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Accessibility Hackdays - A11y hackspace

A two day workshop bringing accessibility (a11y) users, experts and developers together to hack on ideas, prototypes and mashups, while exploring the challenges in providing usable accessibility.

Aston Business School Conference Centre and Hotel
Aston Triangle, Birmingham, West Midlands,
B4 7ET

Tuesday 21st June and Wednesday 22nd June 2011

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Please note that the programme is subject to alterations.

Day 1

09.30 - 10.00
Registration and Coffee
10.00 - 10.10
Introductions to event (Mahendra Mahey and Steve Lee)
DevCSI - Mahendra Mahey
Logistics to the event
10.10 - 10.20
Open Accessibility
Steve Lee,
OpenDirective, Programme Lead (Open Accessibility)
An introduction to Open Accessibility and the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure ( initiative.
10.20 - 10.55 Keynote 1: "Assistive Technology, impact and trends"
David Banes: Deputy CEO, Qatar Assistive Technology Center (Mada)
A look at how assistive technology is impacting upon people with disabilities to reaffirm the case for innovation and distribution. The presentation will look at the potential use of assistive technology across borders and highlight some directions that open development might take in the future.
10.55 - 11.10
Coffee Break
11.10 -
Lightning Talks Begin
11.10 - 11.20
Lightning Talk 1
How people with cerebral palsy use online social networks
Makayla Lewis, PhD researcher (City University London (Centre for HCI Design)

Introducing the audience to the experiences of users (via a user personas which is based on a interview study and observational study I have done) with cerebral palsy as they use online social networks (e.g. Facebook and Twitter); the assistive technology they require and the barriers they face e.g. abrupt and frequently change user interface elements. It will end with a free link to my recent (ASSETS'10) paper which will provide greater detail.
11.20 - 11.30
Lightning Talk 2
BNCI BrainAble project
Clare Folkes, Researcher, Abilitynet
Autonomy and social inclusion through mixed reality Brain-Computer Interfaces: Connecting the disabled to their physical and social world.
11.30 - 11.40 Lightning Talk 3
WAC (Mobile device APIs)
Scott Wilson, Assistant Director (JISC CETIS)
11.40 - 11.50 Lightning Talk 4
Templates for accessible W3C Widgets

Ross Gardler, OpenDirective, Programme Lead (Open Development)
11.50- 12.00
Lightning Talk 5
Sense and the SenseBoard
Shirley Evans (JISC Techdis Associate)
We will demonstrate Sense and the SenseBoard which present a number of accessibility challenges and we would like to discuss our work so far with a view to sharing  ideas with  others working in this field.
12.00 - 12.10 Lightning Talk 6
Accessibility block for Moodle, incorporating the Southampton University ECS ATBar.
Mark Johnson, Web Applications Developer, Taunton's College, Southampton
For further information, please see: and
12.10 - 12.45 Keynote 2: "Accessibility of native HTML5 multimedia"
Bruce Lawson: open web evangelist for Opera
Bruce will show how embedding <audio> and <video> into web pages will work in modern browsers and degrade gracefully in older ones. He will show how HTML5 builds in support for subtitles and captions and explain the pros and the cons of using HTML5 multimedia now and in the future. Bruce tweets at @brucel and blogs at,
12.45 - 13.15
What do you want from the event?
60 sec intros (Name, Organisation, Job Title, Why here)
13.15 - 14.00
Lunch and opportunity to network
14.00 - 15.00
Overview of ideas already presented and brainstorming new ideas (possibly team formation)
1500 - 1515
Coffee Break
15.15 - 16.15
Teams working together on ideas (possibly hacking)
16.15 - 16.30
16.30 - 18.00
Teams working together on ideas (possibly hacking)
18.00 - 19.00
Check in to rooms / networking
19.00 - 19.30
Keynote 3
"Accessibility, Inclusivity and Interoperability"
Sandi Wassmer: Managing Director, Copious Ltd
The ideal of an open and inclusive Internet is one of diversity and participation. The potential for the web to transform our rather broken world is mind boggling. And yet, as each day passes all manner of feature-tastic technology, which isn't open, user-centred or accessible, is unleashed on our confused industry. Although technology is growing faster than accessibility, my hope of universality is not lost. Accessibility, please meet Inclusivity and Interoperability.
19.30 - 21.00
Dinner and networking
Hack / Ideas teams working together, last one locks up!


Day 2

08.30 - 09.30
Breakfast and Check out
09.30 - 09.45
60 second summary of ideas/hacks teams are working on
0945 - 1015
Keynote 4
Experiences of Open Accessibility Projects
Julien Harty: Tester At Large, eBay
Learn about experiences of participating and leading various opensource projects, including 3 parallel projects to create Daisy Book readers, automated testing tools that find accessibility and other usability issues. We will cover successes and setbacks, ways to involve and motivate people, and how to contribute to opensource in a corporate world where intellectual property and copyright can trip up the unwary.
10.15 - 11.00
Hack / Ideas teams working together
11.00 - 11.15
Coffee Break
11.30 - 12.30
Hack / Ideas teams working together
12.30 - 13.30
Working Lunch
13.30 - 15.00
Hack / Ideas teams working together
15.00 - 15.15
Coffee Break
15.15 - 16.00
5-10 minute presentations of what teams have worked on and conclusion to event
16.00 - 16.15
Wrap up and conclusions