By Mike Gifford on 23/10/2014
Organizers of A11yYOW 2014
Digital Accessibility is a really big and complicated issue. There are no simple fixes because the technology keeps changing and the web standards are regularly being adjusted in attempt to keep up. A site that is considered accessible today, may not be accessible viewed this way in 6 months.
Ultimately it is about building technology such that the widest number of people can have the greatest access to the web. The web has become our town square and school as well as our our path to city hall and venue for purchasing for goods and services. Increasingly, to be an active member of our society...
By Mike Gifford on 04/09/2014
The Awesome Room from TCDrupal's Sprint Room
At DrupalCon Austin I was asked by Barry Madore of Triplo to talk about Drupal & Accessibility at TCDrupal 2014. In 2013, a team of people had done some great usability and accessibility work on Drupal 8 at the University of Minnesota. This seemed like an excellent opportunity to follow-up on that.
This year Twin Cities Drupal Camp took place from August 7-10. I spent a bunch of my time there in the Awesome Room, which was where the sprints were taking place on Saturday.
I couldn't get there in the week unfortunately, but was able to present my first session about ATAG & Drupal 8 on...
By Chris Wright on 02/09/2014
Wetkit Logo
I had the opportunity to attend CodeFest 2014 in Ottawa.  This two-day conference was a great chance for anyone who “works in the web” to get together, share their expertise and learn from their peers.
Codefest is a free, volunteer-run conference centered around the Web Experience Toolkit (WET). 
WET is an open source project led by the Government of Canada that is developed openly on GitHub. The focus of WET is to develop an innovative, user-centered web experience that can be widely deployed through an open and collaborative process of development.
Topical Chats and Technical...
By Mike Gifford on 10/07/2014
Slide from presentation
I am presenting at Ottawa's first Accessibility Summit. It's a 20 minute presentation on Fixing Accessibility Problems at the Source which I am using to talk about Drupal's experience trying to meet WCAG 2.0 AA.
The slides from this event are available on, a neat service that works nicely using the open source library reveal.js. I totally loved that I could both edit the HTML directly in the interface and also import/export and host my files wherever I wanted to.For my Accessibility Summit Slides.
I am including my notes here as part of this. Hopefully people will be tweeting using...
By Mike Gifford on 05/06/2014
Mike Gifford Preseting about ATAG at CodeFest 2014
Anyone who has been involved Web Accessibility knows that the basics are quite simple, but that it can get complicated really quickly. Training people to create content that can be perceived by people with varieties of sight, hearing, mobility & cognitive challenges is no small task, and ultimately we all make mistakes.
Most web content now is being created through Content Management Systems, which are helping to simplify the process of producing content. The future seems to be bright for systems that can manage small chunks of data which are assembled on the fly to give users a...
By Mike Gifford on 15/05/2014
Mike Gifford presenting at HubOttawa
This was a more in-person presentation about web accessibility issues in general.  We showcased some general issues and facilitating a bit of a discussion to raise awareness. We welcomed people from different backgrounds, including government services, universities and design agencies. The topic was addressed to a non-technical audience to raise awareness on accessibility.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) began pretty well this year for us. I started by participating in Inclusive Design 24 (#ID24) with a 7am presentation. For those who missed it the talk live, a recording...
on 11/06/2013
Jesse & Wim Presenting at DrupalCon

Accessibility is a very important topic here at Open Concept, as our own Mike Gifford is a champion for accessibility and an organizer for the Drupal Group on Accessibility. As someone with a background in both health and information studies, I understand the necessity of designing a website to cater to the diverse users who need to access essential information. With limited knowledge of where Drupal is at in regards to accessibility, I set out to learn about the issues and new developments coming out of DrupalCon Portland.
Jesse Beach - a member of Drupal’s accessibility group - gave two...
By Mike Gifford on 10/04/2013
Photo with John, Vincenzo & myself in front of the DrupalIcon
We were successfully able to raise the funds to bring Vincenzo to DrupalCon. Thanks everyone, was a great community effort!
I first encountered @falcon03 in the Drupal 8 issue queue in September of 2012. At that point I didn't know why he was interested in accessibility issues or what, if anything, he had to contribute to the discussion.  With the Drupal 7 Core issue queues, over 400 people have participated in the discussions, patches and tests. Most are active on just a couple issues out of the many that were tagged with accessibility. A few of the participants, like Jason Kiss, had...
By Mike Gifford on 13/02/2013
Ontario government home page

We were happy to see that at the end of 2012, the main website for the Government of Ontario(GoO) moved to Drupal 7.  Their new site demonstrates that it is possible to have a visually interesting site that meets the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act(AODA).  Many folks reading this blog post will know that the AODA requires a wide range of organizations within Ontario to meet the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0 AA). WCAG is an International standard organized by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), they are responsible for a number of standards for the Internet...
By Mike Gifford on 18/06/2012
After sprint beers
Drupal's first Accessibility Sprint was a great success with around 30 people participating either on site or remotely.  It was graciously hosted in the offices Evolving Web, where we were able to take advantage of their great location in the old port of Montreal.  It was organized by the Montreal Drupal Association and we're really fortunate to have both accessibility maintainers present as Everett Zufelt & Brandon Bowersox-Johnson, were able to make their way up.
The biggest impact of the sprints are the things that you can never quantify. The building face-to-face relationships within...