This year's Accessibility Conference is going to be virtual with sessions and workshops being delivered remotely. All workshops and sessions will be delivered live.

Please ensure you register for a free Zoom account in order to participate. Please note that you must create a Zoom account with the same email address that you used for registration so that your account information can be verified by our session moderators.

This year's conference offers access to more sessions than ever before!

  • Half-day workshops (three to choose from)
  • 30 concurrent sessions - organized by topic streams to allow for easy planning of your conference experience
  • Over 200 conference delegates
  • Two exciting plenary sessions - addressing accessibility, inclusion and the future of learning and work
  • Sponsor/exhibitor booths - a great opportunity to connect with our incredible conference sponsors and learn more about how their products can assist you
  • Networking opportunities during schedule coffee breaks - a great way to connect with fellow attendees and presenters 
  • BONUS: Access to post-conference concurrent session recordings, so you don't have to worry about missing a session

Pre-Conference

Schedule: Tuesday, May 25
Time

Event

9 a.m. to Noon

Assistive Technologist Discussion Forum

Noon to 1 p.m.

Lunch Break

1-4 p.m.

Workshops


Assistive Technologist Discussion Forum

Calling all assistive technologists (AT)Alt Format professionals, and anyone else who’s interested in listening in on this informal discussion forum. We will be addressing the challenges related to assistive technology and the sharing of best practices that lead to creative and modern ways of supporting the AT clients you serve. 

This is a complimentary discussion for conference delegates (max. 50 participants). If interested, please be sure to register for this forum with your conference registration (available on a first-come, first-served basis).


Workshops

Each year, the Accessibility Conference offers pre-conference workshops.

These half-day workshops are available for an additional fee. Please note that all workshops will require a minimum number of registrations in order to be offered. If minimum registration numbers are not met, you will be informed by email and your workshop fee will be fully refunded. 

You may add a pre-conference workshop to your conference registration by logging in to the Accessibility Conference Registration page and selecting a workshop.

Detailed workshop sessions and presenter bios are outlined below. 

Workshop 1: Advanced PDF Remediation Techniques - FULL!

Presenter: Karen McCall
Workshop Level: Intermediate
Time: 1 to 4 p.m.
Required Materials/Software: Please have Adobe Acrobat Pro DC installed on your computer before the session starts. If you are interested in exploring the scanned image alternative, you may want to download a trial version of ABBYY FineReader.

Description

This workshop provides insight and techniques for making remediations that are not obvious when looking at a tagged PDF document, such as taking a scanned PDF to an accessible PDF. How does the Adobe 'Recognize Text' fare when it is implemented? If I need a more powerful OCR (Optical Character Recognition) tool, what should I be looking at?

In this workshop, you will be working with a scanned image of a document and making it accessible.

Topics of the workshop include:

  • Tables that span multiple pages and how to remediate them
  • Decision-making about complex lists
  • Content Panel for the creation of Artifacts for pieces of the page background

Registered participants are welcome to suggest other topics to be covered.

Learning outcomes

After this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand the process for taking a scanned image of a document to an accessible tagged PDF
  • Work within the Tags Tree to ensure that tables and lists aren’t segmented so that the relationship between the cells/items is not lost
  • Work between the Content Panel and the Tags Panel and know when to use each of them

Presenter Biography

Karen McCall.Karen McCall was one of the pioneers in the field of accessible document design and has been providing training on how to make digital content accessible for people with disabilities for over 19 years. She has written several books on this topic, based on her experience, making other people’s documents accessible to conform to laws in Canada, the US, and internationally. Karen has been both a speaker and keynote speaker at international conferences on disability and inclusion. She currently teaches the Accessible Content Design (Word and PowerPoint) and the Accessible PDF (PDF and PDF forms) courses in the Accessible Media Production Graduate Certificate Program at Mohawk College, Hamilton, Ontario.

Karen is a member of the Technical Committee for a Plain Language Standard under the Accessible Canada Act. She is a vocal advocate for a global inclusive education standard and the rights of people with disabilities.

Email: info@karlencommunications.com
Twitter: @KarlenInfo
Websites: Karen McCallKarlen Communications

Workshop 2: Introduction Software Customization for Windows 

Presenter: Alan Cantor
Workshop Level: Intermediate
Time: 1 to 4 p.m.
Required Materials/Software: Please download and install two pieces of software before the session starts: Macro Express Pro (free 30 day evaluation copy), and AutoHotkey.

Description 

Windows applications often have features that people with disabilities have difficulty accessing, or cannot access.

During this highly-interactive demonstration, we co-create repairs to accessibility and usability failures. By modifying the behaviour of keyboards, mice, and programs, we "tailor" solutions that better fit the physical, cognitive, and learning needs of individuals. I will invite you to suggest access problems relevant to your life or professional practice, and demonstrate workarounds.

Topics of the workshop include:

  • Macro software
  • Keyboard remapping
  • Mouse modifications
  • Shortcut techniques

These techniques are essential for anyone who recommends and configures computers for people with disabilities.

Learning Outcomes

After this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Understand macros basics
  • Create Macro Express scripts, activate them, and set their "scope" (so a macro is recognized in only one program)
  • Use AutoHotkey to remap keys or mouse buttons
  • Add a hotkey to any Microsoft Office application, and assign a hotkey to any feature in Microsoft Word in two ways

Presenter Biography

Alan Cantor is an accommodation and return-to-work specialist. He offers assessments, assistive technology training, macro scripting, and software customization services. His clients include Hewlett-Packard, the Government of Canada, the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario, Canadian banks, universities, school boards, and hospitals.

A seasoned adult educator, he has facilitated over 150 conference workshops and courses in Canada, the US, Europe, and Asia—including more than 50 on macros and related customization techniques.

Alan holds a master's degree from the University of Toronto from the Department of Measurement, Evaluation and Computer Applications.

Email: alan@cantoraccess.com
Website: Cantor Access Inc.
LinkedIn: Alan Cantor

Conference

Schedule: Wednesday, May 26
Time

Event

8:45-9 a.m.

Welcome

9-11:45 a.m.

Concurrent morning sessions 

11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m Lunch break
1-2:45 p.m. Concurrent afternoon sessions
3-4:30 p.m. Panel Discussion
Schedule: Thursday, May 27
Time

Event

8:45-9 a.m.

Welcome

9-11:45 a.m.

Concurrent morning sessions

11:45 to 1 p.m. Lunch break
1-2:45 p.m. Concurrent afternoon sessions
3-4 p.m. Capstone Presentation

 

You are welcome to join any session you like and can make your choice on each day of the conference; however, we suggest that you plan your schedule in advance to make it easier to find and join your preferred sessions during the conference.

You are welcome to leave/join a scheduled concurrent session, but we recommend staying in a session for the entire presentation to get the most out of your learning experience.

There will be a 15-minute break after each concurrent session. You will have an opportunity to join us for a virtual coffee break and network with other conference delegates. Additionally, you may meet our sponsors and visit the virtual exhibitor booths.

Since most sessions will be delivered live, we appreciate your patience in the event of technical difficulties.


Concurrent Sessions: Day One - Wednesday, May 26

Detailed conference sessions and presenter bios are outlined below.

Day One - Concurrent Sessions at a Glance
Day One - Concurrent Sessions
Wednesday, May 26, 2021

8:45-9 a.m.

Welcome

   

9-9:45 a.m.

Thinking Outside the Box: Innovative Pathways to Employment for Job Seekers with Disabilities

Elizabeth Mohler, Ryerson, and Lisa Kelly and Viviana Zea, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

AIFLW

Improving the Accessibility of Remote Higher Education: Lessons from the Pandemic and Recommendations

Jackie Pichette and Sarah Brumwell, HEQCO

AIFLW

Global Portraits of Inclusion: An Ethnographic Account of Accessibility in Education

Krista Greear, Blackboard Ally

ATL


10-10:45 a.m.

Introducing ARRM: A Framework to Fight Accessibility Apathy

Jennifer Chadwick, Siteimprove

ATPC

Testing for Accessibility: Personas and End-User Testing in Accessible Media Research

Jennifer Curry Jahnke, Mohawk College

WA

Confronting Barriers in Graduate-Level Library Research by Co-Developing Accessibility Guidelines

Ashley Shaw, CNIB Foundation, and Mark Weiler, Wilfrid Laurier University

ATL 


11-11:45 a.m.

From Average to Inclusive: Why You Should Design for the ‘Edge Case’

Lee Dale, Say Yea!

