23 Aug 2011

Accessibility Workshops ahoy! Speakers and contributors wanted!

smart accessibility 2011 fb imageict ktn logoAs you may already be aware, the lovely people at Vodafone Foundation have set up the Smart Accessibility Awards http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011/ which Mobile Monday London is actively supporting. To remind you quickly, these awards are to celebrate apps that help people in four key areas: Social participation, independent living, mobility and well-being.

As part of this initiative, we've teamed up with the ICT KTN http://www.ictktn.org.uk and Vodafone Foundation Smart Accessibility Awards to bring you 4 half-day workshops looking at this area specifically which will run in September. We'll be running workshops with our sister Mobile Monday chapters in London (date tbc), Manchester (w/c 19 September), Edinburgh (16 September) and Belfast (26 September). There will also be workshops in Amsterdam, Madrid and Berlin in September. And we need your help please.

The goal of the workshops is to inspire and enable application developers to create useful tools for people who have visual, aural, cognitive or other impairments by helping them understand and empathize what life is like for people in this situation. This empathy and understanding is created by bringing together developers and accessibility advocates and people with impairments to exchange information, and allowing developers to experience simulations of being impaired.

App developers who have had the opportunity to experience as directly as possible, first or second-hand, what it means to live with specific impairments, and have been put in touch with the larger community around accessibility, create more effective apps to better the quality of life for everyone. The result not only helps people with major disabilities, but also people with minor or temporary impairments, for example due to ageing or illness.

The format of the workshops will be discussion based and there will be technical people on hand to answer specific questions related to Android, but there will be different speakers and contributors to reflect the local scene. That means we're on the hunt for speakers and contributors who have something to share in this topic area. Perhaps you have an impairment yourself and can tell us what the implications are for your mobile and digital life? Or maybe you've done research in this area? Perhaps you have a mobile product or service and you can share that case study? Perhaps you understand the commercial opportunity that this represents? Or perhaps you work in a relevant third sector organisation and can bring some insight? Or maybe you're an Android expert who really understands this accessibility question?

If you'd like to contribute, or can recommend someone you think would be a great contributor, please get in touch with Helen Keegan.

Thanks in advance