We’re seeing an increased interest in the subject of empathy in design, and it’s about time. As creators of things that other people have to use, it’s always a good idea to be able to understand what people do, and how they do it.

This coming 9 May (Thursday) is Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Events are being organised organically in each city to mark the day, and Sydney has something special lined up for us to flex our empathy muscles.

So this coming 9 May, come to an evening of lightning talks at A11yBytes – a11y being the shorthand for “accessibility” (11 characters between a and y), and bytes because – ok, ok… You get it. It’s a community event focused on raising the profile of digital accessibility.

A11Y Bytes. 9 May. 7 lightning talks. 6 pm. Mr B’s Hotel at 396 Pitt St.

There’s a great line-up of diverse and mind-widening lightning talks around social inclusion, technology use, gamestoring and more. This isn’t just for web geeks – it’s for anyone who wants to learn what accessibility means in this day and age, and how systems and technology can affect and enhance life. The heart of accessibility is not about guidelines or codes or regulations. It’s about people, and life, and how we live, how we access information, and how our lives are affected by the technologies of today.

So what are you doing on 9 May? Grab your free ticket to A11yBytes, bring a friend, and come learn something new over a beer or two, and flex those empathy muscles!