Author: Deborah Edwards-Onoro

Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Detroit on May 19, 2016

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is right around the corner and with that comes fun presentations, talks, and workshops by people in the industry, where all they do is eat, sleep, and breathe accessibility.

GAAD kicks off in Detroit on May 19th at Grand Circus in downtown Detroit. It is going to be a fun night with groups of people learning hands-on how to navigate the Web using a screen reader.

Our meetup will be led by Al Puzzuoli, resident information technologist at Michigan State University’s Resource Center for Persons with Disabilities.

How I Got Involved

I am very stoked to be one of three event hosts for GAAD and know that I am taking part in a global event all across the world. It is going to be a fun and exciting night; I hope to gain better knowledge of screen readers as well.

Thanks to Deborah Edwards-Onoro, one of three event hosts for GAAD, I learned about the event and how it was an actual “thing.” She reached out to me and asked if I would join her and Nick DeNardis as an event host. Without hesitation, I agreed.

For this event, I went on the hunt for volunteers to help with groups and using screen readers. My friend Marcy Sutton from Deque reached out to her peers and I have a few people from the Ann Arbor Deque office coming out to help with the event.

They will be bringing swag to give out to the attendees. I also designed and purchased custom stickers printed for the event to hand out as well.

Accessibility Matters

A11Y, or accessibility, is gaining wide popularity and visibility in the industry thanks to people like Marcy Sutton, Steve Faulkner, all the people working on The A11Y Project, and the many other people that hold a11y dear to their heart.

Also, with events like GAAD, it helps to spread the word that accessibility is important and should be taken very seriously.

I always say,

Accessibility is not an option, it’s a must.

Come out and join us on May 19th for a good night and gain some knowledge on a11y by people in the industry. The event is from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, cost to register is $5.00. Cheers!

Frontend Web tooling – Build steps, managing assets, logistics and consistency. – Oct. 15, 2014

When: Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.

Building a single website is tough in itself but building and maintaining hundreds of sites results in exponential maintenance. Luckily there are frontend tools to help. You’re probably already familiar with a few of them and may use them on a handful of projects. We’ll explore how to use frontend tools to make life easier regardless if you’re working on a single or hundreds of sites.

Focusing on the end resulting HTML, CSS and Javascript brings a whole set of new and evolving tools. This discussion will focus on optimizing workflows with Node.js, NPM, Yeoman, Bower, SASS, Gulp, etc. If this is your first time being exposed to these tools we will walk through why and how to use them. If you’re familiar with some or all, we’ll work together to hone and build upon your skills.


Nick DeNardis is Director of Digital Communications at Wayne State University, where he leads the strategy, execution, and implementation of most all public facing digital communications for the university. His team is responsible for websites, social media, and digital signage around campus. They also are responsible for creation and maintenance of several university-wide tools including a content management system, events calendar, RSVP system, HTML email creator, form creator, and short URL system. Nick has 10 years of experience optimizing university websites for a forward moving user experience. He is a nationally recognized speaker, blogger and scientist in discovering and analyzing Web behavior.

Venue and Parking

Grand Circus is located in the Broderick Tower, and you enter from the Woodward-facing doors.

Once inside, go to the end of the hall, and take the elevator to the fourth floor.

Parking is available at the Detroit Opera House parking garage, located on Broadway. Parking is $10 (unless there’s a special event). There’s also limited street parking on Woodward.

The Detroit Opera House parking garage is a short walk up Broadway and around the corner from the Grand Circus space. Here’s parking information from the Broderick Tower website (PDF).