Born from Twitter Web Accessibility London unconference (a11yLDN) is a follow-on from Accessibility Boston unconference, individuals from London and UK have come together to contribute to the event. Led by Makayla Lewis, the group includes: Jim O’Donnell, Alison Smith, Graham Armfield, Raj Arjan, Angela Kounkou, Doria Pilling, Janet Stollery and Helena Sustar, and has been further supported by Kath Moonan, Antonia Hyde and Léonie Watson.
Makayla Lewis is a PhD student in HCI at City University London Centre for HCI Design. She is funded by EPRSC to research online social network experiences and challenges from a perspective of end users with motor impairments esp. cerebral palsy. Her passion for her research is due to a personal connection to disability. As a primary carer for a parent with cerebral palsy, a volunteer at ULO’s directed at young adults with disabilities and a British Sign Language learner, she believes that the web (esp. online communication) should be available for all. Twitter: @maccymacx | Blog: http://www.makaylalewis.wordpress.com
Graham Armfield is a freelance web developer and accessibility consultant. He believes that the web should be for everyone and has many years experience in building accessible websites for large corporates and small businesses.
Alison Smith is a freelance arts professional and artist within the arts and creative industries. Her specialist background is in delivering Disability Arts projects and community engagement. Founder and Director of Pesky People a campaign to challenge and tackle digital discrimination of Disability and Deaf people online via social medium. Recipient of Unltd4iP Level 1 Award (April 2010), Inspiring Voices Award (March 2010), shortlisted for SMK Foundation Award – Consumer Action (July 2010). Website: http://www.peskypeople.co.uk/ | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Doria Pilling is a researcher at the Centre for Disability and Social Inclusion, City University London. In recent years one of Doria’s main research focuses has been on the barriers to Internet access for disabled people and how to overcome these. She led a pioneering study on disabled people’s own experiences of Internet use funded and published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (http://www.jrf.org.uk/sites/files/jrf/1859351867.pdf). She also carried out a study with a colleague in the United States on how initiatives can encourage non-users to use the Internet (http://www.businessofgovernment.org/report/bridging-digital-divide-hard-reach-groups).
Raj Arjan is the Interaction Lab manager at City University and heads up the commercial consulting which ranges from usability evaluations, to full-scale user testing, often including assessment of the accessibility of web interfaces and applications for disabled users. Twitter: @rajarjan
Janet Stollery is the Calvert Trust London and South East Co-ordinator, Vice Chair of a small local charity dealing with access issues for people with disabilities, and represents local disabled and elderly people on the Coulsdon Neighbourhood Partnership.
Helena Sustar is a PhD student in HCI at City University London Centre for HCI Design. She is currently finishing her PhD in engaging older people as equal partners in the creative design process of digital devices. She is also member of the Interdisciplinary Centre for Creativity in Professional Practice and is interested in various creative approaches and working with different groups of people. Website: http://creativity.city.ac.uk/partner_profiles.html | Twitter: @helenasustar
Angela Kounkou is a researcher at City University’s Centre for HCI Design, and a freelance User Experience designer. Her interest in accessibility stems from a desire to help bridge the divide she observes in people’s access to technology – be it because of age, disability, or literacy and computer skills.
Jim O’Donnell has been a web developer at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and National Maritime Museum for 12 years. He is interested in the web as a tool for learning and communication, and passionate about building web sites that are accessible for all.
The ‘A Team’ would like to thank Lex Quiambao and Zoe Kumaramangalam from Action Disability Youth Project for there brilliant work on the Web Accessibility London logo and website background. Lex and Zoe are graphic artists with motor and cognitive disabilities. They were asked to visually illustrate their view of the web and the independence it gives them.
Last but by no means least, the ‘A Team’ would like thank our volunteers: Janet Stollery, Andrew Black, Katherine Moonan, Antonia Hyde, Graham Armfield, Rik Williams and Crispin Read for their brilliant support and hard work on the day.