The Boulder Accessibility Meetup comes to denver
This article interviews Justin Stockton, an Accessibility Evangelist and Engineer, who is an original organizer of both the Boulder and Denver Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetups.
The Boulder Accessibility and Inclusive Design meetup is a hub for people passionate about accessibility. It is a place to share and broaden knowledge. The accessibility meetup boasts nearly three hundred members from across the state. As it enters its fifth year in 2020, the time has come to expand. With the help and direction of organizer Justin Stockton, The Denver Accessibility and Inclusive Design meetup was born.
As an accessibility engineer himself, Justin is an expert when it comes to inclusive design. His mission is to make the web a user-friendly place that considers accessibility the standard of design, not the add-on. To get a view on the future of the Denver Accessibility Meetup, we turned to Justin for answers.
When did the Boulder Accessibility Meetup start and why?
“The Boulder meetup started in April 2015 and has met nearly every month since then. It was started because I wanted a place where people in the local tech community could come and talk about accessibility. I figure that since Boulder was turning into such a tech hub, that there had to be a few of us working in accessibility that could swap stories, learn from others and hopefully help educate our coworkers on what it means to build something that is inclusive of everyone.”
When did the Denver Accessibility Meetup start?
“The Denver meetup really just started this month. There was a group discussion back in early 2018 by several in Denver about starting their own meetup with goals very similar to what I had in mind for the Boulder meetup. For one reason or another the results of that group discussion never really took off. A few months ago, I reached out to the organizer of the Denver meetup to see if they were interested in rebooting that meetup, handing it over to me, or just coming up with a plan to get it going. For the Boulder meetup, one of our more popular requests is “When will there be an accessibility meetup in Denver?”. This is why I reached out to the Denver organizers so that I could see how I could help them get it off the ground.”
Are there any differences between the Denver Accessibility Meetup and the Boulder Accessibility Meetup?
“Not currently. For scheduling purposes, there will likely be limitations on what topics are covered by each meetup, but scheduling is the only limitation there. I’d love to have the same talks offered at both meetups, but that’s a bit much to ask of every presenter. At some point in the hopefully not-too-distant future, we want to offer a streaming option so that anyone in Colorado (or really anywhere) can tune in our meetups, but there are some technological and of course, accessibility, hurdles to jump through there.”
The Future of the Denver Meetup
The Denver tech scene is headed in the right direction. The accessibility meetup is a stepping stone to online inclusion. The hope is that companies will adopt the “hub and spoke” approach to design. The model puts accessibility and engagement at the core of design. From there, it will sprout into every stage of development so that the final product is usable by all.
The Denver Meetup is held on the second Wednesday of every month. Every week sees different topics, new presenters, and great conversations around digital inclusion. Stop by to meet Justin and see it for yourself!
Become a member and RSVP for the December meetup
Blndspt Consulting is honored to be the permanent host of The Denver Accessibility and Inclusive Design meetup. We want to assist in changing the status quo of web development. Join us monthly for snacks, conversation, and presentations at the meetup and join our A11Y Forum to ask questions and get answers whenever you need. As a company of engineers passionate and knowledgeable about accessibility, we look forward to the opportunity to help raise the bar when it comes to digital inclusion.
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