[Introduction, woman's voice over music] Welcome to Web Axe, practical web accessibility tips. Web Axe dot blogspot dot com. Web Axe. Web site accessibility. Web standards. Web Axe dot blogspot dot com.
Dennis: Hello and welcome to Web Axe Podcast no. 95: Awareness Day. I have Ross with me.
Ross: Hey, Dennis. How are you?
Dennis: Good, thanks. Welcome back. It's been a little while.
Ross: Yeah, a bit busy.
Dennis: Yeah, so today, we're gonna talk about some miscellaneous things going on and some surveys that have been going around lately about accessibility and some articles of interest, and some upcoming events including the first Global Accessibility Awareness Day. And we'll have a guest for that towards the end of the show.
So, first thing. Do you wanna give us a brief update? I know you're writing a book, Ross.
Ross: Yeah, so those of you who have listened to the previous podcast may have heard me talking about it. I am writing a book. Actually it's finished. So I think the hard part is over. I finished writing it kind of early October I think, even before that, and spent quite a bit of time working with my editor, editing it, and that sort of thing, which is always painful. I was originally gonna publish with one publisher, and we kind of had different visions of the book and what it should and shouldn't be. So now I'm currently looking at other publishers or potentially self-publishing, based on what seems to make most sense.
Dennis: Well if they're smart, they'll publish it.
Ross: I agree. Thank you.
Dennis: And the title was...
Ross: The Six Layers of Design. It's more of a design-focused book, and I discuss the six key aspects that designs must address in order to really be effective and kind of goes well beyond just like looking pretty, or even just being usable and looking pretty, there's quite a few other layers that are important. There's an entire section called "Reliability" and a lot of that has to do with accessibility and people being able to access what you've designed in a reliable fashion. I do have a newsletter that you can sign up for if you go to my blog. Maybe we can add that link. So if you're interested, you can get updates.
Dennis: Yeah, that's a good idea. Add that link to notes and we'll post it to the Podcast Show Notes. So check it out.
Last week, I posted on a blog a review I wrote of the disability.gov website, the United States disability.gov site which was revamped like a month or so ago. I saw a tweet about it and stuff and checked it out and gave a good review of some things they were doing good and some things that could be improved. And I think it was a pretty good analysis, and the reason I mentioned it is because I wanted to say that I got a wonderful response from a systems analyst who works on that website. And he really appreciated the review, and he said the points would be addressed, and hopefully in the next release, we'll see most of them taken care of. So that was a big win.
Ross: Yeah, that's really cool, you know. On the past when you or we have done this sort of thing and brought accessibility issues to people's attentions, it's like either it falls on deaf ears and just nobody responds, or it's like "Well, we have all these reasons why we can't make it accessible, sorry." It's actually nice to have someone say "Oh yeah, good point".
Dennis: or ignored.
Dennis: Because the previous critique I did was just ignored, a developer wrote a blog about kind of counter-points to accessibility. And yeah, he didn't publish my comments so I published them and he didn't have any response at all.
But anyway, this email, it was really nice to get that email, and he not only welcomed my input but he also mentioned Easy Chirp and my input with the community and everything. It was like one of the nicest emails I ever got. So that was cool.
Ross: It is cool. You're making a difference.
Dennis: I'm trying to. What can I say? And that's not to gloat too much but I did have an interview by a PhD candidate in Media and Cultural Studies at the University of Wisconsin, a young lady, Liz Ellcessor. She interviewed several people for her research and we did an email interview and I took some time and did a good write-up and I thought maybe that'd be cool to publish, so she published the interview on her blog, and it's a good read, I think. So I suggest going to it, although apparently her host company is having a problem and you may get a malware warning if you go to that page right now, especially Chrome will display it. I'm not having a problem in Firefox. So I recommend that article but yeah, if you don't go to it, I won't be too disappointed because I don't want you to risk anything, but I haven't had a problem personally.
Ross: Yeah, I can't get to it at all in Chrome. I can get to it in Firefox; it just gave me a warning. So I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I wanted to read it before this podcast. But I was trying to get to it in Chrome. It just didn't work.
Dennis: Okay, well hopefully that will be removed soon.
Ross: I will read it. I promise.
