This year's Accessibility Conference is going to be virtual with sessions and workshops being delivered remotely via Zoom. All programming will be delivered live. Session recordings and transcripts for concurrent sessions on May 25 and 26 will be available for 30 days after the conference. Workshops will not be recorded.

Novice screen-reader users may find it helpful to skip the Day One Conference Schedule at a Glance and Day Two Conference Schedule at a Glance and navigate this page using headings. (Note: All session headings are tagged as H3.)

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 your account information can be verified by our session moderators.

Browse the Day One | Conference Schedule at a Glance.

Browse the Day Two | Conference Schedule at a Glance.

Please note that all sessions are in Eastern Time (ET).

Downloads


Zoom Resources

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:

Pre-Conference Workshops | Tuesday, May 24

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

These workshops are available for an additional fee. Please note that this year's workshops requires 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 pre-conference workshops to your conference registration by logging in to the Accessibility Conference Registration page.


Assistive Technologist Discussion Forum

Time: 9 a.m. to Noon

Doug Mantle | King's University College at Western University


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 register for this forum with your conference registration (available on a first-come, first-served basis).


Create Accessible Documents in Office 365: Word, PowerPoint & Excel

Time: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

George Joeckel III | MS, Online Training Program Manager, WebAIM 


In this full-day workshop, review the fundamental principles of creating accessible documents in three ubiquitous applications: Microsoft Word, PowerPoint & Excel 365.

Take a review on how to use Adobe Acrobat Professional DC to optimize the accessibility of well-structured PDF exports from these applications.

Receive a complimentary enrollment for a video-based online course that expands on these principles and processes over the course of five modules.


Audio Description: An Analysis of "Paradise" Workshop

Time: 1 to 4 p.m.

Joel Snyder | Audio Description Associates, LLC-Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind


Hone skills in the development of audio description by experimenting with its fundamentals—Observation, Editing/Selecting What To Describe, Language, and Vocal Skills—analyzing professional audio description ("The Color of Paradise"), and practicum-developing AD for selected media excerpts.

Day One | Conference Schedule at a Glance 

Schedule | Wednesday, May 25
Time Slot Session 1 Session 2 Session 3

8:45-9 a.m.

Day One Welcome

(ASL and Live Human Captioning)

9-9:45 a.m.

Video Description: A DIY Primer

Charles Silverman | Toronto Metropolitan University

Rob Harvie | Inclusive Media and Design

Disability and the Writing Centre: Access, Pedagogy, Identity, and Disclosure in the Context of the University Writing Centre

Kate Kaul | York, University Writing Department

It's Time to Address Ableism in Academics: A Scoping Review of the Experiences and Impact of Ableism Among Faculty and Staff

(ASL)

Sally Lindsay | Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and University of Toronto

Kristina Fuentes-Aiello | Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital

10-10:45 a.m.

Mobile Accessibility: Testing Mobile Sites and Native Apps for Accessibility

Gian Wild | AccessibilityOZ

Giving Voice: Insights and Perspectives of Post-Secondary Autistic Students and Faculty

Janice Fennel and Janice Galloway | Sheridan College

Four Frameworks, One Goal: Examining Frameworks to Guide Inclusive Post-Secondary Education

(ASL)

Christine Zaza and Melissa Potwarka | University of Waterloo

11-11:45 a.m.

Scaling and Embedding Accessibility in Product Development

(ASL)

Niki Ramesh | CBC

Building the Course Syllabus into a Cornerstone of Accessible Teaching

Michelle Schwartz and Adam Chaboryk | Toronto Metropolitan University

Advice for Institutionalizing UDL

Rachel Courts and Ofure Okojie | Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario

11:45 a.m to 1 p.m.

LUNCH BREAK

1-1:45 p.m.

Making an Accessible WordPress Site and Keeping it Accessible

(ASL)

Sandy Feldman (she/her)

Creating Sustainable Accessible Interfaces

Talyah Aviran | UXAccess

Gaming Beyond the Mechanics: Accessibility of Language, Tone, Culture, and Concept

(ASL)

Lorelei Root (she/her) | Eagle’s Flight

2-2:45 p.m.

What Businesses Should Learn from "A Life Worth Living's" Accessible Website Journey

Judy Robinet (she/her) and David Best (he/him) | A Life Worth Living

Exploring Web Accessibility in the High School Programs: A Pilot Project

(ASL)

Sandi Gauder | CMS Web Solutions

Julie Johnston | District School Board of Niagara

Data for Disability Advocacy: Navigating Data Bias with a Wikibase AI Prototype

Rachel da Silveira Gorman (they/them) and Thumeka Mgwigwi | York University

3-4:30 p.m.

Plenary Panel Discussion: IDEA11y - Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility

(ASL and Live Human Captioning)

Indira Naidoo-Harris | University of Guelph

Meenu Sikand | Accessibility for All

Deborah Stienstra | University of Guelph

Mahadeo Sukhai | Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

Day One | Concurrent Sessions | 9-9:45 a.m.

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.


Video Description: A DIY Primer | Wednesday, May 25, 9-9:45 a.m.

Stream: Access Technology (AT)
Level: Introductory

Charles Silverman, M.Ed. | Instructor, Toronto Metropolitan University

Rob Harvie | Director, Inclusive Media & Design Inc.


This presentation explores the importance of providing access to described video.

You will be invited to engage and ask questions throughout the session.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize what makes for good description
  • Distinguish between the advantages and disadvantages of live voice vs. synthetic speech
  • Identify tools for creating described video
  • Understand what's involved in producing a described video
  • Determine the steps involved in posting a described video on YouTube

Charles Silverman’s interests include barrier-free design, assistive technologies, Universal Design, and Inclusive Design, as defined by the Inclusive Design Research Centre, and related practices, policies, standards, and legislation.

Charles has been in the accessibility field for more than 30 years. He has been teaching at Toronto Metropolitan University’s School of Disability Studies since the early 2000s.

Previously, he worked for CAST, where Universal Design for Learning (UDL) got its start. He is currently the lead designer for Inclusive Media and Design’s CapScribe captioning and description project.

Charles has a severe to profound hearing loss, and is a fan of human-generated captioning and smarter hearing devices.


Rob Harvie.Rob Harvie brings a rich background in IT 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 various Canadian colleges and universities, serves on digital accessibility working and advisory groups, and is founding director of Inclusive Media and Design, a Toronto-based boutique consultancy.


Back to Day One Schedule


Disability and the Writing Centre: Access, Pedagogy, Identity, and Disclosure in the Context of the University Writing Centre | Wednesday, May 25, 9-9:45 a.m.

