Accessibility Insights: Learning from global accessibility leaders

Every month AbilityNet's Robin Christopherson MBE, meets an accessibility leader - someone from the global accessibility community who is taking a lead in building a digital world accessible to all.

We find out what makes them tick, learn about their career path and ask them to share their top tips for building accessibility within an organisation.

We share this on a webinar, and you can also listen to the whole series on our podcast.

Image of Robin Christopherson and Jenny Lay-Flurrie

Our impressive guest list includes Microsoft's Chief Accessibility Officer, Jenny Lay-Flurrie (pictured above, with Robin), Sarah Herrlinger of Apple, Neil Milliken of ATOS, Christopher Patnoe of Google, Paul Smyth of Barclays, Bryn Anderson of Sainsbury's, and many more.

"I love this Accessibility Insights series, thanks for organising all these amazing, knowledgeable speakers to talk with Robin (also amazing!)" - attendee of the Jonathan Mosen Accessibility Insights webinar, October 2021

Access the Accessibility Insights series

In each session, Robin asks the guest to pose a question or comment about accessibility to the next guest in the series, so each session follows on from the previous episode.

Watch or listen to the webinar playbacks and podcast recordings all linked below. Transcripts, podcast versions, and Q&As all provided.

Season 2

  1. Accessibility Insights with Hector Minto of Microsoft
    Hector Minto asked Heather Dowdy: To what extent are you able to embrace accessibility in what they are doing and empower them to prioritise it as Netflix does so that you are not having to own the whole picture yourself? Find out Heather's response:
  2. Accessibility Insights with Heather Dowdy of Netflix 
    Heather Dowdy commented to Natalie Tucker: Natalie, my question would be when building an accessibility programme how should companies approach training at scale, especially with innovation, innovative cultures like at Spotify where teams could be working on something that there are no accessibility guidelines for out right and so how do you really bring those folks along the journey and how do you train them at scale? Find out Natalie's answer by catching up with our next Accessibility Insights webinar recording:
  3. Accessibility Insights with Natalie Tucker of Spotify 
    Natalie Tucker commented to David Padmore and Matt Simpson of ITV: "I find myself really, really curious with an organisation with that kind of reach and in the disparate times of like content and creators that they are working with, I can imagine that there are also having to tweak and change how they work with different teams organisations and different programming to include accessibility and I'd really love to dig into a little bit of the nuances of how they are working with those disparate teams to keep accessibility and inclusion top of mind." Find out David and Matt's answer by catching up with our final Accessibility Insights webinar recording:
  4. Accessibility Insights with David Padmore and Matt Simpson of ITV
    David and Matt asked for the series threee, episode one guest: "what have been your most successful tactics or strategies for building that pressure for cultural change in your organisation?"

We'll be back in 2023 with a new line up of knowledgable guests from amazing organisations to gently grill, so please check out our Accessibility Insights page for updates, or sign up to our newsletter to be notified in your inbox.

