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24-hour accessibility hacking

Damon Rose Damon Rose | 10:45 UK time, Tuesday, 21 June 2011

An interesting event kicks off today in Birmingham: A11y hackspace, where a11y is short for 'accessibility' as per the Twitter convention. Run by DevCSI (Developer Community Supporting Innovation), it puts web developers, the further education community and interested parties together, to come up with some software solutions to real life problems or inconveniences experienced by "disabled, elderly and everyone".

DevSCI's Mahendra Mahey told me: "We throw them into a room for 24 hours to see what happens. Typically these things work late into the night. The deal is they have to come up with some ideas and prototypes; these events can be pretty intense."

The event is being live tweeted and you can join in too. The hash tag to use is #a11yhack.

A computer keyboard

So, why have I gone all geek this morning? The answer to that is that I've been really interested in how uber geeks have been giving up their time to go to events like this one. There is a sense on the air, voiced to us by people at AbilityNet and accessibility evangelist Christian Heilmann, that there are lots of solutions already out there but they only come out when you bring geeks together with your average non-techie technology user and their real life needs.

A full report will appear at the end of the event where you'll be able to see some of the solutions they've brainstormed and created while there. Look out for it on DevCSI's blog.

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