ACCESS 2023 Agenda


Thursday, April 27th

10:30-11:30am ET

ESG and Disability: The Intersection of Strategy and Disability Inclusion

As the focus on Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) continues to grow, it is increasingly important to consider the role that disability inclusion plays in achieving ESG goals. This keynote session will explore the intersection of ESG and disability inclusion, examining the ways in which disability inclusion can be integrated into corporate strategy and ESG frameworks. 

Caroline Casey, Founder of the Valuable 500, will share insights and best practices on how companies can prioritize disability inclusion in their ESG efforts. Attendees will hear real-world examples of how companies are successfully integrating disability into their ESG strategies, and the positive impact that this is having on business performance, brand reputation, and societal outcomes.

Whether you specialize in corporate social responsibility, are an accessibility leader, or just starting to explore the connection between ESG and disability, this session will provide valuable insights and practical guidance for advancing disability inclusion within your organization. Join us for a thought-provoking discussion on the intersection of ESG and disability, and learn how to align your corporate strategy with your values and mission.

Presented By:

Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500

11:45-12:45pm ET

Am I Doing This Right? Imposter Syndrome and Accessibility Maturity

Session canceled due to unforeseen circumstances.

We hope to host this session at a future date and time. We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience. 

You did the week long accessibility training and completed some projects. You felt full of energy and passion to keep improving, only to find a big valley of mystery. What is after a11y bootcamp and “a11y 101” articles but before working in accessibility powerhouse teams? What paths to more responsibility exist for accessibility savvy Engineering/Product/Design professionals? Soren will speak from their experience as a founding member of accessibility practices and accessibility program manager and share strategies for tackling complex problems and dealing with challenges you likely face in a growing practice. We’ll also talk about the path to holistic and sustainable accessibility across organizations and common pitfalls to avoid.

Presented By:

Soren Hamby, Head of UX at Benjamin Moore & Co.

Disability Inclusion for Leadership

Many leaders think disability inclusion is complicated or expensive, but it’s simpler than you think. Join disabled public speaker, DEI consultant, content creator, and LinkedIn Top Voice in Disability Advocacy Catarina Rivera, MSEd, MPH, CPACC for a dynamic and informative presentation on disability inclusion for leaders.

Managers and leaders will learn the benefits of inclusion, why disability inclusion is so important, as well as key best practices for inclusion. Managers and leaders will also learn how to respond appropriately and supportively to disability disclosure. Catarina will share actionable practices that you can implement right away in your workforce!

Presented By:

Catarina Rivera, Public Speaker & DEI Consultant

The Future of Video Accessibility: What’s Next With the CVTA?

The Communications and Video Technology Accessibility Act (CVTA) is a proposed law aimed to ensure that all individuals have equal access to mainstream communication products and services.

This session will provide an overview of the proposed CVTA legislation, including its objectives and provisions. The session will also address the impact of the legislation and the role that businesses and organizations play in ensuring that the new bill can be implemented effectively.

Presented By:

Zainab Alkebsi, Co-Chair of the CVTA Coalition, Policy Council at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD)

Blake Reid, Co-Author of the CVTA, Director of the Sumuelson-Glushko Technology Law & Policy Clinic at Colorado Law 

Karen Peltz Strauss, Co-Author of the CVTA, Telecommunications Expert and Consultant to Communications Services for the Deaf 

Clark Rachfal, Co-Chair of the CVTA Coalition, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs at the American Council of the Blind

1:00-1:45pm ET

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 2023 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. The study tested 549 files across nine industries, testing approximately 107 hours of content with a total of over 900,000 words.  

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

Presented By:

Lily Bond, SVP of Marketing at 3Play Media

Tessa Kettelberger, Senior Data Scientist at 3Play Media

Accessibility as a Gateway to Creativity

In today’s increasingly digital world, accessibility is no longer an afterthought – it’s a critical component of successful design. But far from being a limitation, designing for accessibility can actually be a powerful tool for unlocking creativity and driving innovation. 

In this session, we will explore how accessibility can serve as a gateway to creativity and lead to better, more impactful creative work. We’ll discuss how the inclusion of accessibility features can not only make advertising more inclusive but also lead to more innovative and effective campaigns. We’ll hear from Josh Loebner, an expert in accessible marketing, who will share real-world examples of how inclusive design has helped them solve problems, connect with audiences, and push boundaries. Attendees will come away from this session with a deeper understanding of the importance of accessibility in marketing, as well as practical strategies for incorporating accessibility into their own campaigns.