ATPC 

WordPress, Gutenberg, and Building an Accessible Site

Sandy Feldman, Accessible Web Sites

WA

Deciphering Essential Requirements in the Post-Secondary Setting

Christine Zaza and Trevor Holmes, University of Waterloo

ATL


1-1:45 p.m.

AODA Compliance Strategies in a Large Organization

Logan Trafford and Lucille Berlinguette-Saumure, City of Ottawa

ATPC

How to Build a Modern and Accessible Infographic for the Web

Andre LeFort, AODA Online

WA 

Exclusionary Inclusion?: The Realities of Academic Accommodation

Lindsay Johnstone, Carleton University

ATL 


2-2:45 p.m.

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

Humberto Hernandez

AT, ATL

Integrating an Accessibility Framework to Improve the WCAG Compliance Process

Juan Olarte, Digita11y Accessible

WA

How Universal Design for Learning (UDL) enhances Educational Accessibility for Diverse Students

Lisa Kovac, Occupational Safety Group (OSG)

ATL


3-4:30 p.m.

Panel Presentation: Accessibility, Inclusion, and the Future of Learning and Work 

  • Jutta Treviranus, Director and Founder of the Inclusive Design Research Centre and the Inclusive Design Institute, OCAD University
  • Deborah Stienstra, Director, Live Work Well Research Centre, University of Guelph
  • Dr. Mahadeo A. Sukhai, PhD, Director of Research and Chief Inclusion & Accessibility Officer, IDEA Team
    Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)
9-9:45 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions
Thinking Outside the Box: Innovative Pathways to Employment for Job Seekers with Disabilities

Stream: Accessibility, Inclusion, and the Future of Learning and Work (AIFLW)
Presenter: Elizabeth Mohler, Ryerson, and Lisa Kelly and Viviana Zea, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

Description

This interactive presentation will showcase a new fit-based online tool, ALiGN, which helps applicants highlight their attitudinal and behavioural fit to employers based on a profile established through objective benchmarking. The platform then matches candidates to positions based on their fit for the role. The results of the assessment may lead to employment or training supports to eventually allow a path to meaningful employment.

We will demonstrate the key features of the ALiGN tool by walking you through the types of questions presented in the Lumina Assessment.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the difference between a fit-based assessment and traditional matching technology that matches job seekers based on experience
  • Understand how fit-based assessments work and how these types of assessments benefit job seekers facing barriers to work retention
  • Comfortably register for the ALiGN platform and set up a profile

Presenter Biography

Elizabeth Mohler.Elizabeth Mohler works as project coordinator, Inclusive Hiring at Ryerson Magnet. She has co-authored ‘Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences’ and has worked for several years mentoring post-secondary students with disabilities, helping them to find and implement new learning strategies.

Elizabeth sits as an active member on the Ontario government education standards committee where she provides consultation and helps develop strategies to inform a more inclusive education landscape. In addition, she has been a contributing member to the Labour Canada Breaking Down Barriers Project developed by the National Educational Association of Disabled Students.

Email: elizabeth.mohler@ryerson.ca
Twitter: @mohlerc


Lisa Kelly.Lisa Kelly is a program manager at the Ontario Chamber of Commerce, where she works on the Discover Ability Network program that connects job seekers with a disability to employers. She has a background as a corporate trainer, an employment counselor and a small business owner. Lisa holds a BA from McMaster University and a Career and Work Counselor diploma from George Brown College.

Improving the Accessibility of Remote Higher Education: Lessons from the Pandemic and Recommendations

Stream: Accessibility, Inclusion, and the Future of Learning and Work (AIFLW)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenters: Jackie Pichette and Sarah Brumwell, Higher Education Quality Control of Ontario (HEQCO)

Description

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a rapid shift to remote learning in March 2020. To understand what this shift has meant for students with accessibility needs, Higher Education Quality Control of Ontario (HEQCO) surveyed more than 600 students (200 of whom have a self-reported disability), as well as disability support staff at colleges and universities in Ontario. Also interviewed, were more than 30 student representatives, community advocates, and post-secondary instructors and staff to learn what supports students, especially those with disabilities, need to succeed in a remote learning environment.

This session will present challenges and opportunities for accessible remote learning identified by our interviewees and survey respondents. It will also offer some practical, evidence-based recommendations for post-secondary faculty and staff to consider.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Gain an understanding of some of the challenges and advantages offered by remote learning from an accessibility standpoint
  • Identify evidence-based recommendations for supporting accessible learning during the pandemic and recovery

Presenter Biographies

Jackie Pichette.Jackie Pichette is the Director of Research, Policy and Partnerships at HEQCO, overseeing projects that relate to equitable post-secondary access and student skill development, often in collaboration with stakeholders. Prior to joining HEQCO, Jackie worked as a consultant at an Indigenous advisory services firm, as community organizer at Simon Fraser University, and as a government policy analyst. She holds an MPP from Simon Fraser University and a BAH from Queen’s University.

Twitter: @jackie_pichette


Sarah Brumwell.Sarah Brumwell is a Senior Researcher at HEQCO, where she has worked on a variety of projects and evaluations related to student skill development, assessment and post-secondary access. Sarah has an MA from the University of Western Ontario and a B.Hum./BA from Carleton University.

Twitter: @HEQCO

Global Portraits of Inclusion: An Ethnographic Account of Accessibility in Education

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Krista Greear, Blackboard Ally

Description

How are diverse educational communities tackling barriers to inclusion and introducing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles into teaching and learning? During the 2019 Blackboard Ally Tour, we visited over 40 institutions around the world to learn more about the accessibility challenges they face as well as the strategies they are using to drive a culture shift toward inclusion.

In this ethnographic portrait of inclusive learning from around the world, we triangulate findings from dozens of interviews with academic leadership, instructional technologists, instructors, and students with accessibility data from Blackboard Ally to generate insights about inclusive learning.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the trends in the accessibility of digital course content and student usage of alternative formats of learning materials
  • Understand the challenges faced by institutions and the strategies they are implementing to address barriers to inclusion
  • See how institutions are integrating UDL principles into their teaching to improve learning for all students

Presenter Biography

Krista Greear.An enthusiastic, data-driven individual, Krista Greear is passionate about inclusivity. With over 12 years of experience, Krista’s focus is to accelerate digital content, with expertise in document and video accessibility. She is excited about improving the experience for all users, students, and clients by working with stakeholders to make changes at an organizational level.

Krista has directly supported 100+ institutions in strategizing around improved inclusion through the implementation of Blackboard Ally. Since 2018, Krista has served as the vice president of ATHEN, a professional association and network in accessibility and technology. Leveraging her Masters of Education in Educational Technology from Boise State University, Krista is interested in the intersection of accessibility, and instructional design.

10-10:45 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions
Introducing ARRM: A Framework to Fight Accessibility Apathy

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC) 
Presenter: Jennifer Chadwick, Siteimprove

Description

The Accessibility Roles and Responsibility Mapping (ARRM) is a framework developed by the W3C’s Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG) to help teams break down the WCAG accessibility requirements by roles. 

The work in building the ARRM will be introduced as it has been created to make it easy for digital team members to understand what role they play in ensuring websites are accessible.

Whether you're a graphic or UX designer, developer, content writer or contributor, accessibility tester or project manager, you will learn precisely which WCAG success criteria you are responsible for and receive specific instructions and guidance for fixing accessibility issues.

The purpose of the ARRM is for teams to implement a framework to meet the guidelines for WCAG conformance.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand your role in making a website or mobile application accessible
  • Identify your responsibility for each individual WCAG success criterion (primary, secondary, contributor, or collaborator)
  • Follow a helpful guide to determine who is responsible for what
  • Build a checklist within your team and distribute this to stakeholders so everyone is on the same page, everything is accounted for, and there is no duplication of work
  • Feel more confident in your understanding of WCAG success criteria—the who, why and how
  • Feel confident to roll out the ARRM in your own organization

Presenter Biography

Jennifer Chadwick.Jennifer Chadwick is the lead accessibility strategist at Siteimprove. She has been an inclusive designer and digital accessibility advocate for the past 14 years. She guides teams to think, write, design and develop accessible websites and applications every day, and works with leaders to create and maintain a culture of inclusion and innovation. An invited expert to the W3C, she is a contributor to several standards, and resources on WCAG, and is a regular global speaker.

Jennifer has spoken at CSUN, Guelph Accessibility Conference, the United Nation’s M-Enabling Summit in Washington and AccessU in Texas, and the State Parties on the Persons with Disabilities (UN COSP). She is an active volunteer for the #a11yTO conference and collaborator with the Inclusive Design Research Centre.