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Level: Introductory

Kate Kaul, M.A., Ph.D candidate (ABD) | Accessibility Specialist, York University Writing Department


"Disability and the Writing Centre” discusses access, pedagogy, and disclosure in the specific context of the university writing centre.

My project reviews the gaps and intersections between Writing Centre Studies and Accessible Teaching and Learning. What can new insights from disability studies, disability rhetoric, and disability justice bring to the work we do towards access in the writing centre?

This presentation encourages you to explore questions in discussion.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify services offered by a university writing centre, and services focused on accessibility through “Accessibility Specialist” appointments
  • Examine intersections between the pedagogy of Accessible Teaching and Learning, and the one-to-one tutoring structure of a university writing centre
  • Recognize critical approaches to Universal Design for Learning that centre social justice
  • Examine issues of privacy, disclosure, and identity for students accessing writing centre services

Kate Kaul.Kate Kaul is a contract instructor and a doctoral candidate in social and political thought at York University, teaching for the Writing and Sociology departments.

Kate is the accessibility specialist at York’s Writing Centre. The work draws on her interests in access-focused teaching, and on critical approaches to disability and disablement, as well as her own disability experience.


Back to Day One Schedule


It's Time to Address Ableism in Academics: A Scoping Review of the Experiences and Impact of Ableism Among Faculty and Staff | Wednesday, May 25, 9-9:45 a.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
Level: Introductory

Sally Lindsay, PhD | Senior Scientist, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and University of Toronto

Kristina Fuentes-Aiello, PhD | Postdoctoral Fellow, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital


This presentation shares results from a recent systematic review examining the experiences and impact of ableism in academia among faculty and staff. You will actively engage in a discussion about the findings in our review. We will highlight our findings showing how faculty and staff choose to disclose their disability and request accommodations, and navigate the persistent negative attitudes towards them. We will share the impact of ableism on physical and mental health, and career development. We will also highlight some coping mechanisms to address academic ableism.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the experiences of ableism among faculty and staff
  • Understand the impact of academic ableism on health and well-being and career development
  • Identify coping strategies for addressing academic ableism

Sally Lindsay is a senior scientist in the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and associate professor in the Department of Occupational Science & Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto. Her research focuses on the social inclusion of youth and young adults with disabilities.


Kristina Fuentes-Aiello is a postdoctoral fellow in the Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. She received her PhD in sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her research interests lie in workplace and labour market issues.



Back to Day One Schedule

Day One | Concurrent Sessions | 10-10:45 a.m.

Mobile Accessibility: Testing Mobile Sites and Native Apps for Accessibility | Wednesday, May 25, 10-10:45 a.m.

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Level: Intermediate

Gian Wild | Founder/CEO, AccessibilityOz


When developing WCAG2, the Working Group did not envision the current world where mobile is almost ubiquitous; for example, WCAG2 requires that all content be accessible to the keyboard interface, but it does not require that all content be accessible to a touchscreen user.

WCAG2.1 does include some mobile accessibility requirements but many think it doesn’t go far enough.

Enter the Mobile Site Testing Guidelines, developed by a bipartisan group of accessibility companies. These guidelines are meant to be used with WCAG2 (and WCAG2.1) to ensure that sites are accessible to people with disabilities using mobile and tablet devices.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand mobile testing concepts and methods
  • Utilize the new test process
  • Apply testing methods in practice for different platforms and different situations

Gian Wild.Gian Wild is the CEO and Founder of AccessibilityOz, established in Australia in 2011 and in the U.S in 2015.

Gian has worked in the accessibility industry since 1998. She spent six years contributing to the international set of web accessibility guidelines used around the world.

A 2017 Australian of the Year award nominee, Gian splits her time between Australia the U.S. A regular speaker at conferences around the world, in 2015 she presented to the United Nations on the importance of web accessibility at the Conference of State Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.



Back to Day One Schedule

Giving Voice: Insights and Perspectives of Post-Secondary Autistic Students and Faculty | Wednesday, May 25, 10-10:45 a.m.

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Level: Introductory

Janice Fennell, PhD | Manager, Accessible Learning, Sheridan College

Janice Galloway, B.Ed. | Learning Strategist, Accessible Learning, Sheridan College


Research from the recently completed research study, "Insights and Strategies to Support Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder in Postsecondary Contexts: A Canadian Perspective" will be shared.

This session highlights the reported needs and experiences of students with ASD. While exploring perspectives of teaching faculty, we will culminate in small group discussions, led by the facilitators, to highlight tools, tips and resources to support faculty, students and staff.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify barriers and needs of students with ASD in the learning environment
  • Critically examine your assumptions about students with ASD and apply strategies to support students with ASD in the teaching and learning environment
  • Proactively implement inclusive teaching practices to support learners with ASD

Janice Fennell.Janice Fennell is the manager, accessible learning at Sheridan College. She has over 15 years’ experience working with individuals with disabilities in community organizations and various educational contexts.

Janice has an MA in critical disability studies and a PhD in Education from York University. She is currently a member of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) - Postsecondary Education Standards Development Committee, and Sheridan Advisory Council.

She also serves on the Colleges Committee on Disability Issues (CCDI). Her lifelong passion is to disseminate knowledge to assist individuals with disabilities to be included in their learning communities.


Janice Galloway.Janice Galloway is a learning strategist with Accessible Learning at Sheridan College. She has over 13 years' experience working with students with disabilities in various educational contexts.

Janice holds a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree and Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University. She has delivered training, workshops and presentations on Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) to multiple audiences. She co-facilitates a social group for students with ASD and is a trained UCLA PEERS leader.

She is a member of the Learning Specialists Association of Canada (LSAC) and completed the Applied Learning Disability Studies Certificate. She has conducted research and collaborated on publications. 


Back to Day One Schedule

Four Frameworks, One Goal: Examining Frameworks to Guide Inclusive Post-Secondary Education | Wednesday, May 25, 10-10:45 a.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
Level: Introductory

Christine Zaza, PhD | Online Learning Consultant, University of Waterloo

Melissa Potwarka, M.Sc. |  Health Promotion & Evaluation Specialist, University of Waterloo


In addition to Universal Design for Learning, three other frameworks foster inclusion in the postsecondary setting: Universal Instructional Design, Universal Design for Instruction, and the Inclusive Design Framework.

In this unconference session we invite you to engage in interactive activities as we explore how these frameworks intersect, diverge, promote EDI, and align with AODA legislation.

