A Bit Of Access

About A Bit Of Access and ActiveBit

A wide portrait photo in black and white, showing ActiveB1t (Marijn) from the side
Marijn, known by most as ActiveB1t

Why the name and this site?

Why this site?

While I initially wanted a simple digital business card, it's turning into a place to collect useful resources and a convenient testbed for accessibility and CSS techniques. The site is built from scratch using HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Some PHP is used to streamline certain aspects.

Why the name?

I have used the name ActiveB1t online for social media and gaming for a few years now, most people will know me by that name. Being Dutch, my first name is hard to verbalize for non-Dutch speakers, so I tend to introduce myself in English like this: I'm Marijn, but you can call me Active.

Medically me

In my youth I had cancer, a nasty form that started in my cheek muscle and metastasized to lymph nodes in my neck. The treatment consisting of operations, chemo- and radiotherapy did some lasting damage. Luckily I’m still around to talk about it, but it does have a daily impact.

It also makes any other medical process or diagnosis difficult, as everything gets overshadowed by my medical past.

There are some things that affect me which may not be caused by the late term effects of cancer, so nothing else has been diagnosed except for autism.

So yeah, I’m very much autistic. In short, for me this means I can be a bit awkward socially, sometimes confused with shyness. Sensory processing is hard, so busy environments are not a good match for me. I need a lot of quiet time to conserve my mental battery, this does not necesarrily mean alone time.

It’s difficult to capture everything in a relatively short amount of text, if you have any questions feel free to contact me on twitter.

Making games accessible for me

These are of some the things I use (when available) to make games more accessible to me, physically and cognitively:

  • Button remapping, on PC I change WASD to QWES for example, and I avoid stick clicks on controllers. Both to prevent finger fatigue.
  • Higher FOV settings, low fields of view easily trigger headaches and nausea.
  • Volume control, if possible I turn down music in favor of dialogue and effects, as sound tends to mix into an audible soup.
  • Subtitles, always subtitles. Audio registers more difficult than visual information for me.
  • Screenshake and headbob, much like a low FOV these can trigger headaches and they easily distract me from what is happening on screen. If possible, I turn these down or off.
  • Resting my controller on my lap or desk, supporting a controller for a long time is hard on my arms which fatigue easily.

Profession and hobbies

I hold a BSc degree in IT, with a broad curriculum that focused on human-computer interaction. At the time (early 2000's) this did not include much on accessibility. A large part of my skill set is self-taught. I've been self-employed since graduation, working in web application development as either full stack or front-end developer as the situation requires, and the occasional printed media. More recently this involves incorporating accessibility in new and running projects, as I'm looking to expand my expertise in that area.

Since the days of the Atari 1040ST and the NES I've been an avid gamer. With a few exceptions this was restricted to PC only for a long time. As a PC gamer I have also modded quite a few games in the past, such as Midtown Madness 2, GTA 3, and Battlefield 1942. Hey, I did say the past!

Currently I game on PC, Nintendo Switch, and mobile (thank you Pokemon Go). Because of what gaming has meant, and continues to mean, to me I'm especially passionate about learning about and advocating for accessibility in this field.

Some of my other hobbies include photography, and tinkering on my summer car (a 1987 Toyota MR2).

My skills

  • Over 10 years experience in: HTML, CSS, Javascript, PHP, SQL
  • Additional experience with: Python, Java, C++, C#, ASP(.NET)
  • Adept at Adobe software such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom
  • Casual experience with 3D modelling
  • Independent, prefers thinking in solutions instead of problems
  • Several years of community and chatroom moderation
  • Fluent in Dutch and English, reasonable experience in conversational German