Email: jcha@siteimprove.com
Twitter: @jennjchadwick

Testing for Accessibility: Personas and End-User Testing in Accessible Media Research 

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Session Level: Introductory 
Presenter: Jennifer Curry Jahnke, Mohawk College

Description

The Accessible Media Production program's graduate students, in collaboration with industry partners and funded by the Ontario Centre for Excellence (OCE) grants, are completing applied research projects that explore ways for industry to meet accessibility legislation requirements.

Throughout the evidence-based, applied research process, the students are to connect and collaborate with industry experts and members of the disability community, following the philosophy of "nothing about us, without us."

Setting up end-user testing and developing personas is vital to the success of their project.

This talk will look at a few of the capstone projects, the process for setting up the end-user testing, and outcomes of the research. You will gain insight into the importance of end-user testing for accessibility as well as how to set it up.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Interpret an evidence-based approach to the applied research process
  • Set up formal and informal testing through the exploration end-user accessibility testing
  • Understand the process for developing and using personas for accessibility testing
  • Understand the outcomes from the perspectives of the end-user, the student, and the industry partner

Presenter Biography

Jennifer Curry Jahnke continues to be excited by creating opportunities to make social change and shifting perceptions, while embedding accessibility, at Mohawk College and with industry partners. Her roles as AODA project manager, ALS counsellor, and coordinator of the Accessible Media Production Graduate Certificate Program at Mohawk College support her work as a professor, researcher, international speaker, and accessibility consultant.

Additionally, Jennifer sits on several internal and external AODA committees—including the AODA PSE Education Standards Development Committee - ICT and Technical subcommittees.

Email: jennifer.jahnke@mohawkcollege.ca
Twitter: @jennjahnke
Website: Accessible Media Production - 390 (Mohawk College)

Confronting Barriers in Graduate-Level Library Research by Co-Developing Accessibility Guidelines

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenters: Ashley Shaw, CNIB Foundation, and Mark Weiler, Wilfrid Laurier University

Description

The purpose of this presentation is to explain how educational guidelines are being developed to detect and remove barriers in library-related research for graduate-level psychology. We describe a unique collaboration between a blind graduate psychology student and a sighted psychology librarian. The purpose of the collaboration is to develop guidelines to help psychology librarians proactively remove barriers that delay student success.

You will hear a first-hand account of the challenges encountered while conducting library-based research and how they were converted into the guidelines. We will reflect on the process and outcome to this point.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize barriers in library-based research for blind university students
  • Think systemically about accessibility obstacles and enablers in post-secondary education
  • Describe methods for drawing a librarian’s attention to barriers, including using guidelines, consulting research, and dialogue
  • Describe strategies for detecting and documenting barriers and solutions
  • Reflect on challenges and successes in developing accessibility guidelines for an academic discipline

Presenter Biographies

Ashley Shaw.

Ashley Shaw is a masters student in the Community Psychology program at Wilfrid Laurier University, and a research associate at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind. She holds a Canada Graduate Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. Her areas of research include visual impairment and employment, as well as inclusive workplace strategies. She has worked in the past as a strategic writer, as well as an accessible community engagement coordinator. She is passionate about developing evidence-based and participant-driven interventions that serve the needs of community members with disabilities.

Email: ashley.shaw@cnib.ca


Mark Weiler.Mark Weiler is the web & user experience librarian at Wilfrid Laurier University. He has liaison duties with the Psychology Department and User Experience Design program. Mark is sighted but is certified with the JAWS screen reader and is training for sightless navigation. Mark has organized and facilitated provincial, national, and international reading groups on the topic the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0.

Email: mweiler@wlu.ca

11-11:45 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions
From Average to Inclusive: Why You Should Design for the ‘Edge Case’

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Lee Dale, Say Yeah!

Description  

This talk illustrates the importance of extending our collective ambitions beyond "accessibility" and, instead, setting our sights on truly inclusive products and services.

We’ll contrast inclusive design with the typical approach of designing for the "average” by exploring why the average myth and avoiding edge cases makes for worse products and services.

Learn more inclusive process and business cases that get senior leadership on board with more thoughtful product and service design.

As supplemental material, here are two links from the talk that people may be interested in:

  • WebAIM Survey - In a survey of the top 1,000,000 websites, 98.1% of home pages had accessibility failures.
  • Say Yeah Inclusive Website Audit - 90% of websites Say Yeah has audited actively limit access, usability, and content engagement.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand why standard methodologies around serving the “average” limit product and service success
  • Articulate ROI for business leaders and decision-makers for taking more inclusive approaches to product and service development
  • Clearly establish an understanding of how we can move beyond access towards inclusion
  • Share examples/case studies/methodologies for taking a more inclusive approach to product and service design
  • Uncover diversity and inclusion gaps in current service design and accessibility focused models
  • Meet past attendee goals related to awareness, shifting perceptions, and the importance of inclusion

Presenter Biography

Lee Dale.We live in an age where technology and online engagement have shifted traditional markets to become more diverse and engaged than ever. Learning and moving faster than most organizations, evolving consumer markets typically outpace the capacity of internal teams to deliver exceptional experiences. That’s where I come in.

I work with leaders to improve technology decision-making, increase market engagement, and grow operational effectiveness. The result: market-leading products and services that win increasingly diverse markets.

In addition to my advisory and volunteer work supporting the next generation of diverse professionals and business leaders, I am CEO at Say Yeah, a digital management consultancy that focuses on bringing inclusive design practices to public- and private-sector organizations.

When I'm not working, I'm most likely DJing multi-hour-long house music mixes for my next dance party or a long run.

Email: lee@sayyeah.com

Twitter: @leedaleyyz
Websites: Lee Dale, Say Yeah
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/leedaleyyz/
WordPress, Gutenberg, and Building an Accessible Site

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Sandy Feldman, Accessible Web Sites

Description  

In 2019, WordPress (WP) replaced its editor with a new one called Gutenberg. Early reports are that the Gutenberg backend is not nearly as accessible as the old WP editor. WP has announced they will be updating Gutenberg to make it more accessible, but that's a work in progress. For now, people with disabilities will probably want to stick with the old editor, which is still available via the "classic mode" plugin.

Integral to the Gutenberg editor are "blocks," versatile tools for building engaging content. I will talk about picking an accessibility-ready WordPress theme, and how to use Gutenberg to create accessible content. You will discover which features work out of the box, and which need plugins, custom CSS, or hand coding.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Find a free, accessibility-ready WordPress theme
  • Keep it accessible as you use Gutenberg blocks to add content
  • Check it for accessibility

Presenter Biography

Sandy Feldman is a web geek who is interested in accessibility. She design's and codes sites and builds custom WordPress themes.

She also works as part of a team at Inclusive Media and Design, helping people learn how to make sites that comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements.

Email: sandy@sandyfeldman.com
Website: Sandy Feldman

Deciphering Essential Requirements in the Post-Secondary Setting

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenters: Christine Zaza and Trevor Holmes, University of Waterloo

Description

The term ‘essential requirements’ is used in Human Rights legislation to guide decisions about accommodations for persons with disabilities. In the post-secondary setting, essential requirements inform decisions about accommodations, course design and assessment at the course and program level. When our group set out to write a teaching resource explaining essential requirements, we encountered more questions than answers (e.g., what is the connection between essential and learning outcomes?).

In this "unconference" session, we will discuss several questions that challenge our understanding and application of essential requirements in post-secondary settings, and attempt to reach a common understanding of this term.  

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the complexity of considering essential requirements in various disciplines
  • Explain the difference between essential requirements and learning outcomes
  • Identify challenges in considering essential requirements when assessing students at the course and program level

Presenter Biographies

Christine Zaza.Christine Zaza is an online learning consultant with the Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo.

Email: zaza@uwaterloo.ca


Trevor Holmes.Trevor Holmes oversees the senior educational developers at the University of Waterloo's Centre for Teaching Excellence. Since 2015 he has taught an introductory course in the Gender and Social Justice program.

Email: tholmes@uwaterloo.ca

1-1:45 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions
AODA Compliance Strategies in a Large Organization

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Logan Trafford and Lucille Berlinguette-Saumure, City of Ottawa

Description 

The City of Ottawa is a large organization that faces many challenges, some unique, to comply with Section 14 of the IASR. The bilingual policy alone presents WCAG conformance challenges that other organizations may not face. And with over 200 contributors, how does it ensure that updated content remains accessible?

