AccessU and eLearning Symposium Recaps


AccessU was fabulous again this year. This year’s theme was “Train to Win!” Not sure what AccessU is…it is the creation of a wonderful company, Knowbility, and no I am not being paid to say that. The brains behind Knowbility gather up as much electronic accessibility expertise as they can find and put into a plethora of classes jammed into three days.

I co-led this class with a colleague regarding contracting and procurement in state government and how and where accessibility may fit in. Yep, you guessed right, it’s a boring subject but we presented it well. By the way, disclaimer, I both taught the class and volunteered for the event in exchange for a free ticket to attend classes. I also attended Basic HTML Accessibility Techniques, 2014 AccessU Digital Accessibility Legal Update, (a review of recent legal settlements regarding accessibility in various industries), Designing for Accessibility… did you know that ‘drag and drop’ is the most complicated task to complete on websites?? I also made it to Accessible WordPress Content so I can ensure this blog is A-OK.

Another phenomenal classes were What Would the Judge Say? Accessibility Best Practices and WCAG 2.0 Violations where we got to discuss the various interpretations of WCAG 2.0 standards as well as the various judge rulings. Some judges will follow the law word for word while others will follow the “spirit” of the law. If you are working with a team regarding accessibility, the entire team needs to be on the same page in regards to interpreting WCAG 2.0 standards.

The absolute highlight for me was attending Elle Waters’ Accessibility, The Next Generation. Elle is just a genius. She put together  a panel of four teenagers either with a disability or an interest in disabilities to discuss their thoughts on accessibility, what technologies they are using and interested in and what led them to an interest in accessibility. This was the most fascinating class I attended in the three years I’ve attended!

Just for giggles, the last class I chose to attend was Android Web & Native Accessibility in 4.4 KitKat. I’m and Android lover, you will not get me to switch to iOS. The instructor demonstrated how to use the new accessibility features in the latest Android operating system, version 4.4 KitKat. He also spent a few minutes comparing the accessibility features offered on both Androids and iPhones. I just upgraded to version 4.4 this morning and used the demo’s he provided.

eLearning Symposium

I felt so honored to be personally invited to attend the symposium this year. I have never attended before as it is a bit out of my job scope. I do create training, but it’s more like once a year as a need arises. As we near the end of fiscal year budgets I knew my department would likely not be able to afford to send me. Lo and behold scholarships were available too! So me and three coworkers (who actually do training consistently as a part of their job) were all able to attend for free. Just like AccessU, it was fabulous!

There were 5 total presenters as well as a panel discussion with 4 additional eLearning gurus. Topics ranged from implementing a successful learning management system (LMS) to using videos in training, and how to avoid creating crappy training.


Check it out, Accessibility, was one of the top two trending suggestions for next year’s topics!

I can’t leave you with out showing the vender swag too…




To celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day, The Paciello Group will be holding 24 one-hour webinars on all things accessibility. The sessions range from beginner-to-advanced and are aimed at everyone from executives to web developers.

Sessions start at Midnight, GMT, on May 15th. Our online schedule at should do the automatic conversion for you. If not, you can enter the time(s) at the following website and get the relevant information for your timezone:

To join the meeting, go to

Follow the event with the dual hashtags #ID24 #GAAD

Psst…stay tuned for my recaps of AccessU and the eLearning Symposium.

Upcoming Events in Austin

With SXSW and CSUN done, it’s time to focus on AccessU by Knowbility (May 12-14). This year I’m super stoked to be presenting a class on the importance and details needed to include accessibility in your purchases.

Upcoming *free* and *accessible* events in Austin:

Art in the Park
Very Special Arts
Friday April 4 from 9:30AM – 1:30PM
Emma S. Barrientos Mexican American Cultural Center
600 South Red River Austin, Texas 78701

Ability Fair
Easter Seals
Saturday April 26 from 8:30AM – 1:30PM
Easter Seals Central Texas Headquarters
1611 headway Circle Austin, Texas 78754

Region 13 (Central Texas) Spring Games
Special Olympics
Friday May 2 from 1:00PM – 6:30PM
Saturday May 3 from 7:00AM – 7:00PM
AC Bible Stadium
3301 South Bagdad Road Leander, Texas 78641 (North edge of Cedar Park)


2013 Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival

Hello Movie Fans!

