A11y @ Ohio Linux Fest

This year, Ohio Linux Fest will be held in Columbus, Ohio September
28-30.  I initially thought about proposing my "A11y: Its about you!"
talk, but after reading the OLF website, knowing their interests in
promoting open A11y, and seeing how people commented about a11y at
Indiana Linux Fest last weekend, I thought...  Why not go for something
bigger this time?  Go for the bang!

My proposal:  

1.  We set up a very large booth that isn't focused on any one
organization, but rather on open a11y in general.  Booth staff would
include reps from GNOME, Mozilla, FSF, Oracle, etc.  Hands on
demonstrations of what our software can do.  

2.  Propose more advanced talks, such as "How you can test to ensure
your software is accessible," or "how to deploy a11y software in your
environment."  (I get asked this a lot!)   My "It's about you!" talk
really is more an introduction/marketing talk.  It's good, but doesn't
do enough to get more people to pay attention to a11y in their own

3.  Organize a hacksession, perhaps either one of our traditional "fix
what's broken in a11y" events, or "fix what's accessibly-broken in non
a11y-software."  OLF has a community day on Friday which is more focused
on workshops and whatnot.  An ideal day to set up hacksessions before
the main event on Saturday.

I think given the combined resources of the various organizations and
that a number of a11y contributors live somewhat close to Ohio, we could
make a good go of this.  And potentially make this a blueprint for
organizing similar events around the world.  Getting more people aware,
interested, and involved, is a good thing, IMO.

It would also create an opportunity to invite local agencies, school
districts, etc. that work with people of various abilities.  A plus for
us to demonstrate our awesomeness to target audiences, and a plus for
the event host to increase attendance to their show.

I'm not proposing we do this instead of traditional dotOrg booths.  For
example, if GNOME community plans to have a booth, they should still do
so.  But we would be creating a traveling "A11y Center" of which GNOME
would be a "consortium" member.  

Frankly, I think this would be a more likely success-story outcome than
at places like CSUN conference.


Bryen M Yunashko

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