On December 1st, 2017, I participated in a virtual panel on how people with brain injuries utilize the web.
I am honored to be part of a panel of world wide experts.
These are the three things I found most interesting about this experience.
- David Fazio and I are both leaders who have suffered traumatic brain injury (TBI). David is CEO of Helix Opportunity, Inc. and incredibly successful, even after having endured a TBI as a teen. He figured out how to work around his deficits. He’s got a lot to teach me!
- Neither David nor I identify as having a disability, even though we both are indeed disabled.
- Other experts on the panel, a person with autism, persons with blindness, and persons with other conditions, articulated many commonalities with David and me, even though we had very different disabilities.
Many thanks to Deque and particularly Laura Goslin who moderated the panel.
Here is Laura’s summary and a link to the virtual panel. Enjoy!
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.