Dennis: What else is going on? Carl Grose, he's been writing a lot of good blogs. I think I may have mentioned him in the last podcast. But there's kind of been a topic going around about an accessibility body of knowledge that he talked about specifically. And at CSUN12, I believe that's where he did the announcement of his A11ybuzz.com website. So that's kind of a project he was working on. He got some help from a couple of other folks. And it's a great great reference website. It's kind of basically an accessibility body of knowledge where it has lots of references to different kinds of accessibility articles and other things on the Web. And if you register, you could submit articles to it under all different categories. And it has a Pulls and a Twitter feed and all kinds of stuff. So it's a great new resource from Carl Grose. Thank you.
Ross: Yeah I love the website. My favorite part is he's kind of has this most popular topics section, and it just has so many really cool buckets to look through, from different types of potential accessibility challenges - hearing impaired, mobility impaired - to disability types and different assistive technologies. If you're looking to find anything on accessibility, it's a good place to start.
Dennis: Forms, voice recognition, keyboard accessibility, all kinds of good stuff.
Ross: Yeah, it's really cool.
Dennis: I've been bad though. I think I submitted only one thing so far. I gotta go and submit a bunch of stuff.
Ross: Added to the ever-growing to-do list.
Dennis: Yeah. I think somebody actually submitted one of my articles, and it's in the "most popular entries". It's the LongDesc article that I wrote.
Ross: Yeah I've seen that.
Dennis: I think Part 1 and 2 was submitted, so it was nice to see in the "most popular entries", a11ybuzz.com.
Ross: Check it out.
Dennis: All right, I just wanted to mention that there has been an update to the Web Accessibility Toolbar 2012 by the Paciello Group. So it's great to see an accessibility toolbar that's been around and that's still being maintained. There are a couple of minor updates but it's still good stuff, more validation services and options added, and also an option to open the web page in a different browser. So some handy little things. And I believe that's for IE and Opera. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure. What toolbars do you use, Ross?
Ross: Very few these days actually. Pretty much only Firebug, and I still use the Web Developer Toolbar sometimes.
Dennis: Yeah, I use those a lot too.
Ross: I've gone to more of a minimalist approach where I don't like a lot of things in my browser, it seems, especially in Firefox, because it's like really slow, and with too many things, it crashes. Maybe it's a Mac problem.
Dennis: I mostly use the two you mentioned, and then once in a while, I'll turn on the WAVE 5 or something, or the SWA Toolbar, not WAVE 5, WAVE 4 toolbar, because WAVE 5 is now out by Web AIM, but the toolbar is still being worked on. That was also announced at CSUN, it was pretty cool.
Okay, so the last thing I wanna mention real fast is that it's pretty cool that I've seen more and more jobs relating to web accessibility lately, being posted on Twitter and other places, so that's great to see.
Ross: Right, including your own new job.
Dennis: Yeah, so my somewhat new job now at PayPal is going pretty well, and I'm using my accessibility skills there, so look out for some big cool changes coming in the near future.
Ross: Excellent. Make online payment accessible for all./p>
Dennis: That's right. I mean it's pretty accessible now but there's just some small little things here and there that are problematic and the design, the architecture is getting pretty old, so that's all being revamped.
Ross: Cool. Can't wait to see it. And you getting to work with some pretty cool online people, it sounds like.
Dennis: Yeah, the company is focusing on trying to become more of a heavy hitter in the web development world and hiring some really really good people, getting in some good speakers, and the idea is to try to become a leader rather than a follower. So there's lots of great stuff coming on, and the reason why I mentioned this is because we do have openings. PayPal is hiring, so if you're interested, if you or you know somebody, a solid web developer who hopefully knows something about accessibility, definitely give me a shout. We're hiring mostly in San Jose, but there are also offices in San Francisco and Austin, Texas, and just basically a solid background, server-side and Java stuff helps, but we're also looking for strong front-end folks with just a good foundation. So if you or if you know someone interested, please contact me. You can always email me. My daytime email is email@example.com.
Okay, let’s move on to surveys.
Ross: There’s quite a few surveys related to accessibility.
