Agenda

Co-Chairs: Dan Jellinek, Founder, Headstar and Nigel Lewis, Chief Executive, AbilityNet

09.00 - 09.45 - Registration, Refreshments and Exhibition

09.45 - 10.30 - Keynote: E-accessibility: maintaining the momentum in government

  • Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries (video message)
  • Adrian Goodall, Senior Digital Inclusion Policy Advisor, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
  • Sandi Wassmer, Managing Director, Copious and Member, UK Government e-Accessibility Forum

Last year, Ed Vaizey, Minister for Communication, Culture and the Creative Industries, used E-Access 10 to unveil his Action Plan for the work of the UK governments then newly-formed UK e-Accessibility Forum. One year on, he has recorded a message to update delegates and the wider community of interested parties on progress how the Action Plan is progressing, and what new policies are in the offing for 2011 and beyond. The minister's senior digital inclusion policy advisor will be present to take questions on government policy in this area.

e-Accessibility Forum member Sandi Wassmer will stress that making e-accessibility a reality is not just about conformance or compliance: it's about human beings and the way that each and every one of us interacts with technology. Starting with The Ten Principles of Inclusive Web Design, written by Sandi and published by the DCMS as part of its eAccessibility Action Plan, she will take us through the principles and lay the foundation for the day.

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10.30 - 11.00 - Opening plenary: Motivate and mobilise: getting started

  • Nigel Lewis, Chief Executive, AbilityNet
  • Peter Abrahams, Accessibility Practice Leader, Bloor Research

Creating web sites that are accessible to the widest possible set of users is a never-ending journey, as developments in web technology creates new challenges and opportunities. But like any journey, it starts with a single step.

The One Voice for Accessible ICT Coalition is using this year's conference to launch a programme charting the first seven steps to improving web accessibility, which will help your organisation create:

  • A site that is more accessible
  • An understanding of the benefits of accessibility
  • A view of the best next steps, and the continuing journey

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11.00 - 11.45 - Coffee & Exhibition

11.45 - 12.45 - Parallel Workshops A, B & C and Round Table Sessions

Details of the workshops and round tables can be found below. Skip down

12.45 - 13.45 - Lunch & Exhibition

13.45 - 14.30 - Plenary: Accessibility in the real world

  • Dr Stephen Duckworth OBE, Strategic Development Director, Serco Welfare to Work and Board Member, Olympic Delivery Authority, London 2012
  • Miro Griffiths, Disability Equality Consultant

Theory is one thing, implementation another. For our first afternoon plenary we have two fascinating case studies from two leaders in their fields, on accessibility work taking place on the ground, challenges faced and obstacles overcome.

First, Dr Stephen Duckworth, a board member of the Olympic Delivery Authority for the fast-approaching London games, details the many challenges faced in ensuring everyone has access to the vast array of the state of the art technologies delivering public information on the Olympics and Paralympics, including event results; technologies in use by the athletes themselves; and the gamesí legacy of accessibility.

Then Miro Griffiths, who despite being a 21-year-old postgraduate student, has already worked for many years as a disability consultant to the UK government, Premiership football clubs and others will describe life as a student with disabilities, and access to education using technology.

Two hugely topical areas in what should prove to be a highly engaging session.

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14.30 - 15.30 - Parallel Workshops D & E and Round Table Sessions

Details of the workshops and round tables can be found below. Skip down

15.30 - 16.00 - Tea and Exhibition

16.00 - 16.45 - Closing plenary: The future of accessibility

  • Mark Ferrar, National Technology Officer, Public Sector, Microsoft
  • Sarah Hilderley, Accessibility Project Lead, EDItEUR
  • Jonathan Hassell, Head of Usability & Accessibility, BBC Future Media

In our closing session, senior practitioners look ahead at the new challenges to ensuring accessibility for all stays a key priority for all technology providers and digital service providers. What challenges might be posed by new technologies such as mobile devices, electronic books and cloud computing? What new opportunities will arise? And how can we all make sure that the techno-future is positive and exciting for people with disabilities?

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Morning Workshops and Round tables 11.45 - 12.45

Workshop A - An introduction to web accessibility: what and why?

Chair: Robin Christopherson, Head of Digital Inclusion, AbilityNet

Robin will discuss the key business drivers for accessibility, and the breathtaking potential return on investment delivered by inclusive design. Being blind he will also, perhaps surprisingly, demo some really cool iPhone apps!

Workshop B - Building your accessibility action plan

Chair: Paul Day, Chief of Staff, Employer's Forum on Disability

Speakers: Sean Smith, IT Accessibility Manager, HMRC, and
Graeme Whippy, Group Disability Programme, Lloyds Banking Group

Most organisations donít set out to provide IT solutions which are not accessible. Delivering accessibility can be difficult, particularly when it requires understanding and action across many people in varied roles and departments. In this session accessibility specialists from large organisations - all members of the Employers' Forum on Disability's Business Taskforce on Accessible Technology - will share their tips, tricks, advice and guidance for driving accessibility.

Time for questions will enable delegates to learn from the speakers and to share their own experiences and ideas: we encourage everyone to bring their queries and problems to benefit from othersí ideas too.

Workshop C - Automating Enterprise Business Processes with Accessible Electronic Forms

Speakers: Kiran Kaja, Accessibility Engineer, Adobe Systems and
Quentin Blight, Senior Solution Consultants, Adobe Systems

In this session, Kiran Kaja and Quentin Blight from Adobe Systems talk about how Adobe LiveCycle ES2 can help organisations develop accessible forms and applications that can be used by everyone including persons with disabilities. Adobe LiveCycle ES2 is a software suite that helps organisations improve productivity through intuitive applications, efficient processes and dynamic and interactive PDF and HTML forms. For legal and commercial reasons, it is extremely important for organisations to make these forms and applications accessible to persons with disabilities.

