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Fall Term Reflection

This was my first term working as the Accessibility Intern for the Digital Scholarship team at Carleton. After getting introduced to the field of Digital Humanities I began exploring accessibility in the web and  investigating the similarities and differences between some of the most popular mediums in the Digital Humanities space.

 

Accessibility in the Web

 

Learning about web accessibility is something I worked on throughout the term. I started the term knowing very little about the subject and after 10 weeks I can confidently say that I l have a much better understanding and a greater appreciation for its importance.  This process began with me learning how to use accessibility tools like WAVE and Colorblind Webpage Checker. Once I understood how to leverage these tools, I used them to evaluate some of the most common Content Management Systems (CMS) Digital Scholars use to serve content on the web (More information on how this process can be found here). Towards the end of the term I began creating a thorough an understandable guide for how to develop web content using knowledge I gained from the CMS investigation as well as reading through the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The project is still in its initial stages and is something I plan to continue building throughout the year.

 

World Usability Day

 

On November 8th the other interns and I attended World Usability Day at the University of Minnesota. As a novice to conferences of any kind, I felt that this was a great introduction. Presentations covered a wide variety of topics that ranged from web accessibility to data privacy and protection to a talk on how to conduct ethical user testing. On of the interesting aspects of this conference was the lack of academic speakers and the plethora of speakers that worked in industry. The most informative talk I heard discussed the most common forms of disability, what aspects of web design negatively affect those people, and how to solve them.  As a senior computer science major who is currently job hunting, hearing from people that work in the usability industry provided valuable information that I am sure will be helpful as a search for full time opportunities. All in all, this conference was a great first step into world of computer science conferences and I am excited to go to more in the future!

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