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Author: marka01

Practising the Accessibility I Preach

If I am so excited about accessibility, I need to make sure that I really think about inclusion in all situations. That’s both easy and hard. I think it is natural to be considerate of others. Knowing what can be considerate can be tricky at times. I love MiniCards from MOO, and I recommend MOO to all my friends. My first set of cards had very tiny print, however. It was embarrassing to hand them out at the 2010 accessibility unconference in London. For my next set, I designed both sides. Instead of using their print setup for text, I wrote my contact info in large type and uploaded that as an image for the text side of the card. That seemed quite nice. Enter Braille stickers. I’d heard about Braille stickers a while ago from Sarah Lewthwaite’s blog. I decided to set things straight for the 2012 TCUK conference…

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I love you, Mom – up close and personal with dementia

Dementia reared its ugly head in a friend’s circle of acquaintances. I decided to write this post as a way of showing support. I felt that learning about the effects and consequences of neurodegenerative diseases happens through open communication. Writing was more painful that I had expected. I am finally finishing this post three and a half years after I wrote my first draft. (It’s long, so if you don’t want to read it all, hop to the second to last paragraph and the two pictures at the end.) “If only we could have seen the symptoms in time.” I’ll bet everyone close to a person with dementia thinks that thought. Hindsight always has perfect vision! It’s tricky, however, because what is a symptom? Maybe we are naturally “loopy”, “forgetful”, and so on? Some changes are gradual. Some changes are symptomatic of other matters. I am not a doctor, only…


Getting Ready for TCUK12

I love the conference held by ISTC every October: the Technical Communication UK conference, also known as TCUK. A little hop over the North Sea takes me to a gathering of really nice people whose conversations and presentations get my synapses working overtime in a very good way. From our technical communication perspective, we can discuss XML, temperature controls for showers, stationery stores, content strategy, captioning, Subject Matter Experts… oh, the list goes on and on and on. I’ve done this in 2010 and 2011. I will do it again in 2012. TCUK12 is a bit special for me This year, I was given a great honor – I was asked to be a keynote speaker for the special track on accessibility and usability. I said yes! I also have a workshop and a panel discussion scheduled. The panel discussion will be moderated by the wonderful Kai Weber a.k.a. @techwriterkai.…

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