Yet while there are unique challenges, many will sound quite familiar; for example, individual departments run separate websites or applications. How are those being handled? And, of course, what about PDFs?

This presentation will take a close look into some of the strategies the City of Ottawa has implemented, working toward AODA compliance deadlines. From publishing procedures to corporate policy, WCAG working groups to ongoing monitoring, education and training to external vendors, we will look at what has or hasn’t worked, and identify the remaining challenges we need to overcome.

An open discussion will provide an opportunity to share similar experiences.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Analyze some of the strategies outlined to determine if they relate to your own organization and, if so, are there details that may work or need to be taken further into consideration

Presenter Biography

Logan Trafford.Logan Trafford is the web accessibility coordinator for the City of Ottawa. Starting with the organization in 2001 as a web designer, he has turned his focus to digital accessibility within the corporation. In his current role, 100% of his time is dedicated to helping coordinate the corporate efforts toward AODA compliance on various fronts, including the provision of front-line staff training in PDF and document accessibility. He has also been instrumental in the development of a corporate-wide policy pertaining specifically to web accessibility and works closely with ITS developers to ensure consistent interpretation and implementation of WCAG standards.

Logan regularly seeks to share experiences and knowledge—both mentoring others and being mentored by experts in the field. He can be found attending accessibility conferences and gatherings, keeping up to date with the latest trends, and, on occasion, participating as a speaker on a variety of web accessibility topics.

Email: logan.trafford@ottawa.ca


Lucille Berglinguette-Saumure.Lucille Berlinguette-Saumure has been working for the City of Ottawa, which has an average of 15,000 employees, for the past 30 years. She has spent the last 15 years working on increasing accessibility in city services for older adults and people with disabilities. She has led the planning and implementation of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act for the city, including the five standards of the Integrated Accessibility Standards Regulation: Customer Service, the Built Environment, Information and Communication, Employment and Transportation.

How to Build a Modern and Accessible Infographic for the Web

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Session Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Andre LeFort, VP Technology, AODA Online

Description  

In 2018 and 2019, AODA Online and tbk produced a series of infographics that depicted technology research projects that they conducted internally: The State of Web Accessibility in Ontario (2018 & 2019), The State of Content Management Systems in Ontario (2019) and The State of E-Commerce in Ontario (2019).

These projects are noteworthy from the vantage point of web accessibility because all the infographics were built to comply with WCAG 2.0 Level AA, a feat that is very uncommon in the industry when websites publish infographics.

This presentation will demonstrate the approach we took to deliver accessible infographic assets. By demonstrating our approach, we will identify processes, tools, and considerations we leveraged to complete the successful projects.

It’s our aim that through this discussion you will be empowered with an approach for creating rich, data-dense infographics that are accessible.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Plan the design and build of an accessible infographic
  • Identify the tools and processes to support the design, build and content writing required for an accessible infographic

Presenter Biography

Andre LeFort.Andre LeFort has over 15 years of professional experience as a software developer. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Software Engineering from Western University.

Prior to joining tbk as the company’s VP Technology, Andre spent seven years at 3M Canada as one of the company’s senior developers and was on the team that built 3M’s global B2B e-commerce platform.

Andre was the development manager of AODA Online, one of Canada’s most popular web accessibility software. Andre consults nationally on web design and web accessibility. He has provided web accessibility consulting for websites such as Tim Hortons, Loblaw, Mitsubishi and Toyota.

Email: andre@aodaonline.com
Twitter: @AODAOnline
Website: AODA Online

Exclusionary Inclusion?: The Realities of Academic Accommodation

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Presenter: Lindsay Johnstone, Carleton University

Description  

This presentation reviews new research conducted at Carleton University in 2019-2020 focusing on both students who identify as having invisible physical chronic conditions as well as providers of accommodation.

Interviews reveal students’ and staff experiences of the following:

  • Academic accommodations services
  • The required self-identifying as disabled
  • Meanings of disabled identity and stigma
  • The experience of on-going questioning of the legitimacy of the invisible disability
  • Academic accommodations and whether these actually "level the playing field”
  • What it’s like from students’ perspectives to live and study at university when living with invisible physical chronic condition(s)

Questions are encouraged.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the perspectives of students living with invisible physical chronic conditions
  • Understand the perspectives  of staff at the accommodation centre
  • Gain critical insight into the dominance of the biomedical model and learn if academic accommodation “levels the playing field”
  • Gain insight into the broad identity and stigma challenges for these students, and challenges facing accommodation staff

Presenter Biography

Lindsay Johnstone is currently a B.Ed. student at St. Francis Xavier University (St.FX). She has her MA from Carleton University, and her BA (hons) from St.FX. While pursuing her research, Lindsay discovered her passion to learn from students who identify as having an invisible physical chronic condition(s).

She is an advocate for students who have invisible physical chronic conditions and a critic of the biomedical model institutionalized at universities. Her specific interests include: identity and issues of “passing”, institutional categorization, ableism, accessibility, and stigma. Her thesis research has focused on why students choose or choose not to receive academic accommodation.

Email: lindsayfiddlerjohnstone@gmail.com

2-2:45 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions
How Does the Awareness of Assistive Technology Impact Students with Disabilities' Success at the College Level?

Stream: Access Technology (AT)/Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Presenter: Humberto Hernandez

Description

This research topic proposal was developed to investigate the impact of assistive technology (AT) in 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 US law. Several theories were explored that were relevant to learning and human development. Research methodology for this paper presented a comprehensive survey from the National Survey of Student Engagement. This assessment tool measured quantitative outcomes in college students-with-disabilities engagement. Key findings revealed strong connections to theories within the literature review and evidence of the impact that the lack of knowledge and awareness of assistive technology have in students with disabilities’ success at the college level. Concluded remarks synthesized the overall findings linking assistive technology, class engagement theories, students with disabilities, and instructor awareness. Recommendations collectively expressed further research on this topic, application of the findings for institutional effectiveness, and encouragement of diverse, supportive, egalitarian, and equitable college environments.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Better understand how assistive technology is used to create a more egalitarian system in human development
  • Recognize that students with disabilities experience lower levels of class engagement
  • Identify a lack of AT data at the national assessment level

Presenter Biography

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, educational courses, 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.

Humberto currently works as an instructional designer for a university in the state of New York and volunteers as an accessibility consultant, accessibility trainer, and AT instructor for different organizations in western New York. 

Integrating an Accessibility Framework to Improve the WCAG Compliance Process 

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Juan Olarte, Digita11y Accessible

Description  

This session explains the processes and artifacts required to integrate an Accessibility Framework (AF) within a project’s development life cycle. I will explain how accessibility can be introduced into activities such as project requirement gathering, user experience, UI design, usability, development and testing, while taking into consideration the business goals and objectives of the group managing the project, particularly when the business needs and technologies keep changing as a result of iterative improvements.

By the end of the session, you will have a clear understanding of the main activities that constitute the Accessibility Framework (AF).

  • Pre Project-Preparation, including preparation of accessibility toolkit (i.e., browsers, assistive technologies, accessibility plugins, etc.)
  • Establishment of accessibility policies to comply with (company/organization accessibility policies, Ontarians with Disabilities Act - AODA)
  • Identification of Stakeholders

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate how an accessibility framework can help different types of organizations integrate accessibility into information technology projects
  • Provide a framework outline that can be used by product owners, designers, developers and testers with their accessibility needs

Presenter Biography

Juan Olarte.Juan Olarte is an IT and accessibility specialist with over 18 years of working experience. He has worked with different organizations such as the government of Ontario, Scotiabank, BMO, CIBC, NTT DATA, George Brown College and Ryerson University to help them integrate accessibility into project's development life cycle and meet accessibility standards mandated by the AODA. Juan taught the Inclusive Design Certificate at Humber College, and Creating Accessible Websites at Sheridan College.

Being visually impaired himself, Juan has experienced firsthand the challenges faced for people with disabilities, especially when it comes to the web, which is why he is passionate about improving web accessibility and sharing his knowledge to make the web more accessible to all.

Email: juan.olarte@digita11yaccessible.io
Twitter: @A11yJuan
Website: Digita11y Accessible

How Universal Design for Learning (UDL) enhances Educational Accessibility for Diverse Students 

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Lisa Kovac, Occupational Safety Group (OSG)

Description  

In light of new AODA legislation in the upcoming Education Standard, educators will soon be required to implement new ways of making school accessible for learners with diverse abilities.