You will leave with resources to help you navigate and apply these frameworks.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Compare and contrast four frameworks that promote inclusion in higher education
  • Describe how these frameworks align with accessibility and human rights legislation
  • Identify barriers to implementation and how can we overcome these barriers
  • Discuss the merits of adopting one framework versus synthesizing underlying principles from all frameworks

Christine Zaza is an online learning consultant with the Centre for Extended Learning, University of Waterloo. She is also an adjunct lecturer in the Faculty of Health, where she developed an undergraduate course on mental health literacy.

Her main areas of interest are accessibility, inclusive instruction, mental health and well-being.


Melissa Potwarka.Melissa Potwarka is health promotion & evaluation specialist with Campus Wellness, and PhD student in the School of Public Health Science at University of Waterloo.

Melissa’s professional experience and research interests intersect within the Health Promoting Universities & Colleges movement. Broadly, she is interested in whole systems approaches to addressing well-being in the learning environment through multi-stakeholder collaboration and partnership.


Back to Day One Schedule

Day One | Concurrent Sessions | 11-11:45 a.m.

Scaling and Embedding Accessibility in Product Development | Wednesday, May 25, 11-11:45 a.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Level: Intermediate

Niki Ramesh | Digital Accessibility Lead, CBC


Building a sustainable process around accessibility is important to take your organization from a group of champions to a mature organization that actively prioritizes digital accessibility. Welcome to the hard part!

Today's talk will walk you through how to embed accessibility at five stages of product development: research, defining functionality, design, development, and testing. At each stage, we'll walk through artifacts such as accessibility requirements, style guides, and automated tests, to help your product teams include accessibility with little additional effort.

The session will provide you with tactical steps you can take to make sure accessibility is considered and prioritized by Agile teams.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand holistically how accessibility fits into digital product development
  • Break down how to build a process around accessibility from research through to testing
  • Identify different ways accessibility can embedded into your products

Niki Ramesh.Niki Ramesh leads digital accessibility for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). She and her team are passionate about providing equitable digital experiences for everyone living in Canada.

Niki enjoys working with research and product development teams to experiment with accessibility features and embed accessibility into the development cycle. She’s also a co-founder of Access to Success, supporting MBA students with disabilities and accessibility startups in North America.



Back to Day One Schedule

Building the Course Syllabus into a Cornerstone of Accessible Teaching | Wednesday, May 25, 11-11:45 a.m.

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Level: Introductory

Michelle Schwartz, MLIS | Educational Developer, XU, Toronto Metropolitan University

Adam Chaboryk, CPWA, B.Comm | IT Accessibility Specialist, Toronto Metropolitan University


By the end of this presentation, you will have an appreciation of how UDL principles can be integrated into syllabi to form the cornerstone of an inclusive learning experience.

Take away an easily adaptable accessible syllabus (in Google Doc and Word format) along with a customizable website template to provide an interactive accompanying guide to meet the needs of your institution.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Examine how the course syllabus functions as the starting point for integrating UDL into teaching
  • Appreciate how UDL principles can be easily integrated into course syllabi through the application of an customizable template
  • Discuss how accessible syllabi are supported at other institutions
  • Adapt an accessible syllabus template to meet your own needs

Michelle Schwartz is an educational developer in the Teaching Development unit of the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching at XU (Toronto Metropolitan University). Her primary responsibilities include providing support for inclusive education, including universal design for learning (UDL), open access education and open pedagogy, and inclusive and accessible learning spaces.


Adam Chaboryk.Adam Chaboryk is a digital accessibility specialist and web developer with a passion for building inclusive experiences. Adam is an IT Accessibility Specialist at XU (Toronto Metropolitan University), where he enables the community with the resources and guidance to create a more inclusive digital environment for all learners, faculty, staff and the general public. Adam also leads the development of Sa11y, an open source accessibility checker designed for content authors.



Back to Day One Schedule

Advice for Institutionalizing UDL | Wednesday, May 25, 11-11:45 a.m.

Stream: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
Level: Introductory

Rachel Courts and Ofure Okojie | Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO)


HEQCO recommends UDL be embraced across Ontario colleges and universities. But how do we scale up UDL across institutions? And how do we do that in a way that incorporates principles of equity, diversity, inclusion and decolonization? In November 2021, HEQCO began engaging the sector to help answer these questions.

Our presentation shares insights about defining UDL, approaches to institutionalizing UDL and evaluating progress towards institutionalization. We’ll invite you to share your insights as well.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Examine your own perceptions of UDL
  • Consider whether there are gaps (such as those related to anti-racism/EDID) in your perceptions of UDL
  • Consider/identify opportunities to facilitate institutionalization of UDL principles at your own institution
  • Consider/identify opportunities to evaluate or improve existing evaluations of progress with UDL implementation

Rachel Courts.Rachel Courts is a researcher at the Higher Education Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO) where she works on research projects focused on improving access, quality and sustainability in Ontario’s postsecondary education system.

Prior to joining HEQCO, Rachel worked as a research assistant on projects related to access, student experience and university pedagogy. Her research interests also include equity in education and student well-being at both the secondary and post-secondary level.

Rachel holds a master of educational leadership and policy from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto.


Ofure Okojie.Ofure Okojie is a research intern at the Higher Educational Quality Council of Ontario (HEQCO).

Ofure is currently working on projects centered on access and accessibility, work-integrated learning, and social mobility.

Ofure holds a bachelor of arts from the University of Toronto in Sociology.


Back to Day One Schedule

Day One | Concurrent Sessions | 1-1:45 p.m.

Making an Accessible WordPress Site and Keeping it Accessible | Wednesday, May 25, 1-1:45 p.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Level: Intermediate

Sandy Feldman | Design & Development


This presentation will teach you how to make an accessible WordPress site and will cover the following material:

  • Finding an Accessibility Ready WordPress theme
  • Keeping it accessible by:
    • Using headings to structure content
    • Writing link text that makes sense out of context
    • Writing custom “read more” links
    • Making sure colours have good contrast
    • Using more than just colour to show things
    • Testing for keyboard access to everything
    • Adding alternative text to images

You will have a chance to ask questions.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify accessibility-ready WordPress themes
  • Keep the theme accessible
  • Use accessibility testing tools

Sandy Feldman is a freelancer focused on web accessibility and design. She builds websites for organizations that focus on accessibility and builds accessible custom WordPress themes and customizes accessibility-ready themes. She supports the people who keep those sites up to date.

Sandy works with inclusivemedia.ca auditing web sites for Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) and Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) compliance.

Inclusive Media clients include government ministries and agencies, not-for-profits, and businesses in the corporate sector. She works with Brandeis University Digital Accessibility Program and the Outreach and Special Projects Archivist keeping the Special Projects accessible.



Back to Day One Schedule

Creating Sustainable Accessible Interfaces | Wednesday, May 25, 1-1:45 p.m.

