TPG at large in 2017
As 2017 draws to a close, I’d like to share a few of the activities members of the TPG team have been involved in throughout the year. Participating in the web community has long been important to TPG, and 2017 gave us many opportunities to carry on doing so.
We gave more than 20 talks at conferences around the world, and shared our slides and videos after the fact. We talked about accessibility as a focus for People First design, making SVG accessible, doing inclusive usability testing, what’s coming after WCAG 2.1, writing with plain language, the history of synthetic speech, accessible code for web designers, and many other topics.
Inclusive Design 24 (#ID24)
We hosted two editions of Inclusive Design 24 (#ID24). #ID24 is a free online community conference consisting of 24 talks on various aspects of inclusive design.
The June edition of #ID24 included talks on accessible comics, inclusive Media Queries, accessible smart cities, designing for older users, rethinking color and contrast, scaling accessibility, and inclusive UX research.
The November edition of #ID24 included talks on designing conversations, VR accessibility, the Internet of Things, accessibility for Deaf and hard of hearing people, HTML email accessibility, accessible React, and 100 days of accessibility.
Thank you to all our friends from across the industry who contributed so many talks on such a diverse range of inclusive design topics!
People tuned in to watch #ID24 online from more than 70 different countries, and for the first time there were “host your own” #ID24 events. Organisations streamed #ID24 live to venues in Germany, Australia, The Netherlands, and the USA.
Our participation at W3C continued during 2017.
Jeanne Spellman, Sarah Horton, and David Sloan, were a driving force behind the advanced research for Silver (the codename for the successor to WCAG).
Patrick Lauke continued as chair of the Pointer Events Working Group (WG), and editor of the Pointer Events 2.0 specification. He also participated in the Accessibility Guidelines (AG) WG, championing new WCAG 2.1 Success Criteria for touch screen devices.
Ian Pouncey became co-facilitator of the CSS Accessibility Task Force (TF), a collaboration between the CSS WG, ARIA WG, and the Accessible Platform Architectures (APA) WG. He also became editor of the SVG Accessibility API Mappings (AAM) specification.
Steve Faulkner remained as editor of the HTML specification, until HTML5.2 was released on 14 December. After 10 years as HTML editor, he stepped down to focus his efforts on editing the ARIA in HTML and HTML AAM specifications.
We continued to contribute to the Teach Access initiative. Teach Access is a collaboration between organisations from the digital sector, and colleges and universities. It’s mission is to make accessibility and inclusive design a core part of the curriculum for students studying all aspects of the digital world.
David Sloan and Sarah Horton were active in the Evidence Packets TF, the Accreditation TF, and the Student Engagement TF. Sarah was also asked to chair the Evidence Packets TF.
Inclusive Design Principles
We released the Inclusive Design Principles. The Inclusive Design Principles are about putting people first, designing for temporary, permenant, situational, or changing disabilities – all of us really.
Our friends at Barclays designed a set of Inclusive Design posters. Thanks to other members of the web community, the principles are currently available in French, Spanish, and Japanese.
Jaws issue tracker
With help from our colleagues at Freedom Scientific, we started a project to document Jaws support for web technologies (HTML, ARIA, CSS, and SVG). At the same time we opened a public issue tracker where people can file issues with Jaws and any of the four web technologies.
We launched Cupper, the inclusive documentation builder created by Heydon Pickering. Mathew Atkinson released an updated version of the Landmarks extension, bringing landmark navigation to Firefox, Chrome, and Opera, for sighted keyboard users.
Books and articles
Henny Swan wrote a cover story for Netmag, about using the Inclusive Design Principles, and Adrian Roselli contributed another article on Selfish Accessibility (not available online unfortunately). Sarah Horton and David Sloan also collaborated with Monica Reha to write about a research study with Wells Fargo, for the Journal of Digital and Social Marketing.
Heydon Pickering published a book on Inclusive Design Patterns, Léonie Watson was technical editor for Laura Kalbag’s book Accessibility For Everyone, and David Sloan co-authored a chapter for the book Disability, Human Rights, and Information Technology, with Mary Ziegler of MIT.
We published a free guide to Mobile Accessibility Testing for Android and iOS. The guide provides an overview of accessibility settings, how to use them, and information on common testing tools for touch screen devices.
Meetups and events
Members of the TPG team continued to put their own time and energies into hosting accessibility meetups and events in 2017. Dennis Deacon with the Chicago Digital Accessibility and Inclusive Design meetup, Adrian Roselli with the Buffalo Accessibility meetup, and Billy Gregory with the A11yTo (Accessibility Toronto) meetup. Billy and the rest of the A11yTo team also hosted the first A11yTo Conference – a two day event that TPG was proud to sponsor.
We published more than 60 posts on this blog over the past 12 months. Posts range across many different subjects, including how invert brightness helps improve accessibility, considerations for accessible kiosks, accessibility in the Agile lifecycle, ARIA alert support, PDF inaccessibility, the Section 508 refresh, and of course the story in which our intrepid hero trips and falls.
Each year the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) recognises someone for their contribution to our industry. This year the lifetime achievement award was given to David Sloan. In the words of RNIB’s chair Kevin Carey:
I wish to make awards recognising that “Lifetime” is somewhat inappropriate for people who are by no means at the end
of their careers but I hope you will accept my nomination in the spirit in which it is intended, as recognition of outstanding achievement in the sector.
What a note to end the year on!