This presentation will outline the concept of universal design for learning (UDL) and offer practical steps educators can follow to plan and teach lessons that students of all abilities can access. In particular, I will touch on how information technology can lend itself to the creation of a policy of universal design, and how this policy, in turn, can reduce siloed thinking and enhance disability awareness.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify how principles of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) make learning more accessible to diverse students
  • Implement diverse ways to represent lesson content, encourage learners’ expression of what they know, and maintain learners’ engagement
  • Recognize how technology and alternative teaching strategies can reduce siloed thinking and enhance disability awareness

Presenter Biography

Lisa Kovac holds two BAs from Brescia University College, as well as a Diploma in Writing and a Master’s in English from Western University. She currently works as a curriculum developer at Occupational Safety Group, inc., (OSG), where she advises on accessibility and writes for the aoda.ca blog.

In her dwindling spare time, Lisa enjoys reading, writing, choral singing, and downhill skiing.

Email: lisa@osg.ca

3-4:30 p.m. - Panel Presentation: Accessibility, Inclusion, and the Future of Learning and Work

Presenters: Jutta Treviranus, Director and Founder of the Inclusive Design Research Centre and the Inclusive Design Institute; OCAD University, Deborah Stienstra, Director, Live Work Well Research Centre, University of Guelph; Dr. Mahadeo A. Sukhai, PhD, Director of Research and Chief Inclusion & Accessibility Officer, IDEA Team Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

Panel Presenter Biographies

Jutta Treviranus.Jutta Treviranus is the director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto. She established the IDRC in 1993 as the nexus of a growing global community that proactively works to ensure that our digitally transformed and globally connected society is designed inclusively. She also heads the Inclusive Design Institute, a multi-university regional centre of expertise.

Jutta founded an innovative graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University. She leads international multi-partner research networks that have created broadly implemented innovations that support digital equity. She has played a leading role in developing accessibility legislation, standards and specifications internationally (including W3C WAI ATAG, IMS AccessForAll, ISO 24751, and AODA Information and Communication).

Jutta serves on many advisory bodies globally to provide expertise in smart cities and inclusive infrastructure (e.g., Waterfront Toronto, London Olympics, NYC Libraries, World Economic Forum, etc.). Her work has been attributed as the impetus for corporate adoption of more inclusive practices in large enterprise companies such as Microsoft and Adobe.


Deborah Stienstra.Deborah Stienstra holds the Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work at the University of Guelph, where she is the director of the Live Work Well Research Centre and professor of political science. She is the author of 'About Canada: Disability Rights' (Fernwood, 2020).

Her research and publications explore the intersections of disabilities, gender, childhood, and Indigenousness, identifying barriers to, as well as possibilities for, engagement and transformative change.

Her work also contributes to comparative and trans/international research and theory related to intersectional disability rights and justice. In 2016, she was invited to be part of the United Nations Expert Group meeting on women and girls with disabilities in Santiago, Chile.


Mahadeo Sukhai.Dr. Mahadeo Sukhai is the world’s first congenitally blind biomedical research scientist. Mahadeo is director of research and chief inclusion and accessibility officer for the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB), having previously served as a researcher at the University Health Network in Toronto. In his role at CNIB, Mahadeo leads a significant research program focused on social determinants of health and inclusion for people living with sight loss in Canada. He also is responsible for organizational employee culture-building strategy related to inclusion, accessibility and employee wellness.

Dr. Sukhai is the principal investigator for and co-author of 'Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences,' a book based on his groundbreaking work on access to science within higher education, and serves as the principal investigator for national projects to understand the student experience for persons with disabilities, and to examine accessibility and inclusion within science education and healthcare.

Dr. Sukhai co-founded IDEA-STEM, an organization dedicated to accessibility in science education, and NOVA, the international Network of researchers with Visual impairments and their Allies, a new professional society with the mission to improve accessibility and inclusion in the biomedical sciences for researchers with vision loss.


Concurrent Sessions: Day Two - Thursday, May 27

Day Two - Concurrent Sessions at a Glance
Day Two - Concurrent Sessions
Thursday, May 27, 2021

8:45-9 a.m.

Welcome

   

9-9:45 a.m.

Creative Accessible Design - It Can Be Done!

Cheryl Bauman, Conestoga College

WA 

Striving Toward Digital Accessibility in Policy and Practice

Karen McCall, Karlen Communication

ATPC

CapScribe 2.0 Revealed

Rob Harvie, Inclusive Media & Design, and Charles Silverman, CapScribe 1

DMA 


10-10:45 a.m.

Creating Accessible Word Documents

Gina Catenazzo, Humber College

DMA

How to Make Design Research Inclusive

Ece Karakus and Kate Wilhelm, D2L

ATPC

Expressing Differences in User Capability

Bob Dodd, Frontier Accessibility

AT


11-11:45 a.m.

Meet Sa11y: The Accessibility Quality Assurance Assistant

Adam Chaboryk, Ryerson University

WA 

Power of PDF/UA

Naveesha Maharaj and Samuel Jeong

DMA 

If Your Eyes Could Speak - Audio Description

Joel Snyder

DMA 


1-1:45 p.m.

Inclusive Media Course Series Process, 6 Months In

Margot Whitfield and Nathan Burke, Ryerson University

DMA

Creating Inclusive Interviews: VR Technologies for Job Interview Training of Individuals on the Autism Spectrum and Strategies for Employers

Mina Jevremovic and Robert Ingino

AIFLW

RED Arrow Technique for OneNote

Jim McEwen

ATL/AT


2-2:45 p.m.

The Transition Online: The Impact of COVID-19 on Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

Laura Mullins, PhD, and Jennifer Mitchell, BA, MADS Student, Brock University

AIFLW

Addressing the Barriers Students with Disabilities May Face when Engaging in Experiential Learning Programs in Higher Education

Laura Gatto, Co-op and Career Services, University of Guelph

AIFLW

Deaf-Blindness: The Sky is the Limit

Floyd Alexander, Freelance Speaker, and Vicki Bonanno, Social Worker

AT


3-4 p.m.

Capstone Presentation: The Battle for Digital Accessibility in Learning - What’s Coming Up Next?

  • David Lepofsky, Professor of Disability Rights and Legal Education, Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Toronto
9-9:45 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions
Creative Accessible Design - It Can Be Done! 

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Cheryl Bauman, Conestoga College

Description  

Accessibility and Creative Design. Can those two words really be used in the same sentence? This session will show how this is possible. Using real world examples, you will learn how to structure online content so that it can be accessed and used by individuals with visual, auditory, and mobility challenges as well as designed with user experience best practices in mind.

The presentation will cover topics such as colour choices, content layout considerations, screen reader-only text use, accessible interactives, and visual techniques. The result: course content which can be easily navigated while providing an engaging learning experience.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Recall course development strategies, such as heading structure, colour choices, and text alternatives, that can be used to build accessible courses
  • Describe best practices for making online courses perceivable, operable, understandable, and robust based on WCAG 2.1 Level AA standards
  • Apply your knowledge of accessibility principles to the development and design of future online courses

Presenter Biography

Cheryl Bauman is the quality assurance and accessibility specialist for Conestoga College’s Online Learning Centre. In an online learning career that spans over 13 years, Cheryl has worked as an eLearning developer and instructional designer on corporate and post-secondary projects. She is currently applying her expertise to ensuring Conestoga’s online courses meet quality and accessibility standards. A passionate accessibility advocate, Cheryl volunteers as a future dog guide puppy raiser for the Lions Foundation of Canada Dog Guides.

Email: cbauman@conestogac.on.ca

Striving Toward Digital Accessibility in Policy and Practice 

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC)
Session Level: 
Presenter: Karen McCall, Karlen Communication

Description  

When we talk about digital accessibility is it typically in the context of learning and/or employment, but digital accessibility encompasses every aspect of our lives. We find out when a public transit vehicle will arrive using an app, order food from kiosks, purchase goods and services, fill out forms and purchase items in stores; however, while we are focusing on document or content accessibility, we are graduating designers and developers who are not equipped to provide access to other digital devices or even our homes.

This session starts the examination of what needs to be done to achieve optimal digital accessibility.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify areas of digital inaccessibility
  • Gain a clear perspective of the increasing rather than decreasing accessibility barriers inherent in new technology
  • Identify areas of advocacy and "championing" to begin in your own organizations

Presenter Biography

Karen McCall.Karen McCall, M.Ed., ADS, Karlen Communications, has been providing a leadership role for over 20 years in the field of digital accessibility and provides training on how to make digital content accessible for people with disabilities.

