I’m Drowning in Resumes! Finding and Hooking the right A11y fish



  • Naveesha Maharaj, Accessiblity Consultant/SME, TMS
  • Heidi Kelly-Gibson, Program Manager, Deque

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 1-hr
  • Format: Lecture
  • Expertise Level: Beginner
  • Type of session: General Conference


Don’t drown in a pile of resumes that belong in Davey Jones’ locker! Let us cast you a line and help you determine if you hooked the right experienced A11y fish to build your team. We’ll explore the different roles related to accessibility and how they can work to benefit your organizational needs. Then get ready for a deeper dive to determine the qualifications to look for in candidates, what questions to ask in an interview, and how to respond if you’re the one applying!


Recognizing the need for an A11y expert or even an A11y team within your organization is just the beginning of an organization’s journey. Understanding the importance of Digital Accessibility being built into your organization’s process will help you determine the type of role(s) you need to fill in order to have a successful accessibility support team. We are excited to bring to you this presentation in which we will address the multiple steps within the hiring process and look at them from a recruiting, hiring manager, and even applicant’s standpoint. Recruiters will learn: • How to develop job descriptions for the appropriate roles needed in your organization • How to identify the key aspects to help you discover exactly what you need out of overflowing applicants • How to find that skilled person in as little time as possible Hiring Managers will understand: • Things to consider before you interview that skilled person • Tips for an efficient and effective interview • Gaining the know-how for maintaining the A11y role(s) within your organization’s new process • Interview is only half the battle if you as the interviewer are not prepared with the right tools to make your candidate feel reassured and confident in the role they are applying for Applicants will know: • How to present your skills to beat out the competition • What skills you need to develop to be a lead candidate With this informative session, you will leave with the knowledge of what you need in order to obtain that Subject matter Expert you were after, who you need and how many you may need, You’ll also better understand what is needed as an interested applicant so that you have the right skills to showcase on your application and in your interview. Join this session to be well on your way to incorporating and producing a more accessible workspace!


  1. Where to include accessibility
  2. Who should be involved in the accessibility process
  3. How to obtain the right skillset and what you should be looking for

Disability Areas

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Legal, Other, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Naveesha Maharaj

Naveesha is currently the Accessibility Manager for the The Market Store, but still consults for The Carrol Center for the Blind, Ogilvy, and Brightworks on web, mobile and PDF accessibility, ensuring clients are producing not only compliant content but usable to as well . Previously she worked as a Senior Accessibility consultant at Deque, Web Accessibility Analyst at TD and as an Accessibility Systems Testing/QA Specialist at the Ministry of Community and Social Services Children, Youth and Social Services I&IT Cluster testing internal and external sites against WCAG 2.1 standards. Technical writing, presentations and assistance in remediation were also part of her daily activities. She was an active member of the Accessibility Consulting team at CNIB focusing on internal and external AODA and WCAG 2.0 Compliance. Since 1999 she has also worked in the Pharmaceutical, Financial and Corporate Retail industries where her responsibilities have ranged from, Technical Team lead, Merchandise Business Associate to E-Business Specialist. Naveesha graduated from both University and College as a Computer Programmer/ Technical Administration receiving Leadership, Best Speaker and Communication Awards thus; enabling her to bring forward the knowledge and expertise to CNIB in order to organize Accessibility training, Seminars as well as providing continuous support. In her current role as an Accessibility Consultant, Naveesha provides accessibility audits for clients, Usability assessments, Document conversion and promotes accessibility awareness & services to organizations within Ontario while assisting anyone in need of accessibility information ensuring compliance with the current Section 508 of the U.S. Rehab Act, WCAG 2.0, W3C and AODA standards. These duties compliment her interests of volunteering for fundraising events and helping others in need either internationally or in local organizations.

Heidi Kelly-Gibson

Heidi made an entry into working in the accessibility field by joining Deque in 2018. As a mom, wife and daughter, accessibility has touched her family in many ways over her lifetime. This includes dyslexia, ADHD, autism, macular degenerate, depression, anxiety and like many, by having aging parents. Heidi has two decades of experience in project and program management across many industries such as financial, healthcare, ecommerce, security, and payroll. She is certified as a Project Management Professional and holds the Certified Accessibility Core Competencies certification. Heidi co-wrote Deque's "Change Management in Accessibility" which is a 5-part blog series. Most recently she is focused on her customer's accessibility journeys and supporting them through the development and execution of their accessibility programs. Heidi is seldom without her faithful furry companions: her beloved English Bulldog, Louie, and her sweet Labradoodle Rottweiler Mix, Luna.