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Here they are! The last round of speakers for WP Accessibility Day 2020!

Can you believe that we’ve now announced all the great speakers for WP Accessibility Day? Well – coming soon: the grand and complete schedule for the whole event!

We’re really looking forward to sharing all the great material our speakers have to share with you – but for now, get to know everybody!

Martin Stehle

Martin Stehle

Consultant, tester, speaker and trainer for web accessibility since
1999; contributor for the WCAG 2.0 and the german BITV 2.0; winner, expert and juror of the former german competition for accessible websites; WordPress Core contributor since 2010, graduated computer scientist for digital media since 1996.

Dana Frayne

Dana Frayne

Dana is a postgraduate student at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute, where she studies the practical implications of international digital accessibility policies and guidelines. She also works as a freelance digital accessibility consultant, with one of her most recent clients being the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to working as an accessibility consultant, Dana worked on accessibility projects at the Obama White House and Facebook, and she plans to continue her research on digital accessibility with a Fulbright research grant to Morocco next year.

Dylan Wages

Dylan Wages is a freelance WordPress designer/developer for over 15 years. He solves design problems for his clients by helping them simplify ideas and communicate their stories. Currently, he is consulting businesses and non-profits to develop accessible materials on and off-line.

Sumner Davenport

Sumner Davenport

Sumner Davenport specializes in Web Accessibility on WordPress. Her passion is to educate business owners and web designers using WordPress on the increased value and ease of an Accessible site. Through her long-standing organization, she and her team have built, maintained, evaluated and remediated dozens of WordPress websites to WCAG 2.1 success criterion. Her clients are referred by other clients and from attorneys. She is active in accessibility and legal conferences and educational venues. At  WordCamps and local WordPress groups she  regularly speaks on topics related to compliance issues for WordPress. After presenting at WordCamp SantaClarita (WCSCV) 2019, she volunteered to be the Speaker Wrangler for WordCamp SantaClarita 2020 and is on the Speaker Wrangler team for WordCamp LAX 2020. She and two colleagues founded a local Meetup to discuss WordPress and accessibility and have invited renowned speakers on Accessibility topics to be the guest presenters. Partnering with two other local Meetup organizers, they organized the first annual Mega Meetup WordPress Accessibility Day 2020. She is a member of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) and an active supporter of various disability organizations.

Nick Goodrum

Nick Goodrum

Nick Goodrum has been working in the front-end development world for over ten years growing and improving his code with modern techniques and best practices. During that journey, he found a deep passion in the world of usability and accessibility. At Americaneagle.com, which is a full-service digital agency that handles many platforms including WordPress, he grew into the position of Director of Front-End Development and Accessibility. In that role he is a strong advocate to developers, clients, and beyond on making accessibility a normality rather than an afterthought.

Merary Alvarado

Merary Alvarado

Software Engineer and Accessibility Evangelist with 6+ years of proven experience in executing, development and leading Accessibility processes in digital strategies for Fortune 100 clients. Subject Matter Expert contributions on Accessibility by establishing guidelines, best practices, and standards related to designing and maintaining accessible websites and other digital products.

Active participation and collaboration on PwD communities for over a decade. Cross collaboration to create national standards and digital best practices to be applicable across Costa Rica public and private services to create accessible digital, educational and physical environments to improve their independent living.

Co-Lead of the Accessibility Web Costa Rica (public group in Facebook) developing digital content, training, conferences, events, webinars, etc. focusing in Spanish language to create awareness about the importance of talking about Accessibility in the digital era. 

Leading Latin America strategies together with other A11y communities in terms to create better job opportunities, accessibility specializations and promote inclusiveness for entrepreneurs.

Finally, I’m part of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) as a certified member.

WP Accessibility Day Speakers: Round 3!

Can you believe it? Only one more post to go after you finish reading about these great speakers! And then…the schedule!

We can hardly believe how soon WP Accessibility Day is – only a little over two weeks until show time! We look forward to seeing you there!

