Community and Accessible IT in the Alamo City

On November 2nd, Susan Price and Debbie Curtis of Firecat Studios hosted their “Is Your Website Accessible?” open house and lunch, with guest speaker, Guido D. Corona, Knowbility’s resident flugelhorn player, screen reader user, classical music enthusiast and, oh yes, by the way, accessibility expert.

Firecat’s marketing and design gurus have a long and storied history of community building with deep connections to accessibility. Susan is a co-founder of Austin Free Net and one of the very first participants in Knowbility’s AIR rally back in ’98. Today, Firecat makes it a priority to advance accessibility through social networking, education and proper design techniques. And so, drawing on his work with Knowbility, not to mention his 26 years with IBM, 10 as Senior Accessibility Expert – holding four patents in accessible methodologies for web development – Mr. Corona presented an informal Web 101 course on basic accessibility issues, assistive tech, who uses it and how, 508 and WCAG standards, how the laws work, all the while integrating a JAWS demo into the entire show.

The Guidomeister also did some practical analysis on some fairly clumsy and inaccessible state agency web screens and showed some practical approaches for improving accessibility.  All-in-all it was a great afternoon hosted by Firecat in the heart of Old San Antone. The only thing missing was a flugelhorn solo.