The talks we have lined up for the #a11yTO Camp 2023.


Design System, how to scale accessibility in your digital product

​Practical tips on how you and your company can embark on the universe of what it means to be an accessible digital company in a scalable and sustainable way. So, let's talk a little about how to create or make a design system accessible!

Maria Julia Carneiro dos Santos (Maju Santos)

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I've been a product designer since 2009. I love to translate complex problems and products into simple solutions, reaching different users in an accessible and inclusive experience. I'm focused on experience design and have an MBA in Business Process with the goal of scaling up design solutions at a corporate level and better integrating them across all areas of the company.

I've been working in the financial industry for almost my whole career, building digital products for several companies, such as: Santander, Itaú Unibanco, XP Investimentos, CSU and Relay Financial, and also having experience with different financial products, like debit or credit cards, investments, credit / loan, checking and savings accounts, spend management, business accounts, and others.

I'm also deeply involved in themes related to inclusion and accessibility, especially in the digital environment. In 2021, I built and led a team that developed these topics inside XP Inc and, for that, I received an award called "Women that Transform". I also do free mentoring and keynotes in order to expand the community's knowledge and to create a good impact on future products, services and next generations of product designers.

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Accessible Labels and Names

​This talk will explore the various permutations of creating an accessible name for HTML elements. Examples will show the workings of ARIA , along with the impact of CSS and common problems that can occur. We’ll dive into the accessibility tree to discover how they are exposed by browsers and by assistive technologies.

Peter Grucza

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Peter is an accessibility project lead. He spends his time reviewing code, developing standards and creating accessible content with teams of developers, designers and partners.

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An Audio Description Ghost Story: An exploration of description-rich storytelling

What happens when Audio and Visual Description is delivered through good old-fashioned storytelling? Can Description writing techniques be applied to the visuals of... anything?! Does Universal Design elevate storytelling, too? How does this relate to my ALT texts and online content? Get inspired to take your Description outside of the box in this description-rich storytelling session.

JJ Hunt

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JJ Hunt is a Describer and Storyteller who has been crafting description-rich content for over twenty years. He has written and narrated Audio Description for film, television, and digital media; Visual Description for museums and galleries; and Verbal Description for live events and guided tours. His descriptions of the visual world can be heard weekly in the innovative, award-winning podcast Talk Description to Me.

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Cultural bias in design - How to work with different cultures

Toronto is considered one of the most diverse populous cities in the world, where 52% of the city's population identify as visible minorities and under half of Torontonians are immigrants. As Canada continues to welcome more immigrants into the country, our workforce is becoming more diverse of people from different backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. But it also comes with challenges and misunderstandings when interacting with people that have different experiences from us and this is mostly due to the fact everyone thinks differently and culture is one of the reasons that shape our thinking and self-identity.

This talk will discuss some common cultural biases in the workforce, why some cultures will think and act differently compared to others, and the importance of DEI initiatives like Employee Resource Groups can create a more inclusive culture in learning that will help in working cohesively in a product team.

Lori Chai

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Hi, I'm Lori! I'm a UX Designer at a consulting company called Avanade and have been working there for 2 years. I have experience designing in the financial services and non-profit sector where I focus on digital products & services, customer experiences, and design thinking methods. I am a career switcher, so before jumping into UX Design, I worked in Japan's tourism and recruitment industries for 4 years. My working abroad experience has made me passionate about learning about different cultures and striving for an inclusive workforce by bringing different backgrounds together.

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Dear PMs, Accessibility is your responsibility too

When thinking about accessibility, the common thinking is that we need to “shift left”. As PMs, we hold the power to control the process and approach of when and how things are done. In this talk, we’ll explore how we can use that power for good by embedding accessibility into timelines, processes, and rituals, empowering your teams to build better products.

Mackenzie Dysrt

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I'm a Sr Product Manager at Connected with more than 10 years of experience in project and product management. I'm also an expert in residence for was first introduced to accessibility when working at Scotiabank and supporting their public facing websites. I then moved on to work at Ecentricarrts/Reason One where my knowledge and passion for inclusion began. I've now brought that knowledge with me to Connected (now a part of Thoughtworks).

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Designing for the end-user: The importance of user centric design and how to engage users in the design process

​Makers Making Change (MMC) is a program within the Neil Squire Society, a Canadian non-profit organization. We design and curate open source, affordable assistive technology (AT). It is imperative to include the end-user throughout the design process to ensure AT meets their needs, as the end-user is an expert of their own needs. The presentation will start with an introduction to MMC, then move onto the importance of user centric design. We will end by discussing strategies to effectively engage with end-users throughout the design process.

Stephan Dobri

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Stephan has always been interested in using engineering to help improve the lives of other people. The desire to help others lead him to complete his Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering with the Building and Designing Assistive Technology (BDAT) Lab at Queen’s University, where he learned more about universal and user-centred design, and assistive devices. Through the BDAT Lab and subsequent teaching at Queen’s, Stephan learned about MMC and he jumped at the opportunity to join the team as Outreach and Engineering Intern. Stephan is excited to help grow the MMC community in Ontario, create new devices, and improve existing designs. When he’s not working you can find Stephan enjoying the outdoors by hiking, climbing, and canoeing, or trying out new recipes in the kitchen.

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