7th European e-Accessibility Forum
Developing e-Accessibility as a Professional Skill

18 March 2013, 9:00-18:00
Cité des sciences, Paris

  Version française

General description


Most digital content professionals recognise the legal and business case for developing accessible products and services. Nonetheless, campaigns exhorting e-Accessibility tend to ring hollow as the professionals concerned lack the basic training to be able to implement the associated techniques, methodologies and technologies. Accessibility is absent from the curricula of most universities, and companies rarely consider it sufficiently strategic to be the subject of employee training and development.

In the current economic climate, companies are pushed to do more with less. The business and legal consequences of non-compliance are such that a company can no longer afford to relegate e-Accessibility to the periphery. Never before has there been a more marked need for in-house skills to deploy e-Accessibility effectively. The skills of organisations’ employees in implementing accessibilty in-house, or outsourcing to trained professionals, is crucial to the future success of e-Accessibility, and central to organisations’ competitiveness, edge and growth ambitions.

The role of industry specialists and policymakers is paramount in fostering e-Accessibility as a professional skill. Governments and organisations wishing to see increased levels of e-Accessibility will need to act decisively to ensure professionals have access to quality educational resources. 

The conference was organised in en four sessions corresponding to the following items:

Speakers were from industry, including very small business and very large companies, from universities, public oganisations, associations and international organisations. All bringing their own and complementary expertise.

Speakers were also proposed to to consider a common thread: e-Accessibility relys on a knowledge of the needs of disabled people and the assistive technology that they use. How can this knowledge become a professional skill and create new job opportunities for disabled people ?


photo of Neelie KroesAddress to participants

by Ms. Neelie KROES

Vice President of the European Commission

Responsible for the Digital Agenda for Europe



This message will be introduced by M. Ramón Sanmartín Sola, Policy and Project Officer, Digital Social Platforms, DG CONNECT, European Commission.

photo of LucAccessibility: a core skill for publishers by Luc Audrain, Head of Digitalization, Hachette Livre

Since graduating in engineering from the Conservatoire des Arts et Métiers, Luc Audrain has acquired a solid experience in publishing technology, occupying several technical positions in large French publishing houses.

Luc joined Hachette Livre 12 years ago. As an expert in the Innovation and Digital Technology department, he is responsible for following technological developments and supporting editorial teams as the industry goes digital. As a member of the International Digital Publishing Forum (IDPF), Luc contributes to