Nathan Loding

Information & Communications Technology

Accessibility Accessibility Standards Accessible Code A11y UX / Accessibility Agile software development Digital Accessibility

Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Nathan Loding

Husband, father, developer, hacker ... nerd.

I'm a nerd, I've always been a geek, dork, or nerd, and probably will always be. I love solving problems and technology is the best way to do that. I work professionally as a Senior Developer Relations Engineer for Basis Theory, helping developers keep their data safe and compliant. On the side I'm a husband, father, collector of hobbies, gardener, and outdoorsman (hiking, camping, canoeing/kayaking). I enjoy working analog, with my hands, whenever possible. I hate chores and cleaning up after myself.

Current sessions

Be an A11Y with React

When discussing diversity and accessibility, frameworks are often used as scapegoats: “It’s too hard to do it with {{ framework_name_here }}”. It’s an excuse. Most modern frameworks are built with accessibility in mind, and implementing accessibility often takes no time at all. After a brief overview of accessibility and the web, we will tackle some of the most common accessibility patterns using React and explore some libraries that make accessibility even easier. Last, we will look at testing tools and strategies to ensure that accessibility isn’t overlooked.

Previous presentations:
CodeMash - January, 2019


Accessibility: A Walk in Someone Else’s Shoes

Everyone talks about accessibility - or a11y - but how often is accessibility a primary thought during your development pipeline? How often is accessibility taken for granted? It’s easy to push it aside and say you’ll do it later or to forget entirely. It’s easy to drop a couple WAI-ARIA tags into your HTML and move on, but this doesn’t address many accessibility needs. When was the last time you used your website with your eyes closed?

Let’s do just that. Let’s try to navigate a website with a blindfold on. Let’s try to use a website without a mouse. Let’s try navigating a website with a visual impairment. And then let’s fix the problems encountered.

We will focus on experiencing a website as a user with two types of impairments:
* Visual impairments, such as color blindness, low visual acuity, and a complete lack of vision
* Mobility impairments, preventing users from using a mouse for input

These impairments are quite common and are simple to simulate using a combination of browser extensions and existing tools in your operating system. For each impairment, we will look at how the markup (both the semantic structure and the attributes), the colors and contrast, tab order, and focus affect the experience. And for each issue we encounter, we will look at specific ways that experience can be improved.

Last, we will look at testing strategies to audit your code for potential accessibility issues, using extensions such as Google’s Lighthouse, Deque’s axe-engine, and others.

Previous workshops:
CodeMash - January, 2019
Music City Tech - May, 2019
THAT Conference - September, 2019


Empathy, chemotherapy, development: A journey

In 2016, my daughter started chemotherapy for a rare disease. Over the next two years of ups, downs, twists and turns, I’ve learned empathically listening to people is not something just for medical professionals, but for software teams as well. The parallels between patient support and working with clients or projects became clear. Naturally, it is easier said than done. Sharing stories from my personal experience, I will illustrate the common mistakes and how to turn them around. This is a talk for more than just developers or consultants; everyone can walk away with something new.

Previous presentations:
Dog Food Conference - October, 2018


Easy Accessibility with Angular, React, and Vue

When discussing diversity and accessibility, frameworks are often used as scapegoats: “It’s too hard to do it with {{ framework_name_here }}”. It’s an excuse. Most modern frameworks are built with accessibility in mind, and implementing accessibility often takes no time at all. Achieving a baseline level of accessibility is more about changing how you think than it is changing how you code. After a brief introduction to accessibility and the web, we will tackle some of the most common accessibility patterns using Angular, React, and Vue, and explore some libraries that make accessibility even easier. Last, we will look at testing tools and strategies to ensure that accessibility isn’t overlooked.


The Cost of Accessibility: A Business Case for A11y

Accessibility is a growing concern in the developer community, but the question of "Why" still lingers in the air. Why should a developer care about accessibility? Why should a private business invest in accessibility? One answer is money.

In 2019, Federal Courts ruled that a pizza chain must make their web platform accessible in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. That is just one of many recent rulings holding businesses accountable for accessibility. Not to mention that 1 in 5 visitors to your website will have some form of disability - that's 20% of your users! This isn't only for public facing websites, either. The ADA also requires internal websites to be accessible.

This session outlines the business case for accessibility - why it's important and what the ROI for accessibility could be - as well as presenting the possible costs associated with ignoring accessibility. Take the notes from this session, or take the slides themselves, and present them to your business team. Help make the web accessible to everyone!