Personal reflection on PAS 78Sunday, March 19, 2006
Disclaimer: Although I work for Legal & General, I do not represent them in any capacity. My blog is my personal space.
Legal & General case study
Having Legal & General present a case study at the PAS 78 event is the proudest moment of my web development career. It marks a three year personal journey of evangelising web accessibility and web standards within the company.
I was proud that my friend, and colleague, Dave Wilton, was doing the presentation, and describing what is already being called a powerful illustration of the business benefits of web accessibility. I think his determination was a very big factor in making this a complete success.
I was also proud that Bruce Lawson was in the audience for this presentation to see the end result (only three seats away this time). Bruce was there at the start three years ago, one of the books he commissioned for Glasshaus was "Constructing Accessible Web Sites", which I've previously noted as being instrumental to my "Call to Arms" email evangelising the need for accessibility within Legal & General.
After a near miss at @media 2005, I finally got to meet Bruce at PAS 78. And I'm kicking myself for not having done so sooner! Bruce is an amazing guy, along with Patrick, they form a lethally funny two-some. They had me in stitches for most of the afternoon and evening.
Grant introduced me to Andrea Kennedy, Web Accessibility Officer for the Shaw Trust, I'm miffed we didn't have a chance to chat. Having lunch with Pixeldiva, I finally got a chance to talk to Donna Smillie and Bim Egan, all doing amazing work as part of the RNIB's accessibility consulting wing.
Pixeldiva also introduced me to Andrew Arch, a noted and respected accessibility expert in Australia as well as a frequent contributor to the W3C's accessibility activities.
It was also great to catch up with Justin Cooke, Managing Director of Fortune Cookie, and Laura Crofton-Atkins their information architecture guru. I've been working closely with them during the design stage and phase 1 launch - August 1st last year (and have done an amazing job).
And a made a host of new friends - all professional guide dogs, including Bim's companion George, who has a host mischievious ideas! I love dogs, especially labradors and golden retrievers. They are the best company anyone could wish for.