Teacamp, Feb 2015

Last night, Grant Broome and I attended Teacamp in London, a monthly networking event for those working in Government Digital Services to get together and discuss best practice. For us, it’s a great way to keep up with what is important in the digital sector for one of our key customer groups.

It’s fair to say that the regular attendees are passionate about their roles, improving what they do and sharing what they’ve learnt with people in different teams and departments. Regardless of seniority, everyone is there to learn.

It’s events like these I love – you never know what you might pick up and learn. At this month’s event I got talking to two employees at the DXW. As soon as I mentioned I worked in accessibility their eyes lit up and they told me about an amazing resource I hadn’t seen before: an A-to-Z of disability. It’s a great article that introduces a range of personas, taking disability past being a label of blind, deaf or wheelchair user, and making you think about people – because, ultimately, whatever you are creating on the Web, it is used by people.

In the accessibility field, we often talk about the need to raise awareness of accessibility and create champions of accessibility. Accessibility isn’t one person’s job. If accessibility is down to just one person in a company, it is very difficult to produce a culture where accessibility is built in from the start, as opposed to being a checklist at the end. Teacamp showed me that what we want to achieve is happening, albeit slowly. We just need to keep spreading the positive messages through education and training.