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Design & People Skills for Accessibility


The Design & People Skills workshop is focused ensuring the application designs we implement are usable for all. We'll do this through learning how to watch for potential issues and how to tactfully discuss alternative approaches. We will also discuss how to create and adopt a culture of accessibility in our organizations.

While this workshop is intended for developers of all experience levels, creatives, managers, and other interested team members would also benefit.

Workshop topics include:

Accessibility as User Experience

There are many questions to ponder when approaching accessibility.

How can we “shift left” to include accessibility as a core part of a product, and not something bolted on afterwards? What is at stake for people with disabilities when they can't use your site or application? How should these issues be addressed through research, product, design, and development?

Here we will examine some of the most common oversights in our applications, and discuss how to approach testing our UIs with people with disabilities.

Collaborating on Designs and Prototyping

Prototyping provides opportunities to prevent access problems earlier in the software development lifecycle. In this section of the workshop, you'll learn how to talk through a design and a coding approach for accessibility. We'll also look at alternative affordances in interaction design, including data visualizations and swipe interfaces.

Animation and Design

People can be impacted when things move automatically on the screen. We can update our application's CSS and JS to respond to the user's preferences related to motion, which you'll practice as you add the reduced-motion media query to the application's Toast component.

Finding Answers for Accessibility Issues

In this section you'll learn how to build your “accessibility muscles” by putting problem solving into practice. We’ll cover my favorite resources as well as a play-by-play for finding and discerning between answers to accessibility issues. We will also look at the places where WCAG falls short, and look at the parts that are trickiest to test.

Creating a Culture of Accessibility

Wrapping things up, you'll learn the techniques I've used to create a culture of accessibility in several of the organizations I've worked with. You'll learn the most important things to include in tickets to ensure they are well scoped and have a clear definition of "done" with regard to their accessibility impacts. We’ll also discuss what we can do as individuals and what needs to be more of an organizational, system-wide change.


This workshop is designed to be part lecture, part real world Q&A. Attendees are encouraged to ask questions and share their experiences from the field.