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Speakers and Presentations

Why You Need to Involve Deaf and Hard of Hearing People in Research and Testing

A lot of user research and user testing efforts overlook deaf and hard of hearing people.

There's more to accessibility requirements for hearing disabilities than people realize.

Yes, captions are important for many of them, but adding captions is only half of the equation for accessible captions. Quality also matters and there's more to it than accuracy.

Meryl Evans

Meryl Evans is a professional speaker, trainer, author, and accessibility marketing consultant.

She’s a member of the XR Access and W3C Immersive Captions groups. She’s the co-organizer of A11yNYC and A11yVR Meetups on accessibility and virtual reality.

Meryl is a highly regarded speaker on diversity, equity, and inclusion who focuses on people with disabilities and accessibility.

She has spoken at many events including TEDx. She’s a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC).

Be sure to follow her on LinkedIn as she’s one of 12 people who are LinkedIn Top Voices for Disability Advocacy.

Accessibility in the 2021 Census

The 18th Australian Census of Population and Housing (the Census) was held on Tuesday 10 August 2021. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) conducted the Census during an unprecedented time in Australian history, during the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ABS conducts the Census every five years. It provides a snapshot of who we are on Census day, and shows how we are changing over time. It counts every person and home in Australia and is the only source of information about small geographic areas and small population groups across the whole country.

Several innovations were implemented to improve the user experience and support the public to complete their Census as effortlessly as possible, and through their channel of choice. The increased focus on human-centred design was highly successful in removing barriers respondents faced in completing their Census.

The ABS will provide information on building an accessible 2021 Census.

Australian Bureau of Statistics

Inclusive learning design for training

If you’re wondering how to get started considering inclusivity and accessibility in your training content, this presentation will walk you through the basics.

You’ll get an overview of what to consider across your style, structure, activity and interactivity when designing your training to be accessible for all.

Tess Hutley

Tess Hutley is an inclusive learning and content designer and digital accessibility consultant with Intopia. Their background in education and media has given them a unique perspective on creating content that is accessible for all.

Mobile Accessibility Testing: Making it effective and efficient for everyone

Testing is essential to making sure your software does what you think it does and ensuring your customers get the best possible experience.

Testing for accessibility is no different. We want to make accessibility testing as quick, simple and pain-free as possible while ensuring that our customers who use assistive technologies can experience the app as they need to.

As software engineers there are some things that we can do to improve this process. In this talk I’ll cover the benefits and drawbacks to various different strategies we can implement - from user testing to automated testing - and thank about how they can fit into a testing strategy that ensures the best outcome in the most efficient way.

Rob Whitaker

Rob is a mobile accessibility advocate, having written the book Developing Inclusive Mobile Apps he now blogs at and on twitter as @MobileA11y. When he’s not talking, writing, training, consulting, or coding for mobile accessibility, Rob’s day job is as an iOS engineer. Currently for car insurance startup Cuvva, previously for Capital One.

What's new in WCAG 2.2

Take an in-depth look at the new criteria in the recently published Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) version 2.2.

Will you have to re-engineer your authentication experience? Are your focus styles up to scratch? Is your drag-and-drop interface good enough? Are your forms efficient? Is your site always helpful? Will your touch targets make the grade?

So many questions. Get all the answers.

Allison Ravenhall

Allison Ravenhall is a Senior Accessibility Manager. She works with web and mobile app teams to create inclusive, accessible, usable experiences. Her guiding principle is autonomy.

She is horrified by the idea of anyone having to hand over their personal information because a site or app isn’t up to scratch.

Delivering engaging accessibility training at scale

How do you build accessibility knowledge and capability in an organisation with hundreds of employees, targeting everyone who’s responsible for creating accessible digital experiences? Online learning is great for scalability, but often lacks engagement. Group workshops are great for richer, more interactive learning, but they don’t scale well.

It’s a question Service NSW and Intopia have been working together to answer. We have designed and delivered a role-based accessibility training program that balanced scalability with engagement and interactivity.

In this presentation, we will share:

  • the accessibility training program structure
  • the learning and delivery methods used to get the best learning outcomes possible
  • successes and challenges along the way

Greg Alchin

Greg Alchin is the Principal Accessibility Specialist at Service NSW. He is also an inclusive design and accessibility specialist, and disability advocate with over 30 years’ experience across education, community, commercial and government contexts.

