Transcription: Web Axe Episode 94 (Women of CSUN12)

[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 94, The Women of CSUN12. I have a special guest today. Jennison Asuncion is joining us. We’re gonna do an introduction of this year’s CSUN Conference and then we will play some guest audio clips from some great women who will be presenting at the CSUN Conference this year in San Diego at the end of February. How are you doing, Jennison?

Jennison: I’m doing pretty good, fighting a cold. I know it’ll be gone by the time of CSUN. How about you? This is what, CSUN 3 for you?

Dennis: Yeah it’ll be my third one. I started attending, I guess, the year they moved to San Diego, so I miss the old hotel by LAX, so I guess that’s unfortunate. How many have you been to now?

Jennison: This is going to be number 7.

Dennis: Wow.

Jennison: Yeah, lot and lot of changes, lot of good stuff. Of course one of the big highlights for me is the Tweetup which is going to be happening Thursday night. They just announced it actually yesterday. There was a little tweet that started going around. People need to go to to learn more about it, but it will be March 1 at 6:30 in the Microsoft Suite. That’s always a good time. You’ve been to some of those tweetups before, Dennis. Do you wanna tell people about what to expect?

Dennis: Yeah, I guess I’ve been to the last two and it’s a nice event, an informal event where people gather and maybe have a bite of food and drink and talk.

Jennison: And it’s a cool way to meet people. I mean, it’s a tweetup, right, so in theory, for those who don’t know, it’s an opportunity for people who kind of communicate on Twitter all the time to actually meet face-to-face.

Dennis: Yeah, you gotta write your Twitter handle on your name tag, right?

Jennison: Yeah.

Dennis: And then Braille it too.

Jennison: Yeah absolutely.

Dennis: Last year there was a band, and it was kind of loud. I don’t know if they’re gonna do it this year. And then they usually have like a few speakers who will come up. I spoke at the last two. So yeah, definitely try to attend that.

Jennison: Definitely, it’s they’re fourth annual, so hopefully this one, they’ve perfected things. So we’ll look forward to it, and it’s in a new spot. It’s going to be in the Microsoft Suite, which, for those of you who were last year, the suites are smaller space too, so that might make it easier for sound and things. We’ll look forward to that.

Dennis: Okay, yeah I didn’t notice that. Thanks, Microsoft. That’s cool.

Jennison: A couple of other, I got a sheet here that I wanted to make sure for our listeners, just to cover a couple of things. One of the things that’s really different this year from the last couple of years is you don’t reserve your space in the session anymore. So for those of you who used to rush to get seats and book seats in for presentations and then be disappointed that you can’t go in, they’re gonna be doing it first come first serve this time. What it means though is you have to be on your game and have a good schedule and get to your sessions on time so you get the seat.

Dennis: Yeah and I did notice, I think there’s something you can click to show your interest.

Jennison: You can express interest.

Dennis: Yeah in the sessions, and they probably will help them estimate what size of room’s for what sessions.

Jennison: But they got rid of that based on a lot of feedback either way. so no more booking of sessions, so all you need to do is go up to the website which is, and then you click on the 2012 website from there. And you can get the sessions, and what’s neat is you can pull down by tracks, so blind, low vision, web accessibility, whatever you’re interested in. and then it will show you a list of the sessions just on that track, which is kind of neat. They’ve got a new track this year called transportation, so they’re kind of branching out into some new stuff. Obviously, accessible transportation is important for people with disabilities in being able to get to places, to your workplace or to school in an accessible way. So that’s a new focus it seems.

Dennis: That’s a good idea. I know last year some people were talking about maybe a mobile track would be good.

Jennison: Yes, I didn’t see a mobile track this year. But something else to look forward to on Thursday, again March 1, same day as the Tweetup, is Adobe Day. So they haven’t announced their sessions yet but there’ll be a series of sessions given by the folks at Adobe on that Thursday. So just stay tuned, either following the hash tag (#csun12) or checking the website, again, They also have a Facebook page; you can just look it up on Facebook. I guess, what do you look up, CSUN 12, I think, or technology and persons with disabilities conference. What else did I wanna just quickly bounce out.