Email: info@karlencommunications.com
Twitter: @KarlenInfo
Websites: Karen McCallKarlen Communications

 

CapScribe 2.0 Revealed 

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenters: Rob Harvie, Inclusive Media & Design, and Charles Silverman, CapScribe 1

Description 

CapScribe 2.0 is a new video captioning and description web app. Funded by the Broadcast Accessibility Fund, it renews earlier efforts to provide accessible video to a wider audience. Alongside various improvements, such as turning a Mac OSX platform-only tool relying on local video into a platform-independent, online video remediation engine; it also aims to provide an accessible interface and workflow.

As an academic, be one of the first to access this fresh development by learning more about CapScribe 2.0 and create your own inclusive media.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Help ensure that web video is more accessible, and complies with AODA/WCAG2.1, regardless of dis/ability

Presenter Biographies

Rob Harvie brings to the project a rich background in information communication technology and accessibility solutions. While working at the University of Toronto over a few decades, he spent a large chunk of his time in research work with the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre on various federally-funded media accessibility research initiatives. He directed Information Technology Services for the Faculty of Information, and taught human-computer interaction and emerging technologies—including augmented reality and multi-sensory interfaces at the Institute for Communications, Culture and IT, the McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology, and Continuing Studies. Rob continues his lecturing on inclusive design at colleges and universities, serves on various working and advisory groups, and is founding director of Inclusive Media and Design, a Toronto-based consultancy, media services and training group. 

Email: rob.harvie@inclusivemedia.ca
Twitter: @InclusiveMedia
Websites: Inclusive Media and DesignCapScribe 2


Having worked in accessible media software development since the eighties, Charles Silverman knows what makes for a well-considered, intuitive interface. First with the Center for Applied Special Technology (where Universal Design for Learning was initially developed) he’s collaborated with the National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) at WGBH/PBS in Boston, joined the Centre for Learning Technologies at Ryerson University, and then the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto where he and Rob researched together, Charles innovated on solutions to help ensure everyone was included. One of these projects was CapScribe, used in-house at Inclusive Media and Design to this day in order to meet the needs of clients such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, the CNIB, corporations, and government ministries and educational institutions across Canada.

Email: charles.silverman@inclusivemedia.ca

10-10:45 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions
Creating Accessible Word Documents

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Gina Catenazzo, Humber College

Description  

Who are you? You are someone who already has an understanding of accessibility guidelines and requirements and are interested in their application to creating Word documents.

Who am I? I am the person who is going to show you how to apply those guidelines to making Word documents accessible. We will look at the following in Word: the Accessibility Checker, Heading Structures and Paragraph Styles, Document Properties, and Images. I will demonstrate the different tools in Word to optimize your document for accessibility.

You will walk away with strategies to help you make your Word documents accessible.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Modify documents to comply with accessibility guidelines
  • Use the Accessibility Checker, Document Structures and Paragraph Styles in Word
  • Add ALT text to images in Word

Presenter Biography

Gina Catenazzo.

Gina Catenazzo collaborates with a multi-disciplinary team to create beautiful, engaging, and accessible online courses at Humber College. She is keenly passionate about providing inclusive solutions in online learning by applying Universal Design and Accessibility principles. She currently facilitates a fully online certificate at Humber College in Digital Document Accessibility.

Email: gina.catenazzo@humber.ca
Twitter: @ginacatenazzo
Website: Humber College

How to Make Design Research Inclusive

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenters: Ece Karakus and Kate Wilhelm, D2L

Description 

Conformance with guidelines only takes the accessibility of a product some distance. To ensure that users with diverse needs can use the product, inclusive design principles require the involvement of users with disabilities in design research.

At D2L, we have developed a protocol for systematically including users with disabilities in the early design phase to get their feedback. We have also created an accessibility insights board to share the outcomes effectively with designers and developers.

In this session, we will share our protocol, session tips, and the accessibility insights board. Our goal is to create an inclusive design ecosystem. 

Learning Outcomes

This presentation aims to encourage UX researchers to keep accessibility in mind by including participants with disabilities in their studies. We will share the following:

  • Our protocol for conducting inclusive testing in the early design phase with participants who use assistive technologies
  • Practical tips for conducting inclusive user testing sessions
  • Methods for sharing insights from the studies with product design and development teams

Presenter Biographies

Ece Karakus.Ece Karakus is passionate about inclusive design and its practical application in user research. She did her master’s in system design engineering after completing her undergraduate degree in psychology. During her master’s, she focused on various assistive technologies and human factors. Ece is currently working as a user researcher with D2L.

Email: ece.karakus@d2l.com
LinkedIn: Ece Karakus


Kate Wilhelm.Kate Wilhelm is a UX expert who helps companies truly serve the needs of their customers. She is also a skilled leader who thinks strategically, works collaboratively, and brings out the best in others. Kate believes in the value of mentoring and in building awareness and capacity for UX in her company and community.

Email: Kate.Wilhelm@D2L.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kawilhelm/

Expressing Differences in User Capability

Stream: Access Technology (AT)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Bob Dodd, Frontier Accessibility

Description

One of the challenges for inclusive design is to make each user interface to a product/device as broadly accessible as possible. That goal leads to wanting systems that can adapt to user need. And that requires understanding your user's needs and preferences; more specifically, the user interface needs to understand them and have knowledge of them.

Work in this area has tended to focus on tools and techniques. "User Fred, when at school, in math class, requires a screenreader and tactile displays." This is cumbersome to describe with all those different contexts, and is all about current technology, which changes, and not the person who changes in quite different ways.

This talk is about how you can describe what people can do (not their disabilities), and their needs and preferences for particular types of task, rather than when they need a particular device or technology. It's based on my own research from 2008: User capability in an adaptive world.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Gain a solid appreciation of what it means to describe your capacity to interact with a computer in a standardized way, and the limitations we have in adaptive technology because we don't currently have that description
  • Understand what happens when systems do adapt to user need. The kind of things that have to be considered and implemented in, for example, an accessible web page

Presenter Biography

Bob Dodd.Bob Dodd is manager, Digital Accessibility at Frontier Computing, part of the commercial arm of CNIB in Toronto.

Bob joined CNIB in 2013 after 10 years of academic research into adaptive user interfaces, that itself followed a career in UI design. He has published papers on techniques for adaptive user interfaces—The CISNA model of accessible adaptive hypermedia and a model for profiling human capability: User capability in an adaptive world.

11-11:45 a.m. - Concurrent Sessions
Meet Sa11y: The Accessibility Quality Assurance Assistant 

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Session Level: Intermediate
Presenter: Adam Chaboryk, Ryerson University

Description

Ryerson University has several hundred website editors and thousands of web pages. Managing usability and website accessibility at scale poses its challenges. In an effort to avoid expensive cloud-based accessibility tools and enforce best practices in an easy, effortless way, we created Sa11y. Sa11y is an accessibility quality assurance tool that visually highlights common accessibility and usability issues specific to our content management system (CMS). Geared towards content authors, Sa11y straightforwardly identifies errors or warnings at the source with a simple tooltip on how to fix them. 

Sa11y was released as an open source tool in May 2020, and is currently adopted by institutions like Queen's University and Princeton University. Sa11y is also featured on the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List and The A11y Project. 

This session will demonstrate the following:

  • How Sa11y is custom designed for Ryerson’s CMS, and how it can offer a false-positive free experience for templated environments
  • How Sa11y is designed to take away the complexities of web accessibility and give confidence to non-technical website editors
  • Demonstration of custom ruleset and other practical use cases
  • How Sa11y reduces the need to pay for expensive web accessibility cloud-based services

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Evaluate strategies for implementing website accessibility within an enterprise content management system
  • Recognize benefits of implementing a custom tool that delivers template/CMS specific feedback to non-technical content editors
  • Access a free tool to add to your web accessibility testing toolkit

Presenter Biography

Adam Charboryk.Adam Chaboryk is an IT accessibility specialist at Ryerson University where he enables the Ryerson community with the resources and guidance to create a more inclusive digital environment for all learners, faculty, staff and the general public.

Email: adam.chaboryk@ryerson.ca
Website: Sa11y accessibility quality assurance assistant (Ryerson University)

 

Power of PDF/UA

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenters: Naveesha Maharaj and Samuel Jeong

Description

Does your PDF need to just comply with an automated checker or does it need to conform with WCAG 2.0 and PDF/UA? We will look at the importance of not only producing an internationally accessible document, but also a usable high-quality document instead of only conforming to a standard.