Outside of Service NSW, Greg’s expertise has been sort by the Australian Human Rights Commission, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), and the United Nations World Food Program.

Underpinning his rich professional experience is Greg’s own visual impairment, his industry recognition as an accessibility consultant, post graduate studies in accessibility as well as membership of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals.

Sarah Pulis

Sarah Pulis is a digital accessibility and inclusion expert and co-founder of Intopia, a digital inclusion consultancy.

Sarah has over 10 years’ experience working with non-profits, corporates and individuals to create a more inclusive digital world.

Her experience ranges from strategy and culture to technical accessibility and usability.

Sarah is also founder of A11y Bytes and A11y Camp, Australia’s largest events on digital accessibility and inclusion.

Research with marginalised people and people in crisis - a case study

Working at Telstra, we finished a research project earlier this year to understand the needs and behaviours of marginalised people and people in crisis; groups that are underrepresented in research and in corporate.

This case study is on what we learned; on how to get traction on a project like this, how we approached it, what choices we made as researchers and some insights into what we found.

Inez Litjens

Inez is an experienced senior leader in service design, human-centered design and design thinking with more than 10 years experience in the Netherlands and Australia.

She is passionate about inclusion, ethical design and research.

Nick O'Sullivan

Nick is an experienced Senior Service Designer from Telstra, working on a variety of products and services across Telstra’s diverse Consumer segment.

Driven by inclusivity and ethical approaches to design and research, he takes pride in Telstra’s inclusive and responsible approach to design across our incredibly diverse customer base.

Accessible Player Experiences® - Designing for All Players

Games can give players a wide range of experiences, from inspiration and connection to education and empowerment.

Ensuring everyone can play, however, means that these experiences need to be as accessible as possible.

To this end, The AbleGamers Charity has created Accessible Player Experiences® (APX) – an approach to game design that equips developers to spot and solve accessibility barriers throughout the development cycle.

Join us to learn how APX can be used in games!

Steven Weitz

Steven Weitz is an artist, game designer, educator, and animator, with over 20 years’ experience in higher education, visual effects, feature animation, game analysis and creation.

As the Director of Professional Development at AbleGamers, he works closely with game companies, including training game developers in accessible game design in order to help ensure that everyone can play.

In this role, Steve is continuing his lifelong passion to promote media arts as a means of societal improvement.

Designing for digital exclusion – the forgotten 'users'

While digital accessibility is thankfully gathering momentum, consideration of those who aren’t able to access digital products at all can fall through the cracks.

Approximately 25% of the Australian population is digitally excluded, and the 'digital first' mentality often adopted nowadays can exacerbate this divide.

This talk discusses how to design in a way that considers this diverse group from the outset, and how we did this on the NHS test & Trace program in the UK.

Emma Goddard

Emma leads the Inclusive Design and Accessibility practice at Deloitte Digital Australia. Having recently transferred from heading up this team for the last 5 years at Deloitte UK, Emma brings experience leading inclusive design and accessibility engagements for clients in disability, healthcare, global pharmaceutical brands and most recently UK Government for NHS Test & Trace (UK), where she was seconded as Head of Inclusive Design. In these roles, Emma led on initiatives to engage and co-design with typically excluded groups in order to design and deliver solutions that allow everyone to participate in the digital and physical worlds.

Emma also advises organisations on building sustainable inclusive design and accessibility capability for themselves – helping to move away from expensive retrofitting loops, and towards leveraging the power, creativity and business benefits that come from co-designing solutions with excluded groups. Emma has witnessed first hand how inclusive design helps organisations see the world differently, and acts as a catalyst for innovation and reach that many organisations are otherwise leaving off the table.

Lola Burton

Lola Burton is a User Experience Designer and consultant at Deloitte Digital Australia with a background in public sector UX design, who has become passionately involved in digital exclusion research.

How to create your very own role-based enterprise training program!

Learn how you can build an enterprise training program from the ground up, the lessons we learned along the way in building one at Navy Federal and how you can raise awareness about digital accessibility at your organization!

Jaunita George

Jaunita George, JD, PMP, CPWA, SA joined NFCU in 2020 as a contractor and became an FTE later that year.