Dennis: Yeah, in addition to jobs, I noticed a lot of surveys going on. The first one by the AFB. If you’re a blind or a low vision user, you can take the survey on travel website accessibility. So they’re trying to gather some knowledge there.
Ross: I’m curious to see how this one turns out. I can’t...if they’re gonna publish the findings or not but it seems like so many of the travel websites out there are just so reliant on java script. I have to imagine that there are some really big accessibility issues there.
Dennis: Yeah it’s a good point. A lot of them are pretty slick but they’re very java script-intensive and I could see it would be a major problem to work with screen readers. And Blind Bargains has a short survey “to improve accessibility to flow charts and mobile devices”. So if you’re interested in that, please check that out. I believe you have to log in to do that survey at Blind Bargains.
Ross: That is interesting too because they’re talking a lot about automatic image recognition. From what I gather, just kind of a cool area, maybe reading text within images, and they’ll parse that out.
Dennis: Yeah, it really takes a good look at it. I guess they’re working with the Computer Science Department at North Carolina State University. They’re doing some research and development. That sounds cool.
And Barrier Break has a survey on books and accessibility. It says if you’re a person with a disability or a special educator or parent related to that, then please complete that one. And last but not least, I hear very very soon, maybe even before this podcast is published, Web AIM is coming out with their fourth screen reader survey. I chatted with Jared Smith out of the blue. I asked him about it, and he said “Yeah go ahead and mention it. It’s coming out very soon.” So that’s gonna be huge. The last one was maybe a year and a half ago, and obviously in this tech and accessibility world, things change fast and I expect to see numbers for NVDA to rise, and it would be interesting to see the other information they come up with.
Ross: Yeah, I’m excited about that one.
Dennis: More good stuff from Web AIM.
Ross: Yeah, it always had a good content.
Dennis: That’s for sure.
Ross: And we got some articles related to accessibility. And the first one, there’s a couple on skip links, which is kind of cool. They’ve been around forever, but there’s still different ways you can look at them, so that’s cool.
Dennis: Yeah, and in my day job, I’ve been working on that as well, and I think skip links, skip to content or whatever you wanna call it, it’s still kind of an old-school practice but I think it’s still important. The technology is still in between supporting ARIA, and what about keyboard-only users, so I think it’s still a good practice, maybe not on mobile. If you read the article by Ihenny, the first one listed there, it’s pretty cool, she discusses if they’re needed, and had some good thoughts there.
Ross: The takeaway I got from that, she did mention the one time it might be useful to have skip links is if you have a tablet, you can still have an external keyboard, and in that case, skip links could be useful. You got some motor impairment where dragging is still difficult, it would still be nice to be able to tab to the first skip link. I don’t know how many users are using tablets with external keyboards, but being aware of those at least is really important for accessibility, kind of being aware of the different use cases.
Dennis: Good point. iheni, that’s her Twitter handle, but it’s Henny Swan who I did finally meet in person for the first time at CSUN, so that was really cool, a very nice young lady.
And a related article, I think this was from the beginning of the year, but this is a great article. It’s called “Back to Basics, Skip to Main Content Links” by Terrill Thompson. And towards the end of the article, he has a fix for skip to links, like some browsers including Chrome don’t really support a skip to link. If you do the anchor link and hit Enter, it jumps you down the page, but then if you hit tab, you’re still stuck at the top of the page. The tab order doesn’t move down with the focus, which is kind of strange. So there’s just a little java script fix you can do to make sure all browsers support it the right way. So I’ve implemented that on Easy Chirp, and it was great. And there are some good comments on there too. Jared Smith has a great comment on what they’ve been doing on Web AIM to solve that problem.
Ross: Yeah, that was really cool, and it also gives you some advice, if you hide skip links, how to have them show off on focus, so if you’re using a keyboard, then they still work properly, so it’s not just using skip links for low vision, for screen reader users. So yeah, for someone who’s been around for a while, he has some really cool new things to take a look at.
Dennis: Another solid web accessibility friend, Terrill Thompson, check it out.
What’s this article? Mobile Website Debate?
