Hearing the Web: Incorporating Accessibility User Testing into the UX Process
Accessibility Services Coordinator, The Carroll Center for the Blind
Bruce will speak about the benefits of building accessible web content so that consumers of all abilities can access and interact with it. He will provide a brief overview of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) and how they address inclusion under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to ensure that all consumers have equal access to the online content you design, build or test for your employer or clients.
Bruce will share why input from consumers with disabilities should be incorporated into your User Experience testing process. He will explain how the Carroll Center is uniquely positioned to assist companies and organizations when your testing plan includes blind or visually impaired consumers.
Finally, he will provide a live demonstration of how using JAWS, a screen reading software, allows him to interact in a nonvisual way with web content. You will see for yourself the difference between web content that is coded well versus content that was not designed with accessibility in mind. Whether you’ve ever seen or heard a screen reader in action, it is always an interesting experience that can challenge your perceptions!
6:30 - 7:00 PM – Networking and Refreshments
7:00 - 7:15 PM – Introductions
7:15 - 8:00 PM - Presentation
8:00 - 8:15 PM - Q&A
About Bruce Howell
Bruce, a graduate of Colgate University in Hamilton, NY, enjoyed a long career in Retail Banking for a Boston area community bank. Then in 2011 & 2012, he worked as the Employer Account Manager for the Greater Boston Employment Collaborative. In this role, Bruce pursued business development to facilitate access to job postings and led a group of 38 Job Developers representing several Boston area human service agencies serving disabled job seekers.
In his current role with the Carroll Center, Bruce has primary responsibility for business development and project management. He coordinates the internal work flow on accessibility projects from start to finish. This begins by assisting clients to identify and articulate their accessibility needs, and moves to matching Carroll Center personnel and resources in order to best meet those client requirements. Bruce communicates with clients throughout the evaluation or testing process and facilitates interaction between the Accessibility Services team and the client. He is a proficient user of some of the Assistive Technologies which the Accessibility Services team uses to conduct testing and evaluation of websites and other online content.
In his spare time Bruce is a competitive sailor with the SailBlind program out of the Courageous Sailing Center in Charlestown. He is the Chair of the Massachusetts Commission for the Blind’s Rehabilitation Advisory Council, and is also an appointed member of Needham’s Commission on Disabilities.
About The Carroll Center for the Blind
Each year The Carroll Center for the Blind helps 5,000 blind or visually impaired children, adults and senior citizens to achieve greater independence and fulfillment in their lives. The Carroll Center serves the needs of these blind and visually impaired persons by providing rehabilitation, skills training, and educational opportunities to help them achieve independence, self-sufficiency, and self-fulfillment. The Carroll Center also advocates on their behalf by educating the public regarding the potential of persons who are blind and visually impaired. We have pioneered many innovative services for the blind and visually impaired, and have developed many methods for people with no or low vision to learn the skills to be independent in their homes, in class settings, and in their work places. You can learn more about the Carroll Center at www.carroll.org.
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