MinneWebCon afternoon keynote

Uploaded by UniversityofMinn on 14.04.2010

[ Silence ]
>>I'd like to introduce Wendy Chisolm.
Wendy is our afternoon keynote speaker.
She's a Web developer, human factors engineer and co-author
of Universal Design for Web Applications
which a few early arrivals should have gotten some free
copies of this morning courtesy of O'Reilly.
She was a staff person for the World Wide Web consortium,
W3C for six years where she focused
on Web content accessibility guidelines.
Wendy has also consulted for Microsoft, Google,
Adobe and the American Foundation for the Blind.
So Wendy's here to talk about Universal Design
and let's welcome her.
[Audience applause]
>>Thank you.
Okay, is this mic on and can you hear me?
Pretty good?
All right, I can't hear myself very well.
Let me know if I need to talk louder at any point.
Well gosh, I've been having a great time today.
You all really know about Web standards it seems like.
So I can just kind of get up here and have fun.
I don't have to sell you anything today right?
How many people are doing Web standards?
No what they are?
How many people know the World Wide Web Consortium?
How many people know who invented the Web
and it wasn't Al Gore?
Even better.
So I'm going to talk a bit today about how my journey to Web
in particular Web accessibility.
Of course it will include a little about Tim Berners-Lee
since I did work at the consortium.
And then I'm going to talk about some
of the things you all can do if you're not doing them already.
How many people are aware of Section 508?
All right.
So we'll have to sell some
of you a little bit today I think, that's cool.
How many people know the Web content
accessibility guidelines?
All right.
Good to know, okay.
Well my story with the World Wide Web
and accessibility begins with Lego's.
And so in 1990ish I was studying computer science
at Elmhurst College, small school outside Chicago,
anyone familiar with Elmhurst College?
All right, yeah, it's a small school outside Chicago.
So, we get lost in the fray.
But anyway I was studying computer science and psychology
and really interested in how people interact with computers.
I've been programming computers since I was 12.
My dad, he used to work at one of the sites
and so I was always kind of geeking around.
So I went into the field of how
to make these things work for people.
And one of my psychology professor's asked
to tutor a student in statistics.
I said sure, you know, that sounds cool
and I met the student and he was blind.
I knew nothing about blindness.
I have no idea why this teacher asked me to do this.
But being curious and full of adventure I said why not.
And so then I started to figure out well how am I going
to teach someone who's blind about bar graphs
and scatter plots
and statistical equations and all these things?
So I got really creative and we ended up using Lego's
to teach him about bar graphs.
And I used pin to poke holes in a piece of paper
that had scatter plots on it so he could feel the scatter plot.
Now I don't claim that he did really well
in this class but I learned a lot.
And it planted a lot of seeds that I carried with me
and that have really grown
and flowered throughout my entire career.
It made me realize that,
it actually just got me asking a lot of questions.
How can, how could I have used a computer to help him?
And so at the time I had no, no clue.
But I wanted to figure it out.
Well I went on and I graduated.
I was a programmer at the Chicago Stock Exchange
for a while and then I was a programmer
at the University of Chicago.
So hearing a lot of the stories I've heard today about dealing
with computer systems in the large university, you know,
I was a programmer at, I think it was AIS,
Administrative Information Systems at the University
of Chicago and the Web was just starting to come out
and so we were trying to figure
out to create this huge data store in such a way
that people could get data out of it.
And we were trying to connect the grants with the students
and the teachers and the faculty, you know,
trying to bring all this data together in such a way
that people could use it.
So we started using the Web as an interface
for pulling that data.
And so obviously that has evolved quite a lot
with the stuff that you all are doing now.
But it was at that time
that I read this really interesting article
about a professor at the University of Wisconsin Madison.
So I move in closer and closer to Minneapolis here right.
His name was Greg Bennerhyden [assumed spelling]
and his whole purpose was to create technology
for people with disabilities.
And I thought that sounded really cool.
Fit in with my whole Lego thing and I ended
up getting a Master's
in Industrial Engineering focusing on human factors.