Ross: Yeah, I included this. If you haven’t come across it, Jakob Nielsen, who’s, I guess you could say he’s the father of web usability or whatever, recently published his findings where he did a whole bunch of mobile website usability tests. And his basic recommendations were if possible, you should have a slimmed down mobile site, and kind of filter your content based on contacts, that sort of thing, which people have been recommending or not recommending for a while. It started this whole debate where another person Josh Clark said “oh no, you shouldn’t do that”. The way he brought it, he said “you shouldn’t” was interesting to me, and I think he has some notable accessibility implications, and there’s a couple of studies he references where basically he’s arguing that a good percent of the population now only uses mobile as the primary way of accessing websites. I guess there’s a site that says, I wanna say it’s like ten percent of the population supposedly only accesses the Internet using a mobile device, which means, how mobile-friendly your site is, becomes a pretty big accessibility concern. And so he’s saying you should have access to full content because otherwise you’re kind of hurting website accessibility. I kind of responded in my own way. I thought that maybe the study seemed a bit skewed or it asked the wrong questions or the conclusions were a bit wrong. But it’s more of a mobile, and how it fits in to accessibility, seems to be something we need to pay closer and closer attention to, so I thought I’d include that.
Dennis: Excellent, yeah, I missed that article by you. I’m gonna tweet it right after we’re done.
Dennis: Very cool, yeah I saw the first two articles by Jakob Nielsen and Josh Clark, I did see those going around Twitter. There’s the series “Usability Principles, Accessibility Style”, and there’s three parts to it by Steve Grobschmidt, and that was kind of a neat little blog series to read, so I’m including that, and he talks about the different usability principles and how it can relate to accessibility.
Ross: I thought it was cool. It’s an interesting way to look at usability and how it affects people, how accessibility plays into them, and a lot of it is kind of looking at maybe cognitive issues, where if it’s not usable, it can be really confusing if you have a cognitive disability. But he had some other ones as well, so that was really clever.
Dennis: So to give an idea of some of the items that he’s discussing, it’s visibility of system status, match between the system and the real world, user control and freedom, help and documentation, aesthetic and minimalistic design, right on. Yeah, so good stuff.
And then another by Terrill Thompson is a blog that he wrote with good examples of accessibility websites. A lot of people including myself give critiques and talk about what can be improved. But he has a nice little list of examples of good accessible websites, a couple US government ones, Canada.ca, and a couple of others. And the bad part is he said he just did like this 10-second assessment using the WAVE Toolbar and the keyboard and ARIA, were the main things he was looking at, and he kind of had a tough time finding just some decent websites that were accessible. But it’s a good little list, and the design on them is nice and everything. The CDC one is nice, the Center for Disease Control. Did you happen to take a look at those?
Ross: Yeah, it’s cool that he shows that nicely designed and accessible aren’t mutually exclusives, because I think there’s this stigma that accessible websites are stark plain text or something like that. But yeah, the Government of Canada, aesthetically pleasing, it’s usable, pretty nice. Some are a bit overwhelming. The Mozilla sites are always nice.
Dennis: Yeah, that’s true. All right, let’s move on. We’re gonna talk about upcoming events.
Ross: It’s good to see that there are still accessibility events going on, and even some pretty big ones, right?
Dennis: Yeah, so in a few more minutes, we’ll have a guest to talk about Global Accessibility Awareness Day. But first I want to mention a few upcoming events.
Of course there’s gonna be, in the fall, it’s more of the Accessibility Camp or unconference kind of season, but there is one coming up in Seattle on June 2 and 3. It’s this year’s Accessibility Camp Seattle. Of course we’ll post all these links in the Show Notes. And before that, May 29 and 30, is Accessibility Conference at the University of Gulf, Ontario, Canada. So if you’re in the metropolitan area, then definitely try to make that. And the NFB National Convention starts on June 30 in Dallas, Texas. So there’s some good ones coming up. And I do believe there will be another Open Web Camp this year by John Foliot, it was hosted at Stanford for I think three years now. But he’s now working for Chase in the city, in San Francisco. So from what I heard, he’s trying to plan another one, and hopefully the details are all coming together right now. Stay tuned for that as well.
So next we have a couple of guests. Jennison Asuncion and Joe Devon will be talking about Global Accessibility Awareness Day.
Okay, this is Dennis, and I have Joe Devon and Jennison Asuncion on the line. Hello guys.
Joe: Hello Dennis.
