2014 Schedule
Interactive: March 7–11  •  Film: March 7–15  •  Music: March 11–16

Turning a Blind Eye to Good Usability

#sxsw #blindeye

ATTENTION: You must signup in advance to attend this workshop. You will need to have a valid SXSW badge, and an activated SXsocial account. To reserve your seat, please go here: https://sup.sxsw.com/schedule/IAP24483

Does your jQuery crash accessible browsers? Are you required by law to be accessible?

“Accessibility” online can have many definitions and contexts. For most of us web designers and developers, we fall into the trap of thinking adding alt text to images is enough to make our websites "accessible."

Join Ed Schipul, CEO of Tendenci, and blind motivational speaker Rachel Magario, Assistive Technology Specialist at PACER Center's Simon Technology Center, as they discuss what accessibility online really looks like to both web designers and visually impaired end users.

This session will cover best practices, testing, and pitfalls to avoid in implementing accessible web design. You will walk away with actionable tips you can use in your web design and development projects.

- This workshop will discuss how HTML, jQuery, Images, and modern development affect accessibility online. Having a basic understanding of these elements would be beneficial for the workshop.

What to Bring:
- This workshop will give you actionable tips to apply to your development for accessibility. Please bring some method of taking notes.



Ed Schipul



Ed Schipul is CEO of Tendenci, formerly Schipul, a 16 year old bootstrapped company started in Houston Texas. Our team created the Open Source software platform Tendenci, an all in one CMS built specifically for NonProfits, Membership Associations and Arts Organizations.

Under Ed's leadership, the company has been listed among Houston's fastest growing companies by the Houston Business Journal, won the Fastech 50, the Aggie 100, and numerous other awards. Ed has personally been nominated for the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the year award twice and roasted by the AIGA.

Ed has presented at OSCON, SXSW Interactive, Public Relations Society of America’s International Conference, the Bulldog Reporter National Conference, the Sarasota International Design Summit, Mom 2.0 and dozens of other organizations.

Ed is frequently asked to share his insights regarding online marketing and has been published in Nonprofit World, Association News, The Public Relations Strategist and PR Tactics, among others. He blogs for Hearst Newspaper’s Houston City Brights and has been interviewed on NBC and ABC news as an expert in successfully using digital marketing tools to accelerate organizational growth.

As a past participant and sponsor of the AIR Accessibility Internet Rally community hackathon, Ed has worked to make technology globally accessible, especially for those with disabilities.

Ed is a graduate of Texas A&M University, builds aerial drones as a hobby, is an amateur photographer and a very amateur tennis player.


Rachel Magario

Assistive Technology Specialist

PACER Center's Simon Technology Center

Rachel Magario is an Assistive Technology Specialist at Pacer Simon Technology Center. As the first totally blind interaction designer, Rachel is know as leader and visionary who has triumphed over adversity consistently throughout her life.

Her dream is that usability and accessibility can be considered from the start of a project and not as an after thought. She believes this would open the door for access of information and for accessible tools. This shift would allow her and others to pursue their careers of choice and live with the dignity that should be the right of every human.

Rachel has been involved with accessibility consulting and advocacy since the early 2000s. Throughout the years, Rachel served as an accessibility consultant to several university related projects and non-profit sites that were required to comply with section 508.

Rachel soon realized through her experience that accessibility issues often involve problems of usability that affect anyone who accesses information. When Rachel started her Masters in Interaction Design, she experienced the lack of accessibility in the design tools that she was using as well as in end products coming out of these tools.

Since then, Rachel has made her mission to research and develop models and prototypes of accessible user experience. She enjoys working closely with designers and developers to ensure standards are met and to create awareness of the importance of accessible user experience.

Thanks to our sponsors

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Music sponsor

Sonic Bids

Interactive sponsors

Deloitte American Express Pennzoil