And when I started there this is a lot what the Web looked like.
Do people remember Linx?
Well for people who were blind this was awesome.
For the first time they were able to get news
at the same time as everybody else.
You didn't have to wait for the newspaper to be brailed,
you didn't have to wait for it to be read over the radio.
As soon as it was online, you could get it.
That was huge [inaudible], it was very empowering,
really exciting and yeah,
we were all on this level playing field.
Well soon after, Mark Andreson [assumed spelling] introduced
the image element in Mosiac.
And the discussions on the HTML working group
at that time were all about, you know, how do get,
how do we do more than just text?
And it was amazing that that one element changed so much
about what the Web was doing.
When Tim first invented the Web,
it was all about documents and data.
And now it, this is what started moving us towards brochures,
Brochures, how many people had Web brochures
for the longest time?
How many people still have Web brochures?
But, because of this all of a sudden all
that textual information was no longer available
to people who were blind.
All that text in the Mosaic logo is gone, right?
And so people who were used to having this information
for this brief amount of time, all of a sudden it was gone.
And they were kind of back where they were.
So in 1994, Greg started working on these things called the page,
author and guidelines or something like that.
When I started with him in 1995, I started hacking HTML
and just saying well, if I do this,
what's the screen reader going to do?
And so how many people are familiar
with what a screen reader is?
Awesome. For those of you who don't know, it's a piece
of software that takes the screen or the text that's
on the screen and reads it out loud to someone who's blind
or has a reading disability or some other learning disability.
So while we were concerned about screen readers,
the image element was just a precursor to video and all sorts
of other things, like marquee.
And so there were lots of issues we starting realizing
that we needed to become aware of because
of different people abilities.
And then what about preferences?
People have different preferences.
And so that's one of the things I want to highlight today is
that while much of the work that I have done has been based
on making the Web and the world more accessible for people
with disabilities, I want to try to refrain
that as we have preferences.
How many people use iPhones or Android phones,
or access the Web in some other way than on a laptop?
So you have preferences and often times
in those devices your abilities are constrained.
So one thing I try to do is to help people realize
that there's no us in them.
People with disabilities aren't some group over here
that we sometimes think about.
We're all human.
We all have the right to participate in society.
And so why don't we try to think about ways
that we can design things just that we're designing
for everyone and that people aren't a special case,
it's just all of us.
So that's one thing I want to, I'll be focusing on today.
Okay, so Tim Berners-Lee, everybody is excited
that I know him, right?
This is a funny photo of him listening to my co-author,
Matt May, he looks a little blurred right?
I love to laugh at that photo.
But the thing about it is
that when Tim invented the Web he was thinking
about how we can share documents and all of that.
But in his book, Weaving the Web,
he talks about how the Web is just a platform for democracy.
It's a platform for connecting with each other.
It's a platform for supporting our daily life.
And so while a lot of this discussion today has been
about HTML and CSS and the things that go into the Web,
I want to take you back out and help you realize that, oh,
I'm sure you all realize that the Web is really about all
of us and us connecting.
And it's becoming more and more just part of our daily life.
It's not something that we go to and sit in front of anymore.
It's being integrated especially with vocation information
and tweeting about all sorts of different things.
I mean this image of a virtual world
and our real physical world is blending.
And so, so much of society is blending in with the Web
and so again, the Web and access to it being a human right
and making sure that everyone can participate in our society.
And it's just really amazing that Tim was thinking about that
from the very beginning.
And he truly is a visionary.
I think one of the most interesting things,
one of the most interesting discussions that I had
with him was, you know, in Hawaii.
We used to have these team days,
we'd get together the entire team, there was 60 of us.
We lived all over the world and so we'd get together, hang out,
play games, you know, ice breakers.
So over lunch one day I'm like Tim, how do you do it?
I mean what, how do you manage to do all the stuff you do
and to have this vision and just tell me what's your secret?
And he said, I learned to say no.
And I think that's interesting in that learning to focus
on what's important and kind of moving all the stuff,
focusing on what's really important.
For me, that's making sure that we have an inclusive universe,
that the world involves everybody.