Jennison: Hey Dennis.
Dennis: Glad you could join me. We are going to talk about the first ever Global Accessibility Awareness Day. So thanks to you guys for coordinating this big effort. Can you tell us what Global Accessibility Awareness Day is?
Joe: Well basically the idea is the developers and also UX-UI people often don’t know what kind of issues come up for people that use accessibility devices to surf the Web. So before they can be focused on making really good websites for it, they kind of have to know what the problem is. So basically I just put a blog post together and suggested to make an awareness day. So that’s where the name came in. I basically thought that everybody would ignore it because I put it on my blog which everybody usually ignores. And somehow Jennison saw it and he transformed it into this global event and it’s just mind-blowing, and introduced me to about 20,000 people.
Jennison: I think for the benefit of the listeners, Joe, why don’t you just talk a little bit about who you are.
Joe: I basically don't know anything about accessibility myself. I've basically been freelancing for quite some time, did a lot of work here in Los Angeles for Fox, americanidol.com and sites like that. And I had seen this video by Victor Tsaran from Yahoo. This was quite some time ago where he had this video just showing what it was like using JAWS, and it just blew me away, and it really made me realize there was some kind of issue. And that kind of came back again when I saw my dad trying to deal with banks, and I customized his browser so that he had the colors that would work for him. He doesn't hear that well, he doesn't see that well, and it's just impossible. These banks, you have to be able to deal with your bank to do anything. It's just impossible.
Dennis: That's a good point. Sorry I forgot to do intros. Thanks for giving us a little background, Joe. And Jennison, most of us know who you are now. You've been on the show a few times, but do you wanna give a little plug for yourself.
Jennison: Joe's in Los Angeles. I work out of Toronto. But interestingly enough, I found out later that Joe's actually a Canadian expat living in Los Angeles. So that's kind of cool. I work in accessibility. I've been working in the field for over ten years, and outside of my day job, I spend time using social media and things like that to connect with people like Joe to make accessibility more accessible to mainstream developers and designers and all that. And just to get back to how I met Joe, it was one of these things where I actually was home on a Saturday evening, and I got on to Twitter and saw a tweet that Joe had tweeted about his blog post and about how developers need to know more about accessibility. So I clicked on the link and read the blog post and I immediately, for better or for worse, for Joe's perspective, I really jumped on it because he was talking about awareness building and all that, and some of the listeners to Web Axe might know that I'm heavily involved in the Accessibility Camp and Unconference movement which has a similar thing. So when Joe was talking about making it global, one of the discussions we had in the accessibility community is we have this tendency to preach to the converted or just talk within ourselves. So I thought that this would be an amazing opportunity to try and reach out to the unconverted and to work with this one day and just have a bunch of events happen, and I know we'll get into that. That's it.
Dennis: It's a great idea. So it's May 9, and a while back, and soon after this podcast, will be published, a while back I did see some tweets going around about what day we can make it. Is there anything that went into that decision?
Joe: I picked it out of the hat and nobody objected, so we went with it.
Dennis: Didn't clash with anything hopefully.
Joe: Well sooner or later everything clashes but you kind of have to just pick a date and do it. I know I didn't have enough time to make it happen, and I guess Jennison did too, and we said well, just pick a date and it will have to happen. And that's it, because I had a lot of ideas, Jennison had a lot of ideas. We really wanted to access the media and try and push this in the media, try and reach out to meet up organizers in many different cities, but both of us were so swamped the last few months, we didn't get all of it done, and yet, it's unbelievable what's already happening beyond what I could've dreamed of.
Dennis: That's awesome. I was just gonna say I know you guys are working on the website right now, but you can go to Facebook, facebook.com/globalaccessibilityawarenessday and get information there.
Jennison: And if you're looking for another version of that, the mobile site also supports it. So that would be m.facebook.com/globalaccessibilityawarenessday as well.
Dennis: Is that gonna be the domain too?
