Environments for Humans
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Accessibility Summit 2015 logo

The virtual online, live accessibility conference

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Texas Cloased Captioning  

Environments for Humans brings together some of the Web's most notable experts in and for an all-new, two-day online conference, the Accessibility Summit 2015! Bring the experts to your desktop September 8-9, 2015 from 9AM to 4PM (CT).

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

Day 1 Track \\ Sep 8, 2015 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)

Glenda Sims headshot

Accessibility Professional Certification   9am CT

by Glenda Sims, Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque

Do you have the skills, knowledge and abilities to call yourself a digital accessibility professional? What are the basic requirements for our profession? How many different areas of expertise are there? Is there a way to establish an exam that could reliably weed out impostors from experts? Or would a professional certification program create a barrier to people who could excel in our field?

Glenda Sims will share insights and concerns from multiple accessibility leaders as well as the process the IAAP is using to develop the first certification for entry-level professionals in the accessibility industry. Join the conversation, ask questions and indicate your position on certification.

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.

Elle Waters headshot

Future Bliss: Make a Circuit with Me!   10am CT

by Elle Waters, Web Accessibility Evangelist at Simply Accessible

Driverless cars, mind-controlled machines, and a babel fish in the palm of your hand: the singularity never looked so good. As citizens of the web, we are enthralled at the same time we are a bit unnerved by the "ever accelerating progress of technology."

We may even occasionally resist innovations as they are heralded in the news, waxing nostalgic for the analog life. Hipster. Sure, we opt in to download and use the latest timesaving wonder, but we find ourselves asking what the true cost is to society if we simplify and automate all the things. With all of these enhancements to modern living, what are we losing? Our humanity? However, a better question might be: what are we gaining?

This session will provide an overview of some of the most recent technological advances in mobility, communication, and cognitive sciences and their direct impact to people with disabilities. With hands-on demonstrations and personal accounts from real users, we will explore emerging technologies and the amazing freedoms they provide for people worldwide. From embedded connectivity to a web of smart, big data, inclusive design takes on a whole new meaning on what it means to be truly human.

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.

Sharron Rush headshot

Web Accessibility WAI   11am CT

by Sharron Rush, Executive Director of Knowbility

W3C WAI is best known creating standards such as WCAG, the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, ATAG, UAAG, ARIA and others. It's common to be overwhelmed by the standards. But there's an easier way! WAI also provides a wealth of web accessibility information for project managers, content authors, developers, designers, testers, policy makers, trainers, accessibility advocates, and others.

This session will help you find the gold within the WAI website. WAI provides resources to help you create an environment where accessibility flourishes--whether you need to better understand how people use the web, prepare a business case to secure management support, train developers new to accessibility, integrate accessibility into a project plan, write an accessibility policy, meet international standards, or learn best practices for mobile accessibility. Whatever your web accessibility questions, we'll show you where to go for answers.

You'll also get a sneak peak at new resources in development and learn how you can help advance web accessibility and share your insights with others.

About Sharron Rush

Sharron Rush is the co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, a leading authority on web accessibility since 1998. Ms. Rush developed Knowbility programs to raise web accessibility awareness and skills and has led the organization to national prominence.

Since 2007, she has served as an invited expert to the Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C. In 2009, she began as liaison from WAI to the e-Government Interest Group developing standards and best practices for using the Web to improve government accountability and transparency.

Ms. Rush has led Knowbility to recognition by the Clinton White House and the US Department of Labor for excellence in employment practices for people with disabilities. She has been invited twice to the West Wing to confer with Kareem Dale, President Obama?s Special Advisor on Disability Issues.

In 2000 she was named Community Tech Champion by the Congressional Black Caucus. Under her leadership Knowbility received a Peter F. Drucker Foundation award for Innovation in the service of people with disabilities. Ms. Rush is a ComputerWorld Laureate and an advisor to the SXSW Interactive Media Conference. In 2001, she was named one of the Top 25 Women of the Web.

