by Daniel Parker, RDPFS Intern
Web Accessibility in mind (WebAIM), a project of the Institute for Disability Research, Policy, and Practice at Utah State University, will hold its first-ever virtual conference on web accessibility on September 7 and 8, 2022. The Web Accessibility In Mind conference, developed in partnership with PopeTech, will provide web developers and professionals with varied perspectives on best practices for accessibility. Zoom presentations will take place from 12 pm to 5 pm Eastern Time (ET) each day with an hour break starting at 2 pm. Conference presenters include disability rights lawyers such as Lainey Feingold; accessibility professionals such as Mike Paciello, founder and CEO of WebAble; and representatives from major technology corporations such as VMware Accessibility Senior Staff Architect Sheri Byrne-Haber. All sessions will be captioned and recorded, and there will be live ASL interpretation. Register here for the Web Accessibility in Mind Conference.
WebAIM, according to their “About” page, is “one of the leading providers of web accessibility internationally” and has worked with corporations, governments, and religious groups on the accessibility of their web content. The project has created an accessibility tool called WAVE that gives web developers an idea of their pages’ most serious or obvious accessibility errors. Each year they produce a report covering the one million most visited homepages ranked by accessibility. Their website also includes a feature enabling visitors to check any one of the homepages included in the report. WebAIM conducts and reports on screen reader user surveys as well, most recently in June 2021. These studies document changes in accessibility preferences and perceptions over time. For example, WebAIM recorded a significant decline in popularity of the screen reader JAWS over a decade, eclipsed by NVDA in 2019, and then regaining the top position in 2021. They also found that most users will first navigate through the headings on a webpage and that many rely on proper use of heading levels. WebAIM sends out updates through a free monthly newsletter, a Twitter page, and a blog. For more information about their work, visit the WebAIM website.