Environments for Humans
twitter icon facebook icon flickr icon feed icon linkedin icon email icon

Accessibility Summit 2012 logo

The 3nd annual online, live accessibility conference

Live captioning by


Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in for an all-new, one-day only online conference, the Accessibility Summit 2012! Bring the experts to your desktop September 25th from 9AM to 5PM (CT).

Don't miss this great event and purchase your tickets now!

September 25, 2012 \\ 9AM to 5PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Whitney Quesenbery mugshot

Accessibility & Plain Language 9am CT

by Whitney Quesenbery, User Research Expert

Plain language makes user experience better. For people who don't read well or reading in a second language, it ratchets up the usability of the information.

Listening to the content? Yep, it helps there, too.

You went to a lot of trouble to put that content online. Plain language will help your audience find it, understand it and use it. That means better informed users, happier customers, and fewer angry support calls.

We'll answer the following questions, with lots of examples from around the web:

  • What do we mean by plain language?
  • How can you make your content easier to read?
  • How does plain language support accessibility?

About Whitney Quesenbery

Whitney Quesenbery is a user experience researcher and usability expert with a passion for clear communication. Her projects include work for the National Cancer Institute (US), The Open University (UK) and IEEE (worldwide).

She enjoys learning about people and using those insights to products where people matter.

She's served on two federal advisory committees, writing standards for accessibility (Section 508) and voting systems. Having taken the bite, she's involved in projects across the country to improve elections and civic design.

Whitney is the author of two books: Storytelling for User Experience: Crafting stories for better design (with Kevin Brooks, Rosenfeld Media, 2010) and Global UX: Design and research in a connected world (with Daniel Szuc, Morgan-Kauffman, 2011).

She?s also proud that her chapter ?Dimensions of Usability? in Content and Complexity turns up on so many course reading lists. Her current project is a book on designing for accessibility and universal design with Sarah Horton (for Rosenfeld Media).

Jared Smith mugshot

ARIA Gone Wild 10am CT

by Jared Smith, Accessibility Trainer for WebAIM

Perhaps no accessible technology has seen faster or broader adoption than the ARIA (Accessible Rich Internet Applications) specification.

ARIA markup is widely supported and can be found on many popular and notable web sites. With such hurried implementation of a specification that isn't even a W3C Recommendation yet, there are bound to be problems.

This session showcases ARIA mistakes, misconceptions, and misapplications to teach how to properly implement this amazing accessibility specification, present the proper philosophy of ARIA adoption (hint: it doesn't solve every problem), address the mapping and occasional conflict between ARIA and web accessibility guidelines, and highlight where ARIA is useful and where it is not.

About Jared Smith

Jared Smith, M.S., is Director of Education Initiatives and an instructional designer, Web developer, and accessibility trainer for WebAIM (Web Accessibility in Mind), a project at the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University. He specializes in training Web developers, IT professionals, and educators in Web accessibility principles and techniques. He has developed accessible course content, Web multimedia, distance education tools, and database-driven Web sites.

Besides providing accessibility training as part of the WebAIM team, he also teaches courses in Macromedia Flash and multimedia development in the Instructional Technology Dept. at Utah State University. He has written a broad range of documents, tutorials, articles, and other materials, many of which are featured on the WebAIM site.

Elle Waters mugshot

The Gamification of Accessibility 11am CT

by Elle Waters, Web Accessibility Evangelist at Humana

Game theory is being used extensively these days to motivate and change corporate culture from within.

So, why is this working so well for companies like IBM, Verizon, and Xerox?

And, more importantly, how can we utilize these same concepts to get others within our organization to embrace web accessibility?

Learn how to transform the language of accessibility in your organization from one of punitive compliance and risk mitigation to one of exciting challenges and social achievements that compels others to succeed.

Elle explores the psychology of desire, belonging, play, failure, and engagement as it relates to the introduction of new ideas to an audience.

Working with familiar concepts like progressive enhancement and agile methodology, she will demonstrate how to apply the principles of gameplay to teach others about accessibility as well as how to create a process that supports steady improvement within your IT development community.