So one aspect of that is design and how important design is
in either creating barriers or creating connection
or the space for connection.
One of my favorite quotes is,
stairs make a building inaccessible, not a wheelchair.
And why is that such an important quote to me?
Because I've been working on, In This Space, since 1995.
It's been my job to travel the world
to understand how different cultures approach disability,
how accessibility issues differ between cultures
and the one thing that I've seen
that we all share is this idea that, you know,
there's just not this value on people
with disabilities unfortunately.
And there's not this focus
on including them from the beginning.
And so it's through design, I mean it's so often we assume
that it's the wheelchair, it's the person's fault when in fact
if we design society differently more people will be able
to participate.
So one of the things that is fun in this area and there are a lot
of things that are fun.
I wouldn't still be doing this
if this weren't a really awesome area to be involved in.
One of the coolest things is when you look at the history
of technologies developed for people with disabilities,
you see technologies that have changed the world.
So, once again, how many people use an iPhone
or an Android phone?
Do all of you realize that you're using technologies
that were developed for people with disabilities?
How many people realize that?
So let me show you.
Screen magnification right, how often do you pinch and zoom?
How many people use magnification?
Even if you don't have an iPhone or you have, you know,
or how many of you use Mac's?
Do you all realize that magnification is built in?
It's one of the things I've seen several presenters using here
today because as an audience you have low vision right?
There are times when there is text that's on the screen
that you can't see and if the presenter is smart they know how
to bump up the font size so that you can see if.
Hopefully you'll be able to see all the text on my slides today
but if you can't I could use a screen magnifier.
So screen magnification,
developed for peoples low vision started out as magnifying,
you know, the magnifiers that you use with your hands
but in the early 80s these got put onto computers, right?
And now they're on iPhones.
And it's an integral part of the iPhone
and the Android phone experience.
How many people use word prediction?
How many people use Word and you get checks for spelling errors.
How many people use an onscreen keyboard?
Right. So again, these are all technologies developed
for people with disabilities.
So the onscreen keyboard and the word prediction,
those were created for people with disabilities
who could not physically type characters on a keyboard.
And so word prediction went right along with it
because typing using an onscreen keyboard
when you only have one method of getting to each
of keys takes a really, really, really long time.
And so the onscreen or the word prediction helped make
that process faster and easier.
And now they're in all of our technologies.
So developing tools for people
with disabilities is usually extremely innovative.
Because when you develop something
for a limited ability anyone else who has more
than that ability, they're abilities are immediately
pumped up.
It's just tools, right?
That's what tools do.
We have shovels so we can dig holes deeper, we have cars
so we can drive around the city faster.
You know, we have word prediction
so we can type faster.
And so these are all just tools.
And if you want to be innovative you can look
at people with disabilities.
So one of my favorite movies is Robots,
how many people have seen the movie Robots?
Okay, so it's about an inventor, really cute movie.
And one the lines in there I like most is,
see a need, fill a need, right?
And it was kind of my philosophy on all of this.
And I just went to a conference that focused on technology
for people with disabilities and I specifically went
around looking for what are we going to be using tomorrow?
And I found some really neat stuff.
So anyway, it's exciting, it's cool.
This is the future.
It always has been.
Even when you start looking at mobile development,
when you look at localization, when you look at SEO,
they can point back to accessibility.
All the stuff that we've been talking about for 15 years,
all these other disciplines are starting to talk about now.
You know, accessibility you usually have faster
download times.
With the way that you're coding up your market,
you get better SEO results.
So it's just always these benefits.
It's amazing, I just don't understand why more people don't
do it.
It's cool, you're helping people
and it just makes everything better.
So I hope that I, but I think the problem is
that there's this stigma associated
with disability right?
People don't want to associate with people with disabilities
and there's a need to change that in our culture.
And so I hope that I can shine some light on that
and help you realize there's a gold mine here
of really cool stuff and cool people who use this stuff.
Now one of my other favorite stories which I tend
to embellish quite a lot, is about the typewriter.
So in Italy there is a Countess and an inventor and he wanted
to receive letters from her but she was blind.