Dennis: Just to be straight, the conference again is in the same hotel. It’s in the Manchester Grand Hyatt, downtown San Diego, and it’s gonna be going on during Leap Day this year, it’s February 27 to March 3, including February 29.

Jennison: Absolutely, and those dates, the Monday and the Tuesday are kind of interesting. There’s a bunch of pre-conference sessions, some really technical ones, I know Hans Hillen and Steve Faulkner I believe on the Monday are doing a really big presentation on ARIA, but then what else is interesting, so check all those pre-conference sessions.

Dennis: Knowbility is doing a big one too, right?

Jennison: Yeah, and I’m participating in that. So it’s AccessU, Monday and Tuesday, they’re running two tracks, one that’s more administrative and one that’s more technical. It’s for people who are interested obviously in accessibility. And I’m gonna be running a session on Tuesday morning on Social Media and Accessibility. But there’s a whole bunch of other sessions, Derek Featherstone who is a fellow Canadian is joining and he always does a whole shooting match on HTML 5 and Rich Internet Applications and accessibility. If you want a full two days, if you’re fairly new to accessibility particularly, think about coming to AccessU, again, you’ll find all that information on the CSUN Conference website.

Dennis: Of course I’ll put some of the main links on the show now for this podcast. Speaking of Adobe, I just wanna mention real fast, there’s a new Twitter account, AdobeAccess, so that was just formed so check that out when you get a chance.

Jennison: I think if people follow that, I think that’s probably where they’re gonna get the first, as soon as their schedule is ready for the March 1 of Adobe session, they’ll tweet it through there.

Dennis: They haven’t tweeted much yet, but I’m sure they will be tweeting some good stuff.

Jennison: I might as well very quickly shamelessly plug my two presentations that I’m doing. On Wednesday, on Wednesday afternoon alongside Chris Gaulin and Michael Sanford, we have a presentation called “ASurvey, an End-to-End Accessible Survey Tool”. We’ll be doing that at 3:10 on Wednesday afternoon in Del Mar AB. So Chris and Mike have been busy developing, as the title says, a survey tool that’s gonna be accessible not only for the survey taker, but if there are actual people with disabilities who wanna create surveys, so the whole back end and mint piece will be WCAG 2 AA compliant as well. So we’ll be rolling that out and telling the story about that project and running you folks through what that’s all about.

Dennis: Nice, I’d be interested in that. That’s a project I was thinking about doing myself if I ever had any time.

Jennison: That’s gonna be some exciting stuff. We’re looking forward to doing that. So that’ll be fun. And in the morning I have great fun and an opportunity, I’m gonna be sitting along with some real luminaries in accessibility. It’s a session called “Web Accessibility Community Collaboration”. And that is at 10:40 on Wednesday in Madeleine CD. It’s a panel that’s being headed up by my pal Shawn Henry from the W3C but also Sharron Rush from Knowbility whom I call the Mom of Accessibility and my pal Denis Boudreau from Montreal who’s involved now with the W3C and Jennifer Sutton and Shadi About-Zahra. And we’re gonna be talking again, this is a continuation of our conversation almost from last year that we did with John Folio and Jared and Sandy, and we’re really gonna be trying to figure out how to continue this conversation within the community and kind of include more people in the conversation around accessibility. We talk about CAPTCHAs but we don’t talk about it with people from information security, and those are the people who are really running that show. So we can go around and around and talk about the same stuff over and over again, but what we really need to do is try to include in the actual people who are driving those particular pieces and get them informed. And those are the people who are influential and who can hopefully make that stuff move forward, right? If we keep talking to each other, we sympathize with each other so much, until we kind of get move to actions. So we’re gonna be talking about collaboration and all that kind of good stuff.

Dennis: A game plan. I think we use the hash tag #gameplan last year in that discussion, and I even did a follow-up podcast speaking about it earlier last year.

