Accessible Picture Books and Graphic Novels

Publishers and audiobook producers often overlook the accessible conversion of picture books and graphic novels because they're unfamiliar with the process and the final product. The purpose of this presentation is to show producers how to provide this service, and to encourage publishers to consider including image descriptions in their conversion projects.

Joanne Pak

Headshot of Joanne Pak

Joanne Pak is an official NER certifier of live caption accuracy, and she is a subject matter expert for the Inclusive Media and Design Centre at Ryerson University. Throughout her career, Joanne has worked for numerous broadcasters, nonprofits, and educational institutions, specializing in accessible media as a described video writer and narrator, closed caption editor, audiobook producer, image description writer, and NER instructor. She was awarded a Gold Merit from Bell Media for developing a described video (DV) workflow, coaching writers, and creating the Bell in-house DV style guide. Joanne currently leads the production of accessible graphic novel audiobooks at CNIB and trains writers in image description.

How Does the Awareness of Assistive Technology Impact Students with Disabilities' Success at the College Level?

This research topic proposal was developed to investigate the impact of assistive technology in the students with disabilities’ success within the context of college academia.

The principal argument of this writing suggests that the lack of awareness of assistive technology by professors creates barriers that violate the rights of the individual with a disability under U.S. law. Several theories were explored that were relevant to learning and human development.

Humberto Hernandez

Headshot of Humberto Hernandez

Humberto Hernandez is a Colombo-American accessibility activist and Assistive Technology (AT) instructor who has worked for organizations in the private and public sector to break down barriers for individuals with all types of abilities. Humberto is a certified front-end web developer and Higher Ed Peer Reviewer, and Universal Design Advocate. Humberto has dedicated a significant part of his professional life testing, assessing, and remediating websites and other authorizing tools to make them accessible for individuals with disabilities. He has created nationwide programs like BEBs also known as Breaking Down Employment Barriers for individuals with disabilities and has worked with and for individuals with disabilities for more than 10 years.

Connect with Humberto Hernandez on Twitter

How To Make Social Media More Accessible

Social media plays a pretty big role in most people's lives, including people with disabilities. Many social media platforms have not been built with accessibility in mind. This talk is focused on major social media platforms, their accessibility features, the areas where they can improve their accessibility. You will learn how to make your social media accounts and content more accessible, so that more people can access and enjoy the content you share.

Tolu Adegbite

Headshot of Tolu Adegbite

Tolu os a product designer and developer specializing in accessible design, based in Toronto. Tolu enjoys reading, playing the piano, skateboarding (badly), taking care of plants and spending as much time outside as humanly possible.

Connect with Tolu Adegbite on Twitter

How to be a Great Accessibility Professional

Many people call themselves Accessibility Professionals or Accessibility Consultants. What does that actually mean? Can you sit in a boardroom and talk to executives with confidence? Can you coach, train, or teach delivery teams? Can you do more than just say accessibility buzzwords? The industry needs more accessibility professionals and I want to teach you how to be one.

Cam Beaudoin

Headshot of Cam Beaudoin

Cam is a Digital Accessibility subject matter expert, who wants to help other Accessibility consultants elevate their skill levels.

Connect with Cam Beaudoin on Twitter

Developing WCAG 3.0

W3C Accessibility Guidelines 3.0 will be the next major version of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2 series which is currently developing WCAG 2.2. Learn or get an update on the process used to develop the guidelines and the current proposals for a new structure for measuring how well you meet the guidelines. The #a11yTO community was an early contributor to the WCAG 3.0 research. Come see what we have done with your ideas.

Jeanne Spellman

Headshot of Jeanne Spellman

Jeanne has worked in accessibility since 1999 as a developer, designer, tester, and change evangelist. She has specialized in W3C standards since 2008, working on WCAG 2.0, Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) 2.0, User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG) 2.0, and How WCAG Applies to Mobile. Jeanne co-leads the W3C Silver Task Force which is designing WCAG3. Jeanne is dabbling in retirement, but WCAG3 keeps her very busy.

Connect with Jeanne Spellman on Twitter

Help Me Help You: How to Find Out and Meet the Accessibility Support Needs of Digital Teams

"Hello, what do you need?"

By asking digital teams this question first, you'll gain valuable info about how to help set up targeted support, training, and resources for those teams. And, bonus, they'll be invested in the plan. Soon they'll be on their way to meeting accessibility requirements within their roles.

They may even say, "You had me at hello."

Susan Till

Headshot of Susan Till

Susan has worked as a digital accessibility lead, consultant, trainer, resource creator, and strategist for four years. Prior to that, she was an accessibility advisor and trainer in her roles as content strategist and content designer. She also has a background in instructional design within the educational publishing industry. Her dog is too smart for his own good.

Connect with Susan Till on Twitter

Making A Strong Case For Accessibility

Accessibility is often overlooked or bolted on to the end of a project.

