In essence what I was musing about is that there is still a massive disconnect between accessibility and the development world. Accessibility is not seen as something that is cool and bleeding edge but as a necessary evil. If you ask about accessibility on developer mailing lists that juggle HTML5, Node.js, CSS3 and other cool technologies with ease you are very likely to hear that people are considering as an afterthought or make sure that “the interface degrades gracefully”.
When you ask the accessibility world about cool new technologies you are very likely to hear that they may be interesting in a few years but are not ready yet and certainly will never be accessible in a legal sense.
Having been positioned in between these two parties for a long time I am getting tired of this and I want the two fractions to move closer to each other.
Accessibility is part of everything we do – the physical world has become much better in the last decades because we care for the needs of people with disabilities. Lowered kerbs on sidewalks, OCR Scanning, subtitles and captions on movies and TV programs – these are all things invented for a disability need but we all now benefit from it. The same can and should happen in interface design and web development. If you think about it, the features that make a good mobile interface also cover a lot of needs of different disability groups. So why don’t we work together?
You can see the slides of the talk on Slideshare:
You can get the slide deck on Slideshare:
The audio of the talk is available at archive.org:
There are also extensive notes on the talk available on my blog.
About Chris Heilmann
Evangelist for HTML5 and open web. Let's fix this!