What is PDF/UA and why can’t we just make all our documents WCAG 2.0 conformant? Lets talk about what WCAG 2.0 does not cover in making your PDF’s universally accessible while I guide you through recognizing the overlap, and the tools needed to produce that compliant PDF your organization is seeking.

If you're a developer, author or even an analyst who may be involved in tagging PDF documents and forms, then this presentation is meant for you. You will leave with an understanding of how the two standards apply to your PDF creation, the checkpoints provided in PDF/UA, and which ones fall under WCAG 2.0, how to apply certain features to your PDF to ensure full compliance, and why compliance is so important.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand how the two standards apply to your PDF creation, the checkpoints provided in PDF/UA and which ones fall under WCAG 2.0
  • Understand how to apply certain features to your PDF to ensure full compliance and the importance of being fully compliant and not just producing a WCAG 2.0 document

Presenter Biography

Naveesha Maharaj.Naveesha Maharaj, is a senior accessibility consultant. For the past 13 years, she has worked with organizations such as Deque, Canada Life, The Carrol Center for the Blind, Ogilvy, Brightworks and many more. She is skilled heavily on web, mobile native and PDF accessibility, ensuring clients are producing not only compliant content but usable as well.

Prior to moving into the consulting realm, she worked as a web accessibility analyst at TD and as an accessibility systems testing/QA specialist at the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services, Youth and Social Services I&IT Cluster testing internal and external sites against WCAG 2.0 standards. Technical writing, presentations, remediation, assessments and training were and are still a large part of her daily activities.

She was an active member of the Accessibility Consulting team at CNIB focusing on internal and external AODA. These duties compliment her interests in volunteering and participating in fundraising events, helping others, and hiking with her huskies.

Email: maharaj.veesha@gmail.com


Samuel Jeong.Samuel Jeong is an accessibility consultant who was introduced to accessibility as part of a salesforce implementation and has never looked back. He has been in the A11y field for just over four years with his last experience being in Canada Life, where he was responsible for system integration, functional testing various websites, in addition to accessibility testing against WCAG 2.0 standards and assessing PDFs against PDF/UA standards. He is currently consulting for Deque System on web, mobile and PDF accessibility, continuously learning a whole new level of accessibility. Although Sam graduated from the University of Waterloo with an engineering degree, his passion to make the digital world a better place for all of us continually drives him onwards and upwards in the A11y journey.

On the other side of the hat, Samuel is a traveller who enjoys exploring what this world has to offer. He is currently virtually travelling the world with his curious cat Merlin via various movies and documentaries.

If Your Eyes Could Speak - Audio Description

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Joel Snyder

Description

In his introduction to the second edition of The Mastery of Movement, Rudolph Laban wrote: “What really happens in the theatre does not occur only on the stage or in the audience, but within the magnetic current between both these poles.” He suggests that the performers on stage form the “active pole of this magnetic circuit [and] are responsible for the integrity of purpose” in the performance that determines the quality of the “exciting current between stage and audience.” Laban’s focus here is on the skill of the performer in communicating with the audience. It is assumed that the audience is able to fully perceive that skill and experience that communication. But what if the exchange is interrupted, not by lack of clarity on stage, but rather by an audience member’s lack of access to that full perception. How, for example, can a blind person “see” a dance performance?

This presentation will demonstrate how audio description provides access to the arts for people who are blind. Describers observe, select, and then succinctly and vividly use language to convey the visual image that is not fully accessible to a segment of the population—new estimates by the American Foundation for the Blind note that over 32 million Americans are blind or have difficulty seeing even with correction.

Presenter Biography

Dr. Joel Snyder is known internationally as one of the world’s first audio describers, a pioneer in the field of audio description, a translation of visual images to vivid language for the benefit, primarily, of people who are blind or have a vision impairment: the visual is made verbal—and aural, and oral.

Since 1981, he has introduced audio description techniques in over 40 states and 63 countries and has made hundreds of live events, media projects and museums accessible. In 2014, the American Council of the Blind published Dr. Snyder’s book, 'The Visual Made Verbal – A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description,' now available as an audio book voiced by Dr. Snyder, in screen reader accessible formats, in Braille, and in English, Polish, Russian and Portuguese—a Spanish edition will be released in 2021; versions in Greek and Chinese are planned for 2022. He is a former member of the Disability Advisory Committee of the Federal Communications Commission and serves on the Audio Description Subject Matter Expert Committee of the ACVREP—the Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals. His PhD is from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona with a focus on audiovisual translation/audio description. Dr. Snyder is the president of Audio Description Associates, LLC and he serves as the director of the Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind.

1-1:45 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions
Inclusive Media Course Series Process, 6 Months In

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenters: Margot Whitfield and Nathan Burke, Ryerson University

Description

The curriculum in this course series was developed using evidence-based methods and practices with blind and low-vision, and deaf and hard-of-hearing audiences. Outcomes from the program include:

a) Understanding of how CC/AD fit within the disability/regulatory frameworks in Canada and could be employed in initial stages of production development within the broadcasting framework

b) Writing and speaking techniques designed for media and hands-on practice.

This course series opened up employment opportunities for graduates of this program as well as provided a standardized framework for re-speaking captioners and describers and improved the quality of their processes. Underpinning the development of the series was an advisory committee consisting of community audience representatives from diverse populations (including blind, low vision, hard of hearing, and deaf), enabling the inclusion and involvement of the people in the affected communities as guest speakers and advisors.  

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Gain knowledge about the Course Series in Inclusive Media at Ryerson, its motivation, design and rollout strategy, how to access it, and who is the target audience
  • Gain knowledge about inclusive design
  • Understand different AD/DV and CC styles
  • Understand the importance of training audio/video describers and real-time captioners

Presenter Biography

Margot Whitfield.Margot Whitfield, MMSt, BFA and Ontario Certified Teacher, has been a research associate at the Inclusive Media and Design Centre (Ryerson University) since 2010. She has worked on user studies for many years with diverse blind users as well as film and theater directors, script writers, and film festival organizers and theaters, including Mirvish productions.

She is passionate about access to arts and culture and has consulted on accessible video productions for Ryerson and the Ontario Arts Council.

Email: margot.whitfield@ryerson.ca


Nathan Burke.Nathan Burke, assistant video editor and student of the Ryerson Inclusive Media course, has been working in the film industry since graduating Loyalist College in 2016. He has worked on shows for HGTV, Food Network, as well as National Geographic and History.

In the last few years, he has been training and experimenting with voice over, and the Ryerson course has allowed him to apply that passion to a very relevant and often overlooked sector of the entertainment industry. 

Creating Inclusive Interviews: VR technologies for Job Interview Training of Individuals on the Autism Spectrum and Strategies for Employers

Stream: Accessibility, Inclusion, and the Future of Learning and Work (AIFLW)
Presenter: Mina Jevremovic and Robert Ingino

Description

Creating Inclusive Interviews: VR technologies for job interview training of individuals on the autism spectrum and strategies for employers.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Better understand the Virtual Reality (VR) app for behavioural interview training of individuals on the autism spectrum
  • Identify the app benefits for employers, which is a highly customizable option for asynchronous video interviews
  • Understand the app benefits for users and how it supports employment agencies (performance feedback as video or transcript)
  • Recognize the affordances of the different structure of behavioural interview questions
  • Follow the inclusive interview guideline (for employers) and utilize the interview question creation
  • Recognize the app affordances for use by the general population and for specific jobs

Presenter Biography

Mina Jevremovic.Mina Jevremovic is an interior designer, educator, and recent graduate of OCADU with a master of inclusive design degree. As an educator, she observes that accessibility and inclusion lead to a dynamic and creative class.

As a mom of a teenage boy on the autism spectrum, she understands the need for better communication with neurodiverse individuals. Her interest in contributing to the neurodiverse community and more inclusive teaching practices motivated her to pursue inclusive design.

Her graduate studies research project included a Virtual Reality app that individuals on the autism spectrum can use to practice behavioural interview questions. The app can also help educate employers and support employment agencies on ways to conduct inclusive interviews.

Mina is passionate about creating a more inclusive interview process and improving communication with neurodiverse individuals.

RED Arrow Technique for OneNote

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ALT)/Access Technology (AT)
Presenter: Jim McEwen, Niagara College

Description  

OneNote is a fantastic and free program with many features, including the ability to record lectures directly onto slide decks. After teaching OneNote for more than two years, I developed a "system" I call the RED Arrow Technique. It enables students to annotate during the lecture, focus on key points, revisit significant areas, and review the audio during times when they were distracted. This technique applies to in-class and virtual environments using a PC or Mac. 

