptive controller and other controllers. pic.twitter.com/a8RwMbcWIf
Beyond The Code: Accessibility Of Language, Tone, Culture, And Concept by Littlenavi
#a11yTOGaming What is that pile of safety-orange polyhedra next to the Xboxen in the arcade?
Sloppily-printed 3D-printed Braille dice downloaded from @DOTSrpg?
Perfect for us table-top gamers in the room! pic.twitter.com/iLWN7v0bin
- Community in Toronto: What Made the #A11yTO Conferences So Spectacular? by Lainey Feingold.
- Hector Rodriguez’s #a11yTOConf notes (ignore the year listed).