Jennison: So it’s gonna be a little bit of that but obviously it’s gonna take off in different directions because there’s gonna be new voices there, and Shawn has a great passion for outreach given her role in W3C. We wanna figure out how do we get out to the community and how do we get the conversation out. Those are my speaking things and otherwise you’ll just see me buzzing around at the Tweetup and other fun... I know a big place for people to meet up, it’s downstairs, everyone is so friendly, just walk around in the lobby area, and there’s a whole bar area towards the (south hall? 0:12:31.0) I believe it is. There’s always people sitting around there. Say hi, introduce yourself. Anyway, Dennis, I’m not sure if you’re aware but there are some public events that even if you don’t register for the CSUN Conference itself, you’re welcome to come out to. In addition to the Tweetup, the exhibit hall is open to everyone, and that actually opens earlier this year on the Wednesday starting at noon till 7:00 pm, and then Thursday and Friday, it’s open all day. So I’m thinking that’s 9:30 to 5:30, and it’s not open on Saturday. So that’s the exhibit hall. And there’s a couple of public forums again, you can get all the details at But there’s a couple of forums, really quickly, March 1, there’s something on Technology and Emergency Preparedness for People With Disabilities, which is kind of important these daze with everything that’s going on. That’s a panel or an open public session, excuse me, in the morning. And then in the afternoon, everyone’s favorite, a lot of people like this one, talking about Section 508, again the refresh, so that will be in Thursday afternoon from 1:00 to 3:00. it’s a public hearing on the 508 refresh. And then Friday morning, there’s something on US Transportation System and Accessibility. And these all take place in the Elizabeth Ballroom. So again, the best place for people to go to for all the info for that stuff is

Dennis: Awesome.

Jennison: What are you most looking forward to?

Dennis: I just wanted to say that the exhibit hall is really cool, because you get to see all the different kinds of technologies and just get a good hands-on experience with some different technology. You see some people around that you recognize, you can talk to more intimate or one-on-one kind of conversations. Sometimes the exhibit hall’s undervalued, so be sure to check that out.

Jennison: And I know for people who are blind, if you sign up, check when you register, but I believe they have accommodation in terms of some people to walk you around the exhibit halls. If you need that kind of assistance.

Dennis: I assume there’s gonna be probably early morning in the first day, one of those orientations.

Jennison: Yes, absolutely, thanks Dennis. For folk again who are blind, there’s a local agency in San Diego who bring in some folk and they walk people around. The Hyatt is a large hotel, if this is going to be your first time coming, it’s actually fairly easy to get around. For those of you who don’t know, I’m blind myself, but I find it easy to get around once I get orientated. But they will have sessions early in the morning on Wednesday and Thursday.

Dennis: Yeah I still crack up when I think about you leading me around the hotel. You knew the place way better than I did.

Jennison: The secret is those Braille maps. Sean Goggin would kill me if I didn’t mention Project Possibility on Saturday morning. They will be having their Access 12 Code for a Cause, their finals. That would be on Saturday morning. This is kind of cool if you’re staying Saturday. These are students from different universities, UCLA and other LA area universities who have built open source projects to help people with disabilities. So a finalist will be chosen that morning, and that will take place in the Microsoft Suite.

Dennis: I was a judge for that last year.

Jennison: How did you find that whole thing?

Dennis: It was a really cool experience. It was great to see the college kids and their enthusiasm and their great ideas and their projects. It was great except for, man, trying to decide the winner, it was just so hard and you’re just like “oh that was so tough”. We had to take extra time, and I just felt bad for the teams who didn’t win. It’s a valuable experience for everyone there, so it was pretty cool. if you can attend, try to, it’s pretty neat.

Jennison: Now of course, Dennis, something that you and I will not be missing is the opening and keynote on Tuesday, so if you haven’t booked your flight yet to come to the conference, try and book it so you get in for around 2:00-3:00 in the afternoon, because at 5:30 on Tuesday Feb 28, Mike Paciello who is program chair, will be opening it up and Geri Jewell will be our keynote. And I don’t know if you remember from Facts of Life, but Geri Jewell was Cousin Geri, and she’s obviously moved on since then and now as an accomplished comedian and such. She’ll be inspiring us and giving us a good opening feel and vibe to get the whole three days of crazy technology madness going on.

