Last week, the TELUS Toronto office became home to over 300 participants for the second annual #a11yTO accessibility conference. The crowd was a diverse mix of people - some were experts in their field, others were new faces, but everyone sat together to open their minds about digital accessibility.
A11y is a numeronym (a number-based word used to form an abbreviation). 11 represents the eleven letters between the A and the Y in the word accessibility.
A11y is a reference to web or digital accessibility. It is important to note that accessibility in the tech space can be described as the design of products, devices, or services for people of varying abilities. Anyone can meet a barrier when accessing content online and it’s our job as technical experts (whether you’re a developer, designer, product owner or writer) to build or implement solutions that overcome these barriers.
The two-day, one track conference was comprised of lectures, demos, and lightning talks from local and world-renowned speakers. If you were unable to join in person, the conversation continued on Twitter through #a11yTOConf. There were so many impactful tweets and it was hard to fit them all into one list. Here is a snapshot of some of our favourites:
.@ShellELittle provides a great analogy for those doing the bare minimum to meet WCAG: "Would you want to be in a building that just met the fire code? Or rather be in a building well above it?" #a11yToConf— Hala A (@halathinkeths) October 15, 2018
Risks associated with maintaining accessibility include:— Keri Wong (@WCOKeri) October 15, 2018
1. Critical employee turnover (SME)
2. Inadequate accessibility training
3. Regulatory requirements
4. Inadeqaure oversight in PM
5. Loss of technology interoperability@sambhavi#a11yTOConf
“Simulating disabilities promotes distress [...] undermining efforts to integration."— E.J. Mason (@codeability) October 16, 2018
Paraphrasing: simulation needs to be part of ongoing discussion with actual people with disabilities to promote understanding and respect. @detonite, #a11yTOConf
"Diversity is our world's greatest asset and inclusion is our greatest challenge" #a11yTOConf— Alejandra (@inphamela) October 15, 2018
TELUS Digital is continuously striving to become a better ally in the accessibility space. Read about our evolving practices from a previous post. To learn more about A11y event in the GTA, check out their website or follow them on Twitter!
Chantelle Sukhu is the Editor of the TELUS Digital blog. She uses her content toolkit to help her colleagues communicate their passions, and drive meaningful conversations. When she’s not editing, you can catch her blogging about mental health or stirring up a good cocktail. Twitter @chantellesukhu
Feature photo by: https://twitter.com/donnavitan