Jennison: Globalaccessibilityawarenessday.org is gonna be the domain, but for the purposes of this podcast, I'd encourage folks to check out the Facebook page, because that's where we would announce once the website goes live, so all those posts in there. And you can look at them even though you're not a member of Facebook. And we also have a Twitter feed which is @gbla11yday and hash tag is #gaad. So those are the ways to get a hold of us that way. I do have an email address, I'll give it at the end. But I'm wondering, probably in the interest of time, if we wanted to talk briefly about the events and Joe, because this is like Los Angeles is where Joe is, and Joe kind of underplayed himself. He's very well connected to the development community, and he's a brilliant networker and just connected in with the design and usability community as well. But Joe maybe you want to talk about the signature event for Global Accessibility Awareness Day in L.A. on May 9.
Joe: First of all, we got a bunch of meetups linking up to it, but the two biggest meetups putting it together is the Los Angeles UPA Group and the LA PHP Group, and we're probably expecting around 200 people give or take, and we have Todd Kloots flying in as well as Victor Tsaran, and Zahir Hertz is going to give a brief presentation. He's a friend of mine from Fox who's an awesome programmer. And we're just really excited over here. It's gonna be a great night.
Jennison: And we wanna thank Yahoo for not only donating, sending Tod and Victor, work on the accessibility team at Yahoo, and they're being flown to Los Angeles, and the event is being hosted at Yahoo. Correct Joe?
Joe: Yes, they're hosting the event, they're sponsoring the food, they're bringing in the speakers, and I gotta say that they're amazing. They have been so helpful and supportive of this from the very get-go. Most people that I've spoken to that are not already in the accessibility community tend to kind of be like not that excited about it to be perfectly honest, but Yahoo has been really great. So kudos to them.
Dennis: That's awesome. So what other events we got going on, Jennison?
Jennison: I'm going to be running a more modest event in Toronto. The folks at the Inclusive Design Center at OCAG University in Toronto was good enough to donate some space for me, and I will be running a session. It's essentially on the experience of screen reader users on the Web. I'll be doing a demo and talk using NVDA which is Non Visual Desktop Access, an amazing open source screen reader, and the reason I'm deliberately using that one is because then folks can actually go home and download it and use it. So I'm gonna do that, and immediately after that event, not to be outdone by Los Angeles, we're going to grab whoever is there and go to a local watering hole and actually talk about regular Accessibility Toronto Meetups. So this will actually be the first meetup for accessibility folk in Toronto, but it will be the foundation meeting, so we'll talk about a set of meetings, whatever, monthly or quarterly on that. So that's what is happening in Toronto, and again, for both events, if you go to the Facebook page, you can see the links there to register, but we'll get those for you Dennis for the show notes. But very briefly, if I can talk about the other events that are confirmed. There is a couple of events that are still in the almost confirmed stage, but in Melbourne, Australia, the Melbourne Web Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup Group has actually timed their breakfast meeting for May 9 and Global Accessibility Awareness Day. So thanks very much Adame Seaglou, that's what JAWS says anyway, but that is what is going to happen in Melbourne Australia, so that's great, they're gonna get together for their breakfast meeting and talk about stuff that they're doing and just talk generally about accessibility. And the other confirmed event is in Mumbai, India. Hats off to Shilpi Kapoor, I emailed her just last week saying "I got this crazy idea for you", she is with Barrier Break Technology in Mumbai, and she's partnered with NASSCOM Foundation, and they're working the state of Maharashtra, where Mumbai is. There's just rolled out accessibility standards for the Web, so they're leveraging that to a semi-governmental, almost day-long event. So that's a big deal. WE're really thankful to Shilpi for running with that. So there's going to be a day-long event, and part of that will be a 2-hour training session for designers and developers to learn stuff. So that's the Mumbai event, the Melbourne event, and we talked about Toronto, Montreal. We also have a confirmed virtual event. We were only able to get a couple of cities in this time around because of timing and such, but there will also be a virtual event. Chris Dobson who works at the Center for Innovative Instruction at Harper College in Palatine, Illinois, he's gonna be delivering an online session directed at folks working in higher ed. And it's going to be talking about different webinars and resources for making technology more accessible. So that's really going to be focused for folks working at colleges and universities in IT. So we'll have information obviously on the website. Both Toronto and the virtual event have space limitations. At Toronto we can hold about 22 folks and the virtual event has space for about 30. So we want people to RSVP for those events so we can manage headcount. I know Joe your event at the Yahoo space can hold about 200, and I know for Mumbai, they like to get about 150 folks, and for Adame and the breakfast meeting, I think they got a good crew for that. So that's what we have confirmed.
