Deque Systems, a widely respected accessibility firm that has contributed to setting up automated accessibility testing for WordPress core, will be hosting a new “Axe-con” virtual conference focusing on digital accessibility. Axe-con is named for the company’s axe-core project, an open source library and accessibility testing engine that can be customized to integrate with all modern browsers and testing frameworks. It’s happening March 10-11th, 2021, and tickets are free.
Learning how to create accessible experiences for the web is challenging. Axe-con will bring together experts from around the world who can accelerate that journey for developers, designers, business owners, accessibility professionals, and anyone involved in the team effort required to make digital experiences accessible. The event will feature multiple tracks with a variety of topics, including sustainable accessibility, compliance, best practices, and case studies from organizations leading large-scale accessibility efforts.
For those interested in obtaining or maintaining IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals) certification, attendance at Axe-con sessions can count towards IAAP continuing education (CE) credits.
The event will also include a hackathon where attendees will have the opportunity to network with each other while coding and collaborating on accessibility projects. A few examples include testing open source component libraries and logging issues, building new axe integrations, and working on personal projects.
Deque Systems is hosting this new conference the same week as the CSUN Assistive Technology Conference. The company is has attended and sponsored the event in the past but sees the need for a conference focused more on building accessible digital experiences. Deque could no longer meet this need by tackling those topics in a single sponsorship room limited to 100 people. When its CSUN 2020 sessions were forced to go virtual, the team discovered that thousands were able to join in on topics more related to digital accessibility.
Organizers anticipate that attendees will join both CSUN and axe-con in 2021. By scheduling the events in the same week, they are hoping to help attendees make more efficient use of their time that would normally be set aside for traveling to an in-person conference.
Registration is open and last week organizers reported there were already more than 2,000 people signed up. The Call for Papers will be open until 8:00PM ET Friday, October 23rd, 2020, and speakers will be notified by November 23. Talks will be broadcast in the Eastern timezone but international speakers are welcome.