So what did he do?
He worked on a typewriter
so that she could write letters independently to him.
I like to think they were love letters,
I have no proof that they were.
But I think it's a beautiful story if it's true.
Again, innovation for people
with disabilities can really change how the rest
of us are doing things.
It's just tools.
It's leveraging abilities, it's focusing on the ability
that someone does have.
And then expanding and building tools to fill that.
So the other thing, because it's a tool is going
to broaden your audience, right?
People with disabilities are the third largest market segment
in the United States.
Over the next five years, that's going to represent
over five trillion dollars worth of spending.
Why wouldn't you go after that market?
And the thing is, that's the third,
the first is baby boomers, the second are seniors.
Who is not aging in this room?
I want your secret.
Right, so seniors, baby boomers will be seniors soon enough.
They'll become the first market segment and most of it,
the thing is, I can't remember the statistics off the top
of my head but basically as you age things don't always work
like they used to right, your eyes, your ears, your brain.
A lot of the things that we do for people
with disabilities are the things that you all are going
to be using and you're going to be hoping were built
into these Websites that you're developing now
in the very near future.
So, it makes a lot of sense today,
makes even more sense for you tomorrow.
The other is the things that we do that we're again designed
for people with disabilities will help all of us.
So while the curb cut is designed
for someone using a wheelchair, it's used by people
with roller suitcases, people pushing strollers, bicycles.
You know, my friend has a boat, little boat thing
that she hauls around.
She has a kayak right, she uses these things.
The other part about it is that it's so important
to include this from the beginning.
So curb cuts, if you install them
when you install a new sidewalk, there's not an additional cost.
If you install the curb and then later have to retrofit it,
there's an additional cost.
And so that's one of the reasons I know that people are afraid
of accessibility is because of additional costs.
The thing is if most of you are already doing Web standards
and if you're not this is another good reason
to be doing them, building in accessibility
from the beginning is just another part of the process
and it shouldn't cost anymore.
And that's another reason, you know, and I can,
I would like to just hop on with Christina and say,
yes do content strategy from the beginning,
make accessibility a part of the content strategy as well, right?
Accessibility from the beginning would be awesome and end
up saving you money in the end.
It's like if you catch a bug early
in the development process.
The quicker you catch a bug the less costly that bug is.
And so if you look at accessibility as a bug
that hasn't been fixed, catch it earlier
in the process rather than later.
Another good story is Oxo.
How many people use the Oxo grip kitchen gadgets?
Okay, this is another great story because this was designed
by someone with arthritis.
So the little tiny kitchen tools that used to be
out there really started to hurt.
And so part of their [inaudible] was,
why should kitchen appliances hurt?
They shouldn't, make them bigger and they won't hurt.
But now they're selling to everybody.
They're not, this isn't an accessibility aide,
this isn't for people
with disabilities, this is for everyone.
And that's the really beauty,
that's one of the most beautiful things about universal design is
that it really helps everyone.
And there's all these other side effects like I mentioned,
SEO and mobile, all these things become so much easier
and just become part of the process.
I already talked a bit about the market segments.
I also just want to throw out a couple more numbers.
There are 52 million Americans in the United States
who have identified themselves as having a disability.
But how many people don't identify?
I mean no one wants to be called disabled right?
They don't.
I mean, the, the, how many people know
who Aimee Mullins is?
She's a runner, she's on the cover of ESPN,
she's done some amazing TED talks
if people are into the TED talks.
And she recently did one for TED MED where she looked
at the word disability, she look at in the thesaurus
for what words are associated with it.
You know, broken, damaged, all these very negative things.
So no one wants to be considered disabled.
Now in the disability rights movement, you know,
what is our black is beautiful or we can do it, you know,
are we going to try to reclaim the word disability
or are we going to try and find something new?
I don't know.
But as it is right now there's a lot
of stigma associated with disability.
So even though the numbers say there's 52 million Americans
and 20% of Americans have a disability,
I suspect that number is lower than it actually is
because I think also a lot of people may not be diagnosed.
