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Cover image for [On-Demand Talk] Accessibility is Not a Mystery
Laurel Younis for CodeLand 2022

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[On-Demand Talk] Accessibility is Not a Mystery

About this talk

If you think lack of accessibility on websites doesn’t or won’t impact you, think again. The harsh reality is that every single person is going to experience eyesight degeneration in their lifetime that will result in requiring the use of accessibility technologies. The reality is that accessible features are no longer just for edge cases, but for everyone. Not only is it ethically imperative to create technologies which promote an inclusive society that benefits all, accessibility has also become a legal requirement.

This talk with begin with an overview of what accessibility is, and how to get started on the pathway of learning about it as well as implementing it as a new developer. It will answer questions such as: what accessibility is in terms of web development, where to locate good learning resources, and how to begin implementing basic accessibility concepts into digital products.

We then end with a high-level overview of the legal impact of web accessibility. With an overview of governing bodies of laws and regulations that determine what is considered compliant, what is legally required in the current landscape, how to use Chrome Dev tools to do a basic accessibility site audit, as well as how to stay informed, updated, and get involved in the rapidly evolving sector of being an accessible developer.

Talk Recording



🌈 Comment below and ask me questions — I might just answer them during my live speaker discussion!

About me

Hi! I'm Laurel Younis — your inclusive software engineer & tech leader delivering high energy talks that challenge folks to leverage their focus and pay attention to what matters most at work & in life. I aim to bring practical strategy to others, enabling you to easily implement the techniques and advice given into their personal projects and professional lives. I like to think that my background in software development, business consulting, and entrepreneurship enables me to connect with all kinds of people.

This on-demand talk is part of CodeLand 2022 — a virtual conference brought to you by CodeNewbie & DEV on June 16 & 17, 2022.

Top comments (19)

fizzybuzzybeezy profile image

Hi Laurel. Thank you for your talk! One area that seems to be missing in new tech is help for elderly with visual impairments that may have mobility problems or aren't very familiar with newer devices, but would otherwise be quick learners with adequate instructions. My 82 year old aunt lives a distance away, has macular degeneration but otherwise has a sharp mind. She's feeble, but can hear fine and give audible commands as well as use manual controls and feel haptic feedback. I'm just surprised there's no devices marketed for diminished sighted individuals. Thanks for the tip on the #a11y. I'll try that and see what I can find to help! I have several cousins in this same situation. <3

nakedgrammer profile image
Sea Dub

Thank you for the talk! I am especially curious about people with Autism interacting with technology. It makes me curious what devices or technologies are available to help communicate with the outside world and get their needs met.

ceciliapina profile image

My nephew is also on the autism spectrum and l constantly think about his accessibility in technology since he loves to use it so much. This is a great conversation to be had to help us be inclusive technologists.

michaeltharrington profile image
Michael Tharrington

Really excellent talk, Laurel. 🙌

You mentioned at the beginning of your talk that you have a child on the autism spectrum and you mentioned the digital communication board that helped your family. Do you have any other suggestions for parents interested in maximizing the accessibility of technology for their children on the spectrum?

jolenekearse profile image
Jolene Kearse

Can you recommend a screen reader we can use to check our sites? I try to follow guidelines for adding labels and aria-roles, but I'm still not always sure I've done a good enough job.

carolineschettler profile image

You talked about the categorization of different types of disabilities including temporary and permanent and you mentioned a broken arm as as temporary disability. Is there anything software developers to do improve web accessibility for folks with broken arms or other temporary disabilities?

devencourt profile image
brian bethencourt

What do you think can be done at an organizational-level to build accessibility empathy on software teams?

timdehof profile image

Great Talk! I wish this was talked about more when I was in my coding Bootcamp.

anyanka profile image

Thank you Laurel, great talk and I appreciate the linked resources. Like in Bethany's talk I like the aspect of empathy, it's so important.

soccerzortz profile image
Lara Krefski

I have been trying to learn more about accessibility and trying to figure out what we can do for our company website to make it easier for users with disabilities. I am very interested in this talk.

mburkhardt52 profile image
Michael Burkhardt

Nicely done bringing it home to everyone. Thank you.

ifo profile image
Ifo Ikede • Edited

hmm . .this talk on accessibility also reminds me of the 8-80 cities project to make cities more accessible . for people from age 8 till 80 ..
because if its accessible to an 8yr old ( including the parent with children in strollers) . and also accessible to an 80yr old. it will most likely be accessible to everyone else..
is there a similar initiative in tech?

aigarspl profile image
Aigars Pluģis • Edited

This talk connects with previous speaker so well, like those are complementing each other!

hellotjphan profile image
TJ Phan

This is exactly what I needed and wanted to hear about.

pablohe78730909 profile image
Pablo Hernandez

Hi Laurel, my daughter Lauren is all about inclusivity. She is just a wee 12 yr old however she had the inclusion bug in her since a child. She would pretend she was a health advocate and mimic the diabetes medication/monitoring commercials. She loves coding just like her Pops, so this arena is about giving back and I am all about giving to those in need of good health care and solutions.