Speakers

Meet our past speakers, and gain an insight into the informative talks that they have presented here at Accessibility Nottingham.

Come And Speak For Us!

Do you have an interesting experience regarding accessibility? Come and speak at our next event!

Speak For Us

Adrian Stokes

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Adrian ‘Ady’ Stokes. A long-time accessibility advocate with an audit and management systems background he is a great believer in community and helps the great community in Leeds by co-organising the Ministry of Testing Meetup.

Talks:

Accessibility Quiz

“What is wrong in terms of accessibility?”  Covering not only compliance to the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines but readability, usability and emotional accessibility too, you will be amazed how much can be packed into a one-page quiz! And how small things have a potentially big impact!  Don’t miss this opportunity to improve your knowledge in a relaxed and fun way. 

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Alex Hambley

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Alex is a Computer Science graduate from the University of Nottingham and is undertaking an internship at HeX Productions. He is the web developer for Accessibility Nottingham, and is a future Systems Software Engineering student at UCL. Having studied numerous Human-Computer Interaction topics, Alex has a lot of experience in accessibility; one of his recent projects being to produce a ‘smart’ ball designed to assist those undergoing physiotherapy. Alex has also worked on a robot aimed to assist children with autism in The Netherlands, and he has researched social media addiction, including the role of neurodiversity and mental health on levels of addiction.

Talks:

The Accessibility Nottingham Website (With Jonathon Hawkins)

HeX Productions interns Alex and Jonathon discuss the process involved when developing and designing the new Accessibility Nottingham website; including how they made it accessible.

Alex will be going into detail from a web development perspective, whilst Jonathon will be discussing from a digital marketer and content writer perspective.

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Ben Leach

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Ben is the Digital Marketing & PR Executive for HeX productions, partners of Accessibility Nottingham. With a specialist interest in social media marketing, blog posts and website content, Ben always stays up to date with the most effective techniques for boosting client engagement. A consequence of this, is that Ben knows the benefits that come with making a website’s content accessible, and the positive impact that it can have on a site’s engagement and SEO.

Talks:

Making Your Social Media Accessible

Ben will be talking you through how to make your social media accounts as accessible as they can be, including easy tips on how to implement subtitles on social videos, adding alt text to images, and emoji etiquette.

The Importance of Keeping Your Content Editors Trained

Ben runs through why it’s important for content editors to consider accessibility when uploading and editing content on a website.

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Emma Maraio

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Emma Maraio is a Psychologist with over 14 years of Learning and Development experience in the public, charity and corporate sectors. Her experience covers all aspects of learning and talent development from learning needs analysis through to design, delivery and evaluation. Emma has years of experience undertaking 1-to-1 coaching and group sessions, and is an engaging and experienced key note speaker

Talks:

My Superpower? Being Dyslexic

In this interactive talk Emma will be talking about the benefits and methods for engaging individuals with dyslexia, and how thinking ‘More dyslexic’ can make us all better at our jobs.

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Graham Rees-Evans

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Graham is the head of operations at Shaw Trust Disability Accessibility Services. With years of experiencing working alongside disabled and impaired tech users, he has an extensive understanding of how Shaw Trust works and the technicalities surrounding accessibility.

Talks:

What is Shaw Trust Accessibility Services? (With Julie Cable)

Julie and Graham from Shaw Trust go into detail about how their services work and what they do.

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James Hall

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James is the Creative Director of HeX productions, partners of Accessibility Nottingham. With over 15 years’ experience in web development and the public sector, James has an extensive understanding of the importance of Accessible websites, as well as the toolkit to be able to create them. James has had experience talking at previous prestigious accessibility events, including Accessibility London, and is excited to make a positive change for businesses around the Nottinghamshire area.

Talks:

Illustrating Our Accessible Website

James illustrates an example of an accessible website through the newly launched HeX Productions site. Providing an overview of the process involved when undergoing an accessible redevelopment: including the testing processes involved.

Dyslexia – What it Means to Me

10% of the population are dyslexic. And James’ family are no exception; he is one of three in his family living with dyslexia. James discusses what this means to him, and his experience of living with dyslexia.

A Little Accessibility Goes a Long Way

James Hall, Creative Director at HeX Productions talks about how implementing small accessibility changes can go a long way for those with disabilities online.

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Jonathon Hawkins

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Jon is a Philosophy student at the University of Nottingham. Currently undergoing a Digital Marketing Internship with HeX Productions. Jonathon was instrumental in the relaunch of Accessibility Nottingham. He helped HeX Productions manage the meetups marketing output and write content for this website. In his spare time, Jon is a content writer; with a specialist interest in SEO, his work has been published alongside New York Bestsellers, and on Huffington Post publications.

Talks:

The Accessibility Nottingham Website (With Alex Hambley)

HeX Productions interns Alex and Jonathon discuss the process involved when developing and designing the new Accessibility Nottingham website; including how they made it accessible.

Alex will be going into detail from a web development perspective, whilst Jonathon will be discussing from a digital marketer and content writer perspective.

