AccessU and eLearning Symposium Recaps

AccessU

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.

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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…

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