Community in Toronto: What Made the #A11yTO Conferences So Spectacular?

I’m sitting in the airport on my way home from two conferences put on by #A11yTO. I’ve been trying to figure out what made the three days in Toronto so great. This post is what I’ve come up with.

#A11yTO is a volunteer-run digital accessibility community in Toronto. Puzzled by the title? A11y (that’s A-eleven-Y) is the short hand for accessibility because there are 11 letters between the first “A” and the final “Y”; TO for Toronto.

I attended the A11yIRL one-day conference [IRL for in real life] and attended and spoke at the A11yTO digital accessibility conference. These two events were part of a week of activities called #A11yWeekTo. Unfortunately, I missed the last major event of the week, A11yTO Gaming conference.

I decided to write this up for a few reasons:

  • I hope other conference organizers who want to run inclusive accessible conferences will find this useful
  • I hope all sorts of tech conferences will learn about the many great #A11yTOWeek disabled speakers who shared stories, expertise and big ideas and invite them to their conferences
  • To give a large public shout out to the conference organizers, volunteers, sponsors, speakers, MCs and [...]

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