The e-access '09 conference at Olympia yesterday (Thursday) provided a wide selection of speakers and much food for thought. The organising team at Headstar and the Olympia staff made us very welcome. Below I've tried to capture some key words and phrases, with notes on their context and implications.
- Said by Graeme Whippy, Senior Manager for Lloyds TSB IT Accessibility Group. He spoke eloquently about setting up the Group and the work of the UK Business Taskforce on Accessible Technology which brings together public sector, large corporates and technology suppliers like Microsoft and Adobe. Graeme spoke about their progress so far and the way ahead.
- Said by Bill Thompson, technology critic and broadcaster. The argument was to stop treating accessibility as special and separate - it needs to be in the mainstream, as another facet of inclusive design and usability. There were citations of James Gibson who coined the term Affordance (The Theory of Affordances, 1977) and William Gaver of Goldsmiths (Curious things for curious people).
- Said by Nina Warburton, Director at The Alloy, in relation to the design of mobile phones - and the many problems with over-featured and touch-screen handsets. In defence of 20-something male "able-bodied" product designers, Nina pointed out that she saw young, potentially empathetic designers who are educated in inclusive design and applied gerontology. The commonly have the passion beaten out of them by commercial pressure.
- Said by Shadi Abou-Zahra, World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Specialist, about the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2, customizable quick reference. This is a real boon for developers.