The Main Event – Part 1
A Sneak Peek at the Automation and the Changing Landscape of Section 508: Government Digital Accessibility Training.
Imagine some of the leading accessibility experts from private industry and federal government gathering alongside individuals from the community it’s designed to reach. Imagine hot-topic conversations on issues related to PDF documents, HTML, web, mobile content and the future of these formats for accessibility. Imagine hearing these experts discuss what’s in store for federal agencies as legislation evolves and the impact technology brings. Imagine hearing from the blind and visually impaired community about the effect technology has on them and how their needs are shaping both the legislation and emerging technology. And, imagine exploring how the cloud and automation is changing the landscape of meeting Section 508 compliance, particularly for documents.
Sound interesting? Well, we think so too.
Which is why, on December 4, 2014, Actuate is hosting Automation and the Changing Landscape of Section 508: Government Digital Accessibility Training Event in Washington, DC – a one-day invitation-only, free event focused on digital accessibility for federal government. The theme of the event is “How Automation is Changing the Landscape of Digital Accessibility for Federal Government,” and over the course of two blog posts I’m going to give you a sneak peek of exactly what we’re going to offer.
Today, I’ll focus on the day’s morning sessions.
The morning sessions will involve some of the top names in digital accessibility, discussing some of today’s hottest issues. After my own keynote speech to start the day, there will be a special surprise presentation to kick things off. I can’t offer too many details on that now, but the surprise offers a reminder of the challenges blind and visually impaired users face today. You’re going to have to come to the event to see what it’s all about, though.
A panel discussion will round out the morning, featuring a line-up of leading experts discussing some of the most important topics in accessible digital content today.
So who’ll be participating in the panel? Only some of digital accessibility’s most prominent advocates, consultants, policy makers and influencers – and some of the most knowledgeable and engaging people we’ve encountered in the field. That includes Timothy Creagan with the United States Access Board; Heidi Walters from the American Foundation for the Blind; and Matt Ater from Freedom Scientific, the makers of JAWS screen-reader technology. Terry Weaver, currently of Weaver Consulting and formerly of the General Services Administration (GSA), will be there as well. In fact, many of the contributors speaking throughout the day are visually impaired themselves, offering a first-hand perspective from the community affected by government’s accessibility efforts.
The panelists will be offering their perspectives on a number of issues. Some of the questions we’re looking to ask include:
- How much impact has Section 508 had within the federal government, and what impacts can we anticipate within the private sector moving forward?
- Why is legislative compliance so slow to happen?
- How will digital accessibility impact more traditional formats, such as Braille and large print?
- Should all digital content, including documents, be presented in HTML?
- Should we be moving towards the standardization of XML for mobile devices?
And of course, after the panel session is complete, attendees will have the opportunity to ask their own questions, and interact with the experts to find out anything they need to do.
But that’s just our morning plans for the event. There’s even more on offer in the afternoon. I’ll go into more detail on that in my next blog post.
If you’re interested in finding out more on Automation and the Changing Landscape of Section 508: Government Digital Accessibility Training, or receiving an invitation, please contact me via LinkedIn or email to firstname.lastname@example.org.