How We Stream and Record our Meetup Events

Posted February 14th, 2017 in Meetups by deconspray

I love to teach. I love to provide information that helps people excel.

As organizer of a digital accessibility meetup, I strongly believe that recording our meetup events (where appropriate) benefits everyone, both those that attend in person, as well as those digesting the video stream.

As many meetups don’t do this, for various reasons, I thought I’d share information on how we stream and record our meetup events in hopes that a few others might move from consideration to actual implementation.

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Virtual Hosts for MAMP-Based Local Web Development on macOS Sierra

Posted December 25th, 2016 in Web Design by deconspray

I decided to write this post for two reasons; 1.) as a personal reference and 2.) to share what I learned so that others might get to their goal quicker.

Some Background

Skip to the actual steps…

I’m fairly new to the Mac, have transitioned from the PC full time a couple years ago. I created a decent local development that worked for me; simple, straightforward, not complex.

I had virtual hosts set up while on the El Capitan OS in a way when I created a new folder, the virtual host would dynamically be created. After a regular update, I lost this functionality … all virtual host functionality. No matter what I did, I couldn’t get virtual hosts to function again. At one point, I lost the ability to have MAMP’s Apache run without issue. Several months after the Sierra macOS upgrade became available, I hoped this upgrade would resolve the issue, to no avail. After every attempt failed, I decided to wipe out my Mac, and start from scratch.
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Advertising and Accessibility

Posted June 26th, 2016 in Accessibility by deconspray

I’ve found it very difficult to find solid information on how to make online advertising accessible. Interestingly enough, most of the information I did find was research performed during the early part of this century. Had nothing changed?

After a couple of years experience, I’ve come up with some foundational guidance for online advertising. As HTML5 methods develop further, there may be a part two to this post.

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An Open Letter to All CSUN 2016 Presenters and Speakers

Posted March 13th, 2016 in Featured by deconspray

Although this post is geared toward the upcoming 2016 CSUN conference, this request is for any and all conference, meetup and webinar presenters.

Post your presentations online, and provide the URL before you begin your presentation and after your presentation.

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Upcoming Accessibility Event: Cultural Accessibility at the MCA Chicago

Posted January 17th, 2016 in Accessibility by deconspray

As organizer of a local digital accessibility meetup, I’m always looking for local accessibility wins, case studies that others can experience and learn from.
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How we code (for accessibility)

Posted September 14th, 2015 in Accessibility by deconspray

This post results from the need to validate a personal viewpoint I had related to coding for accessibility.

The Gist

Via Twitter and Survey Monkey, I polled anyone who would give the topic a little attention the following question:

Related to accessibility, how do you code?

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Twitter accounts every Accessibility person must follow – Part One

Posted August 12th, 2015 in Accessibility by deconspray

Stemming from a recent post on the Twitter accounts every designer must follow, and timed coincidently when I was planning to send out several “FollowFriday” tweets, I’m sharing a list of the people you must follow on Twitter if you have any interest in digital accessibility. And as I fall under the category of “human,” if I missed anyone who really should be included in this list, please share them in the comments below.

Where’s Part 2, you ask (even if you didn’t, behave…). I know I will leave off people and organizations due to time, forgetfulness, etc. Therefore, expect me to share more Twitter accounts in the future.

Note: everything I know about accessibility is due to these steller individuals. To them, thanks for all you do.

  • Jennison Asuncion @Jennison

    Jennison AsuncionI call Jennison “The Great Connector,” not just because he’s a Digital Accessibility leader at LinkedIn (get it, connector … LinkedIn), but because he has done so much to start communities in Toronto, the San Francisco bay area, and assist with making accessibility matter in many other cities across the globe, including my hometown, Chicago. Not to mention the co-founder of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (read how it all got started).

  • Steve Faulkner @stevefaulkner

    Steve FaulknerSteve is an integral part of what we have with HTML today. Steve posts on the latest nuances with HTML5, ARIA and more. Steve tweets great resources and tips.

  • Léonie Watson @LeonieWatson

    Léonie WatsonLéonie’s powerful presentations, such as “Design like we give a damn!” have become standard study material for up-and-coming accessibility folks. Léonie tweets valuable resources on digital accessibility.