Presented By:

Josh Loebner, Global Head of Inclusive Design at Wunderman Thompson

Complex Identities: The Intersection of Disability

People with disabilities have diverse experiences and identities that intersect with other aspects of their lives, such as race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, socio-economic status, and more. Disability is not a single identity, but rather a complex and multi-dimensional one that is influenced by many factors. 

Throughout this session, we will explore the intersectionality of disability and how it affects the experiences of people with disabilities. We will discuss the unique challenges faced by people with disabilities from different backgrounds and how to create inclusive environments that take into account the complexity of their identities to ensure their needs are met. During this session, we will primarily focus on the intersection of disability with race, culture, gender, and experience.

Presented By:

Ella Callow, Director of the Office of Disability Access & Compliance at the University of California, Berkeley

2:00-2:45pm ET

Adaptive Yoga Class

Enjoy a break in programing with an accessible and inclusive yoga class that caters to any mobility level – empowering everyBODY to experience the benefits of yoga.

All ages and abilities welcome.

Presented By:

Adaptive Yoga Live

3:00-4:00pm ET

Why Every Company Needs to Think and Act Like a Media Company

In today’s digital age, video is an essential medium for companies to communicate and break through the clutter. To create engaging video content and effective marketing campaigns, companies have to think and act like a media company. This means ensuring your content is easily consumable, accessible and inclusive for all audiences — including people with restrictions, disabilities or impairments — to guarantee your content reaches and engages a broader audience globally. In this session, we will explore what it means to operate as a media company by owning your own channels and ensuring your content is accessible to a diverse audience.

Presented By:

Theo Hildyard, VP of Global Demand Generation at Brightcove

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Friday, April 28th


10:30-11:30am ET

Accessibility in the Current Economic Environment

Our economic landscape is constantly being shaped by various factors such as automation, globalization, and inequality. Within this landscape, accessibility is becoming increasingly important for businesses and organizations to ensure they are providing equal opportunities and experiences to all of their customers and employees. 

In addition, the current economic environment has brought about new challenges for businesses, including the need for cost-saving measures and increased pressure for revenue generation. In the midst of these challenges, it is crucial to continue to prioritize accessibility, not only for ethical and legal reasons, but also for the potential benefits it can bring to the bottom line. 

When the economy is poor, however, companies are faced with the challenge of balancing accessibility considerations with economic realities. In this session, corporate leaders in accessibility will explore practical tools and techniques for ensuring accessibility remains a priority. Panelists will also shed light on lessons learned in their careers and provide attendees with a deeper understanding of the importance of accessibility in today’s business environment and tips for staying competitive in a rapidly changing market.

Presented By:

Claudia Gordon, Senior Accessibility Strategy Partner at T-Mobile

Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion at Google

Kathy Martinez, Vice President of Global Disability Inclusion at Expedia Group

Charlotte Dales, Co-Founder and Co-CEO at Inclusively

11:45-12:45pm ET

Product Innovation is on the Edge

As Product Professionals we are told our job is to create products that either solve user problems or take advantage of opportunities. The challenge is that, during this time, this seems hard to find as new product innovations are being released every day. Are we running out of problems or opportunities? No, we have simply only been looking at the problem/opportunity from our usual viewpoint of the average user. What if we looked at it from a different lens? What if we look at people who always struggle with problems based on their environments not accommodating their unique needs? I argue, this is the gold mine of opportunity for creating innovative products. Solving the mismatches of people with disabilities will lead into innovations for your users and customers of all abilities! We will discuss the real-world examples of this, how to do it, and future market demand. We will all be disabled one day.

Presented By:

Solomon Romney, Accessibility Program Manager for the Inclusive Tech Lab at Microsoft

Inclusive Game Development: Building Accessible Games from the Inside Out

Accessibility is a key consideration in game development, but often it’s the player-facing elements that receive the most attention. In this session, panelists will shift the focus to the non-player facing side of gaming accessibility, exploring how game developers can make their studios, teams, and processes more inclusive.

The panelists will discuss their experiences and best practices for creating an accessible workplace, including training and support for employees with disabilities. They’ll also share insights into how to incorporate accessibility considerations into the game development process, from ideation to design, development, and testing.

In addition, the panel will explore resources and strategies for individuals looking to learn game development skills, including accessible training and educational opportunities. Attendees will leave with a better understanding of how to prioritize accessibility in game development, and how to build a more inclusive and equitable industry for everyone.

Presented By:

Coty Craven, Captioning Producer at Epic Games and Founder of Can I Play That?

Améliane Chiasson, Accessibility Lead at Eidos

James Berg, Senior Technical Program Manager at Xbox

The Role of AI in Digital Accessibility

Digital accessibility is critical for ensuring that people with disabilities can access and use digital content and services. However, achieving full accessibility can be a significant challenge, especially for organizations with large and complex digital infrastructures. Artificial Intelligence (AI) has the potential to transform digital accessibility by automating the process of identifying and addressing accessibility barriers. But can AI achieve full accessibility without human intervention? This session will feature a panel of accessibility experts who will explore the current state of AI and discuss AI’s future role in digital accessibility.

Presented By:

Roger Zimmerman, Chief of Research and Development at 3Play Media

Samuel Proulx, Accessibility Evangelist at Fable

Christopher Land, Senior Accessibility Technical Program Manager at Oracle

1-1:45pm ET

Complexities of Live Captioning

Join to experts in live captioning in a discussion of the complexities of live captioning.

Presented By:

Josh Summers, Senior Manager, Training, Development and Technology at 3Play Media Canada

Derek Throldahl, Director of Realtime Services at 3Play Media Canada

Challenges of Using Technology for Individuals with Chronic Mental Health Conditions

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected the mental health of many people worldwide. Depressive symptoms and anxiety disorders have increased by 28% and 25%, respectively. The rapid digital transformation has offered both opportunities and risks for mental health. Albert Kim will share his insights on using digital technologies as a person with chronic mental health conditions and the challenges he faces. He will discuss how digital products and services need to be made with mental health awareness and accessibility in mind. How can we design technologies that support and empower everyone, especially those with chronic mental health conditions?

Presented By:

Albert Kim, Lead Consultant for Accessibility & Inclusive Design Title at AK Digital Accessibility Consulting

Empowering Voices: The Role of Disability in Shaping the Pop Culture Narrative

The media has the power to shape our perceptions and understanding of the world around us, including our understanding of disability. However, too often, the media fails to accurately represent the experiences of people with disabilities.

Panelists will share their perspectives on how disability representation in media can empower voices and challenge harmful stereotypes and the importance of disabled creatives in reshaping the media industry. They will also examine the ways in which media can be used as a tool for advocacy and change. Finally, this session will explore the impact of media representation on society’s understanding of disability and examine the ways in which people with disabilities influence and shape the narrative of popular culture. 

Presented By:

Kiah Amara, Founder of IndieVISIBLE

Cashmere Jasmine, Writer and Director

Adriano Araújo dos Reis Botega, VFX Artist, Technical Director, and Motion Designer

Nasreen Alkhateeb, Emmy Award-Winning Cinematographer

2:00-2:45pm ET

Collaborators in Accessibility: “Ask Me Anything” with Jeff Wissel

Join us for a collaborative discussion on accessibility in an “Ask Me Anything” session with Jeff Wissel, the Chief Accessibility Officer for Disability:IN. You will have the opportunity to ask Jeff about his professional experience, his thoughts on current trends and challenges in accessibility, and his recommendations for organizational best practices.

Jeff has years of experience working with leaders and teams across industries to improve accessibility. Come ready to ask questions in an environment where it is safe to share accessibility opportunities and challenges you’ve faced at your organization.

Presented By:

Jeff Wissel, Chief Accessibility Officer at Disability:IN

3:00-4:00pm ET

Digital Accessibility is the Next Trend in Tech

Tech is entering a new era. Gen Z, with an average attention span of 8 seconds, is entering the workforce. DEI is critical to company culture. ESG is key for investors. A post-pandemic society is consuming more digital content than ever. 

Future-minded tech will embrace what’s at the intersection of these trends: digital accessibility. 

Most people think of digital access as a legal requirement. In actuality, it’s the lens through which we improve products, experiences, and brand affinity. Like physical access, such as curb cuts, many digital access tools, like captions, began as accommodations. But they are now universal. 

Bringing together general council and accessibility leaders, this session will look at the shift from compliance to leveraging digital access at every tech company.

Presented By:

Frances West, Founder of FrancesWest&Co

Ted Drake, Global Accessibility and Inclusive Design Leader at Intuit

Derek Featherstone, VP of Accessibility and Inclusive Design at Salesforce

4:00-5:00pm ET

Comedians with Disabilities Act

The Comedians with Disabilities Act is a fabulous collection of comedians who have disabilities, both seen and unseen, and bring forth the humor they find in their experiences.


Nina G.

Steve Danner

Mean Dave

Michael Beers

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A printable version of the agenda can be viewed here.

See you April 27-28!



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