The Big Idea

Open source communities push collaboration, sharing and transparency throughout various industries. While design and creativity have never been more important, we often wonder, “where can designers who focus on open source projects share what they do, push their designs further and encourage other designers to join the community?” Come to our meetup to learn more.

nycgroup Top row: Julien Deswaef, Aaron Hymoff, Dina Michl, Atul Varma, Stephanie Daher, Dave Crossland Bottom row: Erika Enlund Not pictured: Jess Klein

Accessibility and Open Source

This talk was given by Atul Varma, who is known for building bridges of understanding between humans and machines. He has written illuminating software that’s been used as the centerpiece of TED Talks, in maker events around the world, and by individuals who are just trying to have a less frustrating time using their computer. But his favorite moments are very personal: understanding where another person is coming from, constructing a metaphor they can relate to, and using it to explain technology in a way that liberates, excites, and empowers.

nycgroup Atul Varma presented at our meetup this month.


As designers/developers, we all understand the importance of inclusivity and web accessibility. We know that it means people with impairments, disabilities or aging can use, perceive, navigate, interact and understand the internet. Web accessibility encompasses all disabilities which include visual, auditory, physical, speech, cognitive, and neurological disabilities. This is all well understood by our community of designer/developers but sometimes, it’s not always known how it works or how one is supposed to design with accessibility in mind. Currently most Web sites and Web software have barriers that make it difficult or impossible for many people with disabilities to use the Web. Raising awareness is just one step in helping lower these barriers.

Why Web Accessibility is Important Today, the net one of the most important resources in our day to day lives: research, education, employment, government, e-commerce, healthcare etc… It is key that the net be accessible in order to provide equal access and opportunity to people with disabilities and allow them to actively participate in society.

Atul’s Presentation and Slide Deck

Next meetup

Our upcoming meetup will take place place in ThoughtWorks offices, 99 Madison Avenue on Thursday the 18th of January, from 6.00pm to 8.00pm.

Date & Location

  • Date: Thurs, 18 Jan 2018
  • Time: 6:00pm - 8.00pm (EDT)
  • Where: Thoughtworks offices, New York
  • What: Funding free software presented by Dave Crossland

Please RSVP for the meetup at eventbrite