Accessibility Club Conference 2018
While the necessity and benefits of accessible services on the web are pretty obvious, web accessibility is still not a widespread practice. Common reasonsings range from putative additional efforts, tight budgets to the misbelief that "validity equals accessibilty". In many cases, however, it seems that the majority of developers simply has no clue where to start — which comes as no surprise as most of them have never gotten their hands on assistive technology.
The Accessibility Club started out as a tiny meetup back in 2014. The "concept" was more than
simple: Take a bunch of webworkers, lock them into one room with a blind person and his screenreader and see what happens. It was instantly clear that there are tons of things the webworkers could and should learn — and the a11yclub became their conversational starting point.
In 2016, the Club went to Berlin for the first time, attracted more than 30 attendees and 2 international presenters. The format shifted towards a mixture of presentations and barcamp style sessions. When in 2017 Heydon Pickering, Laura Kalbag and Detlev Fischer joined in, a whopping 70 attendees clearly demonstrated that awareness has grown and the topic deserves a bigger stage. Other guests presenters so far include Marco Zehe, Kerstin Probiesch, Rodney Rehm, Marcy Sutton and Robin Cristopherson.
For 2018, Stefan and Joschi, the two times Berlin organiser team, decided to take it even one step further: They're excited (and admittedly a bit nervous) to invite you to the first ever full-day Accessibility Club Conference, scheduled for November 5th, 2018. They aim for ~150 attendees from all disciplines and knowledge levels, around 4 hand picked top-notch presenters, roughly the same number of shorter communtiy contributors ("mini talks") and a variety of both technical, educational and motivational topics.
As with all the smaller gatherings before, the conference wants to give you the chance to get some real-world experience with assistive technology, deepen your knowledge about web accessibilty and get you in touch with like-minded webworkers. The goal is to enable you to make accessibility a natural part of your daily work and mindset.
What we're up to
These are our objectives for 2018:
- Diverse line-up of presenters and topics
- Warm atmosphere, welcoming both experts and novices
- As non-commercial and affordable as possible (as always)
- No swag and other useless stuff
- Venue and its facilities must be fully accessible for wheelchair users
- Presentations should be recorded, subtitled / captioned and publicly available
- Sign language interpreter would be great; same about printed information in Braille, etc.
Venue & tickets
Our venue will be the beautiful, historical Spreespeicher. It is nicely located by the river Spree and 100% accessible for wheelchair users (including the bathrooms).
The Regular Ticket costs € 80 (including 19% German VAT) for the conference day. Coffee, tea, softdrinks and some small snacks throughout the day are included. There will be an extended lunch break which you can use for grabbing a snack somewhere around — there are plenty of cafés and small restaurants within short walking distance.
We also have a Diversity Supporter Ticket for € 120 (or more if you feel generous — just «pay what you want»). Each supporter ticket will unlock an additional scholarship / diversity ticket for someone else (see below).
We want our conference to be as accessible and welcoming as possible — for everyone. That's why we try hard to keep the ticket price as low as possible and skip all unneccesary cruft. Additionally, we'll give out free Scholarship / Diversity Tickets and strongly encourage applicants from underrepresented groups in tech to apply. This includes, but is not limited to: women-identifying persons, people of color, LGBTQIA people, people with physical and mental disabilities, people facing economic and / or political hardships. An additional scholarship / diversity ticket will be unlocked for every supporter ticket we sell (see above). To apply for a scholarship / diversity ticket, please send a brief informal email to firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know why the conference shouldn't happen without your attendance.
We will likely start selling tickets on June 12th or 13th — you might want to follow our Twitter account to keep updated.
We need your help!
In order to achieve our goals need your help:
- If you think you can contribute by giving a presentation, please consider our call for papers!
- If you think you or your employer can support as a sponsor, please get in touch.
- In any case you can help spreading the word so that all potential attendees, contributors and sponsors take note of this conference.
Thanks for your support! ❤️
Joschi & Stefan