Stream: Web Accessibility (WA)
Level: Intermediate

Talyah Aviran Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA) | UXAccess


Your product is amazing. You are very proud of it; but, when trying to sell it, you are asked by vendors to make it accessible. What? How? When? Where do I start? What is it going to entail? How long will that take? Who should be involved? How is it going to be integrated in our current product development procedures?

Don’t panic. It is doable. I am here to share my experience. I will introduce you to tools, methods and resources to accomplish web accessibility by design.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify what is an inclusive design system
  • Aannotate for accessibility
  • Recognize what makes widgets accessible
  • Identify existing tools for designers, developers, QA
  • Successfully include people with disabilities

Talyah Aviron.Talyah Aviran believes that digital accessibility has more impact on an organization as well as on the organization’s products when it is introduced at the very beginning of the product lifecycle, shifting the process of product building to the left and creating a new culture of inclusion.

When you start the process of embedding web accessibility from the design phase, you create a unified language, and understanding between all professionals.

Adding people with disabilities to the process, enforces the importance and the impact the end product will make on the users’ lives.

Talyah utilizes existing design and development tools, to assist the teams in embedding web accessibility into their day-to-day practices.



Back to Day One Schedule

Gaming Beyond the Mechanics: Accessibility of Language, Tone, Culture, and Concept | Wednesday, May 25, 1-1:45 p.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
Level: Introductory

Lorelei Root | Digital Accessibility Specialist, Eagle's Flight


Creating an accessible game needs to be a part of the conversation long before a single line of code is even written. Of course we need to take the accessibility of the game mechanics into account, but the conversation and decision to include accessibility needs to begin at an earlier point and cover a broader range of topics than just the code.

In this presentation I will walk you through some factors that I have often seen overlooked in the video game development industry—such as using accessible language and tone in creating initial game concepts and storylines, creating an accessible environment for game development, and avoiding an ableist corporate culture overall.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify a few common ableist language choices to avoid in game development
  • Better understand why disabled representation is so vitally important in video games, and how unrealistic representation can be more harmful than helpful
  • Recognize and avoid some ways that ableism often factors into concept and narrative in games
  • Use a new language and understand the topic of “difficulty” in video games
  • Renew your interest in pursuing cross-disability accessibility in the development of video games and other forms of digital media

Lorelei Root is a digital accessibility specialist currently working for Eagle’s Flight in Guelph Ontario, and has experience working with various video game development studios.

She is the vice-chair of the City of Guelph’s Accessibility Advisory Committee, the chair of the city of Guelph’s Municipal Elections Accessibility Subcommittee, a board member for the Canadian Centre for Disability Studies, and serves on a number of other boards and committees in an accessibility advisory capacity.

As a disabled woman herself who uses various forms of assistive tech to access the world, she is driven by a passion for cross-disability accessibility advocacy.



Back to Day One Schedule

Day One | Concurrent Sessions | 2-2:45 p.m.

What Businesses Should Learn from "A Life Worth Living's" Accessible Website Journey | Wednesday, May 25, 2-2:45 p.m.

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC)
Level: Introductory

Judy Robinet, MA Special Education | Orientation and Mobility Specialist, Executive Director, A Life Worth Living

David Best, B.Sc. | Advisory Council, A Life Worth Living


A business’s decision to hire a website developer to meet AODA standards is complicated by the lack of knowledge and understanding of digital accessibility on the part of both parties.

Through A Life Worth Living’s three-year journey, Judy Robinet and David Best will highlight their real-world challenges and provide best practice solutions to avoid expensive and non-compliant sites.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the meaning of digital accessibility in terms of your business goals to measure your business accessibility requirements to maximize efficiency
  • Determine how digital accessibility can augment your business goals, values and target expectations through implementing a digital accessibility strategy
  • Examine your business culture to assess premeditated actions, the anticipation of others’ behaviour, and the purposeful design of coordinated actions
  • Develop best practice digital communication strategies to market products/services and build a unique brand to reach a diverse population with satisfied customers
  • Evaluate the vendor’s ability to deliver an accessible and useable website to maximize your business investment

Judy Robinet.Judy Robinet is the founding executive director of A Life Worth Living. Previous roles include early childhood educator, parent effectiveness instructor, child and family counselor, and orientation and mobility specialist. Based on these experiences, she authored the book, 'A Life Worth Living.'

Judy co-authored research on self-esteem and independent living published in the Journal of Visual Impairment and Blindness. She has presented at national and international conferences. Judy was honoured with the Lions International President’s Certificate, Ontario Community Action Award, Helen Keller Award, 2017 St. Clair College Alumni of Distinction Award, and a Melvin Jones Fellowship.


David Best.An accessibility IT specialist, with more than 30 years of working experience in software design and development, project management, diversity leadership, and disability advocacy, David Best is persistent in seeking out accessibility business best practice solutions.

Recently retired from IBM, David is now an entrepreneur actively supporting Ontario organizations with accessibility awareness. As an information technology specialist, an accessibility consultant, a digital inclusion advocate, and an assistive technology user, David has experienced the digital divide. He has confronted workplace challenges, implemented best practice inclusion strategies, mentored peer support group initiatives, facilitated web design workshops, and promoted emerging technologies that inspire independence and confidence.



Back to Day One Schedule

Exploring Web Accessibility in the High School Programs: A Pilot Project | Wednesday, May 25, 2-2:45 p.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC)
Level: Introductory 

Sandi Gauder, BA | CMS Web Solutions

Julie Volcansek, BA, B.Soc.Sc, BEd, Med | District School Board of Niagara


WebsitesForAll.ca, funded by CIRA, introduces the concepts of accessibility and usability to students learning about web design.

In collaboration with our local school board, we piloted WebsitesForAll.ca to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Special High Skills Major (SHSM) students. We will present the results of the pilot project.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify new ways to introduce learners to the concepts of web accessibility
  • Examine the importance of creating modules that model accessibility best practices
  • Explore student engagement in hands-on learning experiences
  • Examine the benefits of usability testing and persona development

Sandi Gauder is a partner, web developer and accessibility specialist at CMS Web Solutions. In her role, she moves accessibility forward by coaching developers, designers and content creators.

Sandi is also a professor in Mohawk's Accessible Media Production program teaching Web Content and Social Media Accessibility.


Julie Volcansek.Julie Volcansek works for the District School Board of Niagara as vice-principal of A.N. Myer Secondary School in Niagara Falls.

Previous to this role, she was the special assignment teacher for the Specialist High Skills Major program for the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, supporting 59 programs in all high schools. She also has worked with the Ontario Council for Technology Education writing curriculum and planning provincial student conferences.