During the presentation, we will look at the strengths of this technique, the challenges, and some workarounds for the virtual environment.

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Use OneNote to import slide decks and record lectures
  • Teach/use the RED Arrow Technique
  • Identify challenges and implement workarounds

Presenter Biography

Jim McEwan.Jim McEwen has been the adaptive technology specialist for Niagara College since 2001. He is also a graduate of Niagara College in computer engineering technology.

Email: jmcewen@niagaracollege.ca

2-2:45 p.m. - Concurrent Sessions
The Transition Online: The Impact of COVID-19 on Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

Stream: Accessibility, Inclusion, and the Future of Learning and Work (AIFLW)
Presenters: Laura Mullins, PhD, and Jennifer Mitchell, BA, MADS Student, Brock University

Description  

This session will highlight our research—in partnership with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) at Brock University—which sought to reveal the impact on university students with disabilities when transitioning to online learning due to the pandemic.

A survey about the effects of online learning during a pandemic on the students' lives, education and instructional and accommodation needs was completed by students registered with SAS. This research provided a much-needed opportunity for students with disabilities to share their voices about their educational experience, and identified several recommendations instructors should consider when developing online courses.

This presentation is valuable to instructors, supports and services, and the academic administration so they can appreciate the barriers that students face and identify areas for support.

Learning Outcomes

After this workshop, you will be able to:

  • Gain insight on the lived experience of transitioning to online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Recognize the academic and social barriers that students with disabilities have faced while transitioning to an online format
  • Incorporate strategies to promote accessibility when developing online courses

Presenter Biographies

Dr. Laura Mullins is an assistant professor in the Department of Applied Disability Studies at Brock University. She received her doctor of philosophy in Family Relations and Human Development from the University of Guelph. Her research is rooted in disability studies and focuses on improving the quality of life and fostering empowerment for adults with disabilities. Her areas of interest include exploring the accessibility of students with disabilities in higher education and addressing factors that influence the lives of adults with developmental disabilities—including examining unique housing arrangements, improving the quality of their support teams, or addressing challenging behaviour. In appreciation of the need for critical and transformative action, Laura's research predominately represents Participatory Action Research with people with disabilities and Community-Engaged Scholarship with services that assist them.


Jennifer Mitchell is currently pursuing her master of applied disability studies with specialization in applied behaviour analysis at Brock University. She completed her bachelor of arts in honours disability studies, with a minor in organizational learning and teaching from the University of Windsor. In 2016, Jennifer completed the Developmental Services Worker program through Fanshawe College and has multiple years of experience working with adults with intellectual disabilities at various community organizations. Jennifer’s research interests include improving the quality of life for adults with disabilities and accommodational support to assist students with disabilities pursuing higher education.

Addressing the Barriers Students with Disabilities May Face when Engaging in Experiential Learning Programs in Higher Education

Stream: Accessibility, Inclusion, and the Future of Learning and Work (AIFLW)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenter: Laura Gatto, University of Guelph

Description

As higher education rapidly grows experiential learning (EL) offerings to provide students the opportunity to gain the human capital needed to transition from school to work, it is imperative that these EL opportunities are accessible to students with disabilities.

This session will present the participation rates of students with disabilities in various forms of EL by disability-type, and review some of the barriers that students are experiencing when they engage in EL.

At the end of this session, you will be provided with recommendations to improve the accessibility of your own EL programs for students with disabilities. 

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Implement improvements to the accessibility of your own EL programs for students with disabilities

Presenter Biography

Laura Gatto.Laura Gatto has worked at the University of Guelph (U of G) for 23 years with the Division of Student Affairs and is currently a co-op coordinator for the School of Computer Science in the Experiential Learning Hub. Throughout her academic and professional career, Laura has maintained a passion for supporting under-represented groups in higher education. She was involved in running training programs to roll out the U of G Human Rights and Equity Policy and developing co-op policies for students with disabilities. She has sat on various committees on campus including the Women’s Campus Safety Initiative and the Crown Ward Championship Team.

Laura studied first generation students' experiences transitioning to higher education for her M.Sc. She recently completed her PhD in computational sciences analyzing the gender wage gap in academia and barriers to work integrated learning for students with disabilities.

Deaf-Blindness: The Sky is the Limit

Stream: Access Technology (AT)
Session Level: Introductory
Presenters: Floyd Alexander and Vicki Bonanno, University of Guelph

Description

Floyd Alexander is a deaf-blind man who wants to share his story of challenges and triumphs. He is providing information on deaf-blindness. He want to show that deaf-blind people can do anything. The sky is the limit. Being disabled is not a barrier. Never give up. Stay positive.  

Learning Outcomes

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand a first-hand account of being deaf-blind

Presenter Biographies

Floyd Alexander: Before I became deaf-blind, I was doing very well. I wanted to become a teacher. At the age of 22, I became deaf-blind. I came face to face with spinal meningitis. I lost all of my vision and hearing. I stayed at home with my parents for about three years. I started to get deaf-blind services. My parents encouraged me to get out. The first thing was I started to go to the gym. I did not want deafness and blindness to hold me back. You can do anything. Do not say no, say yes. Put your best foot forward. Never give up. If I can, so can you. I learned independence skills. If you saw me in my house, you would not know that I am deaf-blind. I do not let negativity get into my way. I have been deaf-blind for 20 years. I have also been skydiving which is an amazing feeling. I went out there and I did it. I want to come out here to University to tell my story and inspire you.

Email: floydalexander@live.ca


Vicki Bonanno works as a social worker in private practice.

Email: vickibonanno@gmail.com

3-4 p.m. - Capstone Presentation: The Battle for Digital Accessibility in Learning - What’s Coming Up Next?

Presenter: David Lepofsky, Professor of Disability Rights and Legal Education, Osgoode Hall Law School, University of Toronto

Description

The Ontario Government is required to release the draft recommendations on what should be included in the promised Education Accessibility Standard for K-12 and post-secondary education. These will include requirements on digital accessibility. The public will be able to comment on them before they are finalized for the government to consider. This will open the door to the greatest opportunity to make digital accessibility a reality in Ontario for students with disabilities.

This talk will focus on what the key issues and challenges will be, and how to turn this opportunity into a new promising reality for students with disabilities.

Presenter Biography

David Lepofsky.David Lepofsky is a visiting professor of Disability Rights and Legal Education (part time) at the Osgoode Hall Law School and a past adjunct member of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law. David holds volunteer leadership roles in the disability community and is chair of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) Alliance. He is a member and past chair of the Toronto District School Board’s Special Education Advisory Committee. As a member of the Kindergarten-Grade 12 Education Standards Development Committee, David was appointed by the Ontario Government to recommend reforms to tear down barriers impeding students with disabilities.

Read David's full biography (PDF).

Twitter: @davidlepofsky
Website: AODA Alliance


Conference Topic Streams

Accessibility, Inclusion, and the Future of Learning and Work (AIFLW) - A rich range of current research, personal experiences and innovative solutions focusing on the accessibility issues raised by remote learning and work. (conference theme)


Access Technology (AT) - Learn how assistive technologies promote independence for people with disabilities and enable them to succeed in the worlds of education and work. Discuss emerging trends and best practices for access technology support with vendors and professionals in the field.


Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL) - An engaging variety of topics related to accessibility in education, from a personal and global perspective. Learn about accessibility barriers faced by post-secondary students, explorations of key academic accommodation issues for students with disabilities, and strategies for supporting diverse learners.


Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC) - A must-attend for anyone who is interested in fostering a culture of accessibility in their workplace, school, or community. Learn more about innovative AODA compliance strategies, and sessions on inclusive design will show that there's more to accessibility than checklists!


Document and Media Accessibility (DMA) - Remote learning and work underscores the need to share documents and media in accessible formats. Introductory and advanced courses and workshops will discuss Word and PDF document remediation techniques, as well as video captioning and description.


Web Accessibility (WA) - In a time when virtual shopping, working and learning is a necessity, web accessibility is more critical than ever before. Speakers will address a range of topics—from the basics of creating an accessible website to ensuring web accessibility compliance across large organizations—that will appeal to novices and experts alike.

 

Zoom Resources and Support

It's important to familiarize yourself with Zoom, the videoconferencing technology that is being used to deliver this year's conference. The resources listed below aim to help you enjoy a smooth and problem-free conference experience: