Building a Stronger Accessibility Community in Europe (EU) and the United Kingdom (UK)

Created on November 12, 2023 at 10:26 am

Building a Stronger Accessibility Community ORG in Europe LOC ( EU ORG ) and the United Kingdom GPE ( UK GPE )

The best way to help someone in need is to extend a hand. You don’t get into the ditch with them. Sometimes, as an accessibility practitioner, the best way to help your organization is to brainstorm with other practitioners to strengthen the entire community. Learn from their mistakes. Capitalize on their successes.

AbilityNet ORG and Deque ORG recently partnered up to provide a confidential and open environment where UK GPE and EU ORG practitioners could gather together to learn each others’ successes—and avoid their missteps. To leverage “lessons learned” to fast track programs while not reinventing the wheel.

Recently, two CARDINAL small cohorts of digital accessibility thought leaders were brought together as an opportunity to meet their colleagues to discuss the present landscape and future of accessibility. These passionate professionals met to share information about their efforts in the accessibility community and collective experiences. They represented different industries such as finance, retail and key sectors such as government agencies. All have a vested interest in an accessible digital future.

Day 1 DATE attendees meeting in front of Google ORG ’s London Office ORG entrance: left-to-right: Mark Walker PERSON AbilityNet ORG , Heather Hepburn PERSON SkyScanner ORG , Matthew Johnston PERSON Thoughtworks ORG , Steve Harris PERSON Deque PERSON , Lee Crooks PERSON KPMG ORG , Preety Kumar PERSON Deque ORG , Arnaud Ramgoolam PERSON KPMG ORG , Bryn Anderson PERSON Sainsbury ORG ’s, Ron Beenen PERSON Deque PERSON , David Musson PERSON LSEG ORG , Adi Latif PERSON AbilityNet ORG , Ronise Nepomuceno PERSON BT ORG , and Matthew Luken PERSON Deque PERSON .

“Everyone in attendance is part of the ‘choir.’ We don’t need to preach about the importance of digital accessibility to you as you are already living the challenges and successes of your own program”, said Mark Walker PERSON , AbilityNet ORG ’s Head of Marketing and Portfolio ORG , at the inaugural session held in London GPE

this past June DATE . “What you need to be able to do is to ask openly if anyone else has encountered a similar challenge as your own and what they did about it. This is a session for you – the choir.”

The two CARDINAL cohorts spent the morning TIME in round table discussions led by Mr. Walker PERSON and Ms. Kumar PERSON . Teams went on a tour of Google ORG ’s Accessibility Discover Centre ORG led by Christopher Patnoe PERSON in the afternoon TIME .

“Through the act of sharing our experiences, we gain a deeper understanding of the problems and challenges each of us is facing…but most importantly, we can offer help through ideas and collaboration. By sharing what worked and what didn’t work, we build on each others’ success or save ourselves time by not attempting something that has already failed somewhere else.” offered Preety Kumar PERSON , CEO Deque PERSON , in her opening remarks.

Day 2 DATE attendees meeting in front of Google ORG ’s London Office ORG entrance: left-to-right: Zoe Portlock PERSON Hargreaves Lansdown PERSON , Ron Beenen PERSON Deque PERSON , John Carter PERSON KPMG ORG , Neil Eustice PERSON KMPG PERSON , Becky Brindley PERSON Natwest ORG , Eyal Yovel PERSON Sauce Labs ORG

, Dónal Rice PERSON National Disability Authority ORG Ireland, Brian Grellermann PERSON Aviva GPE , Mark Rossiter PERSON AXA ORG , Steve Harris PERSON Deque PERSON , Chris Bush PERSON Nexer Digital PERSON , Martin Rafferty PERSON -Deloitte, and Karl Goldstraw PERSON – Hargreaves Lansdown PERSON .

From the attendees:

“Celebrate the small successes”, said Becks Brindley PERSON , Digital Accessibility ORG lead from NatWest ORG after day 1 DATE . “It’s progress over perfection.” Listen to day 1 highlights:

After Day 2 DATE , Heather Hepburn PERSON , Accessibility Lead from Skyscanner ORG said: “Once you’ve trained once, it’s not over. You have to keep sharing knowledge and keep on talking about it all the time.” Listen to day 2 highlights:

This community building initiative will grow with the next session to be held in London GPE on October 17th and DATE 18th with a larger and more diverse group of attendees. In addition to more round table discussions, the attendees will discuss metrics and measurements.

The insights gathered from these events will be used to help plan meaningful breakout sessions for Techshare Pro ORG to be held online and in-person in London GPE

November 14–15 DATE , 2023 DATE and Deque ORG ’s axe-con 2024 DATE , a free virtual conference, to be held February 20–22, 2024 DATE .

For more information, reach out to Ron Beenen PERSON , Deque Director PERSON of Business Development Europe ORG .

*Video and photography by Eric van Nieuwland PERSON .

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