Preparing for the new digital accessibility requirements

Booking Closed


18 September 2019

Book Before

11 September 2019

About the Event

Is your IT department ready to meet the new digital accessibility requirements?

New or updated online content published on or after 23 September 2018 has to comply by 22 September 2019.  Existing sites (published before 23 Sept 2018) must comply by September 2020.

ucisa is hosting a one-day seminar to brief senior IT staff on their role in responding to the legislation, to discuss the challenges, and to hear about approaches of their peers. This event will include presentations from key stakeholders such as Government Digital Services, Jisc and accessibility experts, as well as from IT managers in the sector who have led on institutional responses. There will be a panel discussion with an opportunity to quiz the experts, discuss the challenges and share ideas and approaches:

Topics include:

  • the legislation and what it means for the sector
  • what steps you need to take to comply
  • accessibility statements
  • developing policies and managing risk
  • accessibility audits and testing
  • challenges


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Fiona Strawbridge

Head of Digital Education

University College London

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Adi Latif

Accessibility and Usability Consultant


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Richard Morton

Head of Accessibility for Government (Interim)

Government Digital Services

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John Kelly

Strategy Law Specialist


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Ian Woolner

Digital Transformation Solution Specialist


More Info

In December 2017 Ian moved to the UK Education Team at Microsoft, having previously held new business, account management, product management and partner development roles at Microsoft. The move was inspired by Ian’s wife, Dannie Woolner who has completed a six-year journey to change career having taken up a teaching and course manager position at a college in Surrey. Ian’s specialist areas are Office 365, enterprise mobility & security, information governance - focusing on how these technology groups unlock new teaching and learning opportunities for everyone. Although Ian is a generalist he is able to think in a transformative manner, evangelise and enthuse about new technologies but be mindful of their impact on others. Ian is also the Accessibility Champion for Education co-ordinating awareness activities to ensure ever person has access to the free tools and functionality Microsoft offers.

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Bella Abrams

Director of IT

University of Sheffield

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Bella Abrams is IT Director at the University of Sheffield. She has a background in the design and development of online education and training. Most recently she was working in Further Education in Hull and at Sheffield College.

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Claire Gardener

Senior Learning Technologist

University of Derby

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Claire is Senior Learning Technologist (Digital Learning Systems) at the University of Derby and helps to provide an excellent staff and student experience through the provision of digital learning systems and services. She also co-chairs the European user group for Ally and contributed to the recent Policy Connect publication on Accessible VLEs.

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Jonathan Trout

Head of Web Strategy

University of Edinburgh

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Creative digital professional with a track record at great organisations in innovation, UX and interaction design, interactive education, content development, games, mobile web and apps, augmented reality and strategy. Capable manager of projects, stakeholders, budgets and finance, internal and agency teams, tendering and procurement processes, marketing, comms and fundraising.

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Ben Watson

Head of Digital Accessibility


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Ben Watson, Head of Digital Accessibility at UCL. He has experience of working with all UK education sectors (primary, secondary, further and higher education) and many years experience of working to improve both the physical and digital accessibility of education organisations.

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George Rhodes

Digital Accessibility Compliance Lead

Kent County Council

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George Rhodes was formerly Digital Accessibility Compliance Lead for Kent County Council. His next challenge sees him take up a new role at the Home Office as Accessibility Consultant focussing on Digital Accessibility. He has recently completed a large research project documenting current awareness and good practice in Digital Accessibility across the UK public sector.

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Abi James

Accessibility and Usability Consultant


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Abi is an accessibility consultant with the assistive technology charity AbilityNet where she supports organisations to ensure that their content, websites and apps are accessible to all. With over 15 years experiences in the assistive technology and accessibility field, she has led several projects to develop and deploy assistive technologies and accessible web applications. Working with the University of Southampton, she is also involved in research into the latest standards, policies and technologies and is a member of the W3C Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force.

Event Schedule


Registration and refreshments


Why are we here?

Fiona Strawbridge, Head of Digital Education at UCL, sets the scene for the day

The barriers we build

Adi Latif, AbilityNet

Empowering you to act on accessibility

Richard Morton, Senior Accessibility Services, Government Digital Services

How Jisc are supporting the sector and helping with the legal grey areas

John Kelly, Jisc

Microsoft's disability inclusion story

Ian Woolner, Digital Transformation Solution Specialist, Microsoft



Institutional stories

Bella Abrams, University of Sheffield, Claire Gardener, University of Derby, James Smith, Birkbeck, University of London and Fiona Strawbridge, (University College London) share their experiences of implementing the legislation

Panel session

Panel session with the presenters of the institutional stories. Chaired by Fiona Strawbridge



A Digital Accessibility Toolkit

Ben Watson, Accessible Information Advisor, University of Kent and George Rhodes, Digital Accessibility Compliance Lead, Kent County Council

Embedding accessibility within your digital strategy

Abi James, Expert in Digital Accessibility, Usability, Assistive Technology & Inclusive Design, AbilityNet


An opportunity to ask questions of the presenters