This talk hopes to shed some light on how to advocate at the organizational level or freelance level for people wanting to practice accessibility, but aren't sure how to do so.

Todd Libby

Headshot of Todd Libby

Todd is a professional web developer, designer, and accessibility advocate. He has been an avid learner of web technologies for over 40 years starting with many flavours of BASIC all the way to React/Vue. Todd is also a member of the W3C doing work on WCAG 3.0. He also hosts the Front End Nerdery Podcast and when not coding, writing, or speaking at conferences, you’ll usually find him tweeting about lobster rolls and accessibility, as well as hanging out by the ocean.

Connect with Todd Libby on Twitter

Building Equitable and Inclusive Studios with Disabled Employees

Video games are becoming more and more accessible for disabled people but the games industry still has a ways to go with accessible and inclusive employment opportunities for disabled people. We will cover just a few of the things you can do to ensure your studio is creating these opportunities with disabled employees and job seekers.

Courtney Craven

Headshot of Courtney Craven

Courtney (they/them) is an accessibility consultant and captionist, focused on game development. Courtney has been working in game accessibility for 8 years and has been the captionist for Unreal Engine since 2019. In 2018, Courtney co-founded Can I Play That? to serve both gamers and developers as an info hub and media hub for all things game accessibility.

Connect with Courtney Craven (they/them) on Twitter

Turn Your Product Team into a11y Champions

We have an opportunity to build tech and culture that’s inclusive for everyone. While many of us feel disempowered to move inclusive design forward, there are concrete tactics you can implement as part of your everyday job to change how your product can create a more equitable world.

Nina Baliga

Headshot of Nina Baliga

Nina is an accomplished leader and TEDx speaker on accessible technology, with a passion to make every product and service delightful for all users. With 10 years of work in the tech sector under her belt, Nina has focused on user experience design, accessibility, and digital strategy. She’s a disability advocate and influencer who changes thoughts and minds through human connection and deep functional and technical knowledge. Nina believes in the power of graciousness and vulnerability, leads by example, and embraces coaching to help others expand their knowledge and experiences. Nina has spoken at conferences across the country about a variety of issues on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.

Connect with Nina Baliga on Twitter

Is eCommerce Intentionally Unaccessible?

In this talk Hector will dissect the structure of an eCommerce website and highlight the areas were are potentially creating unaccessible experiences by design. You will learn what you need to watch out for when creating accessible eCommerce experiences, identify which components are unintentionally unaccessible and present some ideas on how to make them more usable.

Hector Osborne Rodriguez

Headshot of Hector Osborne Rodriguez

Hector has over a decade of software development and consulting working with companies all around the world. He has been specializing - but not solely focus - on eCommerce accessibility. Every day trying to learn, educate & share knowledge about accessible solutions. He's also a casual platform gamer where he finds inspiration in accessibility solutions & inclusive story telling. Currently working in Accenture as Front End Development Manager & Accessibility Champion.

Connect with Hector Osborne Rodriguez on Twitter

Inclusion By Design

This session explains the processes and artifacts required to integrate Accessibility into the Practice of Design. Alicia will explain the difference between accessible design and inclusive design, and give practical guidance for integrating accessibility into Design Research, Visual Design, Interaction Design and Content Design.

Alicia Jarvis

Headshot of Alicia Jarvis

Alicia is a diversity, equity & Inclusion researcher and strategist. She is a creative force for change and thought-leadership, offering a positive perspective and innovative solutions to complex problems relating to universal usability.

Connect with Alicia Jarvis on Twitter

Accessible Tables - Tips Tricks and Myths

This session will focus on the definition of table regularity, tools they can use to inspect tables for issues and several methods for dealing with tables that are not compliant. We will also cover several myths about things like blank cells in tables, the use of X or hyphens and other commonly used table symbology that creates a negative user experience. We will also cover basic table structure and some of the limitations of screen readers when it comes to interpreting tables.

Dax Castro

Headshot of Dax Castro

Dax is an award-winning, Adobe-Certified PDF Trainer and IAAP-Certified Accessible Document Specialist who has been working in the Engineering industry for nearly two decades. Dax specializes in user-centered accessibility approaches that push the envelope of technology to produce more robust accessible documents that still meet WCAG, AODA and PDF/UA compliance. Dax’s helpful tips and real-world insights on time-saving methodologies and solutions help teams and organizations keep projects on track despite having to adapt to unfamiliar accessibility requirements. He also runs a PDF Accessibility Support Group of 1,100 on Facebook and just launched an accessibility podcast with fellow accessibility expert/trainer Chad Chelius -

Connect with Dax Castro on Twitter

Could browsers fix more accessibility problems automatically?

Accessibility best practices and standards are great, but realistically, they don't reach everybody. Part of the web is still inaccessible to people with disabilities. What if browsers could give users the power to override the web, and fix accessibility errors in web content whenever they can? In this talk, I will discuss accessibility features in today's browsers and share what else could be done.

