• 39th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference - March 18 - 22,2024 at the Anaheim Marriott

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38th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference Has Concluded

Shifting Further Left – Digital Accessibility Education

Date & Time
Thursday, March 16, 2023 - 2:20 PM PST  
Orange County 3-4  
Within a digital product’s lifecycle, one of our aims as digital accessibility engineers is to shift the process left and have accessibility considered as early as possible, rather than at the end for testing, as is often the case. While the ultimate “shift-left” within this lifecycle would be to the project manager or product owner, design is where accessibility can become more heavily involved, in providing feedback, guidance, and education. However, there is a significant opportunity to “shift-left” on another trajectory – design education itself. In our experience, designers’ knowledge of accessibility varies substantially, and ranges from those with some knowledge – to those who, for the most part, would consider themselves very unfamiliar. As the European digital accessibility landscape begins to take shape from a legal perspective, with the EU Web Directive now live and EU Accessibility Act coming, the Optum Accessibility Center of Excellence team based in Ireland felt it presented an opportunity to reach out and connect with universities here that offer design and user experience-related courses. This presentation will outline the journey we are taking in Ireland as we aim to “shift-left” from an accessibility perspective within the discipline of design education, highlight the outreach work we are doing with universities, discuss why now is the perfect time to do this from a European perspective, as well as show how this model could be scalable in any country.  
  • Higher Education
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Healthcare & Rehabilitation
  • Entertainment & Recreation
  • Finance & Banking
Audience Level
Session Summary (Abstract)
Integrating accessibility in design-related university courses presents a huge opportunity to address barriers across the web today. This session will outline how we are shifting accessibility left to design education and the benefits it presents.  
Primary Topic
Secondary Topics
  • Design
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Education
  • Web
Session Type
General Track  


  • Gareth Crossan
  • Michael Keane
  • Michael Hanton

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