Keynote Speaker: Nic Steenhout
A developer in the mid-’90s, Nicolas Steenhout was approached by clients facing issues not yet part of the public consciousness. On the emerging web, accessibility hurdles were keeping people with disabilities from engaging with a technological revolution.
Confronted by this gap within the digital landscape, Nic began championing web accessibility. He transitioned into the non-profit sector where he collaborated with people with a wide variety of impairments and was introduced to new assistive technologies.
Twenty-five years on, Nic continues his accessibility work as an independent consultant for both the private and non-profit sectors. Having worked on three continents, he’s engaged with thousands of individuals with disabilities. Blogger, podcaster, public speaker, Nic offers real-world insight into everyday accessibility issues.
Chad Chelius is a trainer, author, consultant, speaker and VP of Training for AbleDocs. He resides in the Philadelphia area and has been using Adobe products for over 25 years. He began his career in the design and publishing industry. As an Adobe Certified Instructor, Accessible Document Specialist, and consultant he teaches and advises on all Adobe print and web products, specializing in InDesign and InCopy workflows, Illustrator, automation, and PDF accessibility using InDesign, Word, and Adobe Acrobat. He works with clients both large and small in and outside of the United States, helping them to solve design, workflow, and accessibility challenges using Adobe products. Chad is a Lynda.com / LinkedIn Learning author and you can connect with him on LinkedIn or Twitter.
Gerard K. Cohen
Over the last 25 years, Gerard K. Cohen has spent much of his life sitting in front of some kind of digital display. Whether it was as an Enterprise-class Systems Engineer, developing motion detection and digital video surveillance systems, or apps to distribute 3D medical animations, he has been eternally waiting on some kind of “Please wait…” indicator. Now, Gerard loves front end engineering so much that he is on a mission to make sure that the web is inclusive to all users, making rich internet experiences available for all. He believes a great user experience includes performance and accessibility.
During the day, Gerard is the Engineering Manager of the Accessibility Experience Team at Twitter. When he is not sleeping or drinking Zombies at tiki bars, he helps raise awareness by speaking at Front End and Accessibility conferences around the country. He is also the author of “Meeting Web Accessibility Guidelines,” “Introduction to Developing Custom Components with ARIA,” and “Accessibility: Testing and Screen Reader Use” on Pluralsight.
Jess is a disabled designer with an ethical approach. Her espresso-fueled craft is combined with an underlying passion for disabled spaces, which has led her to specialize in accessibility and representation for everyone. Based in Canada, she collaborates to empower communities and has had the privilege of working alongside incredible groups across the globe.
Kaitlyn is a UX researcher who runs dedicated research at Fable connecting people with disabilities to organizations to make meaningful and empathetic change.
Lucy is an accessibility evangelist that has been working in the field for over 30 years. Lucy is passionate about helping people understand the needs of people with disabilities and is herself blind. Lucy works for the University of California and leads their many accessibility initiatives.
Shell Little (She/Her) is a Speaker, Accessibility Specialist, & Inclusive Design leader. She has a BA in UX, with a focus in Accessibility, and is passionate about disability rights and game accessibility. Outside the office, Shell is a cat parent, hobbyist streamer, and overall Neurodivergent dork.
Stephy is 2 parts designer, 2 parts developer, 3 parts perfectionist, and 1 part impatient mother. She’s a founding board member of the Presentation Guild board of directors, is a design engineer by day, runs her own business by night, barely plays guitar, and loves glitter. Once, she drove through a tire fire on a golf cart at work when she was a chemist. Now, she enjoys making typically mundane experiences a lot more fun — like sitting through an 80-slide benefits presentation, dealing with that really crappy website, or reading this bio.
Stephy Hogan is an accessible design expert who has been working in the design field for more than 20 years. She is an accessible design advocate at IBM, has created the Accessible Design Lab channel on YouTube, and is a frequent podcast guest and keynote speaker — including at the Creative Pro Network and Presentation Summit.
As an ADHDer herself, her experience as a neurodiverse designer has driven her passion and purpose to get more people interested and involved in accessible design initiatives.