Annotating Designs for Accessibility

A core aspect of accessibility comes down to our designs, from the patterns we create to what we work with developers to build. What we include in our designs and prototypes can communicate many core aspects of accessible design, but some pieces get lost. When designs and prototypes alone are not enough, we can use accessibility annotations. In this workshop, attendees learn what gaps that accessibility annotation can fill and when and how to use them.

Anna E. Cook

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Anna E. Cook is a Senior Designer that specializes in building inclusive products. With ten years of experience, she is dedicated to creating scalable systems to support accessible practices across digital product teams. Anna is a Senior Designer at Microsoft and an M.S. student in Creative Technology & Design at the ATLAS Institute of CU-Boulder.

Disability and inclusion in Latin America: How digital accessibility can remove barriers from job searching websites

This project focuses on detecting the issues that block disabled users’ interactions with websites and how that affects their job search. Using WCAG 2.1 guidelines as support, and measuring recurrent issues presented, we will propose a replicable and scalable methodology of testing, and provide simple solutions to accessibility design related issues that are creating barriers for disabled people. It’s everyone’s responsibility to allow work to be accessed in a free and equitable way, like the Human Rights declaration proposes, towards inclusion.

Pabla Martin Zazú

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I am an Accessibility specialist, focused on inserting accessibility into the product development process. Also working on the WAS (Web Accessibility Specialist) certification translation as a subject matter expert. I am interested to generate contributions that imply a social impact in the community, both from a scientific approach, using methodologies to obtain concrete results, and generating strategies oriented to digital accessibility. My ultimate goal is to be able to provide tools for the empowerment of people with disabilities in today's world.

Setting accessibility specialists up for success in organizations

Accessibility specialists, as well as designers, developers, and testers who want to center accessibility in their work, can often feel overwhelmed and unsupported. We're frequently asked to be responsible for organization-wide change management, project and program management, evangelism, road maps, training, testing, and mentorship. We often risk burnout and failure in systems that are not actually designed to help us succeed. In this talk, I'll explore some of the ways that we're let down, and ways we can center caring for ourselves to keep doing the work.

Devon Persing

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I'm an accessibility specialist who's been in the field for about 10 years, after a short career as a librarian. My experience is primarily with accessibility consulting agencies and large tech organizations. I'm most interested in solving problems to make accessibility work more sustainable for everyone involved, and with a focus on usability over compliance. When I'm not doing accessibility work, I'm gardening, writing, playing or running Dungeons & Dragons games, petting a cat, or playing video games. I live in Seattle, WA, which I've called home since 2010. I identify as a disabled person and have a history with chronic illness.

Connect with Devon Persing on Twitter

Semantic components and custom lint rules for improving the a11y mindset

How we use semantic components and custom eslint rules at smallcase to improve the a11y mindset in developers.

Gaurav Gupta

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Lead engineer at smallcase, changing the way India invests, accessibility enthusiast.

Focus People, Focus! Focusing on Focus States for Designers.

Focus, people. We need to focus. On focus states that is. The top accessibility issue identified in our design evaluation service is the lack of a designed focus state for individual components. Sure, sometimes people think about a hover state, but that’s for mouse users. What about keyboard users? How are they supposed to know where they are on page without a properly designed focus state? In this talk we will discuss the importance of well-designed focus states, and we will explore the accessibility requirements of focus states for some common components.

Karen Hawkins

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Karen Hawkins is the Head of Accessible User Experience Design at eSSENTIAL Accessibility. She holds an honours Industrial Engineering degree, having specialized in Human Factors, and she is a certified accessibility professional (CPACC). She has a decade of experience as a user experience designer and director leading and mentoring multidisciplinary teams in creating world-class user experiences and determining complex omnichannel digital solutions for leading global companies. She applies accessibility design thinking to all of her work, and she trains both colleagues and clients to do so as well.

A Web of Anxiety: developments in accessibility for people with anxiety and panic disorders

Awareness of the impact of online accessibility for people with anxiety and panic disorders has grown in recent years. High-pressure sales tactics and deceptive patterns have caught the attention of lawmakers. Banks have introduced new measures to support vulnerable customers. Social media companies have recognized the impact of their services on users’ mental health. But has this made any difference?

In this talk, David will provide an update on developments in understanding this often-overlooked aspect of web accessibility. He'll explore aspects of user interface and user experience design that contribute to feelings of anxiety and panic. He'll also examine whether the web is still as anxiety-inducing as ever, highlight recent initiatives aimed at addressing anxiety-related issues, and share recommendations on what organizations can do to improve the user experience for people with anxiety and panic disorders.

David Swallow

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David Swallow is Principal UX Consultant at TPGi responsible for delivering the highest quality UX and strategy services to clients. Formerly he was an academic researcher in human-computer interaction at the University of York, UK. There he gained a PhD in Computer Science, investigating how to integrate accessible web development practices into the existing workflows of professional web developers. Prior to that, David was a web developer, creating usable and accessible websites for property professionals.

