The "Why" Behind the Design: One Man's Experience with Web Accessibility Training
WebAIM regularly brings web developers and other professionals to Utah State University, where they conduct trainings on accessibility. Recently, participant Dan Hendrickson wrote what that experience meant to him:
One of the most memorable experiences was visiting another building on the USU campus that showcased assistive technologies. Walking through the halls we saw old and new inventions showcased behind glass with photos that illustrated their importance to those with disabilities. More importantly, we were brought to a room where we met an amazing individual who faced her disabilities with optimism and honesty. Her low vision and dexterity challenges didn’t keep her from using technology and living a full life. She was able to shop, communicate and operate mostly on her own because of assistive technologies available on her iOS device. And her honesty was refreshing; where she encountered difficulty in a poorly developed website she expressed her frustration with humor. Her plea was simply to do our best with people like her in mind.
You can read Hendrickson's entire post on the Volum8 blog.
WebAIM Executive Director Cyndi Rowland said the WebAIM team gives its trainees experiences that help them understand not only how accessibility is done, but why.
"During almost all local WebAIM training events, we arrange for an assistive technology user to both demo what and how they use their AT, but also to talk candidly about what is helpful, or very frustrating for them. It is good for designers and developers to hear this perspective from users. It also gives them an actual person upon whom they can reflect as they move forward with their work; sometimes this simple thing can be the most powerful, especially if those technical folks don't have persons with disabilities in their work, home or community spheres."
WebAIM's next training events are January 23-24 and February 27-28. Visit their website for more information.