Conference Schedule & Program

Time Programs

Registration and breakfast


Introduction and keynotes

Keynote speaker: Commissioner Carmelyn Malalis

Carmelyn Malalis, Chair and Commissioner of the New York City Commission on Human Rights, will open the day by speaking to her experience as a lawyer and advocate with a fierce commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion, preventing discrimination and bias and enforcing anti-discrimination laws.

Keynote speaker: John Kirkwood

Online accessibility expert and pioneer John Kirkwood will explore some of the questions that guide his work, in particular: what do we gain when we broaden diversity and access to include people with disabilities? He will speak to how we can harness the power of neurodiversity and cognitive science to build a better, more inclusive online experience for all of us.


Sessions 1A and 1B

1A. Creating Accessible Media Content

Presenters: Jon Novick and Sharon Winberg

Best practices and tools for creating accessible images, videos, complex images, infographics, color contrast, PDFs, and presentations. Include discussion on alt-text, audio descriptions and captioning tools, etc.

1B. Reaching a Multilingual Audience

Presenters: Laura Godfrey and Kenneth Lo

One in four New Yorkers has limited English proficiency. Explore best practices for supporting language access to your digital content.


Lunch and networking


Sessions 2A and 2B

2A. Case Study: Inclusion and Accessibility throughout the Product Lifecycle

Presenters: Ashley Cortez, Hilina Mohammed, Song Hia, Devon Hirth, Kim Peng

Learn how NYC Opportunity integrated issues of inclusion and accessibility while planning, designing, developing, and evaluating ACCESS NYC, an online public screening tool for determining eligibility for City, State, and Federal health and human service benefit programs.

2B. Build Your Accessibility Evaluation Toolkit

Presenter: Thomas Logan

Learn which tools to use to test and evaluate your digital products and content. Explore a set of accessibility evaluation tools for different use cases, e.g. plain language (Hemingway App), color contrast (Color Contrast Checker), general accessibility audit tools (Chrome Accessibility Audit, aXe, and WAVE)—including when and how to use each.


Session 3A and agency showcase

3A. Using Accessible Program Design to Meaningfully Engage Older Adults with Technology

Presenter: Alex Glazebrook

Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) provides an overview on the importance of digital accessibility for older adults and accessibility options and devices. The presentation focuses on the importance of providing accessibility options that do not further marginalize older adults, but improve users’ experiences, as well as the intersectionality considerations across diverse cultures of older adults in NYC.

Agency Showcase

In a communal area, agencies showcase projects that successfully navigated issues of inclusion and accessibility. Attendees are invited to peruse the showcase and speak directly with project team representatives to learn more. Agencies will include the Department of Transportation, the Human Resources Administration, the Taxi & Limousine Commission, the Department of Information Technology & Telecommunications, the Office of Emergency Management, the Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Affairs, and the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity.


Plenary: Closing Panel

Moderated by Chi Nguyen, a community organizer and Digital Design Lead at the Mayor’s Office of the CTO, the closing panel will bring a group of City employees together on stage to discuss the weight carried by words and visuals in digital experiences. As City employees, we are in a position to construct and affirm narratives about the New Yorkers we serve. How do we acknowledge this power, build it into our work, and do justice to the complexity of different experiences, cultures, and communities? Panelists will explore the impact of specific words and visual tropes, why they’re a particular concern for government work, and the importance of a “nothing about us without us” mindset.

Walei Sabry, Digital Accessibility Coordinator at Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities
Quiessence Phillips, Deputy CISO, Threat Management at City of New York
Kate Bernyk, Communications Advisor to the First Lady of New York City
Priya Nair, LGBTQ Liaison at New York City Council Speaker’s Office