And also if you look worldwide,
there's 650 million people worldwide.
So, now about aspect of what I'm really concerned
about is not just making things functionally accessible
for people with disabilities.
So those people who raised your hand
about knowing what a screen reader is,
how many of you enjoyed that experience?
Exactly, no one's raising their hand.
It's a pain in the butt.
How many people use Emax?
How many people know what Emax is?
Okay, okay there you go.
So why don't you use Emax?
It's a pain in the butt to learn the cognitive load
for remembering all those commands,
none of you do it right?
I'm sure there are other reasons why you may not use Emax.
But think about when we went from DOS to the gooey
and everything became point and click,
everyone started using computers.
I mean that was the big, that was a huge,
all of a sudden you really could have a desk,
a computer on every desk because now there wasn't this need
to memorize all these archaic commands.
Screen readers are still there.
To use a screen reader you basically have an equivalent
of Emax.
You, boot up, that just reminds me of Wally again, right?
Okay, so you basically have to use an Emax like interface
and so many people never really go
through that full learning curve.
So I work at the University of Washington and one
of the programs I work on is Access Computing.
Part of our goal in that project is to get students
with disabilities through high school and into college,
help them with that transition and then
from college into careers.
And we're working very hard to get them into STEM discipline,
so science, technology, engineering and math.
And part of the reason we want to do that is that we know
that if people with disabilities are on the teams
that are creating these new technologies,
the new technologies are more likely to be accessible
and they're more likely to be innovative.
Imagine if you've spent your whole like trying to figure
out how to get around barriers, you're going
to be a really creative thinker, you're going
to have a very different point of view on the world.
And the things and the ideas and innovations you come
up with are going to be really new and interesting
and it's just a good thing to do.
Okay, so getting back to beauty function in this equation
up here, beauty, function and power, how does this all work?
Well, screen readers are functional but they're a pain
in the ass, so no one is really excited to use them.
They're excited because it gets them information
and you can become part of society
but they're a pain in the butt to use.
However, if we were to design things
so that they weren't only accessible
but they were beautiful, people could take pride in those tools.
I mean how many people love you're Mac or your iPhone
because it's a beautiful piece of technology right?
You like to use it, you're excited to get the new one.
Well here is Aimee Mullins, I mentioned her earlier.
Now I know this isn't the best picture but bear with me.
It looks like she's wearing a pair
of brown leather boots, right?
She's has, she doesn't have legs below the knee.
Those are actually wooden legs.
She spoke at TED a few years ago and said hey designers?
Make me some legs, beautiful legs, get creative.
And one person came up with these.
I mean they're, they're beautiful.
The carving, it's intricate, it's flowers.
I mean it looks like something you would find in a cathedral
in Europe or something like that.
I mean they're just beautiful and incredibly functional.
And then look at the guy behind her on the climbing wall?
How many people rock climb?
Right on, I do too.
Now look at how tiny those holds are, right, what is that?
Like the five, ten, eleven C, something like that?
But because of the way that his prosthetics have been designed,
he's probably going to be able to climb that way better
than I can and just from that alone.
So he can take pride in that.
He can go enjoy and have, you know, all sorts of cool things.
So, not only do I want you to make things accessible,
I want you to make things beautiful.
I want you to empower people and a lot of that is
through beauty and design.
So don't create barriers, create connection
and make it beautiful.
That's all you got to do.
Another good story is eye glasses right?
So, in the 1930s when eyeglasses were first coming out I guess,
they were skin colored.
People were ashamed of having to wear glasses much
like people are ashamed to use wheelchairs today in some cases.
But now, how many of you are wearing glasses right now?
Uh-huh. And how many of you don't even have a prescription,
that you're just wearing them because they look cool?
Right, they become a fashion accessory.
What if canes became that cool?
I mean, they used to be right?
Way back in the day, top hat and cane.
How can we do that again?
How can we make this stuff beautiful, functional,
cool and empower people?
It's a real opportunity here, lots of room for innovation.
This is a dance troupe in Seattle and speaking
of beauty the moves that she can do
in the wheelchair are unlike anything you've seen someone do
with legs.
