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A11yTo Conf 2018

I’m nervous and excited to be traveling north to Canada, to speak at the prestigious A11yTo Conf. I’ve spoken at many larger conferences, but A11yTo Conf (Accessibility Toronto Conference) is a more selective event, with all the best accessibility speakers.

I admit to some imposter syndrome. In reality, I’m pretty highly specialized within accessibility, in the tiny niche of accessible data visualizations. Most of the speakers, and many of the attendees, have been practicing accessibility in the trenches for many years, and they have skills way beyond my own in many ways.

But accessible data visualization is a useful specialty, so I feel I have something to offer. My talk this year is a brand-new deck, addressing the cognitive processes that make data visualizations work for sighted people, with lessons learned about how to make some of the same things work for non-sighted people, in a different medium.

When it comes down to it, data visualization is about solving tasks with data, answering questions about facts. And that can be accomplished efficiently in many different ways.

I’m also a bit nervous about my new deck, Data Verbalization. My previous presentation, Invisible Visualization, was refined and revised and remixed over the years, and I was comfortable with how to deliver it. But sometimes we need to get out of our comfort zone and explore new ways to reach new people. I learned a lot while researching this new presentation, and I’d like to think I’m getting more scientific about the material, while still presenting it in a clear, common-sense way that’s pragmatic and relatable‚Ķ or so I hope!

I hope to see some of you in Toronto at #a11yTOConf, October 15 and 16, 2018. I go on at 11:20am on the first day, so I’ll have the rest of the conference to learn from the other speakers.

Wish me luck, and come talk to me if you’re there!

Talk Summary

Data Verbalization: Data visualization doesn’t have to be visual! Don’t assume that a chart or diagram can’t be made accessible. In this talk, you’ll learn tips and best practices for making complex graphical content available to all, and hear about tools and software that make it easy to accessibilify your diagrams.

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