"Accessibility is not just a practice, its a culture & a mindset." - IBM|
According to the World Health Organization more than 1 billion people worldwide live with a disability. That's more than 15 percent of our global population! In fact, as of 2020, 22 percent of the world's population is over 60 years old---this is noteworthy because, as people age, they may experience changes in their abilities. To be inclusive means to embrace disability from the very beginning: from the earliest planning stages of a product, to its launch, to its latest updates. If accessibility is an afterthought, changes may be rushed or viewed as a low priority, which often results in people with disabilities having an inferior experience & feeling excluded. At a minimum, criteria for success of a designed product, service, or experience should be its usability by everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities. Digital access is not just for compliance or designing inclusive products, it is a civil right covered by the American Disabilities Act. The question of usability & access are as important to designers as to those who produce products like developers & product managers.
Inclusive design is becoming the norm as many tech companies expect their developers, designers, & product owners to know the common standards & specs for accessible interfaces which are used by people with disabilities. Unfortunately, even as progress has been made in industry, digital accessibility is rarely part of design standard or introductory course work. How many developers/freelancers actually graduate or learn these standards during a Web Design 101 class? How many websites actually adhere to these guildlines today? How many of us ensure that we comply to a11y standards on personal/small scale projects?
Being inclusive can change what is possible for people with disabilities. It also helps organizations ensure they are doing their work with truly everyone in mind. In this panel we plan to address the core topics around accessibility & encourage developers & companies to build in rather than bolt on accessibility to their products
This IBM Developer event is open to everyone, & we encourage everyone to join the conversation. When we all have empathy for others, we can build amazing things that benefit everyone.
4:00 pm Check-In & Introductions
4:15 pm Panel Discussion
5:00 pm Q&A
IBM Cloud Staff Software Engineer | IBM Developer Advocate
Laura Silva - Vice President, Accessibility Technology @ Bank of America
Charu Pandhi - Accessibility Researcher @ IBM
Tiffany Chen - UX Designer for Inclusive Design @ Microsoft
Randy Horwitz - Senior Manager @ IBM Cloud