As mentioned, my first academic article on accessibility was accepted on a conference organized by European Center for Accessibility, shortly AccessibleEU (opens in new window). This first accessibility conference, called “Digital inclusion in the information society” (shortly DIGIN 2023) – was a hybrid conference with more than 120 people attending online and 48 on site, and I think was the largest Slovenian accessibility conference for now. So, on 11th of October I had the pleasure to present my article called “General Strategies for Improving Accessibility of E-commerce” that will hopefully spread the much needed awareness of accessibility to e-commerce stakeholders and beyond.
I was really honored and happy to be a part of the conference, especially considering multiple articles from seasoned accessibility specialists that are lecturing on university level, with dozens and even hundreds of published articles.
Other papers that were also presented in the conference;
- Online Notes – A Real-Time Speech Recognition and Machine Translation System for Slovene University Lectures – presented by dr. Jaka Čibej. Software making university lectures and labs more accessible that is already in use by lots of people in academia and beyond. It also won the conference prices for best article.
- Using Auto Subtitle System Methods in Audiovisual Content – presented by dr. Bogdan Dugonik. Overview of asynchronous possibilities for automatic captioning of audiovisual content. Lots of practical advice given.
- Exploring Digital Literacy and the Use of ChatGPT among Students with Disabilities – presented by dr. Ines Kožuh. Interesting research made with 27 people with disabilities on their use of ChatGPT (before it “received vision and access to internet”).
- The Technical Execution of Sign Language Interpretation on Television – presented by Bojan Mord, a colleague from Institute for digital accessibility a11y.si. Very valuable insights in sign language interpretation details when it comes to physical best practices and what works best for end users.
- IT Solutions accessibility – the key to empowering people with disabilities – presented by Tilen Škraba, where I was a co-author under Institute for digital accessibility a11y.si. Tilen summarized the key problems and solutions in a broad way and I enjoyed being a part of this much needed awareness and knowledge gap analysis.
- Bridging Communication Gaps through the Talking Hands Project An In-depth Analysis – presented by dr. Zdenka Wltavsky. The coming app that will enable everyone to learn the basics of hand language will spread this valuable skills and make them more accessible. Need to follow up on this international project in the following year.
- Towards a Self-Assessment Tool for Enabling Inclusive Digital Education – presented by doc. dr. Maja Pušnik. Inclusive education can only be inclusive when properly measured. This project will join two most known self evaluation techniques (Index for Inclusion and Self-reflection on Effective Learning by Fostering Innovation through Educational Technology (SELFIE)) and develop Self-evaluation tools for higher education institutions and higher education teachers to determine the inclusiveness of their digital education.
- Digital inclusion of disabled students in higher education – presented by Alenka Gajšt. Mrs. Gajšt, executive member of The Slovenian Association of Disabled Students presented common barriers that prevent people with disabilities in education and also presented some measures to improve accessibility. A lot of this overlapped with previous awareness presentations and it was invaluable to hear about accessibility problems from the perspective of students with disabilities.
- Accessible Multimodal Journey Planner: Prioritizing Inclusive UI Design – presented by Žana Juvan M.sc. This presentation presented project called “AtoB” and the accessibility considerations made in designing a more accessible navigation for transport with additional data provided by multiple back-end services. Including WCAG efforts from planning and on, using automatic accessibility testing and involving people with disabilities were all used to improved the overall accessibility. Personally I didn’t like the idea of integrated accessibility toolkit, but am still happy in the presented accessibility considerations. Looking forward to check the app myself.
All presentations are available on official DIGIN 2023 program page (opens in new window), most of them in Slovenian language.
I attended some other AccessibleEU conferences before and after this one and have to say that DIGIN 2023 provided very professional contributions. Unfortunately media coverage didn’t reach main stream media, besides an article on national televisions accessibility oriented website (opens in new window), and I see it as the biggest possible improvement.
If we want accessibility to become main stream it needs to reach more people.
And yes, it’s obvious that we still need much more awareness!