It's really, really cool.
Beauty, empowerment, art,
design it's all linked, it's all important.
Well so how can you do this?
I'm going to give you just a few basic tidbits here.
And these are based on the principles
and the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Now I know poor is a poor mnemonic, right,
because I don't you to make your Websites poor,
I'm hoping that you pour on the beauty and you pour
on the connection and pour on the empowerment,
that's what I'm going for here right?
So, perceivable, operable, understandable and robust,
those are the four principles
in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
The main thing about that though is I think that really applies
to anything that you're designing and I'm going to go
through these real quickly.
I hope. Perceivable, operable, understandable, robust.
At the end I'm going to have you chant that right?
Perceivable, operable, understandable, robust.
Okay, text influence, how many people are familiar
with AllText?
So how come more pages don't have AllText?
Why? Why is that the easiest thing to do but one
of the first things to overlook?
And it helps with SEO right?
I mean, there's so many benefits.
It helps if people are using a mobile device
and they're not downloading the images, right, anywhere.
Now the main thing to remember about AllText
or text equivalents is that there's kind of two categories.
Very broadly there are many others.
But very broadly there are two.
One things that provide information,
images that provide information and images that don't Images
that provide information,
the text equivalent should represent the information
that that image is providing.
If it's not providing information,
just put Alt [inaudible] quote, quote and someone can ignore it.
So just like someone visually is going to ignore it,
a [inaudible] can ignore it too.
And captions, right,
so basically this whole principal perceivable is
about making things available to someone's senses.
So if someone can't see, they need to build a hear
or feel with information.
If someone can't hear, they need to build the see
or feel the information.
If someone cannot see or hear they need to be able
to feel the information.
Now the thing, the only thing that you need to worry
about is just making sure
that if you have visual information it's in text.
And if you have auditory information it's in text.
And then the assistive technologies will do all the
other work for you.
Now I'm not going to talk a lot
about assistive technologies today,
that's a whole other experience,
that's a whole other lecture I could get into.
I'll mention a few of them in a moment.
But that's one thing to keep in mind.
Text is king is one of the things that people say, right?
And with captions, it's getting easier
and easier to caption video.
How many people have heard about Google's automatic captioning?
So basically what they've done is, Google voice was a way
to use speech recognition, right?
So if you had Google voice, you got a voice mail,
they send you an email that would have the text
of what the person had just said.
It's amazing that they can do that.
But how many people have actually what comes
out of Google voice?
Right? There's still some work to do unfortunately.
But the cool thing about it is
at least it generates a transcript then
that you can go back and fix
and if you have a transcript Google can automatically sync it
as long as your transcript includes the time codes.
And there are more and more organizations that are providing
that service and it's not really that expensive.
Castingwords.com I think it's a dollar a minute
and then there's dotSub, so you could do crowd sourcing,
you could put up a video and they have an interface
and anyone can include the captions.
And the cool thing about dotSub is
that they're whole thing is they're providing captions
so that you're video can be looked at in other languages.
Well that's the thing that Google has really caught
on to also is that there's also automatic translation.
So as you soon as you get your caption, your video captioned,
it's automatically being translated into other languages.
Again, you know, there are some quirks there but the savings,
the ease is incredibly awesome.
And so it's very exciting to see Google have such a commitment
to making this technology available and accessible.
Now speaking of Google, one of the quotes from our book
that I absolutely love, is that Google is a billionaire user
who is deaf and blind with tens of millions of friends, right?
If Google can find your content,
then most people can no matter your ability
or your preference can use it, right, if Google can find it.
And the other thing I heard yesterday is Google is now
looking at download time as a means of determining page rank
so you also want to cut down the speed
which means all those unnecessary graphics,
all that table layout, you may want to think about what
that does to your search scores.
All right, perceivable, color, so when I was working
on my slides I wanted to make sure
that the color scheme I had was going
to be a high enough contrast.
There's a tool out there, it's free,
it's called color analyzer, I just ran it
through just to make sure.
Because I know that 20% of people,
20% of men are colorblind
and I also know people don't perceive color very well.
