helloA11Y Announces GAAD 2020

The third Thursday of May every year is when the a11y community celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD.) GAAD of 2020 is much more important in these troubled times as we need to care for the living and the people with disabilities in particular.

helloA11Y is yet again proud to announce the GAAD event on 21 of May 2020 – the third Thursday in May. Keeping the social distancing in mind, we are planning to conduct this event online with speakers across the globe sharing their a11y ideas, thoughts and experiences with everyone who cares for inclusivity.

helloA11Y invites you all to participate in this year’s GAAD event, learn and share with world renowned speakers and experts!

Event Schedule for GAAD 2020. Check your timezone at in a new tab)
Speaker Topic Scheduled Time in IST (P.M)
Thomas Logan Considerations for Inclusive Social VR 5:30 – 6:10
Dennis Lembree SVG Icons and Screen Reader Accessibility 6:15 – 6:55
Tanisha Sabherwal Writing Accessible friendly CSS 7:00 – 7:40
Prem Nawaz Khan Maraikayar Challenges we face while automatic accessibility testing and some solutions to overcome 7:45 – 8:25
Amy Carney 100 Days of Accessibility: Getting started on web accessibility 8:30 – 9:10
Ted Drake Exploring Inclusive Artificial Intelligence 9:15 – 9:55
Speakers’ Bio
Pic of Prem Nawaz Khan Maraikayar

Prem Nawaz Khan Maraikayar


Prem Nawaz Khan Maraikayar is an Accessibility Evangelist working for PayPal Inc. He helps them to achieve the goal of inclusivity by influencing and training designers, engineers and testers on building inclusive products. . He contributes to a couple of open source projects like automated accessibility tester, bootstrap plugin, skipto, etc which have wide acceptance.

He has participated in and made presentations on accessibility in front end conferences like Meta Refresh, Techshare and couple of summits in different tech companies. He also interacts with persons with disabilities and solves their web accessibility issues. In his free time, he works with NGOs in his neighborhood, working with children with Mental Retardation and Autism.

Pic of Thomas Logan

Thomas Logan [CPWA]


Thomas Logan has spent the past eighteen years assisting organizations to create technology solutions that work for people with disabilities. Over his career, Thomas has delivered projects for numerous federal, state and local government agencies as well as private sector organizations from startups to Fortune 500s.

He is the owner of Equal Entry, whose mission is: “contributing to a more accessible world.” He is also the organizer of Accessibility Virtual Reality and co-organizer of Accessibility New York monthly Meetups for people interested in topics related to accessibility and people with disabilities. Thomas lives in Tokyo, Japan. Thomas is also certified by IAAP as CPWA.

Pic of Dennis Lembree

Dennis Lembree


Dennis Lembree is a Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque Systems. He previously worked on the accessibility teams at eBay and PayPal. His 20+ years of experience includes web development, inclusive design, technical writing, and program management. Dennis has published numerous articles, presented at various conferences, and led many webinars about digital accessibility. As personal projects, Dennis runs a popular blog on web accessibility, Web Axe, and maintains his award-winning web-accessible Twitter app, Easy Chirp.

Pic of Tanisha Sabherwal

Tanisha Sabherwal


A Front-end Developer who enjoys designing, development and accessibility with everything at its intersection. Going strong on community engagements and public speaking. Other than that, I love drawing crazy things on Codepen.

Pic of Ted Drake

Ted Drake


Ted Drake is the Global Accessibility Leader for Intuit, a financial software company. He works with Intuit’s product and management teams to drive inclusive product development. Ted has been an active participant in Bangalore’s accessibility community with Intuit’s annual Accessibility Summits. Prior to Intuit, Ted was a co-founder of Yahoo’s Accessibility Lab.

Pic of Amy Carney

Amy Carney


Amy Carney, a recently Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA), has been the web designer for the Alaska State Libraries, Archives, & Museums in Juneau, Alaska for 7 years. Through her daily front-end development work, she advocates for web and digital document accessibility. Her accessibility and certification learning journey, blogged as 100 Days of A11y<>, is freely available for others interested in learning accessibility for themselves or to be certified through IAAP. Currently, she participates as an invited expert in W3C’s CSS Accessibility Task Force, and chairs the State of Alaska’s Web Accessibility Working Group, of which she instigated 2 years ago.