  • Marcy Sutton @marcysutton

    Marcy SuttonI first became familiar with Marcy during a JavaScript for Everybody presentation. During this presentation, she demonstrated attempting to navigate a recently redesigned airline website that was consider slick. Yet we quickly observed that it wasn’t accessible by all. Marcy’s now an Accessibility Engineer at Adobe, an Angular core team member and curates Accessibility Wins, a blog highlighting great accessibility features of websites.

  • Billy Gregory @thebillygregory

    Billy GregoryBilly Gregory is the co-organizer of the Toronto Accessibility Meetup, and an accessibility “guy” at The Paciello Group. You’ll find Billy posting some interesting accessibility stuff, like the tweet that turned into a poster everyone wanted.

  • Karl Groves @karlgroves

    Karl GrovesFormer rocker turned web accessibility consultant and developer, Karl has made a name for himself, first blogging on the perils of accessibility testing, then creating tenon.io, an automated accessibility testing API.

  • Viking & Lumberjack @VandLShow

    Viking & Lumberjack What happens when you place Billy Gregory and Karl Groves together in one place? Accessibility Mayhem! Billy & Karl as the Viking & Lumberjack almost brought the house down at the annual CSUN convention with chants from the crowd of “WTF ARIA!” Their video briefs create awareness of digital accessibility issues in a unique and entertaining way.

  • Joe Dolson @joedolson

    Joe DolsonJoe is a web developer, accessibility consultant, and WordPress plugin developer. He has aided in moving WordPress towards accessibility as a contributor to Make WordPress Accessible, and WordPress Core.

  • Jordan Quintal @JordanQ416

    Jordan QuintalI met Jordan at WordCamp Milwaukee and had seen his presentations on video. Jordan is as much of an evangelist for accessibility as he is for WordPress. He frequently posts on accessibility, WordPress and the web industry in general.

  • Henny Swan @iheni

    Henny SwanHenny is an accessible UX, mobile and multimedia currently for the Paciello Group, formally with the BBC. Great tweets with resources to the latest information on accessibility.

  • Derek Featherstone @feather

    Derek FeatherstoneI’ve been following Derek when he was one of the early leaders of web standards (think Jeffrey Zeldman – @zeldman). Derek focused on his love for teaching and accessibility. Derek runs Simply Accessible, a team of accessibility specialists changing the perception of accessibility on the web. He posts tidbits and links to presentations and resources, and a wee bit on Scotch.

  • Paul J. Adam @pauljadam

    Paul J. AdamPaul is continually testing and tweeting on his discoveries when it comes to developing for accessibility. He posts tweets on his latest demos frequently.

  • holistica11y @dylanbarrell

    holistica11yDylan works at Deque and like Paul J. Adams, tweets and retweets a plethora of valuable information on digital accessibility. I’ve found the resources shared to be invaluable.

  • Aaron Gustafson @AaronGustafson

    Aaron GustafsonLike Derek Featherstone, I’ve known of Aaron for seemingly forever. Best known for his work, writings and presentations on progressive enhancement, there’s always a valuable accessibility spin to his teachings. Aaron is the author of Adaptive Web Design and now advocates for web standards & accessibility at Microsoft.

  • Jared Smith @jared_w_smith

    Jared SmithJared is the Associate Director at WebAim.org, a fantastic resource for digital accessibility. He’s been sharings his knowledge and experience on accessibility for over six years.

  • Denis Boudreau @dboudreau

    Denis BoudreauDenis is a Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at Simply Accessible. He tweets frequently on his observations, experiences and valuable resources. And wears a mean AD/DC-themed HTML t-shirt.

  • Jonathan Hassell @jonhassell

    Jonathan HassellJonathan got his start at the BBC, creating the foundation for accessibility that leads all industries today. He is the author of Including your missing 20% and helped author BS8878, the British Standard for accessibility. Jonathan shares valuable tweets and experiences on accessibility.

  • Dennis Lembrée @dennisl

    Dennis LembréeAuthor of @EasyChirp & @WebAxe; day job at eBay. Posts and retweet valuable information. Plus, shares my name and my favorite decade of music … the 80s.

