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Accessibility Club Conference 2018

Logo of Accessibility Club Conference 2018 Accessibility Club Conference 2018

5th November 2018

Berlin, Germany

Part of the Accessibility Club series

Schedule for

  1. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    Accessibility beyond Design

    Over the last few years Molly has traveled a lot and spoken about the importance of accessibility and usability as well as inclusive thinking within design. But the talk she wishes to deliver to you will be a little different …

    When the word “Accessibility” is spoken, many associate this with disability and a compliance checklist within design. Molly looks to broaden people's perspectives when thinking of accessibility, how without basic inclusive thinking her overall journey in life is pretty complicated. She will talk about how she mobilises on public transportation, how the difficulties she has are not dissimilar to others — also comparing how much harder it can be for those with accessibility needs to be independent like others — despite being more than capable of it. Not only should it be considered a reasonable adjustment for everyone, within a workplace, within design, within architecture, it should make everyones life easier.

    Molly hopes to talk about some of these challenges and bring further awareness of what people often miss when thinking about accessibility, using her experiences as a DeafBlind person.

  2. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    The new Wheelmap or how to exchange accessibility data, standardized

    Looking for a nice hotel, a yummy restaurant or a good place to go shopping? Many apps and websites help you with that. But if you have a disability, you are often out of luck with your specific questions: Are there steps at the entrance? Will my assistance dog be allowed? Is an induction loop available for my hearing aid? The answers are hard to find and they are missing out. This is a constant problem. Taking part in daily life is a basic human right, a right that is denied to a huge segment of the world’s population every day.

    For wheelchair users, the SOZIALHELDEN ("social heroes") have built, which is now the largest map to find and report wheelchair information about public places. Other non-profit organizations have also collected information for similar use cases. But the services often only have a local scope, are buried inside other apps or cover just certain kinds of public places.

    In this talk, Holger Dieterich will introduce Accessibility.Cloud, an open exchange platform for accessibility data of places. For the first time, it is possible to access such data of over 1.5 million places from 90 different sources through one API.

    This will enable app developers to include accessibility information into their services, making them more inclusive for everyone.

  3. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    There's more to performance than meets the eye

    What does performance look like when you can't see the screen? The browser does more with the DOM than visually render content.

    It presents an accessibility tree that's queried using platform accessibility APIs. Different browser processing models mean that Assistive Technologies (AT) are changing the way they obtain accessibility information, but is that having an impact on performance, and what happens when we introduce a JavaScript accessibility API into the equation?

  4. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    How can we use web analytics to improve accessibility?

    Web analytics is great for improving user experience, but it does not tell us if someone is using assistive technologies and how the website works for these users. Why is that information kept away from us? And are there other ways of doing this?

    Without web analytics, we would have no idea of how the users actually use our website. The tools tell us almost everything about the users' devices and browsers, so we can for example know it works for desktop users and mobile users separately. But we do not know if the user is using assistive technologies. Why is this information kept away from us, and how can we know how our website works for users with disabilities?

    Tom has tested a few methods and will share his experiences with you.

  5. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    Lunch break

    During the 90 minutes lunch break, we encourage all attendees to leave the venue and grab a snack at one of the many nearby food bars and restaurants.

  6. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    Exclusive Design

    Vasilis van Gemert flipped the inclusive design principles and turned them into a set of exclusive design principles. He used these principles to create tailor made, innovative, pleasurable user experiences for real people with disabilities.

    The common way to make websites accessible is by using the ideas behind inclusive design. This way you can create interfaces that work equally well for everybody, regardless of the device they use, and regardless of the assistive technologies they need. This works, at least in theory. In practice the results are mostly disappointing.

    In order to make inclusive design work we need to be as good at desinging interfaces for ourselves as we are at designing interfaces for people who need assistive technologies, or people who have different needs. In the past 30 years we've studied graphical user interfaces extensively, and if we try, we can create increbile user experiences that are a pleasure to use. Understandably we haven't dug into designing things for alternative forms of input and output as much, since we don't use them that much ourselves. We have been designing exclusively for the lucky people who use their computer in a similar way as we do. So Vasilis' idea is to flip things around a bit. Instead of designing exclusively for ourselves, he started to design tailor made solutions for — and together with — people with special needs.

