Posted by Alessandro Palmieri, Regional Lead, Europe, Google Developer Teams
You by no means fairly know precisely how another person experiences the world – however making an effort to attach and perceive others stays an indicator of a powerful group. In November 2019, Google Developer Group Pescara invited backend developer Filippo Tenaglia to talk at an area DevFest occasion, as a part of the worldwide developer program. The group turned the lights down and linked Filippo’s PC to the room’s audio system, and Filippo advised attendees about his life as a developer with visible impairment. 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 in a position to 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. Often, 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 robust recollections. Filippo laughed, and his colleague, Gregorio Palama, chief of GDG Pescara, says he received goosebumps.
Gregorio met Filippo when the 2 labored collectively at an IT consultancy. Filippo introduced his information canine Lila to work and impressed Gregorio together with his exceptional capacity to memorize 20-30 strains of code at a time. Filippo used assistive expertise, like speech synthesizers and display screen readers, in addition to his extraordinary memorization capacity, to code. Via 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 folks with disabilities and educate different builders concerning the technical instruments wanted to make programming, web sites, and software program actually accessible for the visually impaired.
Leveraging instruments to remain linked
Builders with visible impairments much like Fillipo can leverage assistive expertise in Chrome like display screen readers and magnifiers. When searching the net utilizing numerous accessibility extensions, there are methods for folks with visible impairments to make the browser extra accessible, with out putting in exterior software program.
Via their friendship, Filippo continued to teach 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 software, the place they publish requires volunteers and share occasion particulars, isn’t accessible, so Filippo can’t see the posted data and desires 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 targeted accessibility and different chosen matters. The organizers are considering of getting a hackathon that might expose builders to Google’s accessibility instruments, just like the ChromeVox display screen reader, which builders can use to check the accessibility of their net 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.
Via his friendship with Filippo, Gregorio discovered the significance of accessibility. Now, he’s utilizing his GDG group and a set of instruments to assist educate about accessibility and advocate for folks with disabilities.
In case you’re impressed to guide fellow builders into an exploration of accessibility in expertise, we encourage you to be part of a GDG close to you, or take into account main a GDG chapter. You’ll be able to study 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.