About Elle Waters

In the daylight hours, Elle Waters works as a web accessibility evangelist at Humana, a Fortune 100 company and leader in the health and wellness industry.

She focuses on accessibility implementation strategies in design, development, and process teams across the enterprise.

When the sun sets, she participates as a member of the Accessibility Camp movement. Deeply committed to providing a universally accessible experience for all users wherever she can have the most impact, she believes that there is no greater reward than if a website acts as a doorway where there was once a wall.

She has worked within the fields of social justice and web content for over 15 years to promote equality on the web. When not looking to start a revolution, Elle enjoys virtual worlds, zombie lore, and video games.

Glenda Sims mugshot

Hands-On Accessibility Testing 12pm CT

by Glenda Sims, Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque

While automated accessibility testing tools are an essential part of your arsenal, to fully evaluate a web page for barriers, you must do manual testing.

This session will teach you how to select what pages to test manually and share techniques for how to reliably review a page for compliance.

So, get ready to roll up your sleeves and pull out some assistive technology to discover the answer to the question at the heart of it all, "Is this web page/app really accessible?"

About Glenda Sims

Glenda Sims is senior accessibility consultant at Deque sharing her expertise and passion for the open web with government, education and companies that range from small business to Fortune 500.

Glenda is an advisor and co-founder of AIR-University (Accessibility Internet Rally) and AccessU. She serves as an accessibility consultant, judge and trainer for Knowbility, whose mission is to support the independence of children and adults with disabilities by promoting the use and improving the availability of accessibility information technology ? barrier free IT.

She spent over a decade as a Web Analyst at the University of Texas at Austin. As a member of Team Web, Glenda helped support the central web site for the University. She was an accessibility expert and web standards evangelist at UT along with her mentor and hero Dr. John Slatin.

She recently co-authored the book InterACT with Web Standards: A holistic approach to Web Design. She gives back to the web by volunteering on the Web Standards InterAct Project and the W3C Open Web Education Alliance.

John Foliot mugshot

Accessibility Implementation Strategies 2pm CT

by John Foliot, Co-chair of W3C Accessibility of HTML5 Media Elements

Ensuring online accessibility within a large organization may seem like a thankless task, and often it feels like it?s you against the world. Don?t despair; there are tricks and tips to maximize your effort and achieve real success.

Walk this path with John, and learn the following:

  • How to lay the groundwork for success
  • Establishing the systems to get you there
  • Finding the champions to help you along
  • When and how to use legislation, policy and best practices
  • Measuring success and dealing with set-backs

John Foliot is a 12 year veteran of Web Accessibility, living and working in the Bay Area. Currently working at a major financial institution, he previously ran the online accessibility program at Stanford University for 5 and a half years.

Prior to arriving at Stanford he provided contract consulting services to numerous Canadian Federal Departments in the area of Web Accessibility.

He is also currently an active member of the W3C Accessibility Task Force in HTML5, where he also co-chaired the sub-team on accessible media elements in HTML5.

About John Foliot

John Foliot currently runs the Stanford Online Accessibility Program where I offer guidance and solutions on how to achieve on-line accessibility to content producers on campus.

He also actively involved with the W3C - the international internet standards body - where I currently co-chair a subcommittee on the accessibility of media elements in HTML5.

Paul Adam mugshot

iAccessibility 3pm CT

by Paul Adam, Accessibility Evangelist at Deque

The latest iOS devices made by Apple come with no-cost, built-in accessibility features such as the VoiceOver screen reader; system wide Zoom; White on Black reverse contrast; Large Text in Mail, Notes, Contacts, and Messages; custom vibration patterns for incoming calls; LED flash alerts; Voice Control; FaceTime video calls; and Assistive Touch for physical disabilities.

Learn how you can implement accessibility features specific to iOS in your web and native apps. Discover the accessibility features of the Mobile Safari web browser and how to improve navigation of your site for VoiceOver users. Hear the beautiful, calming voices included with VoiceOver at no cost. These voices are the most human like of any platform and you can even make them talk in a variety of male and female accents or languages.