    In the past year, Vasilis did several experiments with designing digital user experiences exclusively for real persons with real disabilities. Together with his students he came up with — sometimes crazy — alternative forms of interaction for a friend who is severly motor disabled. They reimagined a video page for a designer who is deaf. They designed a website for a blind designer with the Blind First principle. Recently a large design agency started working with the exclusive design method for their clients as well. Hopefully by November they will have some insights to share.

    In this talk, Vasilis will show you the results of these experiments, and share all the insights he gained during his research. Well, all the insights that fit into a 20 minute talk …

  7. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    Doing Accessibility at Scale

    Ensuring universal access in a multi-national company

    Ensuring accessibility can be a challenge in any organisation. Ensuring it in Springer Nature, a multi-billion euro global company with tens of thousands of employees, well, that's some next level shit.

    In this talk Charlie will tell you why accessibility is vital to Springer Nature, how we ensure that it happens, and some of the challenges that we've faced along the way.

  8. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    Trollies, veils and prisoners: the case for accessibility from philosophical ethics

    The case for making websites accessible from the viewpoint of philosopical ethics.

    Those who want to make accessible websites, will likely spend some of their time convincing others. One good reason to make accessible websites is that doing so is the right thing. For centuries, doing the right thing has been a concern for the field of philosophical ethics. In this talk, some notable philosophical thought experiments are applied to the world of web accessibility. With some practical examples, this talk makes a refreshing case for web accessibility, which people can use to advocate for more inclusive websites.

  9. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    Towards Accessible AI applications: the case of Voice Activated Virtual Assistants

    We are massively adopting virtual assistants (Siri, Cortana, Google Assistant, Bixby, Alexa…) that make our everyday lives easier. However, are they designed to be accessible? What are the current challenges & best practices in this type of AI applications? Does a design-for-all exist in this field?


    Sarita's talk will start by introducing the concept of Voice Activated Virtual Assistants (VAVAs), which many attendants surely use (Siri, Google Assistant, Alexa, Cortana). She will show some figures about the usage of these VAVAs (who uses them, why, for what…) Out of these users, how many are disabled? Do we think this technology is accessible for them?

    VAVAs & Accesibility

    Different ways of interaction to adapt to different segments: voice, text, tactile… We will go through the benefits of using VAVAs for each segment: elderly, visual, physical, auditive… disabled users. Current challenges: There are no specific regulations in this category, each disability has its own usage limitations… Best practices for designing, evaluating and implementing VAVA accessibility (Examples of EEUU and Europe (Spain, France and UK). What is being done to address these challenges?

    Designing an accessible virtual assistant: Aura's case study

    Telefonica (trading as Movistar, O2 and Vivo), the multinational telecommunications organization, is developing Aura, an Artificial Intelligence Driven Virtual Assistant. This company is pursuing Aura to be as accessible as possible for all of their clients, developing different ways of interaction, functionalities, user experience and design to be usable and useful for a wide audience. Their team is going to accessibility courses, testing ideas with users with different disabilities, researching on what has been done… Sarita will show some examples of the way Aura is being created, developed and refined to be an accessible Virtual Assistant. She will do this by showing two examples: a standalone home device called Movistar Home as well as Aura integration in Movistar + App (Telefonica VoD and paid TV service).


    After reviewing different examples of good practices and not-so-good practices Sarita will try to answer the following questions: How to design for all? What can be done? What should we, as organizations, take into account to design & evaluate accessible Virtual Assistants products and services? She will finish by telling a series of take away messages.

  10. in 030 Eventloft - Grande

    A Four-Part Accessible Design Strategy

    Making something accessible is about much more than just following a checklist. But sometimes teams need to know where to start.

    This talk will outline a 4-part strategy for making digital products accessible. Following this approach will immediately improve the usability for everyone — and will kick-start the delivery team's understanding of how to go on to make a product truly accessible.