Towards Digital Inclusion: Deque at Accessing Higher Ground

Logo for Association on Higher Education and Disability

Cool accessibility conference alert: The 19th annual Accessing Higher Ground (AHG) Accessible Media, Web and Technology Conference is happening next week November 14-17 at the Westin Hotel in Westminster Colorado. For those who don’t know, the AHG is an annual conference that focuses on the implementation and benefits of accessible media, assistive design and technologies used in universities, businesses, higher education and other public organizations. The conference also addresses legal and policy issues associated with web accessibility, including ADA and section 508 compliance.

The AHG Conference is a great place for higher educational institutions and organizations to learn more about inclusive design and ensuring their websites are ADA and Section 508 compliant. On a larger scale, the AHG is an empowering conference where attendees can learn about improving usability for everyone (because an accessible website equals a better user experience for all web users).

This year we’ll be representing Deque in the exhibit hall at booth 8. But we’re also proud to have two from our team giving talks at AHG – John Foliot, our Principal Accessibility Strategist, and Denis Boudreau, our Principal Web Accessibility Consultant and Trainer. Read on to learn a little about their presentations, and be sure to stop by booth 8 to chat and learn a little more about Deque’s products and services.

Getting Ahead of the Curve: Scalable, Accessible, Enterprise-Class Video on the Web

Wednesday November 16, 2017 at 9:15 AM

Presented by John Foliot

In the past several years there’s been a huge increase in the use of streaming videos across corporate, governmental and academic websites. In terms of accessibility, this presents a variety of issues as video content is multi-modal in terms of how it delivers information. That means there’s a variety of requirements that must be met to ensure that your organization is equipped with a scalable, accessible video solution. In this presentation, John will cover all these requirements – from how to address scalability issues, to multiple-form-factors and bandwidth scenarios, as well as hardware and software requirements on the back end. Topics John will pay special attention to include infrastructure requirements, production requirements, and how it all affects future accessibility plans for the long (and short) term.

One Size Does Not Fit All: Exploring the Boundaries of Design & Inclusive UX

Wednesday, November 16, 2017 at 11:15am

Presented by Denis Boudreau

Around 56 million people in the United States are living with a disability, and a good portion of them have some difficulty using the web. Despite this staggering figure, many websites are inaccessible, and far too many organizations fail to create personas for this large minority. If we combine principles of universal design with accessibility in mind, we’ll be able to shape a better user experience for all web users. Using current design trends, Denis will illustrate actionable insights for designing a better user experience that is both aesthetically pleasing and also (of course) completely accessible to all users.

Social Media, Accessibility, and You

Wednesday November, 16 2017 at 3:30 PM

Presented by John Foliot and Denis Boudreau

Social media is now the #1 source of referral traffic to content on the web (as reported by Shareaholic in 2014). eMarketer states that 71% of millennials visit social sites daily, and according to BuzzFeed, “Social feeds are the new homepages, so investing in content designed for social and mobile is becoming increasingly important.” Increasingly, academic institutions of all sizes are turning to Social Media to connect with students and their families, as well as their communities.

So where does Accessibility fit in? And perhaps even more importantly: How accessible is your social media content? What (if any) is your legal liability exposure? Does the W3C WCAG 2.0 accessibility standard apply, and if so, how? What about Section 508? How accessible are today’s social media platforms? What (if anything) should you be doing today? Presenting together, John and Denis intend to to answer all of those questions.

The Road to Sustainable Accessibility

Thursday November, 17 2017 at 9:15 AM

Presented by John Foliot

In this presentation, John will outline a step-by-step approach to sustainable institutional accessibility, creating a roadmap for academic institutions of all sizes. He’ll demonstrate how to make accessibility a part of your company culture, examining the role that everyone in your organization plays in achieving and maintaining accessible digital materials. From leadership and vision, to planning for both the short and long term, John will walk you through the process to achieve sustainable accessibility.

Failure is Not an Option: Access to Education in the Digital World

Friday, November 18th, 2017 at 10:30am

Presented by Denis Boudreau

Living in the digital age means a wealth of knowledge is readily available at the click of a button. And education for the masses has never been easier – which should be great news for students with disabilities. Yet according to research, digital exclusion is worse than ever before and students with special needs have even greater difficulties obtaining a diploma. This session aims to find out why: We’ll look at the challenges they face, and the ways that we can help break down these barriers.

Denis will use examples taken from accessibility guidelines and UDL principles to illustrate how adjusting the way we create content can make huge improvements in website accessibility….therefore paving the way for a much brighter future for students living with disabilities.

John Foliot is a Principal Accessibility Strategist at Deque Systems. A 16-year veteran of Web Accessibility, John has previously held accessibility-related positions at JPMorgan Chase and Stanford University and the Canadian Federal Government. John is also actively involved with the W3C – the international internet standards body – where he previously co-chaired a subcommittee on the accessibility requirements for media elements in HTML5. Currently he is involved in accessibility work related to Cognitive disabilities, CSS and SVG accessibility, emergent standards related to HTML5.1. John is actively involved in the strategic discussions around – the next-gen version of WCAG 2.0.

Denis Boudreau is a Principal Web Accessibility Consultant, Strategist and Trainer working for Deque Systems. He’s a member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) in the Education and Outreach Working Group, advocating social inclusion on the Web for the past 16 years. Denis has been running the annual a11yMTL conference in Montreal, Canada since 2010. An admitted nerd with an unhealthy fixation on UX and digital inclusion, Denis has a passion for design that emotionally resonates, is beautifully engaging, and delightfully accessible.

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