And I also didn't know, you know,
how well the contrast was going to be on the screen, you know,
computers are different,
projection screens are different.
So I tried to be, to make my slides as readable as possible.
Now have they been easy to read?
Was I successful?
Okay, cool, but it's an important thing
when you're designing content.
Okay, that was perceivable.
Operable. So, a lot of Websites assume that you have a mouse,
right, if you want to pop up a menu, they're only going to look
for on mouse over, hover,
you can't activate some menu's any other way.
Although a lot of people out there who don't use a mouse.
How many people use an iPhone?
All right, there's no mouse.
So but think about all the other people,
so people who use [inaudible], people are using speech input
who may be using a mouse, directing it with their voice
but don't always assume a mouse.
We like to say you want to be input device agnostic,
right, don't assume a mouse.
And so these up here represent some
of the assistive technologies.
On the lower right is a dynamic Braille display.
So someone who is used to reading Braille,
there's all these little pins that pop up,
create Braille cells for them
and just using the cord they are able to drive their computer.
On the upper right is what's called a head tracker,
someone can wear a silver dot on the middle of their head
and as they move their head around,
it is going to move a mouse but they aren't going to have,
and they're going to be using an onscreen keyboard.
The headphones represent a screen reader and the microphone
and the ear piece represent speech input.
And these are just a small collection of some
of the assistive technologies that are out there.
So operable is all about input methods.
And a very important part of input is navigating
through the content and finding what you want,
getting to what you want and selecting it.
So on this page what is the structure in it?
And in this case it doesn't matter if you can read
or not the actual text because hopefully visually you can see
that there are groups of information.
There's a yellow bar which indicates visually
that that's a new section.
So one of the things we try to do when we create the structure
of a Web page or Web application, you know,
the importance of the semantic, HTML,
is to think about the design, the visual design of a page
and what is the intended path through this design.
What are the groupings, where are the headings
and then thinking about how to emulate
that experience using the page structure, how are you going
to guide somebody through that structure.
So where are you headings, where are the links,
what are the groupings?
And that's it.
And an interesting part about HTML5, so I'm on one
of task forces with an HTML5 working group and I've been
in HTML5 Super Friends, stuff like that,
so I'm excited about HTML5.
And the landmarks and the structure
and all the semantics are going to be great for accessibility.
I have a few concerns about some of the other elements
that I'll get to later but semantics
and semantic HTML is important.
So, for example, if we look at what the actual structure
of this page is each major section has a heading.
Now someone who's using a screen reader
or someone who's using just a keyboard to navigate
through the page, someone who may be visual
but may have a learning disabilities
so they may be using a screen reader,
or someone who has a physical disability
so they're just using the keyboard instead
of a mouse can navigate by headings.
Right, they can navigate the structure.
So you can go heading to heading to heading,
find the heading you want, drill down and find the links then
that you want or read the content that you want to read.
So it's similar to the visual experience.
You scan, find what you're looking for and dig
in a little bit deeper.
Perceivable, operable, understandable.
Understandable, now this is one of the hardest ones
and when we were working, I was editor
of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines throughout its whole
thing and 2.0 for a lot of the time,
and the working group really struggled with understandable.
Because the first two, perceivable and operable are
about getting information into someone's brain.
Once the information is in the brain,
how can you help someone understand it?
And, you know, so how do you write well.
Well that debate's been going on for how many thousands of years?
So we couldn't put any, it was very difficult for us
to put anything in there.
And WCAG had 1.0.
We had a guideline in there that said write simply
and clearly, you know?
A lot of teachers love that but anyone who wanted
to test their site to determine if they had written well,
there was no good test of it.
So that was one
of the frustrating things is we had pull a lot of those ideas,
a lot of the instruction out.
But making things consistent, predicable,
reliable is a really good start.
Especially as you're making widgets and Web applications
and making things work similarly across pages.
The final one is robust.
So Jeffrey Zoldman [assumed spelling] talks a little bit
about future proofing, right,
if you're following Web standards today,
hopefully no matter what browser comes out tomorrow,
what device comes out tomorrow, what assistive technology comes
out tomorrow, your content will continue to work.