Continuous Accessibility

How can we make continuous accessibility a reality? In this talk, you'll learn a strategic approach for how to implement continuous accessibility, as well as the work still needed to make this a complete reality.

Melanie Sumner

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Melanie is a decorated, disabled military veteran who works as a Senior Design Systems Engineer at HashiCorp. She is an invited expert for W3C’s WAI-ARIA working group and co-editor of the ACCNAME specification, a member of the Ember.js core team, and a board member for VetsWhoCode.

Designing for accessibility, equity and fun in kids digital content

When you think about designing digital content for kids, the first words that come to mind are wow, colour, and fun. But there's more to consider when it comes to creating engaging content that is accessible and equitable for all kids.

Olena Sullivan

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I am a digital producer on the CBC Kids and CBC Kids Olympics websites with a focus on accessibility. A graphic designer by training, I coded my first site in 1997 and have continued to work in digital media ever since. I have produced children’s content for four Olympics, the PanAm Games, and the CBC Kids grade school site. My goal is to apply accessibility best practices to kids’ digital products and content.

How to Engage Accessibility Champions

Imagine you’ve identified a group of accessibility champions in your organization and they are ready to get going. How do you engage them consistently and scale your champions network? Welcome to the hard part! Today’s talk will go over different models that organizations have used to build up and create a sustainable champions network. We’ll cover the structure of champions networks, common challenges and tactics to keep individuals engaged.

Niki Ramesh

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Niki leads digital accessibility for Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC. She and her team are passionate about providing equal digital media experiences for everyone living in Canada. She enjoys working with research and product development teams to experiment with accessibility features and embed accessibility into the development process. She’s also a proud member of Access to Success, supporting MBA students with disabilities and accessibility startups in North America.

Accessibility in Action: Indigenous Communities

We know accessibility is good for all but what happens when accessibility principles don’t work for all Indigenous communities? In this talk, Meggan will explore how cultural considerations and Indigenous perspectives encourage increased uptake of accessibility principles and how you can apply accessibility standards in a meaningful way for an Indigenous audience. Meggan will share her agency experience and how Design de Plume has created accessible Indigenous projects that are engaging and relatable for Indigenous audiences.

Meggan Van Harten

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Meggan is a big-picture thinker and ensures operational success by being committed to long-term strategic planning. She’s committed to accessibility in all sectors and actively promotes diversity by teaching inclusive design through mentoring and the education of clients and students alike.

Not only is she a skilled designer and illustrator, Meggan’s background as a project manager also helps her choose the most appropriate technical practices to create beautiful projects, breathing life into DDP's client's projects.

Meggan volunteers with several organizations to help share insight and expertise.

  • Registered Graphic Designers (RGD) mentor
  • Advisor to the Cambrian College graphic design program
  • Former President of the Sudbury Design Society

Meggan is trained in the ins and outs of accessibility and enjoys hosting workshops or sessions on how to follow standards like WCAG, AODA, and ADA. As well as challenging the existing compliance frameworks and how they can become more inclusive.

You Can't Teach Giving a Sh*t

Bootcamp grads are being suckered into handing over their money with the promise of a new career in web development, but there's one detail missing from the curriculum: Web Accessibility.

Jonny James

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Born and raised in Guelph. Work as a Senior Accessibility Engineer for TPGi.

An inclusive design workflow for teams

People expect websites and apps to be fast, to "just work" on their device, and to keep their sensitive data secure. But what about accessibility? Yes, people expect accessible user experiences, too. As a product team, how do we go about providing this?

In this talk, Scott Vinkle will share his experience while working with Shopify's Flagship Themes team. Scott will explain how he implemented a new team-wide workflow which included accessibility in each aspect of the product creation lifecycle. This resulted in the team shipping highly accessible themes by default.

Scott Vinkle

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Scott is an accessibility specialist at Shopify. He spends his days auditing digital experiences for accessibility and discussing inclusive design principles with team leads, designers, developers, content strategists, partners, and legal teams. In his spare time, Scott runs an online store and writes about web accessibility at He enjoys snowboarding in the winter, mountain biking in the summer, and spending time with his wife and two children.

Under-Engineered Patterns

Sometimes a developer will reach for a library or framework for the most basic kinds of controls, such as form fields. Reasons vary from design flexibility to less time spent coding that one instance. But the impact can be significant for page weight, accessibility, and maintenance. Instead, I will walk through some of what HTML offers already and show how you can still satisfy design and code requirements without the potential side effects.

Adrian Roselli

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Adrian has been a member of the W3C Web Platform Working Group, W3C Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group, and W3C Accessibility Task Force. He has written articles for trade journals, web sites, and participated as an author and editor on five web-related books. Back in 1998 he co-founded a software development consulting firm before leaving at the start of 2016 to start all over. Some may recognize Adrian from his days helping to run, one of the first communities for web developers. Adrian has been developing for the Web since 1993.

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