Dennis: Sounds like a good time. thanks a lot, Jennison, for the run down.

Jennison: No problem, I’m more organized this year. this is our third time doing this, right?

Dennis: I guess so, yeah. you’re getting good, what can I say?

Jennison: But really looking forward, as you are, Dennis, to just meeting up with people. If you’re on Twitter, follow the hash tag #csun12. and CSUN itself has its own account which is @csuncod. So if you’re on Twitter, you can do that. they’ve got their newsletter which just came out as well, which will be on the website. Again the website is your authoritative spot to go.

Dennis: That’s right. and thanks again for all the details Jennison. It’s gonna be a blast again this year.

Jennison: I’m looking forward to see you there.

Dennis: Another good time. stay tuned, next we’re gonna have several guests, Women of CSUN12. enjoy.

Glenda Sims

Glenda Sims: Hi, my name is Glenda Sims. You may know me as Goodwitch. I’ve been passionate about web accessibility for over a decade, because the Web and the world are a much better place when everyone has a chance to participate. Almost everything I know about accessibility, I learned from John Slatin, Sharron Rush, Jim Thatcher, and Jim Allan. And I’m very lucky to live in Austin Texas where I can have deep technical conversations with some of the world’s greatest accessibility experts over beer and pizza. Up until a year ago, I spent my entire career at the University of Texas in Austin, where I was the self-appointed accessibility goddess. Imagine trying to lead the accessibility effort at an institution with millions of web pages produced by thousands of web masters. I quickly learned to be helpful, pragmatic, and inspirational. Because the most powerful thing I can do is create another educated technical accessibility advocate. And yes, it is contagious. About a year ago, I accepted an offer to be a consultant for DQ, a company whose passion for accessibility matches my own. And I can’t believe how much I’ve learned in 12 months. The perspective that comes from working with government, EDU, and companies that range from small business to Fortune 500 is truly mind-boggling. But no matter how much I’ve learned, the field of accessibility is so vast and ever-changing that I always need to learn more, which is exactly why I’m excited to be going to CSUN 2012, what I consider to be the accessibility experts’ conference. As one of my mentors taught me, a wonderful way to participate in a conference is to share what you know.

So this year, I’ll be presenting Caption Strategy and the Accessible DQ Player, with Don Evans and Elle Waters. I’ll be sharing interesting research on the value of captions from study done by the Department of Education as well as a road map for how you can tackle a mountain of media in a cost-effective way without losing your mind. Don Evans will be showing the only fully accessible Flash media player, the DQPlayer, which is completely accessible in all browsers with no keyboard traps. And Elle Waters, the accessibility lead at Humana, will share the reality of making multimedia accessible in her .com world. I don’t know about you, but I’m counting the days until CSUN 2012. in fact, this year, the AccessU pre-conference at CSUN promises to be spectacular. AccessU is an intense two-day training opportunity to build your accessibility skills. How can you resist the lineup, including Sharron Rush, Molly Holzschlag , Lainey Feingold, Derek Featherstone, and Shawn Henry, just to name a few.

Yeah, CSUN 2012, it’s like Nerdvana for accessibility geeks, and I hope to see you there.

Henny Swan

Henny Swan: Hi Web Axe, and everybody tuning in. my name is Henny Swan. I come from Brighton in the UK on the South Coast, and I’m a web accessibility specialist, I guess. I’m never quite sure what to refer to myself as. I think I’m a bit of a hybrid. I kind of first ran into web accessibility over 10 years ago in China in about 99, working on Chinese search engines, looking at ways to make them more intuitive and usable, and within that crept in accessibility without my really understanding or knowing what the word was at that point. When I came back to the UK in 2001, I began working for the Royal National Institute of Blind People here in the UK, providing audits for organizations large-small, consultancy and so forth, and really began doing a little bit around mobile accessibility then, which is my direction I came in mostly working at the moment. From RNIB, I went to Opera Software and from there, I went to do freelancing which has been great. I’ve really enjoyed the variety there. And now I’m working at the BBC, on BBC iPlayer which is a video on demand which is a hugely complex and very exciting website basically. And we’re looking at doing some exciting things in the future. Big challenge but that’s how I like it.