Key Points:

  • Learn how you can implement accessibility features specific to iOS in your web and native apps.
  • See and hear a demo of the future of mobile accessibility. All the accessibility features of iOS will be demoed.
  • Discover the accessibility features of the Mobile Safari web browser and how to improve navigation of your site for VoiceOver users.

About Paul Adam

Paul J. Adam is an Accessibility Evangelist at Deque Systems, Inc. by day and spends his spare time creating websites or learning iOS development.

He's worked as an Accessibility Specialist at the Texas Department of Assistive & Rehabilitative Services (DARS), a web designer for UT-Permian Basin and A&M-Central Texas, and has trained students, faculty, and staff in a wide variety of IT & Accessibility subjects.

Paul is also an Apple Nerd who got hooked after using the first accessible iPhone.

Matt May mugshot

40 Years of Mobile Dev Experience 4pm CT

by Matt May, Accessibility Evangelist at Adobe

Low-resolution displays. Limited input capabilities. Frustrating voice interaction. Distracted users. A neverending array of devices. The mobile environment in 2012? Or is it how users with disabilities have dealt with technology since the 1970s?

Learn the tips and avoid the mistakes of the past by exploring how experts in the field of disability have approached designing apps and content with everyone in mind, and see how those designers, developers and users are solving mobile problems today.

Attendees will learn:

  • How many new mobile technologies were actually designed for people with disabilities;
  • What strategies designers have implemented to accommodate diverse user needs and preferences;
  • How the principle of situational disability translates to the everyday mobile experience;
  • What to do when you're torn between the new hotness and your legacy users.

About Matt May

Matt May is a developer, technologist, and accessibility advocate who is responsible for working internally and externally with Adobe product teams and customers to address accessibility in Adobe products, ensure interoperability with assistive technologies, and make customers aware of the many accessibility features that already exist in Adobe products.

Prior to joining Adobe, Matt worked for W3C/WAI on many of the core standards in web accessibility, led the Web Standards Project's Accessibility Task Force, helped to architect one of the first online grocery sites, HomeGrocer.com, and co-founded Blue Flavor, a respected web and mobile design consultancy.


speakers from:

many fine organizations and companies

About the Accessibility Summit 2012

With flexible content delivery and adaptable applications, the truly Accessible Web is available to everyone all the time, regardless of ability. Spend some time with the Accessibility experts and find the inspiration and practical knowledge you need to make your Web presence truly universal.

In-kind Sponsors

New Riders
Why attend the online conference?
  • Attending a conference online means no travel hassle!
  • Bring the experts live to your desktop!
  • Time spent on the road is better spent instead in the office or with family, friends!
  • Sessions are developed to dive deeper into the material!
  • Ask questions directly to the speakers!
  • Can't make it the day of the conference? Watch the recordings whenever you want!
Testimonials from
This conference was a load of fun. I loved the instant feedback from the speakers and the atmosphere.

John-David Dalton mugshot
John-David Dalton
Web Application Developer
& Web Performance Summit Attendee

I love these online conferences. It's convenient and you can still learn a lot from the comfort of your home or at work.

Candi Ligutan mugshot
Candi Ligutan
5by5.tv Producer

An absolutely fantastic event. Well done—will definitely be back for more!

Russ Weakley mugshot
Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

Buy Tickets


Once you are registered, you will receive a follow-up email to confirm your reservation. Later on, as the event draws near, you will receive a more detailed message, with the full schedule and other helpful information to help you take full advantage of your conference-going experience and plan your day.

On the day of the conference, you will receive an email invitation about 45 minutes before everything starts. Click on the enclosed link to sign in and enter the virtual meeting space. Once you are signed in, you'll be able to see and hear the presentations as they happen, ask questions as needed and chat with the other attendees if you like!

Technical Specifications: to attend The Summit, you will need a modern web browser (Firefox 1.5, IE 6 & Safari 2 or newer, for example) and a recent version of the Adobe Flash Player. Follow this link to run our system diagnostic (opens in a new window). It will let you know right away which plug-ins, if any, you will need to update before the event.

Still have questions? Drop us a line or contact us at e4h@heatvision.com if there's anything else you'd like to know.