  • Bruce Lawson @brucel

    Bruce LawsonBruce is a self-described Web standards lovegod, co-wrote Introducing HTML5 and works at Opera. He tweets on web standards, accessibility and entertaining oddities. He also spars with Steve Faulkner from time to time.

  • Sam J @mixolydian

    Sam JSam shares out alot of great accessibility resources and some darn valuable advice from a personal perspective.

  • Patrick H. Lauke @patrick_h_lauke

    Patrick H. LaukePatrick is always seeking and sharing digital accessibility knowledge and tidbits that enrich everyone else’s lives.

  • Wendy Chisholm @wendyabc

    Wendy ChisholmWendy is the co-author of Universal Design for Web Applications and a Strategist for Microsoft. She tweets valuable information and resources.

  • Laura Carlson @laura_carlson

    Laura CarlsonIt’s not the number of tweets, it’s that one tweet a week I look forward to. That’s when she announces the latest edition of her Web Design Update, which typically start off with fantastic accessibility resources from the past week.

  • Adrian Roselli @aardrian

    Adrian RoselliEvery time I see
    a post from Adrian, I get excited. Many of his presentation are reference material for me. Then there’s the Homer Simpson moments:

  • Lainey Feingold @LFLegal

    Lainey FeingoldAs Lainey’s Twitter handle suggests, Lainey is a disability rights lawyer specializing in digital, tech+ info access. Her posts cover the gamut within the legal realm of accessibility.

  • Joseph Karr O’Connor @AccessibleJoe

    Joseph Karr O'ConnorJoseph is a leader not only in the accessibility community, but also the WordPress community. In fact, Joseph is a member of the WordPress Accessibility Team.

  • The Paciello Group @paciellogroup

    The Paciello GroupAn authority in the accessibility field, the Paciello Group posts valuable information frequently.

  • IBM Accessibility @IBMAccess

    IBM AccessibilityIBM Accessibility is a leading organization related to research and experience in the accessibility field.

  • SSB BART Group @AccessDemand

    SSB BART GroupAnother leading organization in the accessibility field. SSB Bart shares out knowledge in the form of articles & blog posts, presentations, etc.

  • AXSChat @AXSChat

    AXSChatA unique account that holds weekly Q&A sessions via Twitter using the hashtag #AXSChat.

Yeah, I know, not accessible

Posted March 28th, 2015 in Accessibility by deconspray

Recently, I posted some resources from a recent accessibility conference. And the post has become fairly popular. Which scares me.
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2015 CSUN Wrap-up

Posted March 22nd, 2015 in Accessibility by deconspray

I attended my first International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (or CSUN as most attendees call it). I can honestly say, I was humbled and overwhelmed simultaneously.

The 30th annual CSUN 2015 was held in San Diego the first week of March. Held over five days, the week offered two days of eight workshops, followed by three days of six sessions daily, of approximately 413 sessions. The sessions covered the gambit, from technical to roundtable discussions on topics concerning the disabled. I estimate that attendees 60% web professionals, 40% people with disabilities, with a surprising overlap of these audiences (happily so).
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Is Compliance enough?

Posted February 15th, 2014 in Accessibility by deconspray

I’m presently involved in an initiative to improve the accessibility of our online properties, something that I am truly digging. While I realize how little I know about making things more accessible, it’s exciting to discover best practices and techniques to make things more accessible for all users.
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2013 Wrap-up

Posted December 15th, 2013 in Personal, Professional by deconspray

As 2013 comes to an end, as any year does, I become reflective on the year’s events; the accomplishments, the regrets and the seeds for goals in the new year.

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An Extra Click?

Posted March 16th, 2013 in User Experience by deconspray

I’ve seen some bad ideas in navigation, but this subtle one takes the cake (a nice German Chocolate cake).

Typically when you see navigation, you see a list of links. Click on the link, you go to the next page.

Wrong.

On this particular site (nameless), which was recently redesigned (and nicely by the way), someone came up with the idea of making the site visitor click a button after selecting a link to follow. Mind you, the tooltip tells them to click the button to continue.

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Time Flies…

Posted January 26th, 2013 in Professional by deconspray

I knew I hadn’t updated my blog in some time, but almost a year? Oy!

