Posted by Alessandro Palmieri, Regional Lead, Europe, Google Developer Teams

Blue banner with text that reads Exploring accessibility through community in GDG Pescara. Includes an image of two men giving standing in front of a projector screen

You by no means fairly know precisely how another person experiences the world – however making an effort to attach and perceive others stays a trademark of a powerful group. In November 2019, Google Developer Group Pescara invited backend developer Filippo Tenaglia to talk at a neighborhood DevFest program, as a part of the worldwide developer occasion. The group turned the lights down and linked Filippo’s PC to the room’s audio system, and Filippo informed attendees about his life as a visually impaired developer. He allow them to hear what he hears when he works with the code and allow them to hear the totally different speech synthesizers he makes use of: the one he makes use of to browse on the Web, in addition to the one which he makes use of to learn supply code, that reads any punctuation character.

One attendee requested Filippo what number of strains of code he’s capable of keep in mind with out seeing them, and Filippo answered, “I’ve to recollect the entire block. I can’t see the code, so I memorize it. Normally, I can keep in mind 20, even 30 strains of code.” The attendee replied, “you’re a dragon,” alluding to folklore that the paranormal creatures have sturdy recollections. Filippo laughed, and his colleague, Gregorio Palama, chief of GDG Pescara, says he obtained goosebumps.

Gregorio met Filippo when the 2 labored collectively at an IT consultancy. Filippo introduced his information canine Lila to work and impressed Gregario together with his exceptional potential to memorize 20-30 strains of code at a time. Filippo used assistive know-how, like speech synthesizers and display screen readers, in addition to his extraordinary memorization potential, to code. By way of his friendship with Filippo, Gregorio got here to grasp the significance of accessibility.

Gregorio makes use of his Google Developer Group (GDG) Pescara group, in a small metropolis within the central a part of Italy, to advocate for individuals with disabilities and educate different builders in regards to the technical instruments wanted to make programming, web sites, and software program really accessible for the visually impaired.

Leveraging instruments to remain linked

Builders with visible impairments much like Fillipo can leverage assistive know-how in Chrome like display screen readers and magnifiers. When looking the net utilizing numerous accessibility extensions, there are methods for individuals with visible impairments to make the browser extra accessible, with out putting in exterior software program.

By way of their friendship, Filippo continued to coach Gregorio about accessibility when he referred to as Gregorio to volunteer for extra GDG Pescara occasions in Italy. Filippo defined that he was calling as a result of the group’s group messaging platform and utility, the place they submit requires volunteers and share occasion particulars, isn’t accessible, so Fialippo can’t see the posted info and wishes to make use of a unique methodology of staying updated on GDG actions.

Utilizing group to share the significance of accessibility

GDG Pescara plans to host a DevFest centered accessibility and different chosen matters. The organizers are considering of getting a hackathon that would expose builders to Google’s accessibility instruments, just like the ChromeVox display screen reader, which builders can use to check the accessibility of their internet apps, or Chrome’s documentation on designing accessible extensions. With this community-led programming, Gregorio and his workforce hope to encourage different builders to construct new accessibility instruments, like a greater group platform.

By way of his friendship with Filippo, Gregorio discovered the significance of accessibility. Now, he’s utilizing his GDG group and a collection of instruments to assist educate about accessibility and advocate for individuals with disabilities.

In the event you’re impressed to steer fellow builders into an exploration of accessibility in know-how, we encourage you to be a part of a GDG close to you, or take into account main a GDG chapter. You may be taught extra about Google’s accessibility initiatives and developer instruments right here and take a look at an upcoming GDG group accessibility consciousness occasion right here.


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