Making your content accessible is not a requirement, it is an opportunity.
When a BBC journalist is left on an aircraft in his wheelchair with no assistance to deplane it makes front page news. Every time an inaccessible piece of digital content is provided to people with sight or reading impairments the same sense of helplessness and exclusion applies.
Digital accessibility is a key component and requirement of any digital inclusion strategy. Domestic and international laws (Section 508 in the USA, PSBAR in the UK and the imminent European Disability Act), and the rising importance of ESG assessment at C-suite level have pushed accessibility to the forefront of content publishers’ and owners’ priorities.
The Making Your Content Accessible panel will discuss what digital accessibility is and how to do it. The panel brings together experts who will pool their knowledge and perspectives in a conversation about the evolving legal and standards landscape, the technological challenges and tools, the opportunities in and value of making content accessible, and the first-hand experience of living with visual impairment and navigating a world in which content is not always accessible.
Business Development Director
Mark is the Business Development Director for the UK and Europe at codemantra U.S. LLC. He has worked in publishing for over 30 years and has been involved in and led digital solutions since the 1990s, when he launched and managed Random House’s digital initiatives, including the company’s first eBook programme. Additionally, he has produced digital strategies and solutions for a number of publishers and provided publishing insights to global brands, and the consultancy and investor community.
At codemantra Mark is responsible for managing the company’s UK and European account base and developing new business opportunities and markets outside of publishing – principally in the public sector for accessibility. Since 2019 he has collaborated with UK’s and EU’s accessibility advocates and experts (the Publishers’ Association’s Accessibility Action Group, L’Association Valentin Hauy, the EU’s Web Accessibility Initiative, the Croatian Association for the Blind and Information Ministry) to understand the challenges and requirements of making truly accessible content. codemantra is a member of the World Wide Web Consortium’s accessibility advisory group and provide digital accessibility software and service solutions across the public and commercial sector.
When teaching in an FE college more than 30 years ago, Richard encountered his first blind student, beginning a career in what we now refer to as accessibility. Richard is now Chief Executive of the DAISY Consortium, the global organization whose mission is to develop standards and solutions for accessible publishing and reading. He is a founding member of the Publishers Association Accessibility Action Group, is Vice Chair of the international Accessible Books Consortium (an initiative of the UN agency WIPO) and is a trustee of the charity Warwickshire Vision Support. He volunteers in his community providing home visiting support for people with disabilities.
Accessibility Officer, UCL &
A former law librarian and qualified teacher, he has a passion for inclusive design that has led him into researching and implementing approaches to inclusive information and technology provision for education. He has experience of working with all UK education sectors (primary, secondary, further, and higher education) and many years’ experience of working to improve both the physical and digital accessibility of education organisations.
In 2015 he initiated the OPERA (Opportunity, Productivity, Engagement, Reducing barriers, Achievement) project. This project reconsidered approaches to learning and teaching, digital systems and assistive technologies and catalysed a shift towards anticipatory reasonable adjustments and inclusive practice by design. This work has been hugely influential and was recognised in 2018 with Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Support for Students.
Ben is also one of the founding chairs of the Further and Higher Education Digital Accessibility Working Group (FHEDAWG) which has worked directly with the Government Digital Service to develop guidance for the Higher and Further Education sectors to best meet obligations under the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018.
Director of Assistive Technology
Steve Tyler currently serves as the Director of Assistive Technology and Transformation at Leonard Cheshire, a pan-disability organisation that delivers services to people with disabilities; it's agenda can be summarised as: enabling people to live, learn and work in the manner they choose.
Steve focusses on delivering service and technology transformations that deliver access to products, goods, services and the environment. He centres on creating developments and proposals that bring about sustainable accessibility solutions. He has led on such innovations as the voice of Alexa and the amazon range of products, TV access for all (with speech technologies built in to everyday devices), systems to make cash dispensers and payment solutions work for people with disabilities, transport service access, Braille on pharmaceutical packages across Europe, access to Ebooks for people with reading challenges, and mobile phone accessibility solutions.
He engaged in the earliest delivery of web accessibility guidelines, led delivery of new consultancies in the field of web delivered content and services and was one of the representatives in the early planning aroundebooks.
He supports such entities as Microsoft, Google and Apple to deliver on accessibility, operates globally through UN and similar organisations, and advocates for legal, regulatory and cultural change.