(Finally! Based on notes from 17 September 2009!)

Some highlights from Techshare 2009 included, Richard Schwerdtfeger of IBM talking about Web 2.0, WAI-ARIA and WCAG 2.0. He also talked about collaboration, communities, and personalization for example for video and HTML 5 - the potential to store accessibility preferences in the browser (could this work with the server?)

Steve Griffiths of RNIB gave a preview of Windows 7.0 and its approach to accessibility. There will be some renaming - "accessibility" becomes "ease of access".

Sally Cain of RNIB gave a talk titled "The Standards Standoff", which mentioned WCAG, BSI (PAS 78 and others?), ISO 9241-171 (for "applications", used by RNIB internally), and other external and internal standards. A useful overview, with some guidance on which standard to apply where - eg. "if it looks and behaves like an application, it is an application (even on the web)", so use ISO.

There were some oddities. Microsoft were one of the conference sponsors, so they provided a video from their accessibility chief (Robert Sinclair I think), which we all watched. It talked about Windows 7.0. A bit of a marketing pitch, but with some useful information none the less.

Shilpi Kapoor from Barrier Break Technologies (India), talked about an authoring tool for accessible Flash-based courses, for example, to be integrated in Moodle. I'm afraid the demo she gave while interesting wasn't very compelling and didn't demonstrate to me why you'd want to use a Flash-based course format.

There was an interesting talk on Friday from Brian Hartgen on the accessibility or otherwise of social networking tools like Twitter and Facebook.

MALT Wiki Techshare 2009 presentation, on Slideshare

And of course on Friday, Wendy Porch and I gave our talk on multimedia accessibility, covering the EU4ALL project and MALT Wiki among other things. It seemed to be fairly well received with questions from Lisa Herrod on crowd-sourcing signing, and Jonathan Hassell on the viability of crowd-sourcing captions and audio description.

All in all a good conference. The rooms in the ExCeL "executive suite" were a bit big (Techshare seems to be trying to grow each year at the moment), with the large round tables more conducive to a round-table discussion or meal than presentations. Partly as a result of this, some of the slides were hard to read - not great for an accessibility conference!