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Share National - Accessibility. From Compliance to Confidence

Virtual (Teams)

This event has now ended.

Date & time

  1. 9 February 2021 10:00 - 14:00
  2. 10 February 2021 10:00 - 14:00



Join us for this exciting two-day event, when a diverse range of expert speakers will host, debate and challenge thinking about what it is to be truly accessible. Take away practical steps for your organisation by learning from personal experience about how and why it is vital to be confident you’re doing what is needed to be accessible.

Throughout the event we’ll get to the heart of the matter to unpack what is needed to make sure we are all inclusive and make usability front and centre of our thinking.

To view the recorded sessions please visit the links below:


  1. 10:00 Welcome & Introduction

    Tony Colson, Chair

  2. 10:05 Socitm's Welcome

    Martin Ferguson, Director of Policy & Research, Socitm

    The rapid changes in society, triggered by the pandemic, and the responses of the public sector have had a seismic impact on equality and inclusion. Whilst remote working and automation, stood up in days rather than months, has proved a success, what does this mean for communities and the most vulnerable when it comes to being included on this journey?

    Headlines about the gaps in inclusion and equality of access to basic needs – housing, care, jobs, food, education, etc. – have become commonplace, while centrally-driven, mechanistic policy responses have created a persistent and growing impasse.

    Over the next two days we’ll hear from those working on the front line of local, place-based delivery to create trusted, evidence-based support for those most in need.

    We’ll learn from experienced practitioners about how vital the public sector is in addressing inequality and how we must be confident in inclusion and access to information if we are to enable these gaps to be closed.

  3. 10:15 Our disability Inclusion story – embedding accessibility and inclusion into our DNA

    Hector Minto, Accessibility Evangelist, Microsoft

    With more than 1 billion people with disabilities in the world, Microsoft believes that accessibility is essential to delivering on our mission to “empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.” However, our mission doesn’t begin and end with the products we create and the services we offer. It extends to the culture of our workplace and weaving accessibility into the fabric of our company—from hiring people with disabilities, to creating inclusive marketing, and awarding our Accessibility in Action digital badge. Hector will share Microsoft’s journey so far on accessibility, vignettes from customers and partners and introduce the Microsoft Accessibility Evolution Model.

  4. 10:45 How accessibility affects people in the real world

    Oliver Emberton, Silktide

    How do you use your phone when you’re blind? How do you browse the web with just your mouth? This talk will show you how accessibility makes this possible, and why your organisation’s accessibility matters more than you might imagine.

  5. 11:00 Networking break & learn a new skill

    Grab a tea or coffee, take a breather and the opportunity to virtually mingle and network. We’re also delighted to offer you chance to learn a new skill, by taking part in a British Sign Language bitesize session. This will be delivered by Rezene Woldeyesus at Love Language – who specialise in sign language services including interpreting, training, and media.

  6. 11:30 Employability Support (Breakout room 1)

    Zoe Bates, Sense

    Join this fascinating workshop and discover the support available for councils to help some of the most vulnerable residents find employment. Led by Employability Co-ordinator from Sense, Zoe Bates who herself is registered blind, the session will include insights on how to support CV writing, filling in application forms, access to work issues and employability skills, as well as mock interviews and interview preparation. You will also have chance to understand from a blind person’s point of view, the issues they face when accessing information and what can be done to make sure you feel confident, you’re meeting their needs.  

  7. 11:30 How can we get services to people in their chosen language? (Breakout room 2)

    Gareth Morlais, Welsh Language Technology Specialist, Welsh Government

    In a world with 7,000 or so languages, many of whom have few or no digital resources, the discussion will be about how we can get services to people in their chosen language.

    Sut allwn ni gael gwasanaethau i bobl yn eu dewis nhw o iaith?
    Mae Gareth Morlais yn arbenigwr technoleg iaith Gymraeg yn Llywodraeth Cymru

    Mewn byd sydd â 7,000 o ieithoedd – a llawer ohonynt heb adnoddau digidol – bydd y drafodaeth yn edrych ar sut allwn ni gael gwasanaethau i bobl yn eu dewis nhw o iaith.

  8. 12:00 How we’re approaching web accessibility at Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council (Breakout room 1)

    Anne Jones, Web Officer, Hinckley & Bosworth Borough Council  

    Council websites are now required to be WCAG 2.1 AA, in order to comply with Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) (No. 2) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

    Making your council website accessible though can be challenging:

    • You may be just a small team, with very little budget
    • You may work with colleagues who are not be fully on board with web accessibility; they may not understand why it matters
    • Your website may rely on third party applications which aren’t completely accessible

    In this session, I’d like to share how our approach to making our site accessible, before opening up a discussion to find out what other organisations are doing, so as a group we can come up with suggestions for best practice.

  9. 12:00 Involving users to create accessible user experiences (Breakout room 2)

    Kevin White, Head of Digital Accessibility, Scottish Government 

    The Scottish Government is committed to increasing democratic engagement, and there’s a requirement to reflect this in the design of services. Including users in the design process is a key part of this. For disabled people this is doubly important as poor design can lead to complete exclusion not just a poor experience. This workshop will cover why this is vital and explore ways to be more inclusive to disabled people when creating digital services.

  10. 12:30 Networking lunch

    Grab some refreshments, network with fellow delegates and digest the morning’s talking points.

  11. 13:00 Accessibility experts discuss compliance Vs confidence

    Tony Colson, Chair, Sense | Helen Olsen-Bedford, | Amanda Lee-Ajala, City of London | Andrew Booth, London Borough of Merton

    Chaired by Tony Colson, director of IT at Sense, always an incredibly popular part of our events, the panel discussion will round the day off. There’s bound to be lots of opinions, take outs and talking points during this session. Make sure you put your questions to them.

  12. 14:00 Summary and close of day one

    Tony Colson, Chair

Who can join our events?

Our events are open to everyone and relevant to all levels of staff, from new joiners right through to senior executives. This creates a vibrant mix which promotes innovation, sharing of best practice and drives the modernisation of public services.

Attendance is included in our membership and partnership packages. A fee may apply for non-members. Please see individual event registration details for more information.

Contact us to discuss your options.

Public sector – contact Poppy Whelan. Private sector – contact Aimie Francis.