Julie holds a master of education with a focus on the use of digital technology in education.


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Data for Disability Advocacy: Navigating Data Bias With a Wikibase AI Prototype | Wednesday, May 25, 2-2:45 p.m.

Stream: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
Level: Intermediate 

Rachel da Silveira Gorman, PhD | Associate Professor, York University

Thumeka Mgwigwi, MA | Associate Librarian, York University


Our team is developing a wikibase prototype with an AI search engine that has been trained with disability advocacy data sets.

In this presentation, we review data and AI bias from the perspective of local and global disability advocacy, and highlight problems of racism, sexism, and heterosexism within disability rights data.

We also review feedback from local and global disability advocacy organizations about their data needs, and their constituents’ data needs.

We end with a discussion about our emerging understanding of disability data and accessibility.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify biomedical bias in disability data sources
  • Identify racism, sexism, and heterosexism within disability rights data
  • Examine the benefits and shortcomings of a wikibase AI prototype
  • Recognize the importance of data for disability advocacy
  • Identify some local and global disability advocacy data needs

Rachel da Silveira Gorman is associate professor in the Graduate Program in Critical Disability Studies at York University. She is an interdisciplinary scholar working in fine arts, humanities, and sciences.

Current projects include disability data, AI bais, and AI-prototypes; and the role of mast cell biology and biochemistry as mechanisms of the social determinants of health and inequitable COVID outcomes.

Da Silveira Gorman’s writings on ideologies of disability and race have appeared in American Quarterly, Somatechnics, thirdspace, and the Journal of Literary and Cultural Disability Studies.

Da Silveira Gorman also works extensively in choreography and curating.


Thumeka Mgwigwi is subject librarian in Critical Disability Studies, Health Policy & Management, Global Health, and Psychology at York University.

Mgwigwi's research projects include anti-racist and anti-ableist initiatives in academic libraries, and a pilot project on an AI-endowed wikibase of data for disability advocacy.


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Day One | Panel Presentation | 3-4:30 p.m.

IDEA11y - Inclusion, Diversity, Equity & Accessibility | Wednesday, May 25, 3-4:30 p.m.

(ASL and Live Human Captioning)

Indira Naidoo-Harris | AVP Diversity and Human Rights, University of Guelph (Moderator)

Meenu Sikand | Executive Lead - Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, Accessibility for All

Deborah Stienstra | Jarislowsky Chair in Families and Work and Director, Live Work Well Research Centre, University of Guelph

Mahadeo Sukhai | Vice-President Research and International Affairs & Chief Accessibility Officer, Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)


Our distinguished moderator and panelists will explore the connections between accessibility and diversity, equity and inclusion issues.

Day Two | Conference Schedule at a Glance

Schedule | Thursday, May 26
Time Slot Session 1 Session 2 Session 3

8:45-9 a.m.

Day Two Welcome

9-9:45 a.m.

All Things Braille: Innovative Tech, Accessible Signage and Everything in Between

Jen Goulden | Crawford Technologies

Creating Accessible Word Documents

(ASL)

Gina Catenazzo | Seneca College

Designing Impactful Financial Empowerment Programs: Disability Benefits Wayfinder

Janet Flynn and Nandita Bijur | Prosper Canada

10-10:45 a.m.

Why keyboard-Only Access Still Matters: Uncomfortable Accessibility Questions for the Age of Mobile Technologies

Alan Cantor | Cantor Access Inc.

Awareness of Assistive Technology in the Course Design Process Creates a More Egalitarian System

Humberto Hernandez | D’Youville College

Accessibility Bites: Building Knowledge Across an Organization

(ASL)

Josie Gray

11-11:45 a.m.

How To Create Information That is Accessible to the Visually Impaired

(ASL)

Palmer and Karen Douglas | PD Visual Accessibility

PDF/UA-2 - Everything You Need to Know

Paul Rayius | CommonLook

Long-Term Collaboration Between Non-Disabled and Disabled Colleagues in Developing Accessible Online Courses

Lisa Kovac and Cortney Hanna-Benson | Occupational Safety Group Inc. (OSG)

11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.

LUNCH BREAK

 

 

1-1:45 p.m.

Returning to Apprenticeship: A Practical Way to Meet Many Needs

Deborah Gold and Doug Poirier | BALANCE for Blind Adults

Reception of Different Styles of Audio Description by Blind/Visually Impaired Kids

Caroline Martin | Université de Montréal

Accessibility is Everyone’s Responsibility: A Sustainable Team-Based Approach

(ASL)

Mary Huang and Christine Hogenkamp | Context Creative

2-2:45 p.m.

Impact on Daily Living and Perceived Ease of Use for Assistive Technologies Used in the Sight Loss Community

Michaela Knot (she/her) and Maria Ramirez | CNIB Research

Testing Accessible PDF Documents: What Goes On Behind the Scenes

(ASL)

Aimee Ubbink and Jen Goulden | Crawford Technologies

Reclaiming the Narrative: Indigenous Perspectives on Disability and Accessibility

CANCELLED

3-4 p.m.

Closing Plenary Session - IDEA11y: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility

(ASL and Live Human Captioning)

Sarah Jama | Disability Justice Network

Day Two | Concurrent Sessions | 9-9:45 a.m.

All Things Braille: Innovative Tech, Accessible Signage and Everything In Between | Thursday, May 26, 9-9:45 a.m.

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Level: Introductory

Jen Goulden, EDP, UEB Technical | Accessibility Compliance Specialist, Crawford Technologies


People often ask if technology has made braille irrelevant, but this is comparable to asking if technology has had this effect on print as well.

The question we should be asking is: How does technology enhance inclusion and accessibility for braille readers?

This session provides an overview on all things braille, including the latest code updates, low-cost devices and emerging electronic formats.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identity innovations in braille technology
  • Identify governing bodies responsible for code maintenance
  • Recognize inclusivity in public spaces
  • Describe resources for learning, teaching and producing braille

Jen Goulden.Jen Goulden is an accessibility compliance specialist
with Crawford Technologies and has more than 15 years' experience in the field of document accessibility. She holds a Master's degree in linguistics from the University of Ottawa and speaks English, French and Spanish. She is a certified braille transcriber and a member of the ePUB and WCAG working groups.

Jen is past president of Braille Literacy Canada and treasurer of the International Council on English Braille. She is CNIB’s representative to the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), and in January of this year she became the BANA chair.



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Creating Accessible Word Documents | Thursday, May 26, 9-9:45 a.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Level: Introductory

Gina Catenazzo | Instructional Designer, Seneca College


Microsoft Word has many features to ensure that the documents you are creating are accessible. Learn the fundamentals of creating accessible Word documents and modifying inaccessible content to comply with accessibility standards.

