ACCESS 2024 Hub


Tuesday, April 30th

10:30-11:30 am ET

Positioning Accessibility at the Heart of the Enterprise

Neil Milliken, Global Head of Accessibility for Atos, kicks off the 2024 ACCESS program by examining the strategic imperative of centralizing accessibility within organizations. Drawing from his experience, Neil delves into how accessibility serves as a catalyst for innovation and a cornerstone of organizational culture. He offers a fresh perspective on how businesses can transcend mere compliance and strategically embed accessibility into their fundamental operations.

Explore transformative strategies that redefine accessibility’s role, uncovering its potential to propel innovation, nurture collaboration, and serve as a driving force for sustained prosperity. The session will address critical topics such as the strategic necessity of accessibility, the pivotal role of leadership in fostering cultural shifts, and tactics to dismantle organizational silos. Neil’s wealth of expertise illuminates the discussion with practical examples showcasing the profound impact of strategically positioning accessibility within enterprises.

Presented By:

Neil Milliken, Global Head of Accessibility & Digital Inclusion at Atos

11:40-12:40 pm ET

Advocating for #DeafSafeAI Regulations

Join us for an engaging workshop on the pivotal role of the Deaf community in shaping Automated Interpreting by Artificial Intelligence (AIxAI) technology. Our session will focus on key insights from the #DeafSafeAI report, underscoring how collective Deaf experiences uniquely position us to lead in developing policies for AI interpreting use.

Learn about our exploration into sociotechnical systems and why Deaf leadership is crucial in crafting guidelines for AI interpreting. We’ll delve into significant findings from two influential reports aimed at the Interpreting SAFE-AI Task Force, highlighting real-world user experiences and industry perspectives on ethical AI in interpreting.

Discover the Task Force’s journey and its dedication to advocating for comprehensive policies that ensure the fair and responsible integration of AI interpreting across all languages and settings, reflecting our progress since August 2023.

Presented By:

AnnMarie Killian, CEO, TDI

Tim Riker, Senior Lecturer in American Sign Language, Brown University

Jeff Shaul, Co-founder, GoSign.AI

Star Grieser, CEO, Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID)

Grassroots Strategies for Building Buy-In for Digital Access

Building buy-in for digital access can be really difficult when executive-level support is lacking. That does not, however, absolve us from trying to move our institutions toward being more accessible and inclusive. This session will focus on some of the successes and failures that Mason’s ATI has experienced while trying to grow our accessibility community.

Presented By:

Korey Singleton, Deputy ADA Coordinator for Accessibility and ATI Manager, George Mason University

The State of Automatic Speech Recognition

What is the current state of speech technology? Is automatic speech recognition (ASR) sufficient for closed captioning or live captioning? Do we still need humans to achieve accuracy standards for accessibility?

Speech recognition is widely used to streamline the process of creating closed captions, audio descriptions, and other media accessibility accommodations. This session will discuss the findings from a 2024 research study of leading ASR engines to understand how speech AI measures up to the task of captioning and transcription without the intervention of a human editor. 

This is the only report of its kind focused on the application of speech recognition technology for captioning vs. for other technologies.

Presented By:

Elisa Lewis, Senior Brand Manager, 3Play Media

Tessa Kettelberger, Senior Data Scientist, 3Play Media

1:00-1:45 pm ET

Breaking Down Attitudinal Barriers in the Workplace

In this session, Alice Pan, Project Management Coordinator for the Disability Foundation, will explore the complex landscape of attitudinal barriers faced by individuals with disabilities in the workplace.

Drawing from the Disability Foundation’s comprehensive study, Alice will uncover prevalent misconceptions, biases, and stereotypes that hinder the employment prospects of young job-seekers with disabilities. Through insightful analysis and compelling anecdotes, attendees will gain a deeper understanding of the societal attitudes that perpetuate exclusionary practices. Additionally, Alice will engage participants in a dialogue about potential strategies for overcoming these barriers and fostering a more inclusive work environment.

This session offers a unique opportunity to explore the nuances of disability inclusion and challenge conventional thinking around workforce diversity.

Presented By:

Alice Pan, Project Management Coordinator, The Disability Foundation

How ‘Quiet Accessibilising’ is Disrupting a ‘Diversish’ Industry

Workplace learning has a huge part to play in ensuring organisational accessibility, but it is very often overlooked. In this session Susi Miller explores how practitioners taking direct action to make their digital learning content accessible have the power to challenge outdated misconceptions about disability and accessibility. She will also share some actionable takeaways that have proved effective in helping practitioners get started with making their digital content accessible and inclusive.

Presented By:

Susi Miller, Founder and Director, eLabHub 

The Speech Accessibility Project: Diversifying Speech Recognition

Join us for a transformative session presented by the leaders driving UIUC’s (University of Illinois Urbana- Champaign) Speech Accessibility Project. Explore how diverse data is revolutionizing AI’s ability to understand varied speech patterns. Gain insights into the crucial role of inclusive datasets in training machine learning models for more accurate and inclusive speech recognition.

Presented By:

Meg Dickinson, Executive Director of Communications, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology

Mark Hasegawa-Johnson, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois

Clarion Mendes, Clinical Assistant Professor – Speech and Hearing Science, University of Illinois

2:00-2:45 pm ET

Dance Performance & Movement with Infinite Flow

Enjoy a break in programming with a virtual performance by Infinite Flow Dance. After the performance, we will be led in an accessible movement exercise.