She currently works as an ADA Digital Program Manager for the Marketing Agile Delivery Team and chairs the ADA Task Force and Digital A11ies Community of Practice.

She also represents NFCU on the Accessibility Guidelines and ARIA Working Groups at the W3C.

Ben Feigel

Ben Feigel, SA joined Navy Federal in 2013, since then he's built out Marketing's agile Delivery Team supporting the development and quality assurance of Marketing's web properties.

He's lead multiple accessibility objectives for NFCU since 2017 and is the main advisor for the ADA Task Force. He's also NFCU's Advisory Committee Representative for the W3C and serves in the HTML Working Group.

A deep dive into accessible notifications

A deep dive into notifications from a design and developer perspective.

This presentation will explore all the different types as well as key points to consider including: whether they require attention, whether they require user action, location, how and when they are announced, whether they need keyboard access and more.

Russ Weakley

Russ Weakley has worked in the design and development field for more than 20 years.

Russ is a User Experience professional, user-focused web designer, front-end developer and trainer who is passionate about accessibility and inclusion.

Not accessible - React told me off!

I’m an engineer who cares about HTML output. I still make mistakes.

Often, front-end frameworks like React and Angular abstract HTML away. Even more so with design systems built on these frameworks. It’s easy to forget to scrutinise the output during implementation.

The good news is, these frameworks are aware of the problem, and are constantly getting better at catching low-hanging fruit.

Let me show you a few ways React and React Testing Library told me off!

Prae Songprasit

I’m a UX Engineer who loves helping people make accessible web products.

I also care deeply about user experience, sustainable software team development, cross discipline collaboration, and growing front-end capabilities in and out of organisations.

In my spare time, I work on the Web Access Club podcast, learn to paint watercolours, eat around town, and practise Kyudo (Japanese archery).

How (and why) to do effective inclusive co-design and research

Bringing together functional experts with people with lived experience, across a spectrum of age, capability, gender, preferences and cultures to co-design solutions is integral for inclusive societies.

Effective facilitation of inclusive co-design and research by thoughtful approaches and techniques is crucial.

Learn when and how best to engage participants, accommodate a variety of people, build inclusive and comfortable environments that assist with knowledge sharing and welcome participants to their seat at the design table.

Della Churchill

A technology translator and strategic storyteller, Della combines creative, yet practical thinking with a demonstrated capacity to lead transformative human centred innovation.

National DEI Lead for Deloitte Digital, National DEI initiative lead for Deloitte Consulting.

Rachel Gallagher

Designer for a better future.

Curious, optimistic, and purpose-driven, she is passionate about creating more inclusive experiences for all, by working with Deloitte’s diverse clients to accelerate digital transformation.

Hannah Gossow

Fascinated by technology, highly inquisitive and passionate about design and the 'why' behind what drives change. Proactive problem solver, critical thinker and an avid learner.

A personal passion of mine lies within Inclusive Design and Accessibility, advocating for inclusion and accessible design in all facets across various industries.

Sounds like a good idea: how to get started testing with a screen reader

We test our work to have confidence in its quality. A great way to have confidence in the accessibility of our work is to test using a screen reader. The how and the what of testing might feel tricky, though.

It’s not the same as being an everyday user of one. But it is a great way to test a variety of things.

We’ll discuss how to get started and how to keep going.

Steve Barnett

Steve Barnett is a human-centered front-end developer and user experience designer.

He works at Xero as a Technical Digital Accessibility Analyst where he helps designers and developers make things ever more usable and accessible.

Paying down your debt, third party UI controls and accessibility half truths

Third party UI controls over promise and under deliver. The controls which promise conformance to WCAG, probably don’t conform.

They may blog about accessibility; they may even have an accessibility statement but without supporting evidence you’re at the whim of believing marketing hype and absorbing significant accessibility debt.

Using these controls will introduce accessibility debt, but if you understand and plan for this you can reduce your accessibility debt overtime.

Ross Mullen

Ross is a digital accessibility specialist and developer who works with private industry and government through his company CANAXESS improving their accessibility efforts with auditing, training, and consulting.

He presents and writes regularly on digital accessibility in current and emerging technology, creates digital accessibility courses for Udemy and Pluralsight and likes to really unpick what WCAG success criteria actually mean.