Considerations for Inclusive Social VR

By Thomas Logan

XR technologies open the door to people with disabilities in ways rarely imagined before. Thomas Logan will provide best practices on how to create online immersive presentations that are accessible to people with
disabilities. XR technologies have moved quickly, often avoiding the technologies that will ensure that all people can participate in a virtual environment. Learn how to ensure XR stays inclusive across all platforms.

Writing Accessible friendly CSS

By Tanisha Sabherwal

While we use CSS styling to beautify our components and create seamless visual interactions, the downside of the same is broken accessibility. The real art is to design components and layouts such that they are accessible.

SVG Icons and Screen Reader Accessibility

By Dennis Lembree

Use of SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) is becoming more prevalent on the web. SVG is often used for content, linked icons, and buttons. But which methods of embedding SVG in HTML are accessible to screen readers? Based on extensive testing, in this talk you’ll learn which coding methods are supported best across a variety of screen reader and browser combinations. You’ll also learn how ARIA can be used to make SVG more accessible, and where support is still lacking.

Challenges we face while automatic Accessibility testing and some solutions to overcome

By Prem Nawaz Khan Maraikayar

We may automate testing from the development phase to testing and with continuous integration. There are various strategies like testing on the client’s browser to testing it on a server, each and every method has its own advantages and disadvantages. Lets discuss on some of the challenges and how it may be overcome.

Exploring Inclusive Artificial Intelligence

By Ted Drake

Learn how artificial intelligence is making the world more inclusive. There are hidden uses that simplify tasks, reduce barriers, and surface the hidden details. AI is also democratizing health care with early diagnosis, lower costs, and customized solutions. But not all is rosy, we also need to understand the impact of bias and the resulting solutions that are not inclusive.

100 Days of Accessibility: Getting started on web accessibility

By Amy Carney

Getting started in web accessibility can feel daunting. It took a few tries, 100+ dedicated days, and a path to certification for Amy Carney to get on her way to becoming an accessibility ally and champion. As Amy shares her own journey, be inspired to start your own journey, walk away with helpful resources and tools, and start making an impact on the web today.

August Meet
SpeakerTopicDate (DD-MM-YY)Scheduled Time in IST (P.M)
Shanisha CollinsEntrepreneurship and Accessibility27-08-207:30 – 8:30

Entrepreneurship and Accessibility

By Shanisha Collins (August Meet 2020)

I’d like to discuss how might we encourage entrepreneurs to implement accessibility best practices for their websites and digital products. As it stands, entrepreneurs, specifically the ones who have built their businesses via social media, are not considering implementing A11y into their products and services because they feel as though they are not required to do so by law. These businesses are growing at an alarming rate and along with them are websites. In my talk, I’d like discuss ways those in the A11y industry can assist these entrepreneurs so that we can help them understand the importance of A11y.

Speaker Bio
Pic of Shanisha Collins

Shanisha Collins


Shanisha Collins is a business alignment consultant for creative entrepreneurs who want to gain a deeper understanding of customers needs through user research. She’s helped creative artists, business and life coaches as well as service and product based business owners develop strategies to identify areas of improvement and uncover areas of new opportunities throughout their organization. Prior to starting her own businesses, she worked as a media services manager for a large nonprofit social services agency and a user experience designer/researcher for a large private university. She lives in Northeast Ohio.

Cancelled Events
November Meet
SpeakerTopicDate (DD-MM-YY)Scheduled Time in IST (P.M)
Irfan AliAccessibility: WCAG, Usability, and Design26-11-207:30 – 8:30

Accessibility: WCAG, Usability, and Design

By Irfan Ali (November Meet 2020)

One challenge can be timing of accessibility testing. When accessibility testing is introduced late in the development process, well after major architectural and development approaches are decided, discovery of accessibility or usability issues can be more difficult to resolve, especially if significant software changes are required. At this point, there may be no magic wand solution for making the content accessible. While WAI-ARIA is often seen as a way to make code accessible, applying it in complex interactions can be time consuming and potentially costly depending upon the structure of the underlying code, and it may fall short in addressing all identified obstacles. More difficult still is making changes to the overall interaction design or visual presentation, if accessibility testing reveals fundamental problems there. The time to think about accessibility is at the beginning of the process — at the design stage, and to evaluate accessibility throughout the software development lifecycle.

Speaker Bio
Pic of Irfan Ali

Irfan Ali


Irfan Ali works at ETS as a Principle Accessible Engineer. He is member of ARIA Working group and Application Platform architecture working group. Also, He is chair of Pronunciation Task Force at W3.