Website Accessibility Webinar
It is always wonderful meeting like-minded people!
It was such a privilege to take part in a webinar about a subject so close to my heart: Accessibility in Software Development and Testing.
I really appreciated the opportunity to meet and chat with others who are as passionate about website accessibility as I am. Many thanks to Devops for hosting the event, please follow this link to watch it. It is a long link, unfortunately, that may go over to the next line:
Lived experience is so important
Nearly everyone I have met who is interested in website accessibility has a personal reason for it, either through their own lived experience or the lived experience of someone close to them. I was struck by something that Alan Shimel said during the discussion. He said that the lived experience of an individual is a high price to pay to “get” disability (I am paraphrasing his words) and it is sadly true.
But sometimes it seems like the only way.
So how do we use it?
I have just finished an audit on a portal that actually included over 11 hours of video footage of my disabled audit team in action. This, by any standard, is a large amount and, where appropriate, I include Chapter Markers to allow my clients to jump straight to the point in question. However, the only way you can get a better understanding of what the challenges are really like is to watch all of the videos. It gives you a sense of the pace that my Team is forced to work at.
The pace at which they can complete their tasks is partly dictated by their assistive technology but it is influenced far more by the website’s lack of accessible design.
The website itself appeared to be well-coded, with fewer detectable accessibility failures than most but it is only when my Team went to work that the issues were revealed.
Just doing their thing
My Team is not looking for errors, they are just trying to complete the tasks they are given. It was not anything too complicated: logging in, responding to questionnaires and reading the feedback. The kind of activity that a non-disabled person would complete without difficulty.
It is just that sometimes they could not even start a particular activity or it was only possible to do it by manual intervention from myself!
The activities could be fixed quite easily and I have given them some ideas which should help them. The design team is now on a journey of discovery and will not look back. Everything they create in the future will be more accessible. When you have watched the lived experience of disabled people trying to use your website, you do not ever forget it.
This is why I love what I do.
The lived experience of my team is an incredibly powerful tool for educating designers to improve their digital accessibility. My Team knows that, in our work together, they really are Changing the World, One Website at a time.
Caption: Graphic with DevOps Logo and Tricentis Logo, Text reads Accessibility in Software Development and Testing. Photos of the participants, from left to right:
Simona Domazetoska, Senior Product Marketing Manager – Tricentis,
Paloma Oliveira, Developer Advocate, Software Engineer - Sauce Labs
Scott Jehl, Web Product Designer & Developer
Clive Loseby, Global Leader in Website Accessibility for Disabled People - Access By Design
Alan Shimel, Founder & CEO - Techstrong Group
Would you like to find out more?
If you would like to find out more about website accessibility, please follow these links:
Access by Design
Beautiful, WCAG Compliant, Accessible Website Design
Delivering an Outstanding Website Accessibility Audit
Award-winning Web Design, Chichester