CSUN this year, very much looking forward to it. Haven’t been for a couple of years. It’s gonna be like coming home in many respects. I’ll be taking part in a panel called “Does Accessibility Have to Be Perfect?”. Quite the thorny topic, I think. I’ll be sharing the panel with Léonie Watson, Sarah Lewthwaite who I co-authored a chapter to a book with called “Rhetorical Accessibility: Hierarchies of Impairment”. Also in the panel will be Lisa Herrod and Kath Moonan and I’m very much looking forward to that. the second thing I’ll be doing, I’ll be doing a presentation on mobile web accessibility, which is the thing I absolutely love at the moment. That’s 8:00 am on Friday morning. Please do roll up to that if you’re there. And also don’t forget there’s a Tweetup on Thursday night which should be great to get everybody around and chatting.

I can be found on Twitter as iheni and I blog at Thank you very much and hopefully see you there or online. Bye.

Lainey Feingold

Lainey Feingold: Hi, my name is Lainey Feingold. I’m a disability rights lawyer in Berkeley, California, and I’m glad to be on this podcast with other women who are presenting at CSUN 2012. I’m very excited about my presentation at CSUN this year.

As part of the AccessU at CSUN preconference, I’ll be part of the opening plenary talking about the civil right aspect of web accessibility. Really honored to have been asked to kind of set the stage for AccessU at CSUN to remind everyone about the legal basis of web accessibility and especially the civil rights aspects of people with disabilities being able to access Internet. AccessU is incredible and Knowbility always does a wonderful job, so I’m very excited that AccessU is bringing a conference to CSUN.

As part of the regular sessions, I’ll be presenting with Linda Dardarian, another lawyer in Oakland, California with the civil rights firm Goldstein, Demchak, Baller, Borgen & Dardarian. We are presenting on 8:00 am on Friday. So you got to get up early but I really think it’s gonna be worth it. I’ve already started working on the Powerpoint, and we really wanna talk about what are the laws that require websites to be accessible, laws applying to commercial facilities, governments, educational institutions, colleges, schools. So we’re gonna do a little bit of background about that but mostly focus on strategies that advocates are using around the country to make websites more accessible. I use a strategy called “Structured Negotiations” which is a solution-driven collaborative approach. I work with blind individuals in organizations around the country, and we’ve negotiated agreements with Bank America, Major League Baseball, American Cancer Society, many other institutions on the issue of website accessibility, and Linda and I have been in the trenches on this issue for about 15 years. So we’re really excited to talk about that. we wanna talk about pending lawsuits, we wanna talk about attorney general complaints, filing with Department of Justice, all sorts of legal strategies that people are using in the United States. Mostly we’ll talk a little bit about international but mostly focused on US, what are the laws, why are they civil rights laws, and most importantly, how can we use them either with or without lawyers, to make the Web a more accessible place for everyone.

So I look forward to seeing everyone at CSUN and thanks to this podcast and for listening.

Léonie Watson

Hello. I'm Léonie Watson.

Officially, I'm Director of Accessibility at Nomensa and Chair of the British Computer Association of the Blind.

Unofficially, according to my Twitter profile at least, I'm also a screen reader user, tequila drinker and book addict. But you know what they say about Twitter.

CSUN 2012 is going to be an absolute blast. I had so much fun at CSUN last year, that this time I thought I would submit a paper of my own.

I was also asked to join two panel discussions, and somewhat to my (delighted) surprise, all three were accepted.

So, CSUN this year really is going to keep me out of mischief. Mostly.

My solo mission is about British Standard 8878. It's a web accessibility code of practice, intended to help organisations create and implement web accessibility strategies.

I think there is some great grass roots support for web standards and inclusion out there, but what's often missing is the top down approach.

BS8878 really tries to address this. In fact it's the first national standard anywhere in the world to tackle this aspect of accessibility.

It was great to be part of the team that put BS8878 together, and I must admit I'm really looking forward to talking about it to everyone at CSUN.

