Some of my friends and regular readers will know that I was on a bit of a mobile accessibility drive last year. It was a topic completely new to me but now I’m a total convert to the cause. 10% of the population in both the UK and the US has some kind of ‘official’ disability or impairment and goodness only knows the numbers of people with temporary impairments or milder impairments that still impact their lives but could be made easier with a little thought and a little technology. My personal bugbear is that I can’t increase font sizes in mobile apps but have to reach for my reading glasses instead to see the screen on my phone. So tedious. I dread to think what it’s like for those with much more serious sight impediments. I wrote up the results of the Edinburgh workshop here and I did a podcast about it here.
Anyway, I’m very pleased to see that the RNIB are also thinking along similar lines and are running a hackathon in a few weeks time at Skillsmatter. So if you’re a developer who wants to know more about how to deal with some of these sight accessibility issues, or you’re a developer with an idea for an app or service for people with visual impairments, then get yourself along to the hackathon. Free to attend. Open to all mobile technologies especially iOS, Android and HTML5. And there will be visually impaired people there for you to meet with to discuss their needs and wants in more depth.
The agenda is still taking shape, so the early bird registrants can help shape that agenda further. And if you’re feeling generous, they could do with some help around sponsorship too. More details here http://www.meetup.com/android/events/44307862/
And for those who can’t wait that long, then why not head over to one of the RNIB’s monthly Phone Watch events? I’ve heard they’re really useful for both visually impaired consumers and also the developers who are making apps for them. The next one is on 24th January – details below. Further RNIB supported tech events can be found here.
Date: 24th January 2012 (5.15 pm to 7.15 pm)
Event: Phone Watch - mainstream smartphone accessibility event with short talks, handset demos and hands-on time.
Location: RNIB Judd Street, London
Contact: Andrew Ronksley, 020 7391 2191