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Julie Cable

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Julie is the head of operations at Shaw Trust Disability Services. She has an extensive understanding of Shaw Trust works and the technicalities surrounding accessibility.

Talks:

What is Shaw Trust Accessibility Services? (With Graham Rees-Evans)

Julie and Graham from Shaw Trust go into detail about how their services work and what they do.

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Krissie Barrick

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Krissie is the Head of Digital Influencing at Scope. She has a background in service design and is a strong advocate in the sector for collaboration and being customer-centred. In her previous role at Breast Cancer Care she led on the creation of the award-winning app "BECCA" which supports women after breast cancer treatment. She’s now running Scope's Big Hack, a programme which is working with the technology industry and disabled people to break down barriers disabled people face in society. Collaboratively driven and with the experience of disabled customers at its core, The Big Hack runs large-scale hackathons and shares knowledge around accessibility, inclusive design and inclusive workplaces to help businesses improve their customer offer.

Talks:

The Big Hack, and The Business Case for Accessibility

Krissie will introduce the Big Hack, Scope’s flagship Digital Influencing Programme which seeks to make the digital world more inclusive. As part of the Big Hack, Scope are developing a number of resources for businesses and product teams to support them in the roll-out of inclusive design as a culture and practice. This includes; the business case for inclusive design, a resource hub for inclusive design (for which we are seeking contributors), and a number of hackathons geared at breaking down barriers disabled people face. Krissie will chat through these tools, take any questions, and invite the room to share experiences, knowledge and suggestions for the Big Hack.

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Leena Haque

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Leena Haque is currently a Senior UX Designer at the @BBCUXD and also co-founder of the BBC’s award winning Neurodiversity initiative called @BBCCape (Creating A Positive Environment) which advocates innovative design solutions that understand, appreciate and accommodate our Neurodiversity. Leena also happens to be neurodivergent and is passionate about inclusion, raising awareness for Neurodiversity and promoting different thinking styles. She has developed diversity training workshops, produced creative short films including a 360 Virtual Reality film, and has written various blogs for different online publications. Her goal is to remove barriers and inspire the young, talented creatives of tomorrow so they can fulfil their aspirations regardless of disability or impairment.

Talks:

The Myth of a Normal Brain: Rewiring Conventional Thinking with Neurodiversity

Ever considered how hard it is to concentrate in classrooms or in meetings because the patterns on the walls are alive?

Why do the words in an email begin to dance and whirl the closer you get to a deadline?

What if you couldn’t find the words to properly explain why you do things differently to everyone else?

What if you preferred to explain things using pictures instead?

Neurodiversity promotes new perspectives and ways of thinking that spur more creative solutions and innovations. This talk offers the opportunity for people from diverse backgrounds to connect and learn about these differences in a unique way and understand that there is a huge amount of untapped potential being overlooked by society in general. Come and be part of a Neurodiverse mind and discover how differently wired brains interact with their environment and the world around us.

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Lucy Ruck

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Lucy joined Business Disability Forum in 2014. Since joining the organisation, she has been responsible for developing the resources available as part of the Technology Taskforce’s toolkit of information. This includes a large selection of Best Practice Guides and Case Studies, about how our Members and Partners have become more Disability Smart by using technology. In 2018 Lucy also took responsibility for the Customer Taskforce and the Northern England Network, bringing her expertise and energy to these groups. Lucy has previous experience of working within the private, public and 3rd sector organisations, predominantly within their ICT departments. Her background knowledge brings an excellent mix of technical understanding, with communication and customer service skills. Whilst working at a Local Authority, Lucy was also the Chair of the Staff Disability Network. In 2015 she supported Scope with their DDA 20 campaign and was involved in a short film that they made, marking the 20th anniversary of the Disability Discrimination Act. Lucy is a Lifetime member of the Limbless Association sits on their board of directors as a trustee.

Talks:

Why is Accessibility so Difficult, Shouldn’t it Just be Easier?

Lucy Ruck, Taskforce Manager at Business Disability Forum will provide you with a brief introduction to the work of Business Disability Forum and will go into a little more detail around the work of the Technology Taskforce, including their world-renowned Accessibility Maturity Model (AMM), and Accessible Technology Charter. She will also share with you where you can access this free information and many other useful resources.

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Luke Shaw

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Having worked closely with the likes of Toria Garbutt, Luke is a poet based in Mansfield. His performances and work cover a range of fields: from drug addiction, to mental health awareness and so much more. During our events, Luke’s performances have a focus on accessibility and disability.

Talks:

Poetry Performance

Luke will perform his poem, “Glass heads,” which has been written specifically for Accessibility Nottingham and has a focus on neurodiversity. He will also be performing some specially chosen poems with a relevance around inclusion and wider societal issues.

“Through Our own Future Eyes, Judge” and “That is That”

Luke performs two unique poems, “Through our own future eyes, judge” and “That is that.” both with a focus on inclusion.

