It cannot be assumed that all technology users can use a keyboard, mouse or monitor. As technology users are incredibly diverse, with a wide variety of characteristics, our software team arranged a hackathon to understand more about accessibility, needs of users, and how we can work with our clients to embed accessibility within the solutions we suggest and create.
"This hack day has made me realise that we can never 'solve' accessibility - we can only strive for systems to be usable for the largest group of people.
"It's so easy to get bogged down in the technical aspects of development and not consider who will be using our systems - humans.
"This links with Waterstons' people first values, and how it encompasses everything we do. I'm really looking forward to applying our new knowledge in future projects."
Oscar Otter, Software Consultant
"When I set the brief for this hackday my intention was how can we automate everything', but it’s not as simple as that.
"As the team identified, we’re testing how humans perceive the world; not how computers or code can test against a set of requirements. Manual testing will always be a part of our ability to produce software that meets the needs of everyone who wants to use it."
Mike Dent, Head of Bespoke Software
"I’ve learned a lot about accessibility in this hackathon, especially as someone who is able to access content without additional tools.
"Many of my clients have said that their systems need to be WCAG compliant, but they don’t necessarily have the skills or experience to validate that they are accessible.
"I hope that in the future I can support both clients and colleagues at Waterstons in ensuring accessibility is an important component of any new system or technology."
Stan Neal, Higher Education Delivery Lead
“I’ve got a much better understanding of how hard it is to use the modern web than we take for granted when you have any type of accessibility issue.
!The very least we can do is to minimise those difficulties and, as an industry, we’re nowhere near good enough. There are however plenty of things we can do to start improving the situation.”
Dave Hooper, Executive Business Consultant