Carnegie Mellon University

Picture of Carnegie Mellon University’s Digital Accessibility Coordinator Kimberly Norris

Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2024 at CMU

Please join us on Thursday, May 16, 2024, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. for a conference-style programming about digital access and inclusion for people with disabilities.


Thursday, May 16, 2024

8:30 a.m.
Registration/Breakfast/Vendor Tables Open (Connan Room)

9 - 10:30 a.m.
Announcements/Keynote Presentation (McConomy Auditorium)

10:45 - 11:45 a.m.
Breakout Sessions

  • Making Educational Materials Accessible (McKenna)
  • Reframing Language to Promote Age-Inclusive Digital Spaces (Peter)
  • Practical Steps to Inclusive Content, Design, and More for the Neurodiverse Community (Wright)

12 - 12:45 p.m.
Data Visualization Discussion & Lunch (McConomy Auditorium)

Keynote Speaker

Chancey Fleet

Chancey Fleet is a Blind tech educator and activist based in Brooklyn. She is the founding Assistive Technology Coordinator at the New York Public Library, where she runs a free- peer-powered tech coaching service that connects library patrons with print-reading disabilities to 150 hours of one-to-one coaching each month; curates a rotating selection of workshops on tech topics with accessibility in mind; and runs the Dimensions Lab for free and open tactile graphics creation. Chancey is a 2017 Library Journal Mover and Shaker. She serves as President of the National Federation of the Blind’s Assistive Technology Trainers’ Division.

Check out Chancey’s library at:

Breakout Sessions

Making Educational Materials Accessible

Tricia Flinn and Bekah Sedwick

Session Description:
Learn how to make your documents more accessible as you create them and tips for building accessibility into your everyday workflows.

After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Identify the key components of an accessible document.
  • Be familiar with document style hierarchies and how to apply them.
  • Write basic alt text for document images.
  • Understand the structure constraints of accessible tables.
  • Recognize the elements of accessible charts and graphs.
  • Check Microsoft Office documents for accessibility.
  • Remediate basic document accessibility errors.

Reframing Language to Promote Age-Inclusive Digital Spaces

Justin Lam

Session Description:
Defining accessibility to websites, mobile applications, and other digital media remains a significant obstacle for people with disabilities. Part of the challenge comes from the fact that specific access needs can vary across different age groups. For instance, the most common disability among younger adults (18 to 44) are cognitive ones, while that of older adults (65 and above) are mobility disabilities. Currently, some improvements have been already proposed and implemented to address these access needs, with many centered on improving comprehension of text, location of information, and recognition of access links. In this workshop, we will explore different examples of age-friendly language. We will then provide best practice recommendations for reframing our digital spaces to be inclusive of people with disabilities across all age groups.

Practical Steps to Inclusive Content, Design, and More for the Neurodiverse Community

Stephanie Weis

Session description:
Imagine a world where websites, apps, and digital experiences seamlessly cater to everyone, regardless of how our brains process information. The only way we begin that journey is by letting go of stigma, increasing understanding, and opening ourselves up to fostering a more inclusive digital landscape for all.

Participants will discuss the following topics as they relate to the neurodiverse brain:

  • How neurodiversity can show up in work or class.

  • Examples of how some neurodiverse brains process information.

  • The impact of design on everything from Google Docs to websites.

  • Importance of clear language.

  • Predictability is key.

  • What neurodivergent hell looks like.

  • Fortunate favors the collaborator. 

Data Visualization Discussion

Accessibility and Data @ CMU: Guidelines, Challenges and Successes

Alexis Parker, Jamie DePastino, Josephine Dru, with special guest Chancey Fleet

Session Description:
In the dynamic landscape of data-driven decision-making, Data@CMU is a pivotal hub for insights and analytics within the Carnegie Mellon University community. This group discussion aims to unravel the intricate interplay between dashboard development and the critical dimension of accessibility. Join us in this dialogue on Accessibility and Data@CMU as we explore the intersection of data, design, and accessibility. Our discussion covers three key areas:

  • Guidelines for Inclusive Design: We delve into evolving accessibility guidelines for dashboard development.
  • Challenges on the Path: Uncover hurdles in creating dashboards that cater to diverse user needs.
  • Impactful Transformations: Discover how accessible dashboards have enhanced the user experience, fostering more inclusive data visualization.

Let’s chart a course toward inclusive dashboards!


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