Ed Schipul will provide actionable tools and design strategies

Tendenci at SXSW InteractiveHOUSTON, February 24, 2014 – Tendenci (www.tendenci.com), the software development company spearheading the Tendenci® Open Source Content Management System (CMS) project for associations and other nonprofits, today announced that CEO Ed Schipul will co-present the session, "Turning a Blind Eye to Good Usability," at the 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival. Joining Schipul will be blind motivational speaker Rachel Magario who is an Assistive Technology Specialist at PACER Center's Simon Technology Center. The workshop will provide disability accessible solutions for website design.

Access to the Internet is a necessary resource to nearly every aspect of life: education, employment, government, commerce, healthcare and recreation. For people with disabilities to have equal opportunities, it is essential they have equal usability to the Internet and to websites. Schipul and Magario will present what online accessibility really means for both the visually impaired end user and to the web designer. The session will cover best practices, implementing accessible web design, testing and design pitfalls to avoid.

"The Internet can be a level playing field for all people – regardless of physical ability – which has empowered countless men and women with disabilities to participate in society in ways they never could before: as entrepreneurs, employees, advocates and activists," said Schipul. "It is inexcusable that many websites and apps continue to be developed with unnecessary and harmful obstacles to accessibility. Our goal is to show how easy accessibility can be to achieve."

For those who are blind, screen-reading software can open the door to the Web's vast information resources. A screen reader converts a Web site to text and then reads it out loud to the person using it. Unfortunately, many Web designers and developers fall into a trap of thinking that adding alt text to images is enough to make websites "accessible."

A typical approach to Web accessibility is to "repair" a website design that is already published, which often results in the site remaining functionally unusable by many people with disabilities. User-centered design practices avoid this problem by focusing on the functional requirements that improve access to all users. They are inspired by the needs of people with disabilities but are designed to give all users more options and control when accessing Web resources.

Turning a Blind Eye to Good Usability is by reservation only and is scheduled for 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM Tuesday, March 11th in Classroom 105 of the AT&T Conference Center, 1900 University Avenue in Austin, Texas. Participants must sign up in advance at https://sup.sxsw.com/schedule/IAP24483. Attendees will need a valid SXSW badge, and an activated SXSocial account.

The 2014 SXSW Interactive Festival runs March 7th through March 11th. It is an incubator of cutting-edge technologies and digital creativity.

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About Tendenci

Headquartered in Houston with an office in Silicon Valley, Tendenci (www.tendenci.com) develops the Tendenci Open Source CMS platform tailor-made for the unique needs of cause-related organizations including associations and other nonprofits. Tendenci is a revenue generating online tool with over one million users overall. Tendenci powers the websites of DePelchin Children's Center, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and Advance.org, among hundreds of others. Tendenci's Schipul Web Marketing business unit provides web marketing services to an international client base that encompasses a variety of service industries in local, national and international markets. Additional information about Tendenci and Schipul is available at www.tendenci.com.