Abha Thakor

Abha Thakor

Abha is an experienced communicator, journalist, researcher and digital professional working in a variety of sectors. She has specialisms in new technology, content development, knowledge management, and cross-cultural working and inclusion. In 2020 she was made a Fellow of the international Chartered Institute of Public Relations in recognition of her work bridging technology and communications and in promoting inclusion.

She is a member of the Advisory Board for ‘We and AI’, which promotes awareness of artificial intelligence. She is a contributor to a number of WordPress teams including Marketing (team rep), WordPress.tv and Core, and is a WordCamp and Meetup co-organizer. She has led a number of projects aimed at improving accessibility and inclusion in the community, and promoting diversity, including co-lead for a cross-team Subtitling campaign and Communications Lead for WordPress Translation Day.

She is also CPD-Lead for a number of professional organizations and writes on technology, AI and machine learning. She has a particular interest in developing approaches to greater inclusion for adults with learning disabilities and cognitive diversity. She is delighted to have been invited to speak at the first ever WordPress Accessibility Day and looks forward to sharing the time with friends old and new in the WP community.

Jerry Jones

Jerry Jones

I am a generalist developer with 10+ years experience who builds products as accessibly as I can. I work at Automattic.

Raghavendra Satish

Raghavendra Satish

Raghavendra Satish Peri is a digital accessibility evangelist working at Deque Systems as Senior Accessibility Consultant breaking web accessibility & mobile accessibility challenges. He authors an Accessibility Blog & is galvanizing the adoption of accessibility by inspiring the local tech community with meetups and mentorship. He propelled this thought by founding HelloA11y, a community of accessibility professionals, developers and enthusiasts. When away from his computer, Raghava can be found at local cafes & restaurants sampling cuisines, attending local meetups, listening to audio books or writing on his Personal Blog. Raghavendra Satish Peri also helps small business & individuals with Digital Marketing Trainings & SEO consulting… He has been building websites & doing SEO Consulting for more than 14 years.

Sheri Byrne-Haber

Sheri Byrne-Haber

Sheri Byrne-Haber is a prominent global subject matter expert in the fields of disability and accessibility in the business and educational settings.  She is best known for launching digital accessibility programs at multiple Fortune 200 companies, including McDonald’s, Albertsons, and VMware, as well as consulting on government accessibility.  Her programs have positively impacted millions of the more than 1 billion global people with disabilities.  The accessibility program created by Sheri is part of the same group that created Clarity, one of the few open source accessible design systems available.

Sheri is the author of a popular Medium blog called “This Week in Accessibility,” where she summarizes legal cases and issues facing people implementing accessibility programs.  This Week in Accessibility has had over 150,000 readers since its launch.  Sheri is a frequent panelist and speaker at accessibility related conferences and an active member of several accessibility committees and non-profits, helping drive and communicate the evolution of accessibility standards.

Sheri’s book on strategic accessibility and establishing accessibility programs titled “Find Your Accessibility Compass” will be published in February 2021.

Adam Berkowitz

Adam Berkowitz

Hi! I’m Adam and I’m a web developer at the University of Connecticut (UConn). In my role at the Office of University Communications, I specialize in WordPress application development and web accessibility. I’ve also been on accessibility and diversity committees at UConn. These include UConn’s Information and Communication Technology Task Force and University Communications Diversity Equity and Inclusion Task Force. When I’m not working, I enjoy reading, martial arts, and spending time with my family.

Colleen Gratzer

Colleen Gratzer

Colleen Gratzer is an award-winning designer with 23 years of experience in branding, print, and web design and development. Four of those years include being an accessibility specialist.

She has provided InDesign accessibility training to the U.S. Department of the Interior, appeared on several podcasts and given presentations about website accessibility.

Her client-based business, Gratzer Graphics, provides design and accessibility services to nonprofits, creative firms and developers.

Through Creative Boost, she hosts the Design Domination podcast; educates designers and developers about freelancing issues, design and the importance of accessibility; and offers a website accessibility
course and other resources.

