A11yYow Welcome Note
by Toufic Sbeiti
Toufic is an Ottawa-based Web Accessibility professional. He has been in the web development field for over 15 years and active in the web accessibility Community since 2010. Toufic is the manager of the web team at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada. He is the co-organizer of #a11yyow Accessibility Camp Ottawa. Toufic have a Bachelor's degree in computer science from Université du Québec en Outaouais and a master in public management from École nationale d'administration publique. @TouficSbeiti
Carleton’s READ Initiative Welcome Note
by Dean Mellway
After completing his MSW at Wilfred Laurier University, Dean began his career at the Ontario March of Dimes as a Community Development officer and was quickly promoted to Regional Director. He move to Ottawa in 1980 to become Executive Director of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and after ten years, joined the team at Carleton to open the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities (PMC). Dean has recently completed a six year term as Acting Director of Carleton’s READ Initiative (Research, Education, Accessibility and Design). He will continue as a Special Advisor to the READ Initiative moving forward Dean enjoyed a long career as a competitive athlete representing Canada with medal performances in Paralympics and World Championships in over three decades highlighted by a Gold medal in the 1976 Olympiad, a Bronze Medal in the 1994 Winter Paralympics in Lillehammer and a Silver Medal from the 1998 Winter Paralympics in Nagano. He competed in snooker, wheelchair basketball, wheelchair tennis and sledge hockey. Dean has also enjoyed a long career in various volunteer capacities serving persons with disabilities and recently completed a three year term on the Province of Ontario Accessibility Standards Advisory Committee/Standards Development Committee. @DeanMellway
Impacts of Bill C-81
by Max Brault
How will the new legislative impact you?
Recipient of the Diamond Jubilee Medal, The Correction Service Canada Award of Distinction and the Michelle C. Comeau Human Resources Leadership Award, Max Brault has worked in employment equity for the past 20 years. He is also the author of the paper “Interdepartmental Forum of Persons with Disabilities: A Dialogue for Action.” With 20 years of progressive and senior experience in employment equity and accessibility across Correctional Services Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Infrastructure Canada, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat and the Public Service Commission, he was able to leverage a diverse set of skills plus a network of relationships with Deputy Ministers, Departmental Executives, federal employees, and other government departments. During this time, he has gathered numerous awards and recognition among the federal government for the work I completed. Most recently, his career has culminated in a three year-long Senior Advisor role working with the Deputy Minister Champion for Persons with Disabilities. Here, he was instrumental in building consensus among key Deputy Minister’s community and a wide-variety of internal stakeholders, which lead to the successful proposal of the Federal Employees with Disabilities Task Force.
Accessibility Matters: Effective UX Design Includes Research
by Julianna Rowsell
Inclusive UX design considers accessibility as part of the user experience process. User research with people with disabilities informs the design process and makes products and services better by keeping the focus on human centred design.
I’m Julianna. I am a mama for 3, a photographer and an accessibility advocate by nature. I am the Head of Accessibility and Inclusive Services at the Canadian Digital Service. I help to create simple, easy to use accessible and inclusive services for Canadians by partnering with other government departments. I am in heavily involved in the accessibility community and co-organized a11yYoW, I sit on an interdepartmental government working group on accessibility, and is an invited expert with the W3C for the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group. I believe strongly that building capacity within the Government of Canada starts with helping give voice to Canadians with diverse needs. Government services should be about people, for people, with people. @JuliannaRowsell
Reducing the Employment Gap for Students with Disabilities
by Julie Caldwell & Tara Connolly
The David C. Onley Initiative is a collaborative partnership between Ottawa’s post-secondary institutions. Together, these partners are working to bridge the gap between students with disabilities and employers, by building pathways to employment such as part-time jobs, summer jobs, co-ops, internships, apprenticeships, new grad recruitment as well as entrepreneurship. This session will provide an overview of the Initiative objectives and key findings to date.
Julie Caldwell has worked at Carleton University for over 24 years. Prior to assuming her leadership role at the David C. Onley Initiative, she managed professional graduate programs at the Sprott School of Business; held the position of university secretary; served as chief administrative and accreditation officer as well as laid the groundwork for the Business Career Management Centre at the Sprott School of Business; and occupied a variety of roles in the central career centre on campus. She also is a contract instructor. Julie earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Ottawa’s Telfer School of Management. @liveluvlife
Tara Connolly is a transitions specialist with 20 years of experience working with adults and youth on the Autism spectrum. Her work has focused on facilitating neurodiverse thinkers to thrive on their own terms through co-creating meaningful transitions into and throughout adulthood, including employment. She has worked as a teacher, ASD consultant with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, ASD content expert with the Public Health Agency of Canada, and counsellor in private practice. Tara earned a Master’s in Sociology and Equity Studies from U of T and is a member of the Canadian Counselling and Psychotherapy Association and College of Registered Psychotherapists.
Framework for Accessible Specification of Technologies (FAST) by Michael Cooper
The FAST describes features web technologies should provide to ensure content, user agent, and authoring accessibility guidelines can be met using that technology.
Michael joined the W3C in June 2006 as a Web Accessibility Specialist. Michael is the Team Contact for the Accessible Platform Architectures Working Group which supports accessibility of W3C technologies, the Accessible Rich Internet Applications Working Group which develops accessibility semantics to support assistive technologies, and Accessibility Guidelines Working Group which develops authoring guidelines and techniques to create accessible content. He supports task forces in these groups to address accessibility for users with cognitive or learning disabilities, low vision, or users of mobile devices; research accessibility issues of upcoming technologies, and explore new technologies. Key specifications include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA), and Framework for Accessible Specification of Technologies. Michael holds a Master of Education degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Denver. @cooper_w3c
Bill C-81 and the Built Environment
by Thea Kurdi
This session will provide an overview of how the future built environment standards developed as part of the Accessible Canada Act (ACA) could help us achieve the changes made to our Canadian Charter of Rights and our Human Rights Codes over 35 years ago. Also, what can we learn from mistakes made with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and why deadlines are critical.
Thea is an accessibility specialist and dynamic speaker known for her enthusiasm for teaching. She has presented workshops, keynote addresses and lectures at local and international events for design professionals, building owners, and policymakers. From the human rights code to evidence-based design and increased marketability, Kurdi shares her passion for how accessibility is fundamental to successful architecture. @tkurdi
How to buy accessible IT? Some do's & don'ts from a vendor by Mike Gifford
How to get beyond the WCAG bullet point and ensure that procurement isn't working against accessibility best practices.
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. Mike founded A11yYOW back in 2011 and has been active in the accessibility unconference/camp movement since then. Beyond working with Drupal, Mike is increasingly looking at the systems which perpetuate barriers in our society. Mike is an advocate of bringing accessibility into open source projects so that everyone can benefit. @mgifford
MC of the event
by Rabab Gomaa
Rabab Gomaa is a web developer with over 15 years of experience and in-depth knowledge of web design and web integration. She currently works at increasing the accessibility awareness and improving the accessibility of websites & web applications for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC). Rabab is passionate about accessibility. She facilitates the Web Accessibility of Canada.ca (T716) course at the Canada School of Public Service (CSPS), a co-organizer of the a11yYOW group, presented in several conferences: A11yYour 2018, The Accessibility Conference of University of Guelph 2017, 16, 14, CodeFest4 (2016), a11yYOW 2014 and a11yQC 2016. @RubysDo