Shortly after my last blog post, I accepted a position as a front-end web developer at United Airlines in their eCommerce Production area. The great thing is that as a post-merger organization, there’s lots of change, lots of systems and technologies to get my arms around and learn.

It has taken me away from my pursuit of a career position in user experience, but I’m getting schooled in technologies that will aid me in the long run.

I have lots to talk about and share, yet little time to do so. But I promise I will post soon and on a more semi-regular basis. Call it therapy. 🙂

Wanted: UX / Front-End Web Designer/Developer Opportunity

Posted April 23rd, 2012 in Professional by deconspray

Opportunity Summary

  • Location: Chicago, IL (Target range: Downtown Chicago north through Northern Suburbs
  • Employee Type: Full-Time Preferred, will consider Long-term Contract
  • Industry: Open
  • Job Type: Internet, Design, Marketing
  • Education: High School, Some College
  • Experience: 18 years
  • Travel: Negligible
  • Post Date: 4/23/2012

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Let’s Rid the World of Platformism

Posted February 14th, 2012 in General by deconspray

iOS vs. All Others

Remind you of a time from the past?

They always say never blog while emotional. Oh, well, here goes nothing.

Is “platformism” the new racism?

I’ve just become scorned by a recent discount offer for an ebook. Seeing the fantastic offer (.99 cents) in my Facebook feed, I thought, “why not?” Clicking through, I quickly found out why not.
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Sunstone Tours & Cruises

Posted February 7th, 2012 in B-to-C, Featured, Portfolio by deconspray

Sunstone Tours & CruisesThis was a redesign project for a long-time client, a niche travel agency located in Malibu, California. The lead-generation website features small-ship adventure cruise vacations, targeting retirees and affluent professionals. Continue Reading »

When Bad User Experience is Embarrassing

Posted November 21st, 2011 in User Experience by deconspray

Restroom signage

Where would you enter the restroom?


I admit it … I’m a user experience geek. And at times, I can drive my wife nuts.

On a recent shopping mall outing, my wife and I paid a visit to an upscale department store, just to use the facilities (of course). While waiting for my wife, I observed a major user experience flaw. What made it so amazing is the this upscale retailer prides itself on its presentation. As men and women entered the restroom lounge area, over 70% of them appeared confused as to the location of “their” restroom. Several men were seen entering the women’s restroom in error. Not to be outdone, women were seen stepping into maintenance closets and service areas. Yet there were signs marking each restroom by gender. So why the confusion? Hadn’t the retailer done enough?

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Gaining Insight for Website Improvement

Posted October 10th, 2011 in User Experience, Web Design by deconspray

This topic was presented at the October 2011 Chicago Web Professionals Meetup.

Beginner JavaScript – Chapter 6 – Variables

Posted September 8th, 2011 in Javascript by deconspray

Note:

As stated in my initial post, this is part of a series of JavaScript-related posts. As I am becoming knowledgeable in JavaScript, I am posting out what I’ve learned, to re-enforce my knowledge, as well as maybe helpful other web designers/developers in learning JavaScript. If I have mis-stated anything, please feel free to post it in the comments. You’ll help me, and others in learning JavaScript. Thanks!

What are Variables?

The sole purpose of a variable is to store a value. The reason why it’s called a variable is the value can change at any time within the JavaScript application. Variables are used throughout programming with JavaScript, there’s just no escaping them.

Before you can use a variable, you must declare it. To declare a variable, you use the var (for variable) keyword, followed by the identifier (or variable name).
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Beginner JavaScript – Chapter 5 – Expressions

Posted September 7th, 2011 in Javascript, Web Design by deconspray

Note:

As stated in my initial post, this is part of a series of JavaScript-related posts. As I am becoming knowledgeable in JavaScript, I am posting out what I’ve learned, to re-enforce my knowledge, as well as maybe helpful other web designers/developers in learning JavaScript. If I have mis-stated anything, please feel free to post it in the comments. You’ll help me, and others in learning JavaScript. Thanks!

Expressions are operations on numbers or text strings.

Numeric Expressions

On numbers, you typically perform arithmetic operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc. To code an arithmetic expression, you use arithmetic operators to operate on two or more values.
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