She is a member of the IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, and holds a verified certificate of achievement for introductory website accessibility from W3C, with plans to pursue additional certifications.

Wow! It’s another round of speaker announcements!

If you’re not excited yet, I hope these speakers do a lot to help encourage you in that direction! Every day we creep a little closer towards the first WP Accessibility Day event, and these generous speakers are an enormous part of what’s making that reality.

Here’s another batch of six speakers to whet your anticipation!

Darice de Cuba

Darice de Cuba

Darice is a web developer and blog writer for the independent news magazine and website of Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences. Where she most enjoys writing a blog, brainstorming with the team about the editorial, working on new designs, optimize pages and maintaining and improving the WordPress website.

Being late deaf which gives her a unique insight into inclusive design. She likes to write down her musings on her website. She loves to explore the food scene in her hometown The Hague in The Netherlands. She’s keeping track of cool places she finds in her food guide.

Chip Edwards

Chip Edwards

Chip is a partner at CreateMyVoice.com. He helps content producers engage audiences on Smart Speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home. Chip is a teacher, speaker, and technologist who is passionate about connecting WordPress content to the new Voice Technology platforms.

Rian Rietveld

Rian Rietveld

Rian Rietveld is a web accessibility specialist at the full-service WordPress agency Level Level and a trainer at the A11Y Collective.

Accessibility is important to her, everyone should be able to use the web.

Her mission is to educate everyone involved in a web project to create a web that works for all.

She lives in a pretty little town near The Hague in the Netherlands. When not reviewing, teaching or coding, you can find her working in her garden.

Calum Ryan

Calum Ryan

Calum is an accessibility consultant for dxw, helping the public sector make their websites more accessible.

His background is in front-end web development and user interface design, having worked in the web industry for around ten years.

Graham Armfield

Graham Armfield

Graham is a Web Accessibility Consultant with his own company Coolfields Consulting. He works with organisations to help them improve the accessibility of their websites – testing the websites for accessibility, and advising the designers and developers on how to fix issues found. He has written detailed training courses on accessibility for developers which he presents on a regular basis.

He’s also a WordPress developer, and has built many accessible WordPress websites for clients – both large and small. He has contributed to the Make WordPress Accessible Team and has spoken on accessibility to many WordCamps and other WordPress meetups.

Susanna Laurin

Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Funka

Susanna Laurin
Photo by Stefan Bohlin

Susanna Laurin has more than 20 years experience in working strategically with accessibility at senior management level.

As an internationally acknowledged expert in EU accessibility policy and regulations, Susanna regularly performs training and practical workshops with procurement officials based on the methodology she has developed on the basis of the EN-standard and the European Procurement Directive. Since the first version of the EN-standard was published in 2015, she has been focusing on procurement, touring in many European countries within and outside of the European Union, as well as in South America and Australia.

Susanna has also developed and published a series of instructive videos around how to use the EN-standard, sponsored by Microsoft and published under creative commons license.

Susanna is often assigned at strategic policy level on behalf of national governments, studies and investigations all over the world. She is assigned as an expert to the European Commission and the Member States representatives during the transposition of the Web Accessibility Directive, chairing the group focusing on monitoring methodology in the Subgroup of WADex. With a long experience in national and international standardisation work, she is a technical expert to ETSI in the Special Task Force 536, working on assignment by the European Commission to make the EN301549 into a harmonised European standard to cover the mobile requirements of the Web Accessibility Directive.

Susanna leads the Research and Innovation department at Funka, successfully covering around 20% of the company turn over with funding from various financial research instruments. She takes responsibility for major and international assignments for the European Commission, and a number of national governments in the member states especially focusing on transposition and implementation of the Web Accessibility Directive. Susanna is responsible for Funka’s close cooperation with end user organisations in all markets.