In this session, we look at the following in Word with respect to accessibility: Accessibility Checker, Document Structure, Document Properties, Images, and Tables.

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

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Apply accessibility guidelines to Word documents
  • Modify Word documents to make them accessible
  • Identify and use accessibility features in Word

Gina Catenazzo.Gina Catenazzo collaborates with a multi-disciplinary team to create beautiful, engaging, and accessible online courses at Seneca College. She implements creative and accessible solutions to digital content and online course development.

Gina is keenly passionate about providing inclusive solutions in online learning by applying Universal Design and Accessibility principles.



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Designing Impactful Financial Empowerment Programs: Disability Benefits Wayfinder | Thursday, May 26, 9-9:45 a.m.

Stream: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
Level: Introductory

Janet Flynn | Senior Officer, Program Delivery & Integration, Prosper Canada

Nandita Bijur | Senior Officer, Program Delivery & Integration, Prosper Canada


Applying for disability benefits is hard, frustrating and demoralizing for many people with a disability. If you are a front-line service organization delivering support to people with disabilities, learn how Prosper Canada and our B.C. partners DABC, Plan Institute and SRDC, used service design to create a website and service model to help improve the access to benefits for people with disabilities.

This presentation will take you through our journey, highlighting the intersection of service design and accessibility for engaging people with disabilities in the design process with the understanding that people have diverse behaviours, needs, abilities and contexts.

We will share insights and tips and answer your questions.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand how service design can be adapted to include disability accessibility to improve service outcomes
  • Identify the four steps of service design with accessible adaptations
  • Recognize the significant impacts of service design for your organization
  • Identify the five steps to integrate service design in your organization
  • Engage participants in specific ways in an accessible manner

Janet Flynn.Janet Flynn is a senior program officer at Prosper Canada, working with partners to design and embed financial empowerment initiatives into their existing services.

Janet gained over 20 years of finance experience in the private sector and joined Prosper Canada in 2017 to align her passions with her career and employ her skills to enhance the lives of others.


Nandita Bijur.Nandita Bijur (she/her) is a senior officer at Prosper Canada, working with municipal and community partners to integrate financial empowerment into existing services.

As a service designer who has worked with frontline organizations and governments, she is most energized by learning how to make complex systems accessible and understandable.



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Day Two | Concurrent Sessions | 10-10:45 a.m.

Why Keyboard-Only Access Still Matters: Uncomfortable Accessibility Questions for the Age of Mobile Technologies | Thursday, May 26, 10-10:45 a.m.

Stream: Access Technology (AT)
Level: Intermediate

Alan Cantor | President, Cantor Access Inc.


From a technical standpoint, modern software is nearly 100% keyboard accessible. Yet from a practical standpoint, software is challenging to operate without a mouse.

In this session, the argument for the ongoing relevance of keyboard access will be presented. The current model of keyboard interactivity (hotkey based) will be compared with a rules-based system. A rule-based interface would be logical, discoverable, and enticing—whether accessed by keyboard, mouse, touch, gestures, voice, or other means.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the ongoing relevance of keyboard-only access
  • Understand why keyboard-only access to today's software is hard to learn, impossible to discover, and unreliable
  • Articulate how enticing and effective keyboard-only access could be, and how these interfaces might lead to improved accessibility and usability for everyone

Alan Cantor has worked in the workplace accommodation and accessibility fields for over 25 years. He has advised more than 90 organizations in North America, Europe and Asia and has published more than 50 articles, book chapters, guidelines, and FAQs. He has also facilitated over 180 workshops, classes, and webinars.



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Awareness of Assistive Technology in the Course Design Process Creates a More Egalitarian System | Thursday, May 26, 10-10:45 a.m.

Stream: Accessible Teaching and Learning (ATL)
Level: Introductory

Humberto Hernandez | Coordinator of Instructional Design and Online Learning, D'Youville College


Assistive Technology (AT) is available to construct a more egalitarian system in a context where inclusion plays an important role.

This is an active participation presentation where there are built-in questions, interactions, and one-minute papers for you to engage.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Summarize how assistive technology is used to create a more egalitarian system in human development
  • Critique why students with disabilities experience lower levels of class engagement
  • Evaluate how the awareness of AT affordances allow faculty to assess and remediate course content

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 sectors to break down barriers for individuals with all type of abilities.

Humberto is a certified front-end web developer and a future doctor in education. He has dedicated a significant part of his professional life to testing, assessing, and remediating websites and other authoring tools to make them accessible for individuals with disabilities.



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Accessibility Bites: Building Knowledge Across An Organization | Thursday, May 26, 10-10:45 a.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC)
Level: Intermediate

Josie Gray, MDes | Manager, Production and Publishing, BCcampus


Knowledge about accessibility is often held by one person in an organization, even through many people produce documents, media, and events that need to be accessible.

This session explores one strategy to build accessibility knowledge across an organization through regular, short drop-in sessions.

Teaching materials developed for different accessibility topics will also be shared under open licenses to allow for remixing.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Explain the need to build accessibility expertise across an organization
  • Examine and consider various accessibility training approaches
  • Deliver a short accessibility workshop

Josie Gray.Josie Gray is the manager of production and publishing at BCcampus. She manages the B.C. Open Textbook Collection and provides training and support for B.C. faculty, publishing open educational resources (OER).

Josie has been learning about and teaching accessibility for five years and completed her Master of Design in Inclusive Design at OCAD University in 2021.



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Day Two | Concurrent Sessions | 11-11:45 a.m.

How To Create Information That Is Accessible to the Visually Impaired | Thursday, May 26, 11-11:45 a.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Access Technology (AT)
Level: Introductory

Palmer Douglas | Owner, PD Visual Accessibility

Karen Douglas | Sighted Assistant, PD Visual Accessibility


The purpose of this presentation is to help you understand that accessibility tools such as screen readers cannot work if the content isn’t designed with them in mind.

You will watch a short video demonstration of screen readers followed by a brief explanation. Then, using a series of short videos to illustrate our points, we’ll demonstrate how design, including fonts and format, matters.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand how screen readers function
  • Identify common issues encountered by screen reader users
  • Recognize how accessibility can be improved for websites, documents, and forms

Palmer Douglas.At two years of age, Palmer Douglas was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called Alström Syndrome which is why he is blind, wears hearing aids, and has other health issues.

He attended school locally until grade 5 after which he began commuting by plane weekly to W. Ross Macdonald School for the Blind. At this school, he used braille textbooks, submitted all assignments in Braille, and started using screen reading technology.