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Nick Thorley

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Nick is known for his inspirational experiences he has undergone whilst living blind: including running the London Marathon. On top of providing inspiration for other’s experiencing a disability, Nick is also able to give us an invaluable insight into his experiences with digital technology.

Talks:

A Blind Ultra-Marathon Runner

Nick takes us through his inspirational journey as a blind ultra – marathon runner. Including how he got to where he is today, and the battles he faced while running the London Marathon blind.

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To be Revealed Soon

Richard Kish

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Having worked with Broxtowe Borough Council and their communication team, Richard was part of the team when the council became accredited by Shaw Trust Accessibility Services. As a result, he has an understanding about the technicalities and process involved when a website wishes to become accessible.

Talks:

How Broxtowe Borough Council Became Accredited by Shaw Trust

As a member of Browxtowe’s Communication team, Richard gave us an insight into how they became accredited by Shaw Trust Accessibility Services, how they received help, and how they became more accessible during the process.

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Sam Coulson

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Prior to working in the Assistive Technology industry, Sam worked as a professional Actor in radio, theatre, film and television. Some notable credits include Peaky Blinders, Silent Witness, Casualty, Emmerdale, Brief Encounters and Innocent. Earlier this year Sam decided to put his acting career on hold and pursue other areas of interest. The blind and low vision community has always been close to Sam and his family as his Grandad, Harry, lived with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) for almost 20 years. Sam felt that this career shift was an opportunity to support those who also live with the challenges that come with sight-loss. Sam is representing Sight and Sound Technology who are the UK and Ireland's leading provider of hardware and software to the blind, visually impaired and those with learning and reading difficulties.

Talks:

Supporting Independent Living Through Innovation

This talk and demonstration is being given by Sam Coulson, who represents Sight and Sound Technology, a company that specialises in developing assistive technology for those with disabilities. Sam will be taking us through the journey of his past experience and will talk about Sight and Sound Technology, and how they’ve become the centre of the UK’s assistive technology industry.

Sam will also be demonstrating innovative assistive technology, giving all of our attendees an insight into how it helps those with disabilities.

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Sean Gilroy

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Sean is the head of cognitive design at the BBC. He travels the country with BBC Cape, and focuses his attention and ambitions towards Neurodiversity: aiming to produce an inclusive work culture which respected neurological differences between people.

Talks:

BBC Cape

Sean talks you through neurodiversity: the fact it impacts 10% of the population, but only 1 in 10 employers consider it in their organisations. Sean will also talk through his involvement in BBC Cape and cognitive design to promote a positive environment.

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Sophie Kang

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Sophie grew up in Bournville, not far from Birmingham. Having had several Deaf friends growing up, she wanted to learn sign language, so whilst at college, studied my BSL Level 1 and further went on to do her degree in British Sign Language and Deaf Studies. Sophie joined Sign Solutions in August 2019 as Business Development Manager as the role used both her experience in previous sales roles as well as her degree. Sophie's focus is on increasing awareness and expanding Sign Solutions' customer base through the services on offer at Sign Solutions to help break down barriers for the Deaf community.

Talks:

Increasing Service Accessibility to the Deaf Community

Sophie will be talking about the work of Sign Solutions who are specialist providers of communication support for Deaf people across the UK. With more than 151,000 people in the UK preferring British Sign Language as their first language, Sign Solutions enable instant communication for Deaf customers via their 24/7/365 InterpretersLive! video interpreting service. Sophie will go into depth on how this helps businesses and the process.

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This Is the Sea

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This is the Sea, or Gaz, is an acoustic guitarist and singer/songwriter from Coventry.

Talks:

Entertainment + Mental Health Talk

Gaz from This is the Sea will be providing entertainment for the evening and playing a set for attendees. He will also be briefly talking about mental health, and how it’s OK to not be OK.

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University of Nottingham Sign Language Society

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The University of Nottingham Sign Language Society is a student-led group that teaches basic British Sign Language and Deaf awareness to students at UoN. They also fundraise for charities supporting the Deaf community and collaborate with local groups to teach BSL and increase Deaf awareness. The society aims to bring people who are passionate about learning sign language together and help make the city of Nottingham a more accessible and deaf-friendly place.

Talks:

Importance of Sign Language and Sign Language Workshop

In this engaging workshop and talk, the President and the Vice President of the University of Nottingham Sign Language Society will be taking us through their journey with Sign Language, spreading awareness of Sign Language and taking us through some British Sign Language signs that we’ll all find useful.

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Zara Gemmell

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Zara is the Accessibility Director of HeX productions, partners of Accessibility Nottingham. Having started out as a web developer, Zara has a broad and specialist understanding of the importance of online accessibility, and the impact that it can make on someone’s day to day life. She also has built up a strong toolkit of skills and techniques, which she excited to share as a means to improve online accessibility.

Talks:

Trailblazer for Accessibility Apprenticeships

Zara discusses how she became a trailblazer for a new accessibility apprenticeship, Chaired by Global Head of Accessibility at Atos, along with other accessibility concerned businesses and organisations.

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