The Accessible Reality project started in 2016 when Michael Crabb and Michael Heron were searching for new ways to teach accessibility principles within the Computer Science curriculum. Unable to find something that fitted their needs, and with an interest in accessible development in general, they started Accessible Reality. The aim of this was to create workshops that could be downloaded and used by anyone with an interest in accessible development.
2017 saw the project being picked up by SICSA as part of a short theme into the Future of Games Accessibility. The audience for the workshops grew and they began looking for more ways to understand how designers and devlopers create accessible products and began taking their workshop outside of the CS classroom and into local industry. 2017 also saw the development of a new workshop aimed at promoting accessible thinking within a non-specialist audience and the workshop on Creating an Accessible Pirate Ship was created. This one has proved to be a slow burn but is a winner for outreach activities and non-specialist industry events.
All of our workshops go through several phases of development. This starts with the generation of workshop ideas and goes through a number of steps finishing with the sharing of workshop themes with the overall community. The steps carried out are detailed below:
|Idea Generation||We look to identify accessibility issues that exist and come up with ideas based on these that would potentially be good workshop ideas. We conduct round-table discussions with our peers on potential benefits and drawbacks to workshop ideas.|
|Workshop Layout||We brainstorm ideas for workshop activities, looking at how they can link together and the added learning that they give to participants. We focus on developing a key take home message for each activity that can be used to improve participants understanding of accessiblity.|
|Resource Creation||We create resources for workshops, focusing on developing methods to encourage group work and that also facilitate discussion between participants.|
|Pilot Testing||We thoroughly test our workshops with participants and conduct post-workshop debriefing sessions to discover what activities work best, what require more thought, and what improvements can be made.|
|Workshop Roll Out||We roll out the workshops on a large scale, making all materials available. We work on refining the ideas of the workshop based on user feedback to ensure that the sessions are worthwhile.|
|Data Analysis||We take the results from our own workshop sessions and analyse the data. This is dependant on the type of data that is created within each individual workshop but normally involes a number of qualitative analysis techniques.|
|Paper Generation||We look for ways to publicize the workshops that we have created and to roll these out on a large scale.|