Susanna has published several white papers published by the European Accessibility Forum, G3ict, Funka and others on accessible design, accessible procurement, accessible MOOCs, the business case for accessibility, employment of disabled persons etc.

Susanna is chairman of the Funka Foundation, created by the company Funka to be able to perform not for profit assignments on inclusion and with a specific focus on employment of persons with disabilities. She is the Vice Chair of the Global Leadership Council of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, IAAP, an international member organisation that was co-founded by Funka, and joint representative to the EU for the UN-initiative G3ict and IAAP as well as the Managing Director of the first local chapter IAAP Nordic, covering Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. She is an expert and advisor, both for Swedish Standards Institute and Standards Norway, and furthermore served as technical expert for Mandate 376, that on behalf for the EC developed harmonised requirements for accessibility in public procurement in all EU member states. Susanna was moreover over all responsible for the authorised translation of WCAG 2.0 into Swedish that Funka carried out on behalf of W3C.

During 2003-2019, Susanna has been the CEO of Funka. Since March 2019, she is now focusing on her own strategic assignments for the European Commission and national governments as the Chief Research and Innovation Officer. Before starting at Funka, she was working as the CEO of one of the subsidiaries of the Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired’s corporate group IRIS, and she has been managing external funding and projects at the Swedish Independent Living Institute. She is a frequent international lecturer and debater and she serves on a number of program committees for conferences in the field of accessibility.

Announcing our first round of speakers

We’re super excited to be able to start announcing speakers for the first WP Accessibility Day. We’ve got an absolutely fabulous selection of speakers and topics, and we hope you’re as excited as we are about what’s coming up in October.

Keep watch here for upcoming rounds of speaker announcements and the grand unveiling of the full 24-hour schedule!

Alicia St Rose

Alicia St Rose

Alicia St Rose began her adventure with WordPress when a UX friend offhandedly suggested using the CMS for a mutual friend’s website. That was over 10 years ago and the adventure has turned into a torrid love affair. Now she is a freelance developer, exclusively powered by WordPress, and has yet to find a limitation in this magical piece of software.

She is owner, principal designer and developer at WP with Heart, a small agency that employs one…so far. In addition to creating for WordPress, she provides an online one on one coaching for DIY website creators. She is also a Creativity and Mindshift Mentor, empowering people to bust through their own limitations in order to radically express their authentic and creative selves.

Mitchell Evan, CPWA

Mitchell Evan, CPWA

Mitchell Evan has coached design and development teams for nine years, harnessing his ADHD creativity to achieve enterprise-scale accessibility through the power of authoring tools, UI frameworks, and design systems. Most recently he led the VPAT reporting practice at Level Access, applying international accessibility standards (WCAG 2.1, Section 508, and EN 301 549) to web applications, native software, authoring tools, and two-way communications. Mitchell recently moved from San Francisco to Berlin to help build delightfully inclusive technology in the new era of European accessibility directives.

Meryl K. Evans

Meryl K. Evans

Born hearing-free, Meryl’s first encounter with captions came in 1983 when she received a closed-caption decoder. Because she depends on captions to follow the video, she has seen the best and worst of captions. Fast forward decades later, Meryl’s digital marketing career has come in handy in educating people about the benefits of captioning videos and captioning them well. 

When she started making videos, she wanted to caption them. As a self-employed professional, she worried about the investment to make this happen. Through trial-and-error, she figured out an effective process for creating awesome captions. That led her to create the 10 Rules of Great Captions. Since then, how-to videos and guides have educated and encouraged many to start captioning their videos. She has also created and promoted the use of #Captioned in social media to help people find captioned videos.

Joe Hall

Joe Hall

Joe has been a WordPress developer and SEO for the last 11 years. He first became interested in accessibility consulting back to the 90s, but, mostly does technical SEO for medium size companies, non-profits, and enterprise level brands.

He is passionate about accessible, highly optimized, and fast WordPress themes.

