About Deque Systems, Inc
Deque (pronounced dee-cue) is a web accessibility software and services company, and their mission is Digital Equality. They believe everyone, regardless of their ability, should have equal access to the information, services, applications, and everything else on the web. Deque works with enterprise-level businesses and organizations to ensure that their sites and mobile apps are accessible. Installed in over 250,000 browsers and with over 1,000 audit projects completed, Deque is the industry standard.
Axe-con Accessibility Conference
Axe-con is an annual accessibility conference hosted by Deque, a web accessibility software, and services company that welcomes developers, designers, business users, and accessibility professionals that are interested in building and testing accessible digital experiences.
What They Needed
Several requirements for the event included support for live, human-generated captions, support for ASL, Chat and Q&A features, and more. The team at Deque, the company hosting Axe-con, tested various virtual platforms and provided a helpful tip to verify every accessibility claim. Deque knew they wanted to deliver a fully virtual conference via WCAG 2.0 AA conformance platform, and we did everything we could to help them achieve their goals.
They had 10 objectives they wanted to us to achive:
- Chat Q&A and Polling features
- A modern look and feel
- Scale to support ~6k simultaneous users
- Zoom-powered backend for speakers and moderators.
- Accessible PDFs of every presentation posted in advance of the live session.
- Support to host 4 simultaneous topic tracks.
- Support for live, human-generated captions.
- Support for ASL.
- Some sort of virtual fun.
- A code of conduct
Ultimately our team verified all of the claims, took all of their feedback into account, acted quickly, and met all of their needs, and did not charge additional services fees in the process.
What We Provided
Keeping all of Deque’s objectives in mind, Vario got to work. Vario’s production and platform team made sure while designing Deque’s virtual platform that the website could be controlled by both a mouse and also via keyboard. This small yet important distinction helped keep the entire virtual experience inclusive to all attendees, depending on each individual’s abilities.
The front-end was a Vimeo-powered live stream embedded within our event platform. On the back-end, we were piping four simultaneous Zoom feeds from Speakers and Moderators through vMix and into Vimeo. This provided us with a scalable infrastructure to potentially tens of thousands of simultaneous viewers. This also provided a familiar video player interface for viewers with a wide range of ability and experience levels. Vario maintained online user accessibility by using Zoom so the onboarding process for presenters was seamless.
Over the two-day event, there were over 40 live sessions with closed captioning and other accessibility options.
While each session was being streamed, Vario helped to ensure accessibility for all of Deque’s participants by having live closed captioning and a live video feed of a real-time ASL translator. Over the two-day event, there were over 40 live sessions with closed captioning and other accessibility options. All sessions are still available online for attendees to still access.
What Makes Us Different
We believe inclusion is at the forefront of innovation. Our goal was to make sure every single accessibility element we were asked to design and produce became possible. In the ever-present world of virtual and hybrid events, it’s now more important than ever to make sure events are created with accessibility in mind, so every attendee feels included and can participate in the experience. We take tremendous pride in working with Deque on their Axe-con event and can’t wait for the next one.