Now, unconfirmed, but I've been allowed by the lawyers to leak out a little bit, is that Derek Featherstone of Simply Accessible, a lot of people know Derek as a pretty well-known guy on accessibility, HTML 5, mobile accessibility, all that good stuff. He's plotting to do something for Global Accessibility Awareness Day. So stay tuned on Facebook and Twitter and on our soon to be launched website. He'll be doing something good. That's all I can say, if that all happens.
And I wanna say, I just really wanna thank, I think Joe will agree with me that people have been just so generous, because we asked people really at the 11th hour, because Joe and I, we got day jobs, night jobs, and other jobs, in quotes, and this is kind of a labor of love for both of us. Joe I hope I'm speaking correctly for you too.
Joe: The people that have helped are amazing.
Jennison: Between Joe and myself, Joe's fairly connected in the mainstream dev community and I'm fairly well-connected in the accessibility community, and we're just like reaching out to different people who we know who wouldn't hang up the phone if you will. Because we know a lot of people but some people may just kind of jaw-drop if we said we have a week or just two weeks to put something together. But people have really been amazing, so I wanna really acknowledge all the folks who've really stepped up to this. This is our first year. We're gonna get better at this as the years go forward. One thing for example, we don't have an official logo. I know some people have been asking about that. I didn't know, so for those of you who didn't know, I'm a screen reader user. Dennis just told me before the podcast, on the Facebook page, there's just a big question mark. But Joe you had a good point about the question mark.
Joe: Yeah, now it's just kind of joking around like "Where's the accessibility of some of the sites here? That's our question mark."
Jennison: But if we can put something together, we'll throw something out but as it really is.
Joe: Trust me, I will not be able to come up with something better than the question mark.
Jennison: And you don't want a blind person to be coming up with a logo.
Joe: Okay, fair enough, you beat me on that one.
Dennis: Well you guys got all kinds of stuff going on. That's awesome, events all around the world, and of course we'll be putting all this information and links on the show notes.
Joe: I just want to add a couple of things before you finish up with us. Do we have time?
Dennis: Real fast.
Joe: Okay. So one is, even if you're not in a city that has a meetup, there is a couple of things you can do to still participate. One of that is, if you know the meetup that is running on that day, encourage them to give like 10 minutes to surf to a website or ask people in the audience what their websites are and surf it with the mouse unplugged, so you get a feel for what it is that you need to do to make the site accessible.
And the other thing I wanted to mention is that we're getting the semantic web community involved in this as well, because whatever is good for the semantic web is good for the accessibility community and vice versa. Because if you have data and it's marked up semantically, it's something that machines can understand including screen readers. Those are just the two things I wanted to add. Even if you're not at a meetup, you can also check your own site, and just unplug it and fix it.
Jennison: Sorry Dennis, I know you're running quick on time. There are a couple of virtual activities that we're gonna be promoting on the day. To Joe's point, we're gonna be encouraging everyone in social media and elsewhere to unplug their mouse for an hour and/or turn off their screen for an hour and/or use their accessibility features on their smartphones and just surf to, like Joe said, if you're a developer or designer, to a site you created, or if you're not, go to some of your favorite websites, go and try to use some of your favorite social media sites or shopping sites or what not, and then we're gonna have space on a blog for you to actually blog your experiences. If you wanna blog on your own blog, that's great. We'll have space on a blog, and again, we'll provide all of that in the days leading up to the event and certainly on that da, there will be information out like you can blog and get involved in this, because we wanna make sure everyone can participate, whether you can attend a public event or virtual event, but if you can't, these immersive activities will really give the design and developer community a chance to experience different accessibility needs. So we're really excited about that part.
Dennis: Those are really great ideas guys. So one more time, the website is facebook.com/globalaccessibilityawarenessday, or on Twitter, #gaad, and the Twitter handle is gbla11yday.
Jennison: So if you would like to get in touch with us by email, our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org, especially if you're listening to this and you at the last minute are planning to do an activity or have questions or anything like that, that is our non-social media way of getting in touch with us.
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