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Nicolas Steenhout

Nicolas Steenhout
Independent Accessibility Consultant, Part of a Whole

Website | @vavroom

For more than 20 years, Nicolas Steenhout has been addressing inclusivity head-on as a web accessibility expert. As a developer in the mid-’90s, Nic was approached by colleagues, clients, and friends with web-based issues that weren’t yet part of the public consciousness: Images weren’t being properly announced to people who are blind; video-only tutorials didn’t account for people who are deaf; overengineered web pages made it impossible for those with ADHD to engage. Nic quickly realized that amid a major technological revolution, a significant part of the digital landscape was being neglected. In 1996, he took on a federally funded position in the US disability sector. The world of nonprofits allowed him to work closely with people with a wide variety of impairments and gave him an even greater understanding of the web’s shortcomings. At the same time, the experience introduced him to new assistive technologies—technologies that were breaking barriers for people with disabilities. Over the next two decades, Nic has continued his work for both the nonprofit and private sectors. He has held several executive positions and currently provides his services as an independent consultant to businesses and government agencies that seek Nic’s expertise in strategic planning and training. All over North America, Europe, and Australasia, he’s engaged with thousands of individuals with disabilities. These interactions have fueled his passion for storytelling. A public speaker, avid blogger, and podcaster, Nic provides real-world insight into everyday accessibility issues and explores everything from disability awareness and security to how JavaScript can be used to better the web for all. He’ll even share the occasional anecdote about his service dog.

Sessions

Nicolas Steenhout (Part of a Whole)
Average rating: ***..
(3.50, 6 ratings)
Did you hear about the double arm amputee who was refused service at a bank because he could not provide a thumbprint? Or the online petition to increase services for blind folks, that they couldn’t sign because of CAPTCHA? These are examples of security practices that cause barriers to people with disabilities. Security can create barriers, but it doesn’t have to reduce accessibility! Read more.