I’m Eric Eggert and I’m new around here and will help Shadi compete 
the WAI-ACT project. I was asked by Shawn to introduce myself here, so 
I’ve written this little origin story:

I’m originally from a small town in Germany, in the middle of the 
woods. No, really[1]. And it was there where I first got in touch with a 
wheelchair user, which was a boy who lived in the house next to my 
parents. Sadly inclusion wasn’t really good back in the days, so we 
didn’t share the school and he wasn’t allowed outside as often as we 
would liked, which improved later.

Later I became interested in programming, doing little apps like an 
electric circuit designer[2] (in the non-famous language Profan²[3]) 
and started to teach it to younger pupils in my school, as the 
informatics education was very much sub-par. It was around the same time 
when I started to think about the web and putting my stuff online so 
everyone could download my apps and I become rich.[4]

As I started to learn HTML I quickly discovered the so-called Web 
Standards movement, which was awesome as it allowed me, the boy from the 
woods, to communicate with people all over the country and later the 
world. I joined the Webkrauts[5] early in the process and tried to 
educate people about the web, starting with some presentations at 

In May 2006 – after my A levels – I moved to Vienna to study media 
informatics at Vienna university. As I joined the first BarCamp Vienna 
and talked about Web Standards in Practice[7]. Out of that experience I 
founded the Vienna chapter of the German WebMontag (Web Monday) events, 
which was where I met Shadi for the first time. He subsequently 
introduced me to the huge accessibility scene. I later (2008) 
co-organized the Accessibility Day[8] here in Vienna and spoke there and 
built the websites (2008–2010). In 2009 I was asked to host a panel on 
national accessibility guidelines at the European Accessibility Forum in 

I moved back to Germany in 2010, still working as a freelancer as I did 
from Vienna in the meantime. This time I chose the large Ruhrgebiet area 
where I live now in the southern borrow of Essen called Kettwig[10]. 
Together with a group of enthusiastic people called BPSE (Best Practices 
Stammtisch [Round Table] Essen) we wanted to try out how it is to take 
part in the German web accessibility contest called BIENE[11]. It turned 
out that we won a Golden BIENE in the end for our project Stiftung 
Lebenshilfe Duisburg[12].

In 2011 Sandra Kallmeyer[13], who worked with me the previous year, and 
I started our small 2-people agency, with clients like the University of 
Duisburg-Essen[14] and most recent OWB[15]. With OWB we had the first 
really deep look at Easy Read German, which was a really fun and 
insightful experience. Nowadays I try to close the perceived gap between 
accessibility and developers, showing them that it is easy to make 
better accessible web sites[16].

Oh, I just noticed that this got really long. I guess all I wanted to 
say is that I’m really excited to work with you all! If you like to 
find me elsewhere on the internet my usual nick is “yatil”[17].

I’ll now try to digest all those informations that Shadi threw at me.

I wish you all happy holidays and a successful and accessible 2014.

Best, Eric

PS: Sorry for all those links, that’s probably from my blogging days 

[4] I didn’t get rich, but you can find my inaccessible, frame site 
here non the less. At least it already had alt attributes on the image 
[6],,, (I must have made 
those around 2002, all in German, but you might recognise the guy in 
that slide ;-)
[7] (Yes, I wore 
fancy shirts back in the days. Also I wear much more hair these days…)
[9], Me on tape:
[10] I made a lot of photos:
[12] – Especially note the animation 
on the logo and on the navigation, I think I could do something like 
this (but with CSS transforms, of course) for W3C, too ;-)
[14] (Unfortunately the code was changed – and 
made partly inaccessible – after the launch.)
[17],,, – well, 
almost everywhere ;-)

Received on Tuesday, 17 December 2013 12:06:57 UTC