Accessibility for beginners with Elizabeth Fiennes

12th January 2023
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Elizabeth Fiennes's profile
Elizabeth Fiennes

Quality Engineering Manager

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Talk Description
If your business has a publicly facing website, it should be usable for users with all sorts of accessibility needs. It is the fair, considerate, just, inclusive thing to do. We all want to do the right thing by society, right?
The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) are great but I have seen them regarded as optional rather than underpinning the design process for new websites. It's a complex area with a lot of nuance and can feel intimidating to those new to the subject.
So how do you get started in this area? In this talk, I go through my experiences in accessibility testing over the last 10 years, address some of the myths that prevail, cover how to persuade your peers to invest in accessibility, show what good accessible design looks like and give some practical advice on what to do if you have to retrospectively build in accessibility to an already live offering.
Key takeaways include:
  • An understanding of what accessibility is.
  • How to advocate for accessibility.
  • An understanding of who benefits from accessible design.
  • Examples of the bad things that happen when accessibility is not considered (and how to avoid them).
  • Understand what the WCAG accessibility guidelines are and how to use them in design and testing.
  • Develop the skills to carry out an audit for accessibility on your own publicly facing website.
Elizabeth Fiennes's profile'

Elizabeth Fiennes

Quality Engineering Manager

Been in testing and QA since 1998. Yes, they had computers way back then. No, my first tablet was not made out of stone :) Since then, she has taken some time off for two people shaped development projects of her own. She describes herself as “cat slave” to a very large and opinionated Tuxedo Tom who likes walking across keyboards and spilling tea. Doing talks and writing blogs were not something she was comfortable with so she challenged herself to start doing them in 2018. One of the happiest results of this experiment was making new wonderful friends which is one of the best outcomes of breaking out of any comfort zone.
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