Getting A11y in Guelph

Wow. It was an incredible feeling to be part of the two-day conference in Guelph. To be surrounded by such talented and supportive individuals, all working tirelessly inclusion makes my heart sing.

I thought I’d share my presentation online in case anyone wanted a copy or couldn’t attend in-person.

Note: You can also download the presentation as a PowerPoint file or as a Word document.

Aside from the obvious feelings of accomplishment (and relief) that comes with getting up on a podium to speak, I hold these valuable lessons to heart:

  1. No ‘I’ in ‘Team’ – I couldn’t have done the day without my co-speaker, Lisa Syms. Her input and commitment to making our presentation a success meant everything that day.
  2. Practice + Preparation – While I wished I could have seen the first session before ours, I am grateful we chose to use the hour to practice. Fumbling though cables and downloading files in front of a live audience is not recommended.
  3. Something will go wrong – Even with all the careful planning and timing, who knew the speakers would be wonky? (It was another reason why captions are helpful for everyone).
  4. Confidence goes a long way – For the entire month up to May 29th, I was constantly worried my knowledge wouldn’t be enough for an audience at Guelph. I was a student, how could I offer anything useful? It turns out, confidence really helps here. When you slap on your game-face and step up to the plate (or…podium), you realize: you’ve got this.
  5. Savour the moment – With all the hubbub and activity, I had to pinch myself to stop and enjoy myself. I was in a beautiful campus with friends and colleagues, attending a once-in-a-year conference dedicated to inclusive design. How awesome was that?

With these five take-aways in mind, I’m going to leave you here with yet another Tolkien (and Lord of the Rings) quote…

Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on on the story.