I won’t be able to attend but I didn’t want to leave you in the dark. The Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival is sponsored by the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities.

What you need know:

  • Doors open 6 pm, program begins at 6:30 both Friday and Saturday nights.  Because a number of wheelchair users will be there, please allow a little extra time to enter and get your seats!  And to peruse the excellent menu!
  • Two great evenings of unique disability cinema and more–details below!
  • Purchase tickets online for only $10/night  BUT the tickets are fully redeemable for food and drink off the excellent Alamo Drafthouse Village menu— that means FREE ADMISSION!
  • at Alamo Drafthouse Village,( (2700 West Anderson, Austin, Tx 78757).  the South Lamar location is under renovation
  • Cinema Touching Disability is a project of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, a non-profit advocacy organization for people with disabilities. 

2013 Cinema Touching Disability
Film Festival and Short Film Competition
Tickets On Sale Now!

For a more detailed and comprehensive look at the history of the Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival and Short Film Competition, visit their webpage.

Here are the highlights for each night:

Friday, November 1st

  • Get a chance to buy an original graffiti piece by Austin-based Nathan “Sloke One” Nordstrom.  He will be doing a live graffiti art demo in the theatre’s parking lot as you arrive for the show.
  • The feature film will be Getting Up: the Tempt One Story.  After being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease and rendered almost completely paralyzed, a graffiti artist regains his voice through technology that reads the movement of his eyes and enables him to create art and write once again.
  • Following the feature film, hear from Sloke One about graffiti art.
  • A must see, exclusive CTD interview with Dr. Temple Grandin!  Called the most successful adult with autism in the world–amazing insights and perceptions.
  • Top three finalists from the short film competition (non-documentary category) and be ready to vote for the  Audience Favorite Award.  Will you agree with the official competition judges?

Saturday, November 2nd

  • You don’t want to miss the start of this night’s event!  We will start off by showing a few original CTD shorts that were made just for the Alamo Drafthouse.
  • The feature film is The Crash Reel.  This is the dramatic story of one unforgettable athlete, Kevin Pearce; one eye-popping sport, snowboarding; and one explosive issue, Traumatic Brain Injury. A comeback story with a difference.
  • After the feature film, join us in a Skyped discussion and Q&A with Director Lucy Walker about the making of The Crash Reel.
  • Boston Marathon 2013 as experienced by CTD’s William Greer!
  • Top three finalist from the film competition (documentary category) and be ready to vote for your favorite again.

Unique raffle prizes each night:

The Autistic Brain, autographed by author Temple Grandin.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? DVD, signed by actress Darlene Cates.

Issue #1 of Soldier Zero graphic, the superhero with a spinal cord injury!

Each show will begin at 6:30pm and lasts until 9:30 at the Alamo Drafthouse Village (2700 West Anderson, Austin, Tx 78757).  If you purchase a $10 ticket early, you will get $10 off the food (including beer and wine) that you enjoy during the movie.  If you haven’t eaten the food from there, we can guarantee that everything on the menu is delicious.  To buy tickets, click here for Friday and/or here for Saturday.

For those of you who are adventurous enough, we dare you to come in you Halloween custumes!

Fly Swatter

A friend brought a show-and-tell item to a previous tech lunch meeting that was so funny and unbelievable that I had to have one myself. Behold the

Braille Fly Swatter…

2013-09-15 19.49.11 2013-09-15 19.47.41

My friend who brought it, who is completely blind by the way, joked that it was for the blind flies to know when they were about to get swatted. On a more serious and wonderful note, apparently this company, IMS Trading, labels all of their products with Braille. Check out a short article about the company here: