Struggles and Successes: Trying, Failing and Winning in the Accessibility Field



  • Peter Shikli, CEO, Access2online Inc.

Session Details

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


This is an unvarnished case study of the launching and growth of an accessibility services company within a state prison. Anyone considering such an adventure should learn at least from their mistakes.


In February 2017, Peter Shikli launched Access2online to provide accessibility auditing of websites because he knew how to design websites. What little he knew about accessibility was almost completely wrong. What else made this challenging is that he launched Access2online inside Oregon's state prison for women where unmonitored internet access is forbidden by law. Three years later, having made every mistake possible, Access2online has become a world-class, two-million-dollar accessibility services organization with inmate analysts who are Trusted Testers certified by the Office of Accessible Systems and Technology, and Website Accessibility Specialists certified by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals.

This is an unvarnished story about the inner drive and unstoppable work ethic of inmates overcoming the naivety of their boss in order to earn a seat at our nation's digital table.


  1. How to (not) start an accessibility auditing company
  2. Leveraging the best characteristics of motivated workers to become accessibility experts
  3. A case study with practical lessons learned about professional accessibility work

Disability Areas

All Areas

Topic Areas

Other, Teaching about Accessibility in Curriculum, Uncategorized

Speaker Bio(s)

Peter Shikli

A UCLA engineer with an MBA, Peter Shikli has over 30 years in software development, high-tech business formation, and project management. He is a Certified Manufacturing Engineer, a Registered Professional Engineer, accredited college instructor, guest lecturer, a Trusted Tester certified by the federal Office of Accessible Systems & Technology, and has published over 40 articles & books.

Mr. Shikli's experience includes VP of R&D, CIO for an electronic component exchange, various high-tech positions with Garrett Aerospace and Ampex, and Program Manager for SAIC, the world's largest international think tank. Having founded Bizware Online Applications Inc (Access2online's holding corporation), Mr. Shikli chaired various internet consortiums such as the Orange County Chapter of the Southern California ColdFusion Users Group, the Orange County PHP Developers Group, Director of the WebTeam Coalition, and the Internet Consortium of the Orange County Business Council.

Taking a break from his duties as Bizware's CEO, Mr. Shikli is focusing on Access2online, what he considers his legacy project. He has personally trained every inmate working for Access2online and reviews every work product before it reaches our customers.