CSUN 2018 Documents
by Jamal Mazrui
The content of this repository includes wiki pages at
Background and Rationale
As a blind attendee of the 2018 CSUN conference, I regularly experienced an inability to gain value from a slide presentation of keen interest. Even if the speaker gave a URL for a digital copy of the presentation, it was usually not accessible to me, either because it was just displayed on the final slide without verbalization or because the verbalized URL was too difficult to memorize by listening just once. Often, simultaneous sessions were of interest, so I also missed a chance to learn of other slide presentations that would be accessible if I only knew their public URLs.
Criteria for Collaboration Approach
This project is an attempt to make the conference slides or handouts available in a manner that is easy for speakers to share accessibly. I investigated various alternatives for a free, reliable, and self-service system for sharing such documents. In the past, dedicated individuals have collected links to slides after the CSUN conference and updated a web page as often as volunteer time would allow. This approach tries to be less dependent on a single individual and more direct in the path for speakers to share their documents.
I found that some collaboration sites require individual authorization for adding content to a project. Others with fewer barriers to entry enable users to post links but not to upload files. Still others support uploading images such as
.jpg, but not documents such as
Choice of GitHub Site
On balance, an approach using certain GitHub features seems to work best. Anyone with a GitHub account has write access for posting a link or uploading a document, and any web user has read access for following a link or downloading a document. Given the popularity of the
GitHub.com site .com in the tech world, many CSUN conference participants are familiar with it as users. Moreover, since speakers there are often developers as well, they are likely to have an account already, so uploading a document or posting a link there should be a relatively straightforward way of sharing.
To clarify the terms of sharing, it is recommended that each document include a license statement within its content, e.g., by referencing Creative Commons — Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International.
A CSUN speaker may share a conference document as a link on the wiki of the
CSUNATC18docs repository, which is configured to permit contributions by anyone with a GitHub account. Often, a document will already be hosted on another website, so only a wiki link to it needs to be posted. If the speaker is not using another site for hosting, however, the document may be uploaded in the issue queue of the same repository.
Steps for the following tasks are detailed below: signing into the repository, adding a document link, optionally uploading a document, and linking to an uploaded document.
Signing into the Repository
Browse the test example of a wiki page that links to an issue attachment (explained more below).
Adding a Document Link
Wikilink and then the
New Pagelink. Alternatively, open the page http://GitHub.com/JamalMazrui/CSUNATC18docs/wiki/new.
In the web form for creating a new page, use the
Titlefield for inputting the title of the document to be shared. Use the multi-line
Page contentfield for a description that at least contains a link to the document. By default, the wiki accepts Markdown syntax as input, so the link may be entered like this:
[Link name](Link URL)
Optionally Uploading a Document
If the document is not already hosted elsewhere, it may first be uploaded to the issue queue of the
CSUNATC18docsrepository before creating a wiki page that links to the document. To create an issue, open the page http://GitHub.com/JamalMazrui/CSUNATC18docs/issues/new.
In the web form for creating a new issue, use the
Titlefield for inputting the title of the document. Use the multi-line
Commentfield for any description. Invoke the button for uploading the document file as an attachment to the comment.
Linking to an Uploaded Document
After creating the issue, move focus to the attachment link and copy its full URL to the clipboard using the context menu (e.g., invoked via a right click or Shift+F10).
On a wiki page for sharing the document, reached as described above, paste the URL from the clipboard when defining the link.
If CSUN speakers participate by sharing in this manner, then their digital learning aids will be available to benefit more people. Undoubtedly, there were more interested in their sessions than who could attend, especially given scheduling or financial constraints, so the ideas are thereby disseminated further. The approach helps to spread education about accessibility and increase its implementation.
This project is an experiment in a self-service system based on professional trust. Please post document links only if you were a speaker at the 2018 CSUN Assistive Technology Conference or if you are posting on behalf of a speaker.
Feel free to use (responsibly) other collaboration features of the
CSUNATC18docs repository, e.g., by adding related content, subscribing to notifications, or cloning the wiki.
Shared documents are periodically gathered and posted as an accessible collection of slides: