About the speakers
- Robin Christopherson, Host
- Mark Boulton
- Lucy Dodd
- Bim Egan
- Steve Faulkner
- Greg Fields
- Julian Harty
- Lisa Herrod
- Christian Heilmann
- Veronika Jermolina
- Kath Moonan, Conference Organiser
- Damon Rose
- Saqib Shaikh
- Henny Swan
- Léonie Watson
Robin Christopherson, Conference host
After a degree in Engineering at Cambridge and working as an IT instructor for the Royal National Institute for the Blind (RNIB), Robin was a founding member of AbilityNet in 1998. Robin now manages AbilityNet’s Accessibility services.
Despite being blind, Robin uses a computer very effectively by relying on speech output to access the full range of mainstream software including email and the internet. He has a first-hand appreciation of the importance of good web design practice and accessibility.
Mark Boulton is a graphic designer from the UK. He’s worked in Sydney, London and Manchester as an Art Director for clients such as the BBC, T-Mobile, British Airways, and Toyota. Mark now runs his own design studio, Mark Boulton Design. A stickler for applied typographic and design theory, Mark is an active member of the International Society of Typographic Designers and writes a design journal at markboulton.co.uk.
Follow Mark on Twitter: @markboulton
Lucy Dodd is an Accessibility and Usability Specialist at the BBC, working to ensure the accessibility of its public-facing Web, Mobile and Interactive TV products and services. Some of the high profile projects that Lucy has worked on over the past three years include the iPlayer, BBC Homepage, the international homepage offering (bbc.com ), BBC Mobile Homepage, News, Weather, and the TV support website Merlin.
Lucy co-wrote and has worked hard to embed the BBC’s Accessibility Standards & Guidlines within the business-as-usual working processes of the BBC Future Media and Technology division. Last years she became the Chair of the Accessibility Working Group to ensure that the Standards & Guildines evolve with changes in the IT industry.
Lucy’s core interest and passion is user research. She is a strong believer in speaking to the user throughout the product development cycle and regularly invites disabled users into the BBC to evaluate the usability of websites. She is keen to establish this as best practice across the BBC’s User Experience and Design teams.
Bim joined RNIB’s Web Access team at the beginning of 2005. She leads on training courses , as well as assessing and advising on the accessibility of client sites. She also contributes some of the most contentious blog posts on the WAC blog.
Prior to this, she’d been working with computers since 1981 to help control and manage her own business, and started using access technology in 1990.
As a (very) mature student in 1999, Bim ‘discovered’ web accessibility the hard way, by trying to use the web to supplement other accessible study materials during her degree IT course. It was incredibly frustrating to be unable to access information, despite having a computer running a full suite of access technology. So frustrating that she changed the focus of her studies from training to web accessibility.
While still studying, in 2000, Bim started work as a web author for Salford University School of Construction, and developed an online information resource for environmentally friendly planning and building practices for the construction industry.
After gaining a BSc in IT, Bim was lucky enough to join the BBC as a web producer in 2001. Unable to keep quiet about the need for functional accessibility, she was co-opted as an advisor to the BBC’s web accessibility workshop.
In her spare time she’s an avid reader of crime fiction, and developing web sites for small charities that can’t afford to pay for web design.
As someone who is reliant on screen reader output to use a PC, she brings a wealth of personal knowledge and experience of using assistive technology to the team, in addition to a range of technical skills.
Steve is the Senior Web Accessibility Consultant and Technical Director, TPG Europe, based in London. He joined The Paciello Group in 2006 and was previously a Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at Vision Australia.
He is also the Director of The Web Accessibility Tools Consortium (WAT-C) . He is the creator and lead developer of the Web Accessibility Toolbar (WAT) accessibility testing tool. And co-developer of the Color Contrast Analyser (CCA), he has worked with many individuals and organisations around the world to provide translated versions of the WAT-C web accessibility testing tools.
Steve is also a member of several groups, including the Web Standards Group and the W3C HTML 5 Working Group.
Greg is the Accessibility Product Manager at RIM and responsible for ensuring BlackBerry smartphones are accessible and usable by customers with disabilities.
While his interests include mobile phone accessibility in general, much of his interest and focus in recent years has been on improving smartphone platform accessibility, increasing the awareness of the needs of persons with disabilities on mobile within developer communities, and providing new smartphone solutions for customers with visual impairments.
Julian has been at Google for more than 3 years, as a Senior Test Engineer on Mobile applications, and more recently as the test lead for AdSense. Julian is developing practical tests and techniques to help improve the accessibility of web applications, and promotes the eyes-free Android open-source projects. One of Julian’s goals is to help make computers adapt and enable people to use them, rather than the other way around.
Over the years Julian has presented at a wide range of conferences and workshops on software testing, and written papers and articles on similar topics. Most recently Julian has written a book on Mobile Wireless Test Automation, draft versions of the material is freely available online at sites.google.com/site/mobilewirelesstestautomation/ . The book will be published by www.morganclaypool.com
Julian has had a diverse past, including as a plc company director, and a RAF apprenticeship in Avionics. My main academic degree is in Computer Science.
Lisa is the Principal User Experience consultant at Scenario Seven with over ten years of hands-on experience on the web. She has a background in standards focused design and development and the last 6 years of her work has centred on design research, usability, accessibility and user experience strategy. Lisa believes in an inclusive, holistic approach to user experience design that permeates every layer of a site and every role on a team.
Her clients range from small, non-profit organisations through to large multinationals such as Macquarie Bank and Microsoft.
Lisa is an experienced lecturer and conference presenter. She has written on the user experience for Sitepoint, A List Apart and for anyone who stumbles upon her at Scenariogirl.com.
Christian Heilmann has been developing for the web for over ten years in several agencies, .coms and at enterprise level development. He developed large web sites like McDonalds, HP and Visit Britain before working on Yahoo’s properties in the US, India and the UK. He has written several books and countless articles on web development, Ajax and Accessibility and blogs at http://wait-till-i.com.
Veronika’s employment with AbilityNet started with a research-based internship into accessibility of mobile devices undertaken as a part of her MSc in Business Systems Analysis and Design at City University London. Veronika has solid technical skills acquired while doing her BSc in Computing at Leeds University and later working as a technical consultant in the telecommunications industry. Being keen on mobile technologjes, Veronika believes that everyone has the right to benefit from the efficiencies that they bring about, pioneering this vision within the organisation.
After finishing the internship Veronika worked as a research assistant at the centre for HCI Design, City University, taking part in the teaching of the Inclusive Design module and working in a team of academics towards deliveries for a JISC project on innovative learning spaces. In her spare time Veronika has been working on disseminating findings of her MSc dissertation through podcasts, conferences, and possible journal publications.
Currently, Veronika is building on her academic knowledge of Human Computer Interaction and user-centred design techniques through projects involving usability and diverse user testing.
Kath Moonan is Senior Accessibility and Usability Consultant at AbilityNet. Kath is the Accessibility 2.0 conference organiser and leads the user testing services at AbilityNet. Kath is passionate about using information architecture and graphic design to enhance accessibility.
Damon Rose is Senior Content Producer on the BBC’s disability website Ouch! He is passionate about people, people power and technology. He setup blindkiss.com to enable blind people to talk to each other in a way they hadn’t done before and, when the opportunity came along, did a similar thing for the wider disability community at the BBC in 2002. He has previously been a radio producer and reporter, a local radio DJ, BBC TV producer/director and a performance poet. Damon lives with his girlfriend and baby son in Ipswich and spends the long commutes surfing the web on his ‘talking mobile’.
Saqib Shaikh is a software developer at Microsoft, where he has recently joined the Bing.com search engine team. He spent his first 3.5 years at Microsoft working as a developer consultant, creating a variety of solutions for customers ranging from large enterprises and government organisations, through to proof of concepts for small startups.
Saqib is passionate about making software which everyone can use, regardless of ability/disability, and advocates universal design as a standard part of the development process rather than scrambling to meet accessibility requirements at the last minute.
Opera Web Evangelist
Henny has focused on accessibility and usability since the late 90′s when she started out working for a Chinese search engine and her own start-up in China. From there she worked as Senior Web Accessibility Consultant at RNIB in the UK consulting with Government, corporate and retail websites.
Henny’s interest is in where accessibility overlaps with mobile web design. She has a “built in” rather than “bolt on” approach to user access across websites, browsers and platforms. Working at Opera she also focuses on emerging standards such as HTML 5, SVG and CSS3 and how these can support built in accessibility across all platforms and
Léonie is Director of Accessibility at Nomensa, where she is responsible for accessibility research and development. Since joining Nomensa in 2003, she has worked with clients including the United Nations, BSkyB, Head & Shoulders and lastminute.com.
Léonie is also a director of the British Computer Association of the Blind (BCAB). Amongst many other projects, she represents BCAB on the committee developing BS8878 – the first British standard for web accessibility.
In any spare moments, Léonie explores the way screen readers behave with existing and emerging technologies. Current areas of interest include screen reader interactions with ARIA, AJAX and HTML5.