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Sept 02, 2022

Making the Shift to Accessible Design Practices

About this video


As legislation comes into effect and more companies are seeing the value of making their communications accessible to all, designers are having to navigate what that means for their in-house team and their processes. Through presentations from industry professionals, we will look at how design teams are making the necessary changes for digital accessibility.

Applying an accessibility lens to your team's design process by Michael J Young RGD

Michael focuses on how to apply accessibility and usability best practices to every step in your design process. By planning for accessibility early and throughout the entirety of each project, your team will meet requirements, avoid delays, and save costs by doing more in-house. Key takeaways will include how to perform an accessibility audit of your current design process as well as steps to consider for common design tasks and processes.

About Michael J Young RGD
Michael is a Toronto-based designer working at the Government of Ontario. With 15 years of experience in the design industry, he helps public and private sector organizations create attractive designs that are AODA compliant and user-friendly. Since graduating from OCAD with a bachelor of design, Michael has worked at small agencies, as a freelancer, and as an in-house designer. For the past ten years he has been with the Government of Ontario where he now works at Cabinet Office, developing and overseeing branding and marketing campaigns for the province in a small but mighty team of creatives. He is a certified Accessible Document Specialist with the IAAP.

Web accessibility: Adopting the accessibility-first mindset by Natalya Chilina

Not a long ago, accessibility issues of web applications were addressed at the end of the entire development cycle, if not after the delivery date. The reality is that if we wait until the end of the process to add accessibility to our digital products, it can be too late. If we don't adopt an accessibility-first mindset, we can end up in a situation when we have to re-design some basic functionality of the components which can result in a significant increase in the development time. The goal is to catch web accessibility problems as early as possible at the design stage. To be able to do this we have to have a clear understanding of what web accessibility is and how different users (including users with disabilities) interact with web content. We will learn about different types of disabilities and how people with these disabilities interact with web content (for example using a screen reader or keyboard only), and what we as designers can do to create a positive web experience for everyone.

About Natalya Chilina
Natalya is a Digital Accessibility Specialist at Scotiabank. An MS in Mathematics and a developer by background, Natalya has web designing and front-end development skills in addition to having a deep understanding and knowledge of Digital Accessibility. She has experience in contributing to the creation of design systems and building of component libraries from a Digital Accessibility standpoint. In her spare time, Natalya is a jewel-crafter and enjoys painting with different media. Her love of nature and the outdoors takes her to Algonquin where she often camps and canoes with her family.

Navigating accessibility implementations in the corporate world by Sabrina Young RGD

Getting stakeholders and employees to understand what making something accessible truly means can be challenging. Providing the true value and costs of accessibility can be vital for gaining traction and getting everyone on board. Having them view it not only as yet another regulatory requirement, but ultimately as doing what right for their end customers. Learn some of the approaches from a design perspective that have been successful during their implementation process over the last few years at Canada Life within the Individual Customer, Creative Services team. Hear some of the ways they have grown to expand on their digital document accessibility best practices and how they are moving to implement them on a larger scale. Find out more about the design team's documentation processes and how they utilize them to optimize efficiencies in the creation of their marketing collateral.

About Sabrina Young RGD
For just shy of a decade Sabrina has worked at The Canada Life Assurance Company. Currently, she is the Associate Manager of Graphic Design, leading several large initiatives on a Creative Services team composed of Graphic Designers, Production Coordinators, Document Form Designers and Multimedia Video broadcasting professionals. Starting back in 2018, Sabrina worked on creating and implementing new accessibility standards and best practices within her team. She developed a comprehensive best practices guide to aid fellow designers. It featured brand colour variations, quick reference WCAG optimized colour combinations for all their major brands as well as a base checklist of attributes to include in each file, with thorough how-to's sections. More recently, working amongst a team of fellow designers, Sabrina has been an integral part of an internal Design Accessibility Task Force, responsible for updating the accessibility documentation available. She is also part of a larger corporate accessibility group for Customer Experience and Marketing, influencing the overall strategic approach to accessible collateral. They are responsible for creating documentation and implementing accessibility requirements and processes for marketing materials produced for the Individual Customer side of the business.Sabrina is also a CertifiedRGD member.

Moderated by About Kathleen Scott RGD