Quirky corners of disability – SXSW 2009, we need your vote!

Bored with accessibility? Over AJAX, ARIA? Can’t face yet another Jaws demo for dummies? Struggling to find a challenge in checklists…

This year myself, Lisa Herrod (Scenariogirl) and Glenda Sims (Goodwitch) are hoping to present a panel on Aging, Cognition & Deafness: The Quirky Corners of Web Accessibility at SXSWi 2009 and we really need your vote!

We’ll be looking at what it means to be deaf and culturally Deaf on the web, how aging can catch up with us all, cognitive disabilities vs. functional cognitive disabilities as well as issues around cerebral palsy in Second Life. We’re hoping to also include short videos of people using the web and virtual worlds and talk about how real people experience the web.

The kinds of topics we are looking to cover include:

  • How does deafness impact on access to online information?
  • Are subtitles enough to provide accessible content to the deaf?
  • What techniques can I apply to make my site more accessible to the deaf?
  • What sort of research has been done around people with multiple disabilities?
  • Which WCAG criteria do I need to be aware of?
  • Are there different considerations in user testing sites with deaf/aged/cognition users?
  • Why are clinical cognitive disabilities less important than functional cognitive disabilities in web design?
  • What design techniques can improve the usability of online forms for older users?
  • Can rich media projects like Second Life be accessible?
  • How could I increase the readability of a web page for a person with dyslexia?

If you want a small taster of what will be covered check out Lisa’s recently published millstone article in A List Apart on Deafness and the User Experience. This looks at the differences between being deaf with a small “d” and Deaf with a big “D”. You can also check out the experiences of people with disabilities in Second Life in this blog.

Vote for Quirky Corners of Accessibility and leave a comment if you have any questions or if there are any subject areas you’d be more interested to hear about.