Sight Sound Soul
Can you imagine a live music performance that is fully accessible…even if you cannot hear or see? Well, you don’t have to imagine, you can experience it by coming to Sight Sound Soul in Albuquerque for the Southwest Conference on Disability. The Sight Sound Soul event will center on performances by the New Orleans jazz pianist Henry Butler (who happens to be blind) with live audio description, live captions and even live interpretive painting during the performance. Sight sound soul is an awesome event that engages all the senses and creates a performing art experience that is unique, enriching and fully accessible.

Want to be a part of Sight.Sound.Soul, check out how you can be involved at Sight.Sound.Soul With Henry Butler.

I’m excited to be part of a group of experts contributing to a research project by Nirmita Narasimhan on web site accessibility evaluation methods. Contributors to this research project include:

To get the conversation started, Nirmita invited us all to participate on the “Web Sites Accessibility Evaluation Methodologies” panel at www2011 in Hyderabad, India on March 30, 2011. It was fascinating to hear how my colleagues test for accessibility as well as what tools and methodologies they use. I was pleased to discover how our experiences were quite similar as we each faced the daunting challenge of testing the accessibility of huge enterprise or government web sites. We all agreed on the need for balance between manual testing, hands-on usability testing with people who have disabilities and testing using automated tools.

I really resonated with a number of Srinivasu Chakravarthula’s philosophies including his wise advice to hold manual testing until after pages pass automated testing. Shawn Lawton Henry‘s book “Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design” was mentioned multiple times by the panel as an excellent resource.

I shared my experience of creating a culture of accessibility at the University of Texas at Austin using practical testing methods over the past decade. Watch the video of my portion of the presentation and learn how you can equip yourself with free and powerful testing tools. Learn my secrets on how to turn it up a notch when you need to monitor accessibility across a vast enterprise.

Practical Accessibility Testing – a presentation by Glenda Sims of Deque at www2011 in Hyderabad, India, on March 30, 2011. Includes demo of the free accessibility testing tool, FireEyes, a plugin for Firebug in Firefox.

I love to share my passion for the open web by showing people the tools I use to test web sites for accessibility. Whether you are .com, .edu or .gov, accessibility applies to you. Don’t be surprised by inaccessible issues on your site. It doesn’t take but a moment to look in the mirror and see that indeed you have a problem. On Friday, February 18, 2011, I’ll be presenting on “Practical Accessibility Testing” at Webstock in Wellington, New Zealand.

Practical Accessibility Testing

How do you know if your web site is accessible? Can automated testing tools help? Glenda will share gems from her 10+ years of experience testing sites for accessibility. Equip yourself with free and powerful testing tools. Learn how to turn it up a notch when you need to monitor accessibility across a vast enterprise. See some of the very latest testing tools that will help you evaluate color contrast, dynamic content and WAI-ARIA compliance.

If you don’t have the good fortune to attend Webstock, you can watch all the Webstock presentations online. Just another bit of evidence that Webstock is the mostest bestest scientifically proven amazingest conference ever. In the history of the world. Fact.

What SXSWi 2010 panel am I dreaming about? Without a doubt, it is:

Open Web Education Alliance: Educating the Next Generation

In the world of web standards, industry forms best practices, education instructs emerging talent—and neither the twain shall meet. A decade on, the rate of standards adoption across the school/street divide is dishearteningly poor. Join us to discover how curriculum building and strategic industry alliance can close the gap.

Don’t miss your chance to hear about the revolution that is occurring in web education. Vote for the Open Web Education Alliance: Educating the Next Generation panel in the SXSWi 2010 Panel Picker.

Knowbility Extends Early Deadline Discounts for The John Slatin Access U Training Institute, Austin, TX – May 11-12, 2009

Two days of classes in accessible information technology to help meet state and federal accessibility requirements.

In response to current economic conditions, the deadline for Early Bird discount registration rates for the John Slatin Access U training have been extended indefinitely. The announcement was made by the sponsoring organization, Knowbility, Inc.

WHAT: Offered since 2003, Access U provides one to three days of comprehensive web and IT accessibility classes led by world renowned accessibility and policy experts and administrators. The Institute promotes a better understanding of both the need and the techniques for inclusive IT design, with a focus on the most recent changes in federal and global standards for Web Accessibility. Register now.

WHEN: The John Slatin Access U will be held at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas on Monday, May 11, and Tuesday, May 12, 2009, with Post-Conference sessions on Wednesday, May 13.

  • May 11th and 12th – Classes in four professional tracks: Technical, Content, Administrative, Usability New this year! – Usability certificate program is available.
  • May 13th – Intensive Courses: Molly Holzschlag and Derek Featherstone in small venue.
  • 3-Day Design Intensive – May 11 – 13, 2009 Molly Holzschlag, Web standards advocate, instructor and author, offers three days of advanced techniques in HTML/XHTML and CSS for accessibility, SEO, and superior web site performance.
  • Post Conference All-Day Sessions – Wednesday, May 13, 2009 Derek Featherstone: Breaking New Ground: Designing for Accessibility in Emerging Technologies. Molly Holzschlag: CSS Floats, Positioning and layout, best practices, cross–browser and interoperable design solutions, and a look at some of CSS3’s juicy features.

WHY: Web accessibility is important…and it’s required by law. Websites can be designed for accessibility or they can shut people out. Four million Texans are among the more than 54 million people in the U.S. who live with disabilities of all sorts, many of whom cannot fully benefit from the Internet and the World Wide Web because too many Web sites are designed with no thought of accessibility. Accessibility is not only the right thing to do, but now there are federal, state and local mandates requiring accessibility, and Access U is here to help IT professionals and administrators meet those requirements.

WHO: Access U sponsors and partners include St. Edward’s University, Adobe, Ability Awareness and the Usability Professionals Association. Knowbility, Inc. is the non-profit organization that produces Access U and many other accessibility training programs.

I’m thrilled to be speaking at Web Directions North (WDN) in Denver this February 2-7, 2009. This intimate conference is the perfect opportunity to sharpen your professional skills and rekindle your passion for all things web. The program has been handcrafted for web designers, developers and UX professionals to soak up the latest best practices. What makes WDN so special? It is geared towards the intermediate to expert level web professional, not beginners.

I can’t wait to hear John Allsopp share his research on The State of the Web 2009, a survey of practicing web designers and developers, which aims to capture how people are developing for the web right now. And how can you resist these sessions:

The special Ed Directions Symposium on Tuesday, February 3rd will focus on the challenges of educating the next generation of web professionals. How do you developing curricula and training for web designers and developers? In the constantly evolving web profession how do you make sure your employees and/or students are equipped with the foundational knowledge of current best practices and standards? I’m looking forward to sharing a realistic glimpse of the state of web standards education on my campus, the University of Texas at Austin. Key speakers for Ed Directions include:

You can’t afford to miss this chance to learn, be inspired and refuel on practical and valuable insights and techniques.

Did I mention, the conference has an optional ski trip at Breckenridge? Imagine swooshing down the mountain on the perfect ski trail, then meeting up at the lodge to sit by the fire and talk about semantics and interactive design. (Sigh)

What is the best way to learn about social media?


Can’t I just read a book and hang out on Twitter and Facebook and figure out how to use social media to promote my business?

Sure, but if you really want to dive deep, step back from your keyboard and come out and play/learn at BizJam08 Seattle July 9-10.

BizJam08 has a delicious speaker list and topics including:

Did I mention that over half of the speakers are women and that ratio occurred naturally? What else what you expect from the folks at Biznik and Textura Design? Without a doubt, this is business networking that doesn’t suck!