Presented By:

Marisa Hamamoto, Founder of Infinite Flow Dance

3:00-4:00 pm ET

Access in Focus: Privacy, Security, and Ethical AI

Join our panel of industry leaders as they unravel the complex intersection of accessibility, data privacy, security, and responsible AI. In this dynamic dialogue, we confront the profound questions shaping the future of technology with accessibility as our guiding compass. 
Be part of a session that not only dissects challenges but underscores responsibility as the pulse of innovation, driving a narrative where technology seamlessly intertwines with inclusivity, security, and ethical responsibility. Join us for a session that explores the challenges while also highlighting the pivotal role of accessibility in shaping a technology landscape that is secure, ethically grounded, and fundamentally inclusive.

Presented By:

Susan Mazrui, Director of Global Public Policy at AT&T

Joe Devon, Co-Founder Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Kate Kacevich, Head of Accessibility Innovation at Fable

John Slocum, SVP of Product at 3Play Media

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Wednesday, May 1st


10:30-11:30 am ET

The Power of Authentic Disability Representation

Today, diversity, equity, and inclusion have transcended buzzwords to become integral components of successful business strategies. Yet, within this landscape, the significance of authentic disability representation remains underappreciated and overlooked. Join us as we delve into the compelling discussion with CEO of the Valuable500, Katy Talikowska, as to why authentic disability representation is not merely a moral imperative but a strategic business necessity.

Presented By:

Katy Talikowska, CEO of the Valuable 500

11:40-12:40 pm ET

The Accessible Brand & Accessible Customer

Join Gayemarie Brown, Consulting Practice Lead at Perkins Access, as she delves into the accessibility-driven strategies behind brand and customer experience. Discover market-leading examples and insights on integrating accessibility for competitive advantage.

Presented By:

Gayemarie Brown, Consulting Practice Lead, Perkins Access

Holistic Accessibility Management and the Banyan Tree

We’re at a stage of digital growth where we need new ways to scale accessibility beyond the current efforts of passionate advocates and software builders. No, I am not suggesting overlays or AI automation. Rather, I advocate for accessibility to be viewed as a leadership imperative, where organizations make it a part of their business strategy and operations. I’d like to present a seven-point framework that addresses the education sector but could well be adapted to suit any business. Using the metaphor of a banyan tree, which grows not so much up but out into its environment, reaching and including its surroundings, I will drive home how adopting a holistic accessibility management framework can help organizations include everyone.

Presented By:

Sambhavi Chandrashekar, Global Accessibility Lead, D2L

Enhancing Accessibility for Deaf People through Augmented Reality

Imagine the everyday lives of deaf people who struggle to keep up with conversations, or feel lost without communication access.   Then imagine how Augmented Reality (AR) can revolutionize accessibility for the deaf community with this session by Brenden Gilbert!  Discover how AR glasses can provide real-time sign language interpretation during lectures or translate conversations on the fly. Learn about immersive learning environments and accessible navigation systems that are breaking down communication barriers. Join Brenden Gilbert for an inspiring presentation and discussion.  Leave with actionable ideas for how AR can empower deaf people to better included in today’s world.

Presented By:

Brenden Gilbert, Technology Leader and Accessibility Advocate

1-1:45 pm ET

Innovations in Media Accessibility: Navigating the Evolving Landscape

Join Josh Miller and Chris Antunes, founders of 3Play Media, for an in-depth exploration of the evolving landscape of media accessibility technology. In this session, we’ll examine the current state of technology in media accessibility, highlighting both its successes and failures. From AI-driven captioning and audio description to innovative cost management and scaling strategies, we’ll delve into how technology is shaping the accessibility of multimedia content today and its potential impact in the future.

Presented By:

Josh Miller, Co-founder & Co-CEO, 3Play Media

Chris Antunes, Co-founder & Co-CEO, 3Play Media

Inclusive Communication – Reaching a Deaf and Diverse Audience

Learn how to communicate inclusively and effectively engage with diverse communities, including the Deaf and hard-of-hearing populations. Discover actionable strategies for leveraging accessible formats, crafting culturally sensitive content, and fostering meaningful connections. Join us to elevate your communication skills and create inclusive environments where everyone feels valued and heard.

Presented By:

Carly Anderson, Director of Operations, Deaf Services Unlimited (DSU)

Brenna Thompson, Director of Business Development, Deaf Services Unlimited (DSU)

Mapping the Disability Tech Market

Together, people with disabilities and their allies control $13 trillion worth of disposable income, yet the market remains fragmented. The Howe Innovation Center at Perkins School for the Blind has identified over 700 companies designing and building products specifically for people with disabilities. Executive Director Sandy Lacey will share their industry market map as well as an overall vision for disability tech innovation ecosystem.

Presented By:

Sandy Lacey, Executive Director, Howe Innovation Center

2:00-2:45 pm ET

Poetry Performance by JJJJJerome Ellis

Enjoy a break in programing with a poetry performance by JJJJJerome Ellis. JJJJJerome (any pronoun) is a disabled Grenadian-Jamaican-American animal, artist, and person who stutters.

Presented By:

JJJJJerome Ellis

3:00-4:00 pm ET

Interview and Performance by Ryan Haddad

This session will not be recorded! Be sure to join us live.

Join us for a special interview with acclaimed writer and performer, Ryan Haddad. Throughout the interview, Ryan will perform segments from Dark Disabled Stories and Hi, Are You Single?.

Performance By:

Ryan Haddad

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