In addition, Ms. Rush was instrumental in developing the ATSTAR online teachers? resource project in collaboration with the Austin Independent School District Special Education Department. In 2002, she received the Dewey Winburne Award for Community Service through Interactive Media. Ms. Rush has a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She is co-author, with Dr. John Slatin, of Maximum Accessibility a definitive web accessibility resource.

Matt May headshot

The Heart and Mind of Accessibility   1pm CT

by Matt May, Accessibility Evangelist at Adobe

Accessibility is fundamentally a human problem. Most of us are drawn to inclusive design by a desire to make things better for our fellow humans, or by a sense of equality, or by our own experiences. Our greatest asset in bringing people into the fold is human connection.

Discussing accessibility from the heart also reconnects us to the reasons we ourselves got involved. By being able to express our own motivations as a part of our natural evangelism work, we can gain a much richer work experience than by keeping it to ourselves. And that may be the difference between making a career out of accessibility work, and burning out fast.

In this session, we will discuss accessibility evangelism outside of WCAG and 508. The session will cover techniques for bringing accessibility home to stakeholders in a way that is not only personal, genuine and compelling, but may also keep us engaged and safe from burnout.

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.

Jesse Hausler headshot

Accessibility in an Agile World   2pm CT

by Jesse Hausler, Accessibility Specialist at Salesforce

The Agile software development methodology presents unique challenges for creating accessible products.

There are several main factors that generally lead to Agile's failure to regularly produce accessible products: its decentralized system of product "ownership", a team's ability to control their own work backlog, and the temptation to separate accessibility into separate stories or features of a product are a few.

In this comprehensive session, Jesse Hausler shows how to build a successful, sustainable, and scalable agile accessibility process.

About Jesse Hausler

Information coming soon. ×
Dale Cruse headshot

Accessibility and the Language of Love   3pm CT

by Dale Cruse, Author of HTML5 Multimedia Development Cookbook

The Vice President of Beverage Operations for the Legal Seafoods restaurants, Sandy Block , is one of only 36 people in America with the title of “Master of Wine.” When it comes to wine, he knows what he is talking about and when Sandy trains his restaurant staff how to taste wine communicate with customers in his “Language of Love.”

For example:

  • White wine like New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc as “acidic”, he describes it as “bright”,
  • Rose wine from Provence as “mild”, he describes it as “refreshing”,
  • Red wine like Rhone Valley Syrah as “barnyardy”, he describes it as “earthy”.

See what he did there? He never lied. He just used different and positive words to describe wines that his customers would more readily understand.

When talking about what we do, we, as the accessibility community, should adopt a “The Language of Love.” In this session, I will discuss how and when we can adopt this language in our everyday workflow for positive change.

About Dale Cruse

Information coming soon. ×

Day 2 Track \\ Sep 9, 2015 \\ 9AM to 4PM CT

(Schedule subject to change)


Is It Usable for People with Disabilities? 9am CT

by Whitney Quesenbery, User Research Expert

We know a lot about how to meet the checkpoints for accessibility, but how well do you understand what makes a good experience for people with disabilities? Only getting out and seeing how people use your product will help you understand what makes it a delight to use – or a pain. User research and usability testing should be part of your accessible UX toolkit.

In this session we'll look at how usability fits with other tools like code inspection, persona-based reviews by someone who doesn't use assistive technology, or review by an expert AT user and how to think about a balanced research plan.

Then, we'll dive into what you can learn from a user research study, and how you can plan one to get the most out of it. We'll go over the planning 'recipe' to support your goals and answer your questions. You'll learn about:

  • Recruiting and selecting your participants
  • Choosing the right activities for the sessions
  • Mixing quantitative and qualitative insights
  • Choosing a location for strong context
  • The pros and cons of your equipment or theirs
  • Adjusting for differences in AT or interaction styles

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).


Future Web Accessibility User Testing, UX, Research, & Guidelines 10am CT

by Jared Smith, Accessibility Trainer for WebAIM

There is a dearth of good user data and research in the web accessibility field.

Guidelines and best practices are often based on assumptions and antiquated philosophies and technologies. User surveys provide only minimal insight.

This session will explore the current state of disability user testing, user experience, and research, and provide recommendations for how the field can improve these areas so that modern web accessibility is best adapted to the modern user with disabilities.

