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Promoting digital accessibility: Expert’s insights from international conferences

By Anastasia Grinevich January 11, 2024
Promoting digital accessibility Expert’s insights from international conferences

As an accessibility trendsetter, Glafira Zhur has been actively sharing her expertise with the international tech community. She recently participated in two notable conferences – DevFest Berlin and EpicHey! Conference – where she delved into common accessibility pitfalls, strategies to avoid them, and the latest trends in the field. 

Let’s explore some insightful highlights from her presentations and the overall takeaways from these events.

  1. DevFest Berlin 2023: A day of learning, networking, and community
    1. Highlights from the day
    2. Key takeaways from Glafira’s presentation
    3. Memorable speeches
  2. EpicHey!: A dynamic event for developers and tech enthusiasts
    1. Highlights from the day
    2. Key takeaways from Glafira’s presentation
    3. Memorable speeches
  3. To wrap up

DevFest Berlin 2023: A day of learning, networking, and community 

Highlights from the day

DevFest is a global, community-driven tech conference hosted by the Google Developer Groups (GDG) community. The event brought together developers, enthusiasts, and experts from across the tech industry. Throughout the day, participants engaged in a variety of talks and workshops led by industry experts. Networking breaks provided excellent opportunities to connect with fellow developers, exchange ideas, and build lasting relationships. The vibrant atmosphere was filled with enthusiasm and a shared passion for technology.

A quick word from the currently happening Devfest Berlin:

I came in time!

I gave a talk on Android Accessibility at the very beginning of the conference!

I am not dead 😅 and happy with the way the talk went after all I pushed myself into.

The event is organized so well, I really feel at home here!

Berlin is SO ACCESSIBLE! I run in a rush and I clearly see where the right direction is, love it.

Thank you to all the people who are involved and all the new connections.

– Glafira Zhur, SpurIT accessibility expert

Key takeaways from Glafira’s presentation

Glafira kicked off the conference with her insightful talk on Android Accessibility, emphasizing the significance of developing inclusive and accessible applications that cater to a wider audience. Here are some key takeaways from her speech:

  • According to statistics from appt.org, 45% of iOS users and 59% of Android users in the Netherlands have at least one accessibility setting enabled. This indicates that a significant portion of the user base requires mobile accessibility.
  • Common issues arise when enlarging font size and interface elements. Text and controls may not fit the screen, get concealed, or overlap, making them difficult or impossible to use. Developers should carefully consider how their apps scale with accessibility settings.
  • For screen reader users, elements may lack labels, causing the user to hear “unlabeled, button”. This can make it difficult for screen reader users to understand the purpose of controls and interact with the application effectively. 
  • To identify and resolve the majority of accessibility errors, Glafira recommended using the Accessibility Scanner app. This tool can help developers quickly detect and fix accessibility issues in their apps.

Memorable speeches

In addition to the presentation, Glafira greatly enjoyed various sessions at the conference. She was especially impressed by:

  • TextField in Jetpack Compose: past, present, and future by Alejandra Stamato:  This comprehensive guide provided valuable insights into creating effective text fields for Android applications using Jetpack Compose. Glafira’s team is currently using them extensively in our apps, so it was helpful to see various use cases for creating a field.
  • Web-platform-align: baseline by Vadim Makeev: This presentation introduced the Baseline feature, which helps developers assess the readiness of new web features for development. It empowers developers to make informed decisions about adopting new technologies.
  • Happy Healthy Team by Vasilika Klimova: This presentation focused on team health and the importance of fostering a positive and productive work environment. It emphasized the need to consider cultural differences and communication strategies when working with international teams.

EpicHey!: A dynamic event for developers and tech enthusiasts

Highlights from the day

EpicHey! is an innovative professional conference designed for developer teams, bringing together backend and frontend engineers, product managers, team leaders, QA engineers, and more. With 400 participants, 40 speakers, and three tracks, it offered meaningful talks without marketing fluff. The event included expert zones, lightning talks, and networking breaks. 

After two years of virtual events, the in-person experience was a welcome treat, filled with energy, fellowship, and networking. Developers from all over the world converged to share knowledge, exchange ideas, and build new bonds.

– Glafira Zhur, SpurIT accessibility expert

Key takeaways from Glafira’s presentation

Glafira’s talk, “There’s always a way to fix Accessibility,” was a must-see for anyone serious about making their apps and websites accessible to everyone. The presentation highlighted the importance of creating user-friendly and inclusive web apps, emphasizing the need to adopt accessible practices and avoid common mistakes that can hinder the user experience.

Here are some key takeaways from Glafira’s presentation:

  • Accessibility awareness is all good, but even experienced developers can make mistakes that hinder user experience.
  • The first rule of ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) is to prioritize native HTML elements whenever possible.
  • Relying on native HTML controls like <button> instead of using custom implementations with the role=button attribute is often more effective.
  • If considering creating a custom accessible control, it’s essential to thoroughly review the WAI-ARIA (Web Accessibility Initiative – Accessible Rich Internet Applications) 1.2 specification to ensure compliance with accessibility guidelines.

Memorable speeches

Glafira’s involvement at EpicHey! extended beyond her own presentation. She actively participated in other insightful sessions and workshops, to get a feel for what’s happening in the tech world. Here are some of the highlights she shared:

To wrap up

In her talks, Glafira stressed the need to prioritize web accessibility right from the start of development. By integrating digital accessibility into designs and workflows, developers can ensure their web apps are inclusive, accessible, and user-friendly for a broader audience.
If you’re looking to build web projects that everyone can use, we’re here to help. Contact SpurIT experts to learn how to prioritize accessibility from the get-go.

Anastasia Grinevich

Anastasia Grinevich

Anastasia is a Content Marketing Manager at SpurIT. She specializes in content and social media marketing and helps eCommerce companies and entrepreneurs reach more customers by creating engaging content with the best practices in SEO. Having worked with over 800 brands and influencers, Anastasia is experienced in creating effective campaigns for every type of industry in the market.