The WAI to Web Accessibility

Presented at 2:15pm in Standley II Lab on Wednesday, November 16, 2016.



  • Sharron Rush, Executive Director, Knowbility
  • Shawn Henry, WAI Outreach Coordinator, W3C

Session Details

  • Length of Session: 2-hr
  • Format:
  • Expertise Level: Intermediate
  • Type of session: General Conference


The Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C produces a wealth of resources that many have never heard of. This session provides hands-on access to newly developed tools and guides to support your web accessibility practice.


The Web Accessibility Initiative(WAI)is the place where digital accessibility is defined and maintained within the W3C, the standards-making body for the web. But standards can be intimidating to read and hard to use directly in practice. In this class we'll help you find the gold within the WAI website - resources to help you create an environment where accessibility flourishes. Whatever your role in the accessibility ecosystem of your organization, we have new and clearly designed resources to help you prepare a business case to secure management support, train developers new to accessibility, integrate accessibility into a project plan, write accessibility policy, meet international standards, or learn best practices for mobile accessibility. Whatever your web accessibility questions, and we'll show you where to go for answers. You'll also get a sneak peak at the new design for the WAI website and be able to submit your own ideas for what would be most useful.


  1. Look beyond standards documents for resources to support your accessiiblity practice.
  2. Map your organizational role to the resources that will help you the most.
  3. Discover how to tap into the community to deepen your accessibility practice and share your experiences.

Disability Areas

Cognitive/Learning, Deaf/Hard of Hearing, Mobility, Vision

Topic Areas

Accessible Course Design, Web/Media Access

Speaker Bio(s)

Sharron Rush

Sharron Rush is Co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, a nonprofit advocacy and consulting group based in Austin Texas. Starting with the invention of the Accessibility Internet Rally (AIR) program in 1998, Sharron has been a pioneer in advocating for digital accessibility as a way for organizations to innovate and reach broader markets. She is an enthusiastic community builder and serves as co-chair of the Education and Outreach Working Group of the Web Accessibility Initiative of the W3C.

Shawn Henry

Shawn Henry focuses her personal passion for accessibility on bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organizations in designing human-computer interfaces. Her book Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design offers an approach for developing products that are more usable for everyone. Shawn leads the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) education and outreach activities promoting web accessibility for people with disabilities. Before joining the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), she developed and implemented strategies to optimize user interface design for usability and accessibility with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, education providers, government agencies, international standards bodies, and research centers.

Shawn holds a research appointment at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and is an Executive Member of the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences.

Presentation wiki page with links to resources