For over 31 years, the Centre on Disabilities through the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, has provided a setting for researchers, exhibitors, end users, speakers, and other participants to share knowledge and best practices of assistive technologies and accessibility services. Accessibili-IT has been attending CSUN for 5 years and this year, the conference brought in the largest attendance to-date. We put together a summary of some highlights and takeaways during CSUN 2017 including WCAG 2.1 (which was released during the conference), WCAG 3.0, and an important trend to acknowledge which involves the challenges that organizations are facing by bringing PDF remediation in-house.
Our Experience at CSUN and Top 3 Highlights
WCAG (Web Content Accessibility Guidelines) 2.1 was definitely one of the most talked about topics during the conference. WCAG 2.1 builds on the guidelines in 2.0 with a focus on how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities. Including visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, language, learning and neurological disabilities. WCAG 2.1 was developed by the The Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and has just released their first draft, which is open to critique and feedback form the community. The draft is expected to be finalized then published as a standard in 2018.
Another popular discussion topic this year was the arrival of WCAG 3.0 accessibility guidelines developed by Silver Task Force. There is more pressure for 2.1 to be finalized and to be published more quickly in order for 3.0 to be able to deliver project results.
“The result of this work is expected to be a more substantial restructuring of web accessibility guidance than would be realistic for dot-releases of WCAG 2. The task force follows a research-focused, user-centered design methodology to produce the most effective and flexible outcome, including the roles of content authoring, user agent support, and authoring tool support.” – W3C
The Challenges For Organizations Bringing PDF/UA In-House
This was an important topic we noted at CSUN – an increasing number of organizations are considering bringing PDF accessibility in-house. Many speakers and panels discussed the huge challenges organizations are facing in making documents PDF accessible themselves. Finding trainers fully knowledgeable in PDF/UA and training programs that address more than simple documents, the large cost in human resources and capital are all barriers to building in-house teams that are able to meet internal needs for PDF accessibility.
Accessibil-IT specializes in document accessibility and can bring cost-effective solutions to your organization in a very timely manner. For more information or a quote, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Overall, we had a great experience at CSUN this year. The Accessibility community tends to be more collaborative than other industries. All organizations want to provide the best quality work they can – competitors work together to come up with the best solutions. We will definitely back next year and hope to see you there!