Open remarks discussion about collaboration to improve accessibility

Mike Gifford

Drupal 7 really has led the way in ensuring that WCAG 2.0 recommendations are respected for anonymous users, editors and administrators. This has been pushed further with Drupal 8, and although not yet launched, there is a lot to be excited about.

One of Mike Gifford’s goals, through his company OpenConcept Consulting, is to fix the accessibility problems at the source using the Drupal open-source content management system. By taking this approach over a million web sites are enabled to become more accessible. With the Web increasingly becoming one of the main points of contact with citizens and customers, the ability for organizations to easily meet the relevant accessibility standards has become a customer-service issue. Mike is a Drupal Core Accessibility Maintainer and has been spearheading improvements in the Drupal community since 2009.

David Berman

David Berman has 30 years of experience in design and communications and has worked extensively in the adaptation of printed materials for electronic distribution, including accessible Web and PDF design and software interface development.

As an author (Do Good Design [Peachpit/Pearson, 2009]), expert speaker, designer, communications strategist, and consultant, his professional work has brought him to over 50 countries.

In 2012, David was appointed as chair of the Carleton Access Network, a new committee on accessible information technology by Carleton University's READ Research, Education, Accessibility and Design Initiative.

In 2009, David was appointed a high-level advisor to the United Nations on how accessible Web design thinking can help fulfill the Millennium Development Goals.

10 Ways for Winning Accessibility by Derek Featherstone

Derek Featherstone

Derek Featherstone has been working as a web professional since 1999 and is an internationally known speaker and authority on accessibility and web design. He leads the team at Simply Accessible, based in Ottawa, Canada.

Derek always puts the user first and strives to make the web a better place by designing experiences that are easy to use for everyone, including people with disabilities. Derek’s ideal accessible experience combines engaging and rich content with brilliant design and technical development excellence. That user-centred focus sets the course for Simply Accessible, and—more importantly—their clients.


David Best

David Best is an Accessibility IT Specialist with more than 30 years of working experience in project management, software design and development. His expertise includes comprehensive workshop facilitation and web site analysis.

At the age of 5, David developed glaucoma and lost all of his sight by age 20. Despite this setback, he was one of the first blind Canadians to graduate with a degree in Computer Science from Western. He started his career with Air Canada as a software engineer. Later at IBM as a subject matter expert, he provided accessibility business solutions and workplace best practices. He currently serves as one of Inclusive’s senior associates.

David’s life experiences and ICT knowledge skills have given him a unique opportunity to advocate for disabled professionals. In January 2013, he was appointed by the Ontario Premier to the Accessibility Standards Advisory Council, under the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, to review and help update the AODA.

WCAG and Screen Reader testing

David MacDonald

A native of Ottawa, David MacDonald has been in the accessibility field for 20 years. David is a veteran Invited Expert (since 2002) on the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (WCAG WG) of the W3C, the internet authority responsible for governing the rules of the World Wide Web.

These guidelines on accessibility have been adopted by most governments including the Canadian Federal Government. He is the only Canadian consultant listed on the the 18 member WCAG standard and is a member of the WCAG Mobile Task Force. He's was invited on the 15 member WCAG ICT task force which reported on the application of WCAG in software developments beyond the web. He is a W3C Invited Expert for the HTML5 working group and its Accessibility Task Force, and contributed to the WCAG Evaluation Methodology.