Hidde de Vries

Headshot of Hidde de Vries

Hidde is a front-end web developer and accessibility specialist. Hidde writes about all things HTML, CSS and JavaScript. He has been contracting with organizations like W3C, Mozilla and the Dutch government, to help them deliver sites that put users first.

Connect with Hidde de Vries on Twitter

What Y’all Need to Know About Captioned Videos on Social Media, Eh?

What you do for Twitter won’t be the same as Instagram or Facebook. LinkedIn and Facebook both allow you to upload a caption file, but Facebook has one difference you need to know about. Some social media platforms allow you to do closed captions while others require open captions or using their built-in captioning tool. Meryl will explore how to ensure your videos have captions on social media and the best practices. After all, adding captions is only half the battle. The other half is quality. Many videos flub on the quality of the captions and lose out on the advantages captions have to offer. Don’t let yours be one of them by applying Meryl’s Caption 10 rules for great captions.

Meryl Evans

Headshot of Meryl Evans

A solo marketing consultant for over 20 years from Texas, Meryl is an author and contributor to books on business and technology. She helps B2B and accessibility companies rock their content marketing initiatives. Prior to striking out on her own, she worked for two Fortune 500 companies and the FAA. A highly sought-after speaker who happens to be deaf, Meryl is renowned for sharing her personal experiences and passion for accessibility and high-quality captioning. Her marketing and education backgrounds come in handy in educating audiences on why accessibility is for everyone and everyone's job.

Connect with Meryl Evans on Twitter

Conducting Inclusive and accessible User Interviews

As a product developer, making inclusive and user-centered products should be the core of our design thinking process. To achieve this designers should have a focused and diverse community of research participants and should take note of ethnicity, gender, race, and even disabilities. To design user-centered products, designers should interview diverse users, taking into consideration qualitative and quantitative research methods. In this talk, I'll be highlighting ways designers can gather more resourceful insights through interviews by making the process inclusive and accessible to participants. How to conduct these interviews and translate research results.

Victory Brown

Headshot of Victory Brown

Hi, I'm victory from Nigeria. I am a user experience designer passionate about accessible designs and crafting simple user experiences with the users in mind. I believe that a diverse environment can inspire innovation that can solve user problems. The drive for the Inclusion of marginalized users led to my thirst for design advocacy roles. I have over 1-year of experience in User Experience Design, after trying out HTML and CSS which I'm vaguely familiar with. My interests surround working with and advocating assistive and adaptive technologies that improve learning, and other product development that is User-centered. I value collaborative communities, even as a self-starter, I understand and encourage teamwork. It creates an environment for multiple and diverse ideas which helps Innovation. (I highly recommend it if you're trying to be user-centered). I love to learn new trends and approaches to User-centered design.

I contribute to open source projects as a UX designer, and I also help with the onboarding of designers into the communities. I am a Sustain OSS working group member, where we handle issues facing designers in Free and Open Source Software. I write about UX trends I've learned to assist others and I also speak about Diversity, Inclusion, and Accessibility when given the opportunity.

Connect with Victory Brown on Twitter

Organizational Access: A guide to helping your organization embrace accessibility

This is a talk for people responsible for making decisions about accessibility within their organization, and anyone who's been assigned the task of meeting AODA compliance in those settings. We will give you an awareness of the regulations around accessibility, talk about strategies and best practices for both accessibility and compliance (not the same thing) and provide you with the grounding necessary to help you make solid decisions about those practices.

Mark Farmer

Headshot of Mark Farmer

Mark Farmer is an award-winning digital communications professional with 20 years' experience in the field. Mark started in web design and development in the late '90s, and founded his own shop, webness, in 2001. He worked as webmaster and then creative director for Earth Day Canada before shifting to digital communications for organizations such as the Royal Ontario Museum, Intuit's Global Business Division and York University. Currently, Mark is the senior digital strategist at the Ontario College of Teachers, leading a team of digital specialists in building the College's websites, apps, intranets, social media, email communications and other digital channels.

Jennifer Chadwick

Headshot of Jennifer Chadwick

I'm a regular lover and volunteer of the fabulous #a11yTO Camp and Conference. I'm a user experience designer who has been focused on inclusive design and accessibility for the past eight years. I'm the Lead Accessibility Strategist at Siteimprove, and work closely as a trainer and consultant on strategy and best practices for designers, developers, content authors and developers.

Connect with Jennifer Chadwick on Twitter

Smart Home Accessibility

As a Deaf person in a hearing household Ross has never had the same access to information as other family members, from crucial safety alerts to simple conveniences. In this talk Ross will describe the technologies he has used growing up, and how he and others can use smart technologies now for a customized, accessible home.

Ross LaVallee

Headshot of Ross LaVallee

Ross Lavallee, was born Deaf. He has always been interested in technology, specifically how Smart Homes can help the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community.