Christina Workman

Christina Workman

Christina Workman is a Support Technician at Web Dev Studios / Maintainn.  As an advocate for contributing to WordPress, she recently launched the wp_contribute() podcast and helps organize WordCamp US, WordCamp Calgary and the Calgary WordPress Meetup.

She has a passion for teaching kids STEM and improving her accessibility skills. Outside of WordPress, Christina is a purple-o-phile, tea fanatic and lover of British detective shows.

Hidde de Vries

Hidde de Vries

Hidde is a Web Developer and Accessibility Specialist at the W3C’s Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), based in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. As part of the WAI-Guide project, he works on the accessibility of authoring tools like CMSes and website creators, and guidance that supports the web content accessibility guidelines (WCAG). He has over 10 years of experience working as a freelance front-end developer and accessibility person for organisations like Mozilla and the Dutch government. On his blog, he writes regularly about reusable components, CSS and web accessibility.

Volunteer for WP Accessibility Day!

Volunteering is a great way to help make this event great. Don’t have the time to help organize? Volunteer! Not ready to speak? Volunteer! Don’t have the resources to sponsor? Volunteer!

We need volunteers to help introduce speakers, take questions, and monitor chat during the event. We’re hoping to have as many people involved as possible – you can volunteer for one session or a whole day; whatever you’re prepared to do!

Call for Sponsors is now live!

Are you interested in sponsoring the first ever event concerning WordPress and accessibility? Do you want to show your commitment to make WordPress available to everybody, and particularly to people with disabilities?

There is an easy way to do that: help us by covering expenses!

Why should I be sponsoring?

The number of content creators, designers, and developers who understand the importance of accessibility is constantly growing: sponsoring WordPress Accessibility Day will be the perfect chance to get your product or service in front of hundreds of top level WordPress professionals.

By sponsoring WordPress Accessibility Day you are showing your support and commitment to make the WordPress Community more aware of the need to make the web accessible.

What is my money going to be used for?

We want to make the event as accessible as possible to everybody: at the very least, we are committed to offering professional live captioning during the streaming of all talks in English and to review session subtitles after the event.

Since we are also accepting non-English presenters, if we are able to raise enough funds we’ll try and provide live translation and captioning. We won’t know our needs until after selecting speakers, but let us know if you are interested in supporting these specific services.

What does a sponsorship cost?

To allow everyone to contribute according to their means, we are offering three sponsoring packages:

  • Gold level: $1000;
  • Silver level: $500;
  • Bronze level: $250.

If you are willing to contribute a different amount, let us know – all sponsorships are managed on an individual basis.

As soon as the sponsor agreement is signed and your payment has been received, we will place your name and logo on the website (we’ll publish more about the different levels of sponsorships soon.)

Ready to donate? Check out the call for sponsors!

Our Call for Speakers is open!

Speaker applications are now open! Applications will be open until August 15th, 2020 – we look forward to hearing what you want to say!

We are looking for speakers willing to share their knowledge and experience to enrich participants. Why don’t you take this opportunity to contribute as a speaker to this event? Help inspire the WordPress community and improve its accessibility awareness!

Why should I apply?

Speaking at the first-ever WordPress Accessibility Day is a great opportunity for personal growth: it will stimulate you to deepen your knowledge and skills and to leave your comfort zone. As a speaker, we hope you’ll learn a lot – perhaps more than you will teach!

WordPress Accessibility Day will be a great opportunity to get in touch with people from all over the world: being a speaker will give you a lot of visibility and allow you to connect with people all across the whole spectrum of WordPress users and creators.

What kinds of talks are we looking for?

If you have some experience with accessibility, you know that a lot of different specialties are involved: there are technical aspects where developers are more at ease, design aspects to spot and fix, and content creators have a key role in improving web accessibility.

We want all of these aspects to be touched and we want them to be touched at all levels of expertise.

The WordPress Community includes people all the way from developers who are accessibility professionals to business owners just now being exposed to the topic of website accessibility.

Everything that touches on the intersections between WordPress and Accessibility will be considered!

Visit our call for speakers!