Season 1 

  1. Accessibility Insights with Microsoft's Jenny Lay-Flurrie
    Jenny Lay-Flurrie asked Neil Milliken: What can we what we partner on? What can we do together? Find out Neil’s answer:
  2. Accessibility Insights with Neil Milliken of ATOS
    Neil Milliken commented to Paul Smyth: Paul and I are huge believers in 'you catch for flies with honey'. Essentially, we want to bring people in, have a big tent approach and connect people up.... Yes, there's technology, but it's about collaboration that will make the difference. Find out Paul’s response:
  3. Accessibility Insights with Paul Smyth of Barclays
    Paul Smyth commented to Bryn Anderson: As accessibility leaders we can all help to make it as easy as possible for people to understand, to get informed and involved, and really to join the accessibility community. So that democratizing of accessibility know-how is really my big piece of advice or plea to others. Find out Bryn’s response:
  4. Accessibility Insights with Bryn Anderson of Sainsbury's
    Bryn Anderson asked Christopher Patnoe: What are the pitfalls of AI for accessibility? Considering the pitfalls, what are the benefits and how do they balance out? Find out Christopher’s answer:
  5. Accessibility Insights with Christopher Patnoe of Google
    Christopher Patnoe asked Malin Rygg: Currently in the US ... we're seeing a lot more lawsuits brought up by the individual. In your opinion, what's the right balance of government versus end user perspectives? Is it better to ask the individual to pursue or sue a company or is it better to have the government actively enforce these things? Find out Malin’s answer:
  6. Accessibility Insights with Malin Rygg of the Norwegian Digitalisation Agency
    Malin Rygg asked Alejandro Moledo: With the web directive in place and the European Ability Cct on the way, I would like to know what would EDF see as the biggest future regulations, what is the next step in your view? Find out Alejandro’s answer:
  7. Accessibility Insights with Alejandro Moledo of the European Disability Forum
    Alejandro Moledo asked Sarah Herrlinger: What is the most positive aspect that accessibility legislation has brought to Apple's work? Find out Sarah's answer:
  8. Accessibility Insights with Sarah Herrlinger of Apple
    Sarah Herrlinger asked Caroline Casey: What is the technology that you relied upon most during the year of 2020 with all that was brought on by Covid? Find out Caroline’s answer:
  9. Accessibility Insights with Caroline Casey of The Valuable 500
    Caroline Casey asked Emma Pratt Richens: What is BBC's plan in front and behind of the camera, to integrate better representation for people with disabilities? Find out Emma’s answer:
  10. Accessibility Insights with Emma Pratt Richens of the BBC
    Emma Pratt Richens asked Jennison Asuncion and Joe Devon: How do you feel that online conferences over the past year will impact on conferences going forward? Will things stay online, will they go hybrid? Find out Jennison and Joe’s answer:
  11. Accessibility Insights with Jennison Asuncion and Joe Devon, co-founders of GAAD
    Jennison Asuncion and Joe Devon posed their question to the forthcoming guest in the series, Larry Goldberg of Verizon Media: What are your thoughts on auto captioning technology and in particular, the habit of sensoring out content like swear words? Find out Larry's response:
  12. Accessibility Insights with Larry Goldberg of Verizon Media
    Larry Goldberg commented to Richard Morton of the UK government's Central Digital and Data Office (CDDO) about its Public Sector Bodies Accessibility Regulations (PSBAR) monitoring activity: "As that office begins reporting on inaccessible websites which we know are plenty, I think the educational aspect and being sure that people with disabilities are front and centre in the process will also be a tremendous help for to any of the organisations who are called out to really understand this is good for society." Find out Richard's response:
  13. Accessibility Insights with Richard Morton of CDDO
    Richard Morton commented to the next Accessibility Insights guest, Ursula Dolton: "I'd like to ask how they're going about building a culture of accessibility in their organisation and do they have any practical tips or lessons learnt from that?". Find out Ursula's reply:
  14. Accessibility Insights with Ursula Dolton of British Heart Foundation
    Ursula Dolton posed the question for Susanna Laurin, our upcoming guest in September: "What is the biggest challenge and opportunity she for sees in the next steps of embedding the culture of accessibility within the organisation... across Europe?" Find out Susanna's answer:
  15. Accessibility Insights with Susanna Laurin of Funka and the IAAP
    Susanna posed the question for Jonathan Mosen, our guest poised for October's session: "How do we make sure that children and young people with disabilities get the same question as every other question as young person gets: what do you want to become when you grow up?" Discover what Jonathan's response was:
  16. Accessibility Insights with Jonathan Mosen, CEO of Workbridge, and disability rights campaigner
    Jonathan Mosen's question for Ted Drake of Intuit, to answer in November, is: "What is Intuit doing to ensure that disabled people of all kinds can succeed in Intuit and make sure they are maximising the potential of disabled people?" Find out Ted's response:
  17. Accessibility Insights with Ted Drake of Intuit
    Ted Drake, Global Accessibility Leader at financial software organisation, Intuit discussed inclusion and diversity practices and Accessibility Champions at Intuit, plus his thoughts about the future of tech and digital inclusion. 

  18. Accessibility Insights with Anita Mortaloni of Xbox at Microsoft
    Anita Mortaloni, Director of Accessibility of Xbox at Microsoft discussed Accessible Gaming and poses her question to Hector Minto: "How do you foster a culture that welcomes and respects diverse perspectives where people feel safe to bring them in and explore that and move the industry forward? In the same vein, why is it so critical to have representation hire people with disabilities as part of the culture? And a bonus question: What is your favourite game?" Find out what Hector's response is in Season 2, epsiode 1 of Accessibility Insights.

Listen to the Accessibility Insights podcasts:

All the webinar interviews are also available on our Accessibility Insights podcast feed.

Further resources

AbilityNet provides a range of free services to help disabled people and older people. If you can afford it, please donate to help us support older and disabled people through technology