The first panel discussion I'm on is going to look at disability and employment. It's hosted by National Industries of the Blind.

I met Doug Goist last year at CSUN. Actually we met in the airport afterwards. The travel assistance people assumed that because we were both blind, and because we'd been to a conference, that we must (of course) know each other!

So, they sat us down next to each other whilst we waited for our flights. It turned out, actually, to be a really fortuitous introduction. We got to talking, and we've stayed in touch since, and when Doug put together his panel, he was kind enough to ask me to join.

Disability and employment is obviously something that's very close to my heart. Not least because I'm blind myself, but also because I represent a number of blind and partially sighted people through my work with the British Computer Association of the Blind, and employment is one of the biggest challenges that we face as a community of people.

My fellow pannelists include a number of very highly respected people including Judy Brewer and Shawn Laughton Henry. So I hope I'll be able to bring some UK and European perspectives to compliment their insights from the United States.

My other panel discussion is going to try and answer a really interesting question. Does accessibility have to be perfect?

So Henny Swan, Sarah Leuthwate, Lisa Herrod, Kath Moonan and myself are going to take our best shot at answering it. Between us I think we've got a good range of perspectives. From public to private sector, personal disability through to the social model for disability. From education, and academia, right through to the practitioner rock face.

I really hope we get a lot of people come along to this discussion, because it's not going to be an easy question to answer. But, I think we'll have a lot of fun, and really draw some great information out by putting our heads together and seeing what we can come up with.

So, CSUN 2012 really is going to be an absolute hoot! I genuinely believe that CSUN is one of those places where we can all come together and really start to change the world. You know, that's one of the reasons why I love what we all do, so much!

Sandy Wassmer

Sandy Wassmer: Hi. I’m Sandy Wassmer, Managing Director of digital agency Copious. I’m also a writer and a speaker, but as I’m a marketer, I do refer to myself as all sorts of different things, because I get bored easily and so I like to have a little play with words. I’m currently calling myself an inclusive design radical, but that may change. However, I will always be a human rights advocate first and foremost. I live in London, England with my beautiful husband and son, but I’m originally from Toronto. This will be my second year at CSUN. Last year’s my first time, and I absolutely loved it. There were so many wonderful people, to see, to hear their inspiring sessions, and meeting them, and the entire experience was just wonderful. I can’t imagine that this year will be any better but I’m sure it will. I’m interested in inclusive design as a design approach. I’ve been really inspired by Professor Jeremy Marson at the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art here in London. And I just wish technology would really take the approach that the Helen Hamlyn Centre does. My motivation is really all about human rights. I just wanna live in a world where we celebrate each other’s differences, however idealistic that may be. I’m hugely influenced by my mum who is a social anthropologist who specializes in stigmatized minorities. Although she’s now in her 80s, she is still incredible. She really inspires me everyday and I can’t imagine I’d be doing what I’m doing now without her. I am focused on older and disabled people, and particularly about participating in an inclusive society and having technology facilitate that. I think there really needs to be a radical change at least in the UK. I am involved with a lot of government advocacy activity, and I sit on the UK’s e-Accessibility Forum, and I advise government even though it certainly tests my patience, but I know it’s a long game. But what I’ve realized is that for older and disabled people, independence really isn’t the goal. It’s really about human connections, because social isolation, loneliness seems to really be emerging as the real issues in the UK and it’s making me think very differently. Maybe Einstein was right, that our technology has exceeded our humanity. I hope not.

My session this year came about through my work with the UK government minister at Vaizey. I met Rob Sinclair, Microsoft’s Chief Accessibility Officer, who has invited me to participate on a panel at the “Taking Accessibility Mainstream” event which is being run by the Accessibility Interoperability Alliance. It’s on Tuesday, February 28, and I believe it’s a separate session from the main CSUN session. It’s being moderated by Mary Smith and my fellow panelists are Tom Wlodkowski, Cyndi Rowland, and Jonas Klink.

