From writing blogs to speaking at a conference

In a span of a week, I became a speaker. I never saw myself as someone who would give a talk. Feeling much more comfortable with blogging, which I have been doing since early 2000.

A couple of years ago I was asked if I would like to give a talk at an A11Y meetup, but I never really give it a serious thought. My thinking being that I don’t have much of value to say or add. Then about a year or so ago, Peter van Grieken from Frozen Rockets asked if I wanted to speak together with him at his guest lecture about Inclusive Design at The Hague University of Applied Sciences. I immediately agreed, because there aren’t many greater goods then teaching the next generation.

Turns out I really like talking about inclusive design, my experiences around it and sharing my knowledge. It was the best way to start speaking in front of people and the feedback I got showed me that it is helpful to be sharing my experiences and knowledge about inclusive design.

Fast forward to last month when Job van Achterberg who organizes A11Y meetups gave me a date and place and asked if I wanted to do a talk, I was ready for it. And so on October 31, I gave my first talk at a meetup. It was such a great experience plus getting questions and interacting with people on the subject of inclusive design.

I was still processing that experience when the following Monday morning I got a message asking if I would like to speak at Refresh conference on Friday due to a change of plans. Speaking at a conference is a whole new ball game than a meetup. I took a couple of hours to let it sink in and then I agreed to do it.

To say I was nervous is the least. First time speaking in front of a crowd of more than a hundred people. Plus doing it on short notice. But fears are to be conquered. It was an unreal experience, a good one. I am happy I did it and even happier “hearing” from people that I opened their eyes to how non-inclusive many things are. Which is the main reason for all this: creating awareness about being inclusive.

πŸ“·: Aljan Scholtens

I can now officially add another description to my bio, Speaker.

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