After leaving W. Ross, he attended Algonquin College, recently graduating from the Law Clerk program. He has launched a business as an accessibility consultant.


Karen Douglas is Palmer's sighted assistant for his visual accessibility business. In this role, she translates his accessibility findings into language that sighted people will understand.



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PDF/UA-2 - Everything You Need to Know | Thursday, May 26, 11-11:45 a.m.

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Level: Intermediate

Paul Rayius | VP of Training, CommonLook


This presentation discusses the upcoming ISO PDF/UA-2 standard and the changes it will bring to the accessibility standard.

Learn about new tags and features, and how to prepare for the new changes once they are released.

The session will be interactive with Q&A throughout the presentation.

The takeaway will be an understanding of what is coming in the new standard.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Prepare for PDF/UA-2 document accessibility standards to advance
  • Learn the key differences and how PDF/UA-2 is designed to make documents more accessible
  • Understand the differences between PDF/UA-1 and the new PDF/UA-2 standard

Since 2013, Paul Rayius has helped a variety of organizations meet their PDF accessibility needs.

He is well versed in accessibility standards—including Section 508, Health and Human Services (HHS), WCAG 2.0, WCAG 2.1, and PDF/UA.

Paul is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and serves on various committees. He also helped to develop the Accessible Document Specialist certification.

Additionally, he is a member of the PDF Association and participates in writing the ISO 32000 (PDF) and ISO 14289 (PDF/UA) standards. He works with the PDF/UA Competence Center and the PDF/UA Technical Working Group, and serves as co-chair for the Accessibility Service Bureau Working Group.

Prior to joining the CommonLook team, Paul graduated with a BMe in instrumental music education from Florida State University.



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Long-Term Collaboration Between Non-Disabled and Disabled Colleagues in Developing Accessible Online Courses | Thursday, May 26, 11-11:45 a.m.

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC)
Level: Introductory

Lisa Kovac, MA | Curriculum Developer, Occupational Safety Group, Inc. (OSG)

Cortney Hanna-Benson, Dr. | Instructional Designer, Lead, Occupational Safety Group, Inc. (OSG)


This presentation shares our experiences designing eLearning courses using a collaborative approach between non-disabled instructional designers and a disabled curriculum developer. This iterative model for designing courses ensures accessibility is at the forefront of course development instead of merely an item that exists on a to-do list.

Learn how this long-term collaborative model, which considers accessibility at every stage of the design process, fosters a workplace culture of commitment to accessibility. You will also gain practical steps toward applying this model in your own workplaces.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the benefits of long-term iterative collaboration on accessible course design
  • Compare your organization's collaborative models to the one offered in this presentation
  • Identify teams in your organization where collaboration between non-disabled and disabled colleagues would be most beneficial
  • Recognize how long-term collaboration promotes a workplace culture of respect for and implementation of accessibility

Lisa Kovac.Lisa Kovac is a curriculum developer for Occupational Safety Group, Inc. (OSG).

As a member of the curriculum team, she provides iterative editorial and accessibility feedback during the development of both face-to-face and online courses on various topics relating to occupational health and safety.

Lisa also writes articles for OSG’s aoda.ca website, an archive of resources related to current and future standards under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). She has been a university writing tutor, both face-to-face and online, and delivers creative writing workshops at King’s University College.


Cortney Hanna-Benson.Cortney Hanna-Benson, is an instructional designer, lead for the Occupational Safety Group, Inc. (OSG). As a member of the Curriculum team at OSG, she is responsible for developing both face-to-face and online courses on various topics relating to occupational health and safety.

Her previous research projects involved investigating the effectiveness of a pre-university online course for its effectiveness in easing the transition to university and exploring the use of competition-based technologies in the classroom. Cortney also added to her eLearning and facilitation portfolio by hosting workshops on topics relating to eLearning and graduate student professional development.


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Day Two | Concurrent Sessions | 1-1:45 p.m.

Returning to Apprenticeship: A Practical Way to Meet Many Needs | Thursday, May 26, 1-1:45 p.m.

Stream: Access Technology (AT)
Level: Introductory

Dr. Deborah Gold | Executive Director, BALANCE for Blind Adults

Doug Poirier | Assistive Technology Lead, BALANCE for Blind Adults


Faced with an ongoing shortage of experienced and knowledgeable AT instructors with lived experience of sight loss, we decided in November 2020 to start up an AT Apprenticeship Program with the following three goals in mind:

  1. Provide an employment opportunity for people with good technology skills who may want to learn how to teach others and who need employment experience
  2. Address the shortage of personnel in this important field
  3. Meet more needs of an increasingly diverse client base through the use of more part-time instructors with a range of skills, in order to best match teacher ability to student need

In so doing we aim to better fulfill our mission of customized training and support.


After this session, you will be able to:

  • Describe the principles of apprenticeship as an employment and training tool
  • Describe the impact of technologies on the ability to teach and train remotely
  • Identify the benefits of using a "train the trainer" approach when there is a personnel shortage

Deborah Gold.Dr. Deborah Gold’s career spans 30 years with and on behalf of people with disabilities, in community settings, colleges, universities and institutions.

Dr. Gold holds a PhD in Special Education from Syracuse University. She worked for 16 years at the Canadian National Institute for the Blind in progressively advanced roles, and most recently as their National Director of Research and Program Development.

With a career commitment to equity, her publications span multiple fields including recreation and leisure, vision rehabilitation, occupational therapy, and engineering.

Dr. Gold has been at the helm of BALANCE for Blind Adults since 2016.


Doug Poirier has been working for BALANCE since 2001 and at the time he was hired as a contract worker to run a six-week program to help their clients learn a new, state-of-the-art technology. This was the beginning of the adaptive technology program and 17 years later it’s still going strong.

Doug likes to think that BALANCE is a leader in assistive technology training/instruction. BALANCE gives blind and visually impaired individuals a choice. They are equipped to meet the needs of a more diverse population and they always do their best to help everyone who comes their way.



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Reception of Different Styles of Audio Description by Blind/Visually Impaired Kids | Thursday, May 26, 1-1:45 p.m.

Stream: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA)
Level: Introductory

Caroline Martin, PhD | Lecturer, Université de Montréal


Learn about this research project on the reception of different styles of audio description by blind and visually impaired children and adolescents.

This research project aims to collect qualitative and quantitive data on the level of comprehension, emotional impact and appreciation of television series accompanied by two different styles of audio description tracks, standard and creative.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify the differences between styles of audio description
  • Understand the influence of audio description styles on the emotional impact and comprehension level of audiovisual content such as television series
  • Discover extracts of the different audio description created for the study and samples of the questionnaires

Caroline Martin.Passionate about art and education, Caroline Martin has been teaching literature and film at various universities in Quebec for over 15 years.

