July 9th 2019 – MUG Meeting
We meet at 6:30pm on the second Tuesday of each month at the Farmington Community Library.
Accessibility and Web Design
Many developers believe that once they get the software working on their machines then their job is done. If it looks good and it works then it must be good for everyone. But what happens when your target audience isn't quite like you. What if they are blind or have low vision? Many modern web frameworks don't give a great experience for someone who is blind. Some developers also feel they "know better" about the experience of being blind or working with low vision without actually consulting someone who experiences these first-hand. Cathy and Nino are both totally blind and will discuss the importance of making websites as accessible as possible so that everyone can be included in data dissemination. They will provide website references and website accessibility checking tools so that interested website developers can ensure that their products are as accessible as possible. They both use screen reading software (JAWS (Job Access Work Station) sold by Vispero) on their home computers. This software runs on the Microsoft platform only. They will also speak on VoiceOver, which runs on the iOS platform.
The following resources are available as part of this presentation:
- Links to accessibility resources: accessibility overview2019.docx
- Additional links to accessibility resources: Follow-up-accessibility.docx
Nino Pacini received his bachelor’s degree in software engineering/programming from Wayne State University in 1986. He worked as a large systems programmer for 15 years before retiring from the field and focusing on technology accessibility issues and options. For the past 15 years he has worked teaching accessible technologies to the Visually Impaired at the Visually Impaired Services office in the Detroit Medical Center, part time. He has also taught IOS accessibility to the same population via their iPhones. He has been a volunteer website accessibility tester on several occasions for companies wishing to improve outreach into the visually impaired community. Nino also worked with some automotive companies to provide automobile audibility feedback on plug-in electric vehicles. Nino is a semi-self-taught tinkerer who is fascinated by the intricacies of systems whether mechanical or electronic.
Nino is semi-retired, but continues to teach access technology on a part-time basis.
Cathy McAdam has 20 years experience in rehabilitation medicine as a medical social worker at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan. She received her Masters Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University. Cathy started her own company in 1999, as a consultant focused on advocacy for assistive technology, and partnering with DiverseAbility LLC, as an advocate for the full inclusion of people with disabilities in corporations, creating increased success of the organization and career growth for the employee. Cathy worked part time with Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC), leading assistive technology (AT) projects to drive systemic change that will permanently improve access to assistive technology devices and services. Cathy also participated on the Michigan Department of Education, Low Incidence Outreach (MDE-LIO) technology team to assist with curriculum development of training for students who are blind or have low vision, their parents and teachers.
Cathy is retired but continues work as an advocate and volunteer for disability concerns.
Plus we'll have our regular features: Jobs Looking for People, People Looking for Jobs, and much more! We'll also be meeting for dinner at the Buddy's Pizza in Novi (44225 W 12 Mile Road, Novi, MI 48377) after the meeting.
Farmington Hills, MI 48334