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.
I also made Twitter searches for any mention of any of the hashtags, for #a11yIRL, for #a11yTOConf, and for #a11yTOGaming. They are bounded by date and location, and should be sorted by date.
In Real Life: #a11yIRL
I did not tweet each talk at the first day, but I did capture some moments.
I appreciate @DavidLepofsky’s frankness:
“I don’t think somebody becomes an accessibility professional by taking an eight day course.”
Look up reasons on AODA Alliance site at aodaalliance.org.
Free birthday cake at #a11yIRL #a11yTO for @jkhiseler! pic.twitter.com/uYgBKVDGhZ
At #a11yTO #a11yIRL this puppet appears on the screens and tells us to take a seat and it might as well be Pennywise. pic.twitter.com/bxBYQS9rwE
- 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
Kicking off #a11yTOConf with @oskarwestinTO @thebillygregory with some creeper watching over them. pic.twitter.com/bU4uFRrYSR
Now the #a11yTOConf hosts @ericwbailey @cordeliadillon are making sure we use the right hash tag, pointing to the CoC. pic.twitter.com/9Rsx8zYruP
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
First up at #a11yTOConf is @scottohara and his single slide homage to @stevefaulkner.
Then he moves on to tell us *why* HTML alone does not guarantee accessibility. pic.twitter.com/OMi8JOUK09
fAuLT TEXT: The Modern Challenge Of Working With ALT TEXT by Henri Helvetica
#A11yTOConf @HenriHelvetica is talking about the challenges with computer vision and risks with auto-generated alt text. pic.twitter.com/aje6rqgFeF
Civil Rights or Shakedowns: Ethics of the Digital Accessibility Legal Space by Lainey Feingold
#A11yTOConf @LFLegal kicks off her talk with her takeaway — accessibility is a human right of disabled people. pic.twitter.com/zHOyDpRrpm
Accessibility for Content Creators by Caitlin Cashin
#a11yTOConf @caitlinthefirst sharing some practices for content creators, including video, structure, etc. pic.twitter.com/jbkAEFBcOU
These aren’t the SCs you’re looking for… by Patrick Lauke
#A11yToConf @patrick_h_lauke opening with unfortunate truths of accessibility reviews — the desire to fail based on personal preference.
I like this talk already. pic.twitter.com/FiV3ijsGAv
Being Human Together: the limits of accessible VR by Alastair Somerville
#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
Screen Readers and CSS: Going Out of Style (and Into Content) by CB Averitt
#A11yTOConf @dive4cb is quizzing the audience on what a sub-set of screen reader/browser combos do with some CSS properties. pic.twitter.com/KvqRAB45nG
The Inevitability of Accessibility by Natalie Patrice Tucker
#A11yTOConf @NataliePatriceT uses the five stages of grief as an analogue to when an organization is forced to tackle the inevitable accessibility push. pic.twitter.com/DY420uMOhG
Systems of Systems by Tatiana Mac
#a11yTOConf @TatianaTMac shows the feedback loop that creates exclusionary experiences. pic.twitter.com/Swtt8ASeSm
Speech Recognition Solutions by Eric Wright
#a11yTOConf important Dragon notes from @ewaccess. pic.twitter.com/IXVhbQkGOJ
Garbage Pail Components by Marcy Sutton
#a11yTOConf @marcysutton talks about Garbage Pail Components; terrible component UIs. pic.twitter.com/4gPDS58I6B
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
Adding Task-Oriented Walkthroughs To Your Toolkit by Sarah Pulis & Andrew Arch
#a11yTOConf @sarahtp @amja outline their task-oriented walkthroughs, ideally identifying usability and accessibility issues in the design as well as testing phases. pic.twitter.com/UiQdjI5820
Accessibility & Procurement — Where It All Goes Wrong! by Mike Gifford
#a11yTOConf @mgifford teases us with photos of The Netherlands while talking about getting accessibility into the procurement process. pic.twitter.com/JzCVGK81ny
The Quest For Peace As A Disabled Games Accessibility Specialist (plain text) by Cherry Thompson
#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
#a11yTOConf @codeability refers to accessibility work as fighting a Hydra — cut off one head, another grows.
Proposes ableism as the root cause. pic.twitter.com/UDgN4xQXAy
Cognitive Dark Patterns & Dragons by Shell Little
#a11yTOConf @ShellELittle accidentally proposes a Focus character attribute for D&D — Focus.
Here, the value is 9 (-1).
Sounds like my bard. pic.twitter.com/EMGKffIFEC
Dimensions: Community Tools For Nonvisual Access To Spatial Information by Chancey Fleet
#a11yTOConf Yay, I get to see @ChanceyFleet again this week! Here she is talking about tactile maps, graphics, and models. pic.twitter.com/YJ1LKp63FG
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
#a11yTOConf @NeilMilliken explores treating exclusion the way we might address pollution. Also shows some current technologies as aids. pic.twitter.com/QsPg4sgURo
Designing Accessibility Education In Organizations by Devon Persing
#a11yTOConf @devonpersing on accessibility education within organizations…
With conversations like these, “It’s very easy to become the service yourself.” pic.twitter.com/sAFyoGvrFx
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
The podium on the stage is totally accessible. @oskarwestinTO told me that it was handmade :-) #a11yTOConf pic.twitter.com/evQK37hMDc
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
#a11yTOGaming@ianhamilton_ tells us about the progress over the last year with platforms, info, events, games, and legislation. pic.twitter.com/cdKlFCbjnz
Finding The Sweet Spot Between Bored And Overwhelmed by Shell Little
#a11yTOGaming @ShellELittle on how it can be difficult to find the sweet spot between being bored and overwhelmed for gamers with cognitive disabilities. pic.twitter.com/lN6NVrnS8F
Old School — Gaming And Aging by Earl Cousins
#a11yTOGaming @a11ySherpa compares how video games have changed as they have aged with how players have aged — reduced vision, hearing, dexterity, etc. pic.twitter.com/SVvhrvjR4v
You Got This, Happy Accidents Count And Other Accessibility Pep Talks (plain text) by Cherry Thompson
#a11yTOGaming @cherryrae sporting a Halloween onesie and appreciating the adjustable lectern. Here they are giving an overview *and* pep talk. pic.twitter.com/3nUJlkjIAB
HyperDotA11y: How An Itty Bitty Indie Game Does Flexibility Research by Holly Harrison
#a11yTOGaming @hollharris talks about the research that is #HyperDotA11y, their methods for testing the game with disabled users. pic.twitter.com/ePwRiFj3Ai
The State Of Subtitles by Jennifer Stienstra
#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
#a11yTOGaming @D_M_Gregory of Ubisoft presents a case study for Starlink: Battle for Atlas. pic.twitter.com/BYCEzOTMdp
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 @littlenavi_ is addressing the language and tone used in games development. pic.twitter.com/vntG2pi57B
Time For Some Action! Fractions Of Friction by Bryce Johnson
#a11yTOGaming @brycej is wrapping up the day by promising to lose some friends. If you are not here, then I guess you should have bought a ticket. pic.twitter.com/k5mqh4pl1Y
#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
ONE MINUTE! #a11yTOGaming pic.twitter.com/yydbYWeF8L
Just ONE MINUTE to the end of #a11yTOGaming and #a11yTOWeek. And no more @a11ytopuppet, except in your nightmares. pic.twitter.com/UugJcltEfi
- Community in Toronto: What Made the #A11yTO Conferences So Spectacular? by Lainey Feingold.
- Hector Rodriguez’s #a11yTOConf notes (ignore the year listed).
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