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.


Apple Watch Accessibility 11am CT

by Paul Adam, Accessibility Evangelist at Deque

Apple does it again. Releasing a new mobile computing device that fits on your wrist, Apple again has designed for people with disabilities included.

The VoiceOver screen reader for blind and low vision users is included and also works in conjunction with the Zoom feature to follow focus as you swipe through the tiny screen.

Apple Watch Apps already have accessibility problems with graphical buttons that have no accessible name spoken for VoiceOver. (“Button, Button, Button” is of no help!)

In this session, Paul Adams demonstrates all the available smart watch accessibility features and show how developers are already shipping apps with barriers for blind 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.


Usability in PDF and Word Form Creation 1pm CT

by Joe Krack, Digital Accessibility Consultant

This session will cover the importance of focusing not just on the accessibility of Word and PDF forms, but also on their usability.

In this session, Joe will cover:

  • Understanding that both a "visual" form, and a "non-visual" form must be created in order to address different audiences that receive the same information in different ways.
  • Avoiding a common mistake when using non-human testing methods, and ensuring all instructions and other important text is incorporated into the "non-visual" form
  • Recognizing what are non-text based visual cues that must be explained in Tooltips.
  • The importance of Human Testing, and the use of a Screen Reader as an essential testing tool.

About Joe Krack

Joe Krack is a Digital Accessibility Consultant in the California Department of Rehabilitation?s Disability Access Services. His primary responsibilities include providing consultation, technical assistance and training to California state departments, local government and organizations on how to comply with Section 508 requirements and WCAG standards when constructing accessible documents and forms.

He has developed both half and full-day trainings focusing on the principles of accessible documents and forms creation. Mr. Krack has spoken at a number of conferences and events on this topic, most recently at the Annual International Technology & Persons with Disabilities Conference where his session on the Principles of Creating Accessible Documents was included in the Best of 2015 CSUN video series.


Accessibility Testing Tools 2pm CT

by Luis Garcia, Accessibility Evangelist at Deque

Luis will give a crash course on the use of tools to help identify accessibility issues. We’ll also discuss the pros and cons of using tools for testing for accessibility.

The tools are a roundup of other accessibility testing tool lists and trimmed down based on these three criteria:

  • Free
  • Easy to Use
  • Fairly Robust

In this session, we will:

  • Learn about tools used for accessibility testing
  • Get an introduction to tools you haven’t used before.
  • Discover tools you didn’t know existed

About Luis Garcia

Information coming soon. ×

Demystifying WCAG 2 3pm CT

by David MacDonald, President of CanAdapt Solutions Inc.

Have you ever looked at the WCAG documentation, scratched your head and wondered, "how do I make sense of this."

In this session, MacDonald will take the mystery out of the WCAG. Here's what you can expect to learn:

  • WCAG step by step, unraveling each Success Criteria
  • How the Success Criteria, Guidelines and Principles relate to each other
  • How all the supporting documents fit together
  • Target audiences for the different documents
  • Future WCAG work and how we intend to keep up with the advancements in technology
  • Ask the WCAG team member: bring those tough questions about the WCAG that have been keeping you up at night.

Whether you are a project manager, a front-end code warrior, graphic designer, content provider, information architect, account manager for a web company, or a senior manager, this session will get you up and running and point you in the right direction so you can find what you need to apply WCAG to your company's digital properties.

About David MacDonald

Information coming soon. ×

speakers from:

many fine organizations and companies

About the Accessibility Summit 2015

Our popular Accessibility Summit expands to two days in its sixth year! 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.

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
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
5by5.tv Producer

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

Russ Weakley
Chair of Web Standards Group
& CSS Summit Attendee

I can honestly say I've learned more attending E4H's virtual summits than I've learned attending real life conferences.

Glenda Sims
Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque Systems, Inc
& Accessibility Summit Attendee

Satisfaction Guaranteed 100%

Buy Tickets Eventbrite - Accessibility Summit 2015 - The 6th Annual Virtual Web Accessibility Conference


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 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.