Scheduled at 9:15am in Denver 4-6 on Friday, November 18.#36422
- Andrew Drummond, Director of IT Accessibility Policy & Programs, State of Maryland
- Stephen Polacek, IT Accessibility Evaluator, Maryland Department of Disabilities
- Length of Session: 2-hr
- Format: Bring-your-own Device Workshop: NVDA, Level access color picker chrome extension, ANDI (potentially), WAVE bookmarked
- Expertise Level: Intermediate
- Type of session: General Conference
Participants will learn the fundamentals of accessibility testing and how to navigate the jargon that is become commonplace in the field. The session will expose learners to the digital barriers that prevent access, alternate access methods, and how to conduct manual testing using a variety of tools and techniques. Participants will also learn how to leverage a host of free automated tools that can speed up the testing process exponentially.
The session has been authored to provide participants with an introduction to website and web application accessibility testing. In this day and age, accessibility testing is a vital skill that is in high demand and you can become a difference maker in your current organization or your next workplace. With accessibility related lawsuits on the rise, it is essential that staff can determine if their digital footprint is accessible for all. Attendees will learn numerous techniques and testing tools to determine if a website or web app is accessible, based on the current WCAG success criteria. All participants will gain an introduction in how to use a screen reader to test for accessibility. This session will also provide key information on how to create a (rudimentary) accessible website and or web application. Participants will learn which automated tools can save a significant amount of testing time and help with the creation of a remediation plan. Finally, attendees will leave with specific strategies on how to manage the highly time-consuming and complex process of evaluating an entire website.
- It is vital that organizations possess the capacity to monitor and conduct accessibility testing on their own digital footprint to ensure it works for everyone.
- One’s ability to create engaging accessible public-facing content is paramount for any organization.
- Ability to test third party products to ensure a given IT solution will work for your agency for those with and without disabilities.
Uncategorized, Web/Media Access
With 14 years of experience supporting individuals with disabilities, working in the field of special education, higher education disability support services, assistive technology evaluation and now specializing in digital content accessibility, I have gained a unique and diverse skillset, as it relates to digital and web accessibility. Currently, I am serving as the Director of IT Accessibility and I am the state's lead subject-matter expert (SMEs) on all matters that relate to digital/web accessibility. I have been certified as an accessibility professional by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals and as an expert witness in the area of assistive and inclusive technologies in legal and administrative hearings. Finally, I am the recipient of Governor Hogan’s Citation Award (2021) for my team’s efforts around digital accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stephen Polacek, IT Accessibility Evaluator for the Maryland Department of Disabilities, became involved in accessibility by working with a blindness skills training program in Maryland. He originally had started his career working in television and theatre with a focus on audio production; he then moved into digital communication and website management. These skills have aided him in developing accessible media and combining his education with the training provided by the blind instructors. Stephen is currently Maryland's lead subject matter expert for all things pertaining to digital accessibility. He has worked on numerous accessibility testing/improvement projects that include the use of different combinations of screen readers and operating systems. He has also helped promote accessible gaming and other opportunities through the Maryland Technology Assistance Program.
- MDOD AHG Testing Presentation 2022 - accessible
Testing slide deck