And so one of the ways to do that is to follow Web Standards
and that means validating your code and that gets you a lot
of the way to accessibility.
And hopefully that will continue.
I have to say one of the things that's kind of scary
about HTML5 is that, see on HTML4
if you don't have an alt attribute
on an image element you actually,
your code doesn't validate.
In HTML5, there are cases where you don't have
to have an alt attribute on your image element
and you could still validate.
I'm a little scared about that one.
And speaking of HTML5, there are lots
of really amazing problems here
that are very cool engineering problems.
Like I said, I started out as a computer scientist,
I'm an industrial engineer.
These are really cool engineering problems
and if you think so too, you can get involved.
So Canvas, how many people have heard about HTML5 Canvas?
How many people have seen the cool demos here?
Yeah, it's totally cool, it's totally inaccessible too.
So it is, to me it looks like Flash in 1998.
You know, people are going to be doing a lot
of the same things with it.
Again, totally cool.
I don't want to stifle innovation at all.
That is not my purpose.
My purpose here is to inspire you to figure out how
to make this accessible.
We have in the task force, some people are coming
up with some great ideas but to me it really sounds like a hack,
but don't tell them I told you that.
What they want to do is create a shadow dawn that's going
to hide behind the Canvas to make it accessible.
The accessibility will not be built in.
Now I, hopefully any of the libraries that you're using
to generate Canvas will include accessibility.
A lot of the Ajax libraries,
JavaScript libraries include accessibility so I hope
that trend continues and I hope that spreads.
There's a lot of libraries that don't have it yet.
But that's just something to be aware of, right,
and there's some other issues like that in HTML5.
So, how do we make this work right?
I know all of you probably have plenty to do already,
you don't need another thing to learn, right?
But I beg you.
Please, you're doing, it's an amazing thing to do,
it's a good thing to do.
It can get you more customers, more customers means more money.
Following standards in general will help you have easier
to maintain code, easier to change your design and have,
really I want you to think about,
how do we include accessibility at the alpha release?
With Canvas, when they had first started thinking about it,
if someone had been there saying,
hey what about accessibility?
Maybe we wouldn't be having to retrofit Canvas.
Like we're already having to retrofit HTML5
and it's not even done yet.
You know, all the browsers support HTML5 or Canvas
as it is, except for IE, so how are we going to do that?
So I don't have all the answers right?
I don't know how to make it cheap and easy for you.
I can tell you that it's a really awesome thing.
I can tell you that it's a great field to be in.
I don't know how to make it cheap and easy.
That's something I'm still working on.
But I'm willing to work with you and I'm willing to help you
and let's figure out a way together how to,
how to change the world?
I mean that's really what it's all about.
Another thing I can encourage you to do is work
with people with disabilities.
There are amazing communities out there, Disaboom is one
of them, BBC Ouch is another one.
People with disabilities writing their stories,
sharing their experiences in the world.
Connect with them, that's what the Web is all about.
You can also hire people with disabilities.
I mean, I don't see anyone here with a visible disability
and many of you probably have invisible disabilities
but why aren't there more people with disabilities here?
One of the key phrases in the disability rights movement is,
nothing about us without us.
And unfortunately we're kind of doing, without us right now.
So, get people with disabilities involved.
I have 12 interns that I've hired or that I've taught,
five days last year on how to make accessible Websites.
You want to hire them?
I would absolutely love that.
They know what they're doing, they're good students.
So inclusive design.
Design is a key factor here in creating barriers or creating
and allowing and supporting connection.
And just imagine what if we all focused on what we were able
to do instead of what we can't?
What if we focused on how similar we are instead
of how different we are?
And what if we did focus on the differences but not see
that as a bad thing but see that as inspiration?
So imagine if canes and wheelchairs a prosthetics were
as fashionable as eyeglasses?
What would our world look like?
I think it would look really awesome
and I would love to see that happen.
So, thank you very much.
I appreciate it.
[ Audience applause ]