Round table - Accessibility means usability

Speaker: Lucy Dodd, Director, Inclusive Experience

Traditionally, accessibility has been treated as a technical build and compliance issue, and has gained a reputation for being a dark art: a highly specialised area, complicated to achieve, and shrouded in rules and regulation.

Today however, we see more and more organisations waking up to the fact that accessibility is as much about usability and design as technical build and WCAG compliance. However, many questions arise in the process of attempting to integrate accessibility into the role of user experience teams, including:

  • How do we test early ideas and prototypes with disabled users?
  • How do we recruit disabled people into usability testing?
  • When do we start accessibility testing, and how often?
  • Does it cost more and take longer if we try to integrate accessibility into the process?
  • How do we engage with disabled user groups?
  • How do we successfully project manage accessibility and deliver a product on time and budget?

Round table - How to use BS 8878

Chair: David Fatscher, ICT Sector Development Manager, British Standards Institution (BSI)

This session will look at how BS 8878 - the new BSI Code of Practice for Web Accessibility - can help council website owners embed inclusivity into their online communication strategies. An overview of the standard will cover:

  • Assigning responsibility
  • Creating a transparent policy
  • Knowing your audience
  • Making and justifying choices
  • Establishing a testing regime
  • Embedding accessibility

Round table - Accessing HTML5 - HTML is dead: long live HTML!

Chair: Chris Mounsey, Product Manager, VerseOne Technologies

HTML5 is the new buzzword on the web, but what is it, and how does it fit into accessible web development?

With HTML5 being declared the "official" HTML standard by the Web Hypertext Application Technology Working Group (WHATWG) how can web developers stay up to date with an ever-changing "living" standard?

And how should web developers encourage the manufacturers of web-enabling devices to adapt and adopt the new standards? All these issues and more will be debated in this round-table discussion.

Round table - The future of open source accessible technologies

Chair: Dr Mike Wald, Principal Investigator - Accessible Technologies, University of Southampton

This round table discussion will look at what the future holds for the future of open source accessible technologies, including:

  • Open source licenses
  • Business models for open source technologies
  • Assistive technology costs
  • Assistive technology and accessibility/usability features
  • Tools and support
  • Cross-platform operability and portability
  • Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII)
  • Support for building and sustaining open source communities (e.g. REALISE)

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Afternoon Workshops and Round tables 14.30 - 15.30

Workshop D - Accessibility - the legal requirements and how to comply

Speakers: Struan Robertson, Product Counsel, Google and
Clive Holdsworth, Head of Digital, Equality and Human Rights Commission

There are all sorts of laws covering equality, and disability, but how far do they apply to new technologies? Do companies really have to create accessible web sites or online services for example, and what will happen to them if they don't? Struan Robertson of Google, one of the UK's foremost digital lawyers, will guide delegates through the legal maze and offer tips for compliance.

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Workshop E - Procurement for accessibility

Speakers: Kiran Kaja, Accessibility Engineer, Adobe Systems and
Michael Pluke, Vice-Chairman, European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) Human Factors Committee.

This workshop will cover issues organisations face when buying IT systems, websites digital services from third party suppliers, in trying to ensure that what they receive is going to be accessible to all their service users, and employees. Topics to be covered include the European mandate to develop standards for procurement of accessible ICT systems, mandate 376.

Round table - The unforeseen effects of changing your website on people with disabilities

Chair: Makayla Miranda Lewis, PhD Researcher in Human-Computer Interaction, City University London

Access to the internet and use of tools like social media can be hugely liberating to people with disabilities. But sudden changes to the way sites and tools work can present major challenges to users who have got used to accessing the old sites in a certain way, using special access technologies.

In this session, Makayla will present her own new research in this field and look at potential ways organisations can mitigate the potential negative effects to people with disabilities and other users of necessary changes to their online presence.

Round table - Accessibility of e-learning

Chair: Gill Whitney, Head, Design for All Research Group, Middlesex University

This discussion group will consider the issues affecting students with disabilities in accessing e-learning including accessibility of the tools, accessibility of the e-learning platform, accessibility of course material and the way the environment can be used to support the educational experience.

Existing web accessibility standards are of considerable benefit but these are not the only rules that need to be considered. The context of use of the e-learning materials will also have a large effect on ease of use. Key issues include whether:

  • Material forms part of a blended learning environment (both face to face and e-learning)
  • Any alternative means of providing the information provide equality of access
  • The virtual learning environment meets the needs of the students including group work and social networking

Round table - PDF accessibility: from beginner to WCAG 2.0 AA compliance

Chair: Ted Page, Director, PWS Ltd

This session will look at mapping PDF authoring, document production and editing techniques to WCAG 2.0 success criteria in order to produce great PDF files that are accessible to the widest possible range of readers.

Round table - Looking ahead to the Olympics, and leaving an accessible legacy for 2012 and beyond

Chair: Dr Stephen Duckworth OBE, Strategic Development Director, Serco Welfare to Work and Board Member, Olympic Delivery Authority, London 2012

Participants on the round table will be invited to consider what needs to be done now to ensure accessibility to the Olympics and Paralympics games. One critical question will be for participants to identify plans to create a learning legacy on accessibility and inclusion from 2012 and beyond.

Round table - Overcoming barriers to technology access for older people

Chair: Jyoti Choudrie, Head of Systems Management Research Unit, University of Hertfordshire

Advances in medicine and quality of life are increasing the lifespan of people all over the world. As we age, new innovations are affecting our lives every day, from high speed internet to mobile applications such as smartphones, notebooks and tablet computers.

In this session we shall discuss which technological innovations are affecting older people the most, and identify barriers to access that may exist for older people, and how these might be overcome.

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