Hampus Sethfors
Hampus speaking on stage. He is showing a slide describing a digital process where WCAG compliance takes precedence over user needs.

Hampus Sethfors @hampelsuken is originally a UX (User Experience) designer but has specialised in accessibility the last 5 years of his career.

He is the founder of Axess Lab in Stockholm, Sweden and believes that travelling to Scotland in November is the ultimate display of his passion for accessibility!

Have you tried to dab some coconut oil on your spine?

People with disabilities often get tips on how to “cure” their disability. Let’s focus on curing the inaccessible environment instead. In this talk, you’ll get some top-notch tips on designing accessible interfaces and learn why many design trends exclude people with disabilities.

Vasilis Van Gemert
Vasilis speaking on stage. He is showing a slide where he flipped the Inclusive Design Principles with his own Exclusive Design Principles.

Vasilis van Gemert @vasilis is a lecturer at the University of Applied Sciences in Amsterdam where he teaches the next generation of digital product designers about designing with the web as a material.

Apart from being a teacher, he is a student as well. He follows the Design Research Master course at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam. His research is about creating pleasurable digital user interfaces exclusively for real persons with disabilities.

Exclusive Design Principles

Vasilis flipped the Paciello Group Inclusive Design Principles and turned them into a set of Exclusive Design Principles. He used these principles to create tailor-made, pleasurable user experiences for real people with disabilities.

Instead of designing exclusively for ourselves, he started to design tailor-made solutions for – and together with – people with accessibility needs.

In the past year, Vasilis did several experiments with designing digital user experiences exclusively for real persons with real disabilities.

Together with his students, he came up with – sometimes unorthodox – alternative forms of interaction.

  • They created a design for a friend who is severely motor disabled.
  • They reimagined a video page for a designer who is deaf.
  • They designed a website for a blind designer with the Blind First principle.

In this talk, Vasilis will show you the results of these experiments, and share all the insights he gained during his research.

Curt Holst
Curt on stage at the beginning his talk. His slides shows the text “Accessibility and UX”.

Curt Holst is a Senior Digital Accessibility Consultant at Barclays @BarclaysAccess.

Curt has over 14 years experience in accessibility and currently works at Barclays Bank to ensure that technology services used by customers and colleagues are created with accessibility in mind from the outset.

Accessibility and improved User Experience for all

Traditionally accessibility is considered a component of usability focusing on people with disabilities but is often not seen as a powerful opportunity to innovate.

Accessibility is about ensuring that our products, services and workplaces are available to and usable by everyone, especially those with disabilities. Done well, accessibility brings a multitude of benefits – from improved customer experience and reach, more engaged and productive colleagues, bolstering brand and mitigating risks. However, many businesses still do not pay attention to this topic, despite accessibility being of more benefit to more disabled/older customers and of growing interest to some organisations who see the opportunity.

We often mistake the concept of accessibility as involving people with disabilities. However, we’re all disabled in many contexts and circumstances. Accessibility is all about people. If you’ve ever suffered an injury, you’ll know how difficult formerly simple tasks become.

Heather Burns
Heather on stage at the beginning of her talk. Her slides show her talk title.

Heather Burns @WebDevLaw is a tech policy and regulation specialist based in Glasgow.

She helps digital businesses and professionals to understand the policies and regulations which impact their work on issues ranging from privacy to accessibility to e-commerce.

Her interest in web accessibility began over twenty years ago when her mother, living with and ultimately dying from Motor Neurone Disease, found that her life was as compromised by the inability to communicate as it was by the illness itself.

Today, in addition to prolific writing and speaking on tech policy issues, Heather is a consultant to the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Assistive Technology, a component maintainer of WordPress.org’s core privacy team, and a co-organiser of WordCamp Edinburgh.

So long, farewell, Auf Wiedersehen, adieu: what Brexit means for accessibility and you and you and you

Next year the UK leaves the European Union (EU). What will this mean for the EU accessibility regulations which currently guide our work, the new accessibility legislation in the pipeline, and disability rights in general?

Join me to learn what’s going, what’s staying, and what might get lost in transition. I will also provide an insider’s view of how European law is travelling through Westminster during the Article 50 process to its unknown destination.

Phil Day
Phil is on stage during his talk. His slides show a supermarket self-service terminal.

Phil Day is the Senior Usability Manager at NCR, managing a small team of usability, accessibility & interaction design experts; together they work to make our products more usable for everyone. He has been at NCR for almost 13 years and worked in human factors research in both academic and commercial roles before this.

Accessibility of self-service technology = Accessibility for anyone, anywhere, anytime

Self-service technology, such as ATMs and supermarket self-checkouts, must be accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime, without prior experience, training or assistive technology.

Considering that self-service technology is often used to handle financial transactions, accessibility must be achieved without compromising the safety, security and privacy of the user’s information.

There are numerous standards, guidelines and legal requirements specifying what makes a self-service terminal, particularly an ATM, accessible to people with disabilities. While these requirements can be helpful in improving accessibility, they can sometimes be more of a hindrance than a help.

In this talk, Elina discusses the accessibility challenges and opportunities at NCR, one of the world’s largest providers of self-service technology.

Paul Bepey
Paul on stage during his talk. His slides describe the BBC Access Services and Access to Work.

Paul Bepey @pBepey is himself registered blind and has a huge interest in Assistive Tech both inside and outside of the workplace.

As BBC Assistive Technology Lead, Paul heads up the Staff Facing Accessibility Team and the plan, setup and execution the BBC’s strategic objectives with regards to Assistive Technology.

Paul’s team design the overall Assistive Technology service within the BBC, and work with a range of projects to ensure that where possible, any Staff Facing Technology is Accessible at launch, and compatible with the various Assistive Technology apps the BBC deploy throughout the organisation. He also ensures that the end to end processes around AT work for both existing and new staff coming into the organisation.

Building end to end accessibility at the BBC

Paul will be talking about how the BBC has built an inclusive accessibility model across its backstage systems. This includes building accessibility in Procurement, Recruitment through to building inclusive design and BBC staff work producing content.

Paul will talk about the journey the BBC has taken to get here and things they have learned along the way.

Group of people looking towards the viewer
Happy illustration depicting a wide range of people of different ethnic backgrounds.

Feedback on last year suggested that more conversation space would be a good thing. We put our heads together and came up with (aka shamelessly stole) the idea to have an open conversation session.

  • You propose the topics.
  • You discuss what interests you.
  • You then provide feedback to the whole group.

We may need to moderate the last bit and don’t worry if you had some interesting discussions but don’t like standing up in public; we will find a volunteer!

A topic may be introducing something you’ve been working on, some kind of research discovery, something you want to get off your chest, or anything else that’s relevant to the conference and addressed in a short period of time.

Open conversation

Not quite a full unconference, but space where you can discuss the topics you are interested in. Note that this is an experiment – we hope it works!

The idea is for you to propose discussion topics, we will arrange things so that each table has a topic of discussion at it and you can engage with whichever one you are interested in. You can also play a butterfly and flit between discussions, cross-pollinating ideas.

If we are inundated with topics (here’s hoping) we will put up a voting sheet on the day.

Examples so far include:

  • The Accessibility Object Model. What’s it all about?
  • The readability of technical documents and technical scope.
  • Accessibility and recruitment: how do we make applying for jobs more accessible?

You can propose a topic when you get your ticket.