Something fun. I had to think. Fun is spontaneous and I have a very dry sense of humor, and I’m very sarcastic which gets me in a bit of trouble. So instead, I thought I’m gonna give three random anecdotes. The first is I went to a rather alternative high school called Barton Hall, where one day, the head teacher entered the art studio dressed entirely in black with a netted veil over her head, a gold chain link belt adorned with a dagger. She just sat down and stared at us and said nothing for a good ten minutes. She then stood up, put her hand on the dagger and announced quite loudly that homework was not being done to her satisfaction and that she was in mourning for the cultural death of the school. And she prompted left the studio. My second anecdote is a little lighter. In my misspent youth, I took a road trip in the back of a van with a bunch of people from Toronto to New York City including Bruce Dickinson from Iron Maiden.

My third anecdote is something that happened last summer through the work I did with government. I was invited to the Queen’s garden party which I attended with my lovely husband. And much to his horror, I decided that I just had to take my sandals off and walk around barefoot on the grass in the Queen’s garden, of course because this is at Buckingham Palace. So the Queen’s garden is huge and we found a quiet spot where I thought nobody was watching, and I promptly took my shoes off and started swinging around in my dress, probably making an idiot out of myself, and Mark kind of tapped me and said “You better put your shoes on”, and I’m like “Okay”. And so I did and then he gently whispered that actually the reason why I had to do that was because the former Prime Minister Sir John Major and his wife were watching us in amusement. We then decided it was time to vacate the area, so I got my shoes back on and dusted myself off. And as we walked by, we walked by John Major and my husband looked at him and said “Good afternoon”, and John Major prompted looked at him and said “Afternoon”. And I found that typically British that they completely ignored the fact that I’ve been running around on the grass not two seconds earlier.

So that’s me. I hope everyone has a fantastic time at CSUN this year. I look forward to seeing everybody. And thank you very much for having me.

Sarah Lewthwaite

Sarah Lewthwaite: Hello, my name’s Sarah Lewthwaite. I’m a researcher based at King’s College London, and I’m going to tell you a bit about me and my research interests. I’m then gonna talk about the three sessions I’m involved in at the forthcoming CSUN Conference next month in San Diego. I’ve worked all in all for about ten years supporting access to education, and I’m particularly interested in the intersections between critical disability studies and accessibility and user experience research. I find that each opens up unexpected windows on the other. My PhD focused on student experience in social network and disability in higher education. I don’t expect that I’ll be able to summarize this research in any of my presentations, so if you want to talk to me about this, please do get in touch. It would be great to hear from you.

This is my first year at CSUN, and I’m involved in three sessions. First up, I’m taking part in a panel discussion with Lisa Herrod, Kath Moonan, Henny Swan and Léonie Watson entitled “Does Accessibility Have to BE Perfect?”. This is on Thursday late morning and promises to be a lively session. On the Friday I have two research papers. Very much first and foremost I’m talking about Peer-to-Peer Accessibility at 8:00 am. I’m hoping the jetlag will play in my favor, and please bring your breakfast. In this presentation, I’m going to focus on the social world of the user. When we think about designing for accessibility, we can focus on the user to the exclusion of their social circle, despite thinking about the social web, Web 2, social media, social this social that. This paper draws on my PhD research with disabled students to consider peer to peer interventions. So these are interventions at the very local level. I’ll be talking about how friends can influence experiences of accessibility. And using evidence from interviews, I’ll identify some benefits of pro-social architecture and ways in which accessibility might be enhanced as a distributed social function.

Later in the day, I’ll be talking about Interaction Design for Older People, based on my work with the My UI Project, which is an EU project developing adaptive interfaces for interactive TV. In particular I’ll be discussing the Thorny issue of design patterns and scenarios and how we can reasonably make sure that modeling to archetypes does not obscure the ambiguous nature of ability, disability and impairment, and this is to find a kind of practical and ethical point of departure when using these types of tools. This session comes with a continental philosophy warning attached, I may refer to Jacques Derrida and Michel Foucault any moment, so you have been warned. In any event, I hope to see you at CSUN, and thank you for listening.

[music and commercial]


© Copyright 2005-2012 Web Axe, Dennis Lembree, Web Overhauls