In 2019, Caroline acted as an advisory board member for the Inclusive-Media course series at the Chang School of Continuing Education (Toronto Metropolitan University). As a postdoctoral researcher at the Laboratoire CinéMédias at the Université de Montréal, Caroline currently conducts research on the reception of audio description among blind and visually impaired children and adolescents (FRQSC, 2020-2022) and is involved in the development of an inclusive media training through a grant from the Broadcasting Accessibility Fund.



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Accessibility is Everyone’s Responsibility: A Sustainable Team-Based Approach | Thursday, May 26, 1-1:45 p.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Accessibility Theory, Policy and Compliance (ATPC)
Level: Introductory

Mary Huang, B.Tech | Account Supervisor, Context Creative

Christine Hogenkamp | Front-end Developer, Context Creative


How can an organization gain and share accessibility knowledge in a practical, sustainable way?

See how award-winning creative studio Context Creative built a multidisciplinary, collaborative in-house taskforce to stay on top of new information, troubleshoot day-to-day issues, and support ongoing operations.

This overview of how one team learned and evolved through trial, error and growth offers examples of real-world solutions and low-cost tools you can adapt for your organization.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Gain perspectives on managing in-house accessibility efforts to begin the process of creating or tailoring an appropriate team-based approach to meet your needs
  • Utilize Context Creative’s experience as a case study for assessing your own situation/organization to identify resources, barriers and opportunities in building and sustaining a team-based approach
  • Practice thinking of accessibility as an evolving team effort with roles and tasks that may shift over time alongside the organization’s changing resources and growing knowledge/understanding

As a senior account management professional at Context Creative, Mary Huang has overseen numerous communications initiatives for public sector clients, from healthcare reports to interactive financial literacy microsites, including projects that have been recognized as accessibility best practice case studies.

She has also worked with the Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario (RGD) and the Ontario government to help develop accessibility print and digital communications guidelines.

Mary established Context Creative’s Accessibility Taskforce, an in-house team comprised of staff representing all studio disciplines who collaboratively learn and share best practices, and regularly provide guidance to internal and external stakeholders.


Christine Hogenkamp.Christine Hogenkamp is a front-end development wizard with specialties in cross-client compatible email development, web ads, and accessibility QA. She is also the Accessibility Taskforce Lead at Context Creative, coordinating a volunteer team of designers, developers, writers, animators and more in assessing issues, trends and disseminating learnings to all staff.

Along with the Taskforce members, Christine actively creates and maintains documentation on best practices and processes, and spearheads many practical tests and troubleshooting experiments.



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Day Two | Concurrent Sessions | 2-2:45 p.m.

Impact on Daily Living and Perceived Ease of Use for Assistive Technologies Used in the Sight Loss Community | Thursday, May 26, 2-2:45 p.m.

Stream: Assistive Technology (AT)

Michaela Knot | CNIB


Many technologies have been developed to improve participation and accessibility for blind and partially sighted persons; however, the relative impact—positive or negative—of these technologies in the context of user competency, age and other demographic variables, had not previously been assessed.

This session will present the research sought to understand the technology use patterns of blind and partially sighted persons in Canada, and to corelate use patterns with competency and attitudes toward technology within this population.

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand the technology use patterns of clients who are deafblind, blind and partially sighted
  • Understand the differing levels of technological classifications relevant for those who are blind, deafblind and partially sighted and impact in daily living
  • Describe the correlation of patterns of technology use with self-perceived digital competencies as part of digital literacy skills

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Testing Accessible PDF Documents: What Goes On Behind the Scenes | Thursday, May 26, 2-2:45 p.m.

(ASL)

Stream: Document and Media Accessibility (DMA)
Level: Intermediate

Aimee Ubbink, EDP, PMP | Assistant Director, DAS Operations, Crawford Technologies

Jen Goulden, EDP, UEB Technical | Accessibility Compliance Specialist, Crawford Technologies


Regardless of the document type and output format, a robust testing process is an essential component of document remediation.

In this session we’ll discuss the testing tools and processes required to create documents that are both accessible and usable. We will focus on the issues that can arise during QA and provide recommendations on how to address them

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Recognize the importance of properly structured input files
  • Identify the benefits and drawbacks of automated checkers
  • Understand the considerations for personal and confidential information
  • Recognize the role of assistive technology in document accessibility testing

Aimee Ubbink.

Aimée Ubbink, EDP, PMP, is Crawford Tech's Assistant Director, DAS Operations, and specializes in the design and remediation of accessible documents.

Since 1999, Aimée has worked with software developers to design systems for automated production adhering to evolving standards, emerging technologies, and formats.

Working closely with CrawfordTech's research and testing teams, Aimée assists in building and launching new innovative solutions.

She is a member of the PDF Association and sits on the PDF/UA Technical and Liaison Working Group. She is the W3C Advisory Committee Representative for CrawfordTech, and member of the ePUB and WCAG working groups.


Jen Goulden.Jen Goulden is an accessibility compliance specialist
with Crawford Technologies and has more than 15 years' experience in the field of document accessibility. She holds a Master's degree in linguistics from the University of Ottawa and speaks English, French and Spanish. She is a certified braille transcriber and a member of the ePUB and WCAG working groups.

Jen is past president of Braille Literacy Canada and treasurer of the International Council on English Braille. She is CNIB’s representative to the Braille Authority of North America (BANA), and in January of this year she became the BANA chair.



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Reclaiming the Narrative: Indigenous Perspectives on Disability and Accessibility, Thursday, May 26, 2-2:45 p.m.

CANCELLED


This presentation has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances. We look forward to welcoming you to one of the other two sessions offered during this time slot.


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Day Two | Closing Plenary Session | 3-4 p.m.

IDEA11y: Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility | Thursday, May 26, 3-4 p.m.

(ASL and Live Human Captioning)

Sarah Jama | Anti-Racism and Disability Rights Activist, and Co-Founder, Disability Justice Network

Community organizer and disability activist Sarah Jama will speak about her personal experience of ableism in the education sector as well as the ongoing struggle of people with disabilities to live with dignity and independence and be seen as equal members of society.


Sarah Jama.Sarah Jama is the lead organizer and co-founder of the Disability Justice Network of Ontario in Hamilton, Ontario. Sarah’s lived experiences with cerebral palsy have fostered interests and a passion for community engagement, disability justice, and activism.

Sarah is a board member with the Hamilton Transit Riders Union (HTRU), a council member on the Hamilton Immigration Partnership Council, and a member of the Hamilton Community Benefits Network (HCBN).

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