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Umbraco Accessibility Awareness Day conference aims to make websites user-friendly for all

A team of web developers, who specialise in using the Umbraco ( open-source content management system, are hosting a Global Accessibility Awareness Day event on 18th May to help make websites easier to use for people who have limited vision, hearing, mobility, or learning differences.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day is celebrated each May to promote digital access and inclusion for more than two billion people worldwide.

The UMBRAAD conference, organised by the Umbraco Accessibility Team, will take place online from 9am UK on May 18th. The event provides an opportunity for web practitioners to learn how to make websites and digital experiences accessible for all users.

The online event is free of charge and designed for professionals who commission, design, or build websites and is open to anyone who has an interest in improving online accessibility.

The Umbraco Accessibility Team of volunteers, who focus on making the CMS more inclusive, includes:

  • Danny Lancaster, Accessibility Lead; Rachel Breeze, Senior .Net Developer, and Matt Wise, Senior .Net Developer, at digital agency, Nexer Digital
  • Jan Scovgaard, Senior Frontend Developer at Co3
  • Mike Masey, Lead Developer at Huskey Digital
  • Tiffany Prosser, Web Developer at Dept®

At the recent Umbraco Spark innovation conference, Danny Lancaster shared the findings from the 2022 Web Accessibility Impact  report and highlighted why he and his colleagues are campaigning to “Fix the Six” most common accessibility failings. The Web Accessibility Evaluation (WAVE) tool found that, out of a million pages it analysed, 96.8% web pages had detectable Web Content Accessibility Group (WCAG) failings.

The six main accessibility barriers identified in the Web Accessibility Impact report were:

  • Low contrast text
  • Missing alternative text for images
  • Empty links
  • Missing form input labels
  • Empty buttons
  • Missing document language

Danny Lancaster commented, “Fixing accessibility issues once websites are live is not efficient. We need software that shares responsibility for making websites perceivable, operable, usable and robust. 15% of the population is registered as having some form of impairment that can impact their ability to use websites that have not been made accessible.”

UMBRAAD conference organiser, Rachel Breeze, explains, “As developers, we could see that by putting more focus on accessibility within the back-office of Umbraco’s CMS, we could make frontend experiences much more user-friendly for everyone. We formed the Umbraco A11Y community in 2019 to ensure that absolutely no-one is excluded from using Umbraco websites.”

Conference attendees can gain insights from:

– Danny Lancaster, Accessibility Lead at Nexer Digital, who will give a talk on, ‘Crafting a better editor experience: bringing accessibility to life in our authoring tools’

– Maxwell Ivey, accessibility expert and award-winning author at The Blind Blogger, who will explain why, ‘Accessibility is a partnership requiring communication and collaboration’

– Matt Begent, senior front-end developer at GIBE Digital, who will share how to implement, ‘Automated accessibility testing within Umbraco’

– Ross Mullen, Digital Accessibility Specialist and director at CANAXESS, who will talk about, ‘Mastering the art of Accessibility Acceptance Criteria for better user story development’

– Sabrina Jodnexnis, Frontend Software Engineer at  Ubilabs, who will present, ‘A picture says less than a thousand words – a deep dive into alternative text, static maps decorations and diagrams’

– Ravi Motha, web developer at dotcentric, who will share how developers can, ‘Learn the rules to break the rules’

– Neil Collins, Head of QA at Great State, who will explain about, ‘Building equity into your CMS: understanding backend user needs.’

Commenting on the event, Javier Miranda, Chief Operating Officer, Umbraco, said, “Umbraco was founded with a mission to make it easier for everyone to build online experiences and we’ve thrived because we have such an engaged open-source community who are continually making improvements. The Umbraco Accessibility Team was formed four years ago to ensure that no-one gets left out when it comes to using websites and online services. We’re delighted that the Accessibility Team is hosting this event on Global Accessibility Awareness Day and would encourage everyone to listen in and spread the word on how to make websites friendlier for everyone.”

What: Umbraco Accessibility Awareness Day (UMBRAAD) Conference

Where: Online

When: 9am UK, Thursday 18th May 2023

How to attend: visit