I’ve been interested in accessibility (a11y in internet shorthand) work since the first time I had to translate a 508-compliant project to create a PDF form that worked in Spanish. I had no idea what I was doing, but did a lot of research while I waited for the translation to come back, and was able to muddle through without breaking everything. I successfully delivered a Spanish PDF form to the state agency that needed it, made a good impression for my employer, and learned something. The perfect outcome! I kept up with the field via my friend Char James-Tanny’s tweets and whatever links they lead to, and studied pertinent rules and regulations, but I never had much call for it again on the translation side. Still, language is is surely an accessibility issue, and I kept studying with that perspective in mind.
Then, via association with the Big (D)esign conference I started learning about UI/UX design, both from the perspective of a heavy-duty user of software that didn’t act the way I needed to be the most efficient and from that of your average smartphone-owning guy who was constantly annoyed when something didn’t feel intuitive. I was tired of bad design affecting my productivity, so I figured I would learn more, and have really picked up a lot over the last year.
Why all this? Well, part of the purpose of this blog was to talk shop too, not just fitness, food and beer. So here’s the first shop post. Many more to come, I promise. The G.I.L.T. industry, accessibility, UX, eLearning and mLearning, I love to talk about it all.
But the main point is that I am excited to be heading to the 2012 Boston Accessibility Conference this Saturday to talk to people who actually know what they’re doing, and add more accessibility knowledge to my translation/localization skill-set. If you’re in the area and a11y-curious, it’s a free conference (!!) with a pretty free-wheeling attitude. People will be signing up to deliver sessions up until that morning, if there are still slots available and an interest in the topic. That kind of by-the-pants stuff gets me going. If you’re going to be there, please find me and say hello.