Web accessibility has been a part of Norwegian law and regulations since 2013. With new updates to the legislation being set in motion this fall, accessibility is once again on the agenda.
Lotte Johansen, a senior backend developer at FINN.no, has been deeply dedicated to web accessibility for many years now, sharing her knowledge as a speaker at numerous conferences. She also headed the effort for which FINN.no was awarded the DOGA award for «Interaction Design and Digital Solutions» in 2017.
Lotte’s interest in web accessibility started when the law on accessibility was implemented in 2014. The introduction of this legislation resulted in many questions within tech organizations around the country. To get answers, stay ahead of the development, and to make sure FINN.no was up to speed on the topic, Lotte started a «Web Accessibility» group together with other developers and designers at FINN.no.
The impressive part of this was that the group was initiated and founded by regular employees at FINN.no in its entirety; it was never forced through by management. Together with the group, Lotte researched this new legislation, learned about web accessibility, how to implement this in an organization, and then again mediated this knowledge to colleagues at FINN.no, making the entire organization «web accessibility first» when creating new functionality. In addition to this, a cooperative agreement with the Norwegian Association of the Blind and Partially Sighted, «Blindeforbundet», was established.
This cooperation was an important factor when Lotte with the rest of the group in 2017 won the price for “Interaction Design and Digital Solutions” awarded by DOGA, the Norwegian design and architecture foundation, for work on making FINN.no accessible for everyone, with Lotte listed as one of the main designers.
Lotte’s key takeaway from working with accessibility is that using web accessibility principles to make websites more accessible for people with disabilities makes the websites more accessible for everyone!
Lotte is an experienced speaker, with conferences like CSUN, JavaZone, microXchg and WebRebels on her resume. Not to anyone’s surprise, web accessibility has been the topic she has revisited on many of her talks. Her talk «Accessibility for Everyone» (Norwegian) from 2015 gives a thorough review of how to make your website accessible.
She has given talks on other subjects, like “Testing in Distributed Systems”
and “Consents for GDPR”:
However, this year she will be giving another talk on accessibility at JavaZone. Along with fellow accessibility enthusiasts from the «Web Accessibility» group at FINN.no, she will demonstrate how to navigate around real world constraints. The talk is based on five years of experience working with accessibility, and will present an interesting perspective on problem solving when facing challenges implementing web accessibility.
More about Lotte Johansen on the web: