Virtual Panel: How Persons with Disabilities Use the Web

To commemorate International Persons with Disabilities Day, our panelists discussed how they use the web as a person with a disability.

Summary

This webinar was intended to create awareness around web accessibility, or how persons with disabilities use the web. This webinar is a great introduction for people who are new to accessibility but want to learn more. Our panelists went over the various scenarios they encounter while using the internet. Millions of people have disabilities that affect their use of the web. Currently, most websites and software have accessibility barriers that make it difficult or impossible for many people with disabilities to use the web. 

The theme for this year's International Persons With Disabilities Day (IDPD) was "Transformation towards sustainable and resilient society for all." In the era of digitalization, technology provides a means to such innovation. It is essential that the Web be accessible in order to provide equal access and equal opportunity to people with disabilities. Too often, adaptation and dissemination to technological innovations widen the gap towards equal access for persons with disabilities. 

Panelists:

  • Anne Forrest, Ph.D., has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading patient advocates for people with traumatic brain injury. She lives with persistent symptoms from a mild TBI that she received during a June 1997 car accident and continues to recover.
  • David Fazio is the founder and president of Helix Opportunity, a business and organizational development consulting firm that facilitates inclusion the $8 trillion consumers with disabilities demographic in commerce. David survived a softball sized hemorrhagic stroke, from a brain aneurysm on August 2, 1996. He has been active in many disability organizations and initiatives ever since.
  • Jamie Knight is a Senior Accessibility Specialist at BBC. Jamie enjoys mountain biking and is never seen far from his plush sidekick, Lion. Jamie's areas of expertise include accessibility, JavaScript, HTML, CSS and Autism.
  • Tim Harshbarger is an Accessibility Consultant at State Farm Insurance Companies. Tim has been visually impaired since a young age, he is very passionate about accessibility and believes it should be a part of the web development process.
  • Jeanine Lineback is a Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque. The crossroad between people and technology is Jeanine's passion, she is highly involved in the community and is visually impaired.
  • Sandeep Tirumangalam is an Accessibility Consultant at Deque. Sandeep has been working in the field of accessibility since 2013 and is a person with low vision.
  • Birkir Gunnarsson is a senior UX and Digital Accessibility Expert at BB&T. Birkir was born and raised in Iceland, attended Yale University, and has been blind since the age of 5.

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""About Deque

Deque Systems is a web accessibility software and services company. Our quality, accuracy, and thoroughness have earned us a trusted reputation with government agencies, educational institutions, small and mid-sized businesses, and Fortune 500 companies.