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Sessions at SXSW Interactive 2012 about Accessibility

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Saturday 10th March 2012

Sunday 11th March 2012

  • Will Accessibility Rain on Your Cloud Parade?

    by Elizabeth Woodward

    The hype around cloud computing has created a storm of standards and open source activity. Many IT and business leaders have either defined or are in the process of defining their cloud strategy. At the same time government legislation and high-profile lawsuits are emphasizing the need for accessibility. Although significant energy has been put into defining the business case and value for cloud computing, adopting cloud computing and implementing cloud computing, very little focus has been given to ensuring the accessibility of cloud computing models. At first glance, it may seem that adhering to W3C’s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines will ensure accessibility of cloud services; however, those guidelines apply to browser-based access. Other models of access, including remote desktop connections, require additional thought and planning. Also, by including assistive technologies as part of the service, services can be enhanced to more broadly meet the needs of all users. This session identifies the “gotchas” and provides guidelines to help with planning and implementing an accessible cloud computing service.

    At 11:00am to 12:00pm, Sunday 11th March

    In Sabine, Hilton Garden Inn Austin Downtown

    Coverage audio clip

Monday 12th March 2012

  • Tech Unity Beyond the #SpecialNeeds Hashtag

    by Kate Canterbury, Robert Rummel-Hudson and Jen Lee Reeves

    Special needs communities unite! This brainstorming session will take a look at how some people have been able to harness the power of online community to bring special needs parents together. We will look at what social tools work and don't work when parents look for ways to get support for their special needs kids. Talk to a special needs parent and you'll realize, this community does not come together often enough to share how we make advocating for our children work. This is not a session looking to find funding for our child's challenges. This is a conversation where anyone with a link to any type of special need can talk about the need for community and advocacy in a culture where abilities of all types should be celebrated.

    At 12:30pm to 1:30pm, Monday 12th March

    In Lone Star, Omni Downtown

Tuesday 13th March 2012

  • How the iPad Can Save Accessibility

    by Marty DeAngelo

    Usability has come a long way since the dark days before "Designing with Web Standards". Now nearly all companies see the value of UX in their digital designs. But despite heightened focus on the user and a growing awareness of accessibility concerns, implementation of accessibility standards have often fallen victim to time pressures and obsolete design practices. Disabled users struggle through sites missing alt tags, keyboard inputs or text alternatives. Enter devices like the iPhone & Android … and the iPad.

    With the proliferation of non-desktop devices and browsers like tablets and gestural smartphones, suddenly more people are finding that the web isn't as nice and clean as they remembered: broken formatting, too small text, hover functionality that doesn’t work, and entire swaths of the web rendered as Flash-based wastelands that millions can’t access.

    We've now discovered that by solving for many of the issues that iOS and other mobile users face, we can also solve for the most prevalent accessibility issues. Using side-by-side examples and case studies, I'll show how we can make sites more accessible and more usable by mobile devices. Through combinations of better markup, HTML5 and CSS3 functionality and better scripting, we can serve two masters at once. Better yet, in some cases, we can take advantage of the accessibility capabilities built into newer mobile devices to make the digital experience even better than they would get on the 'old web'.

    At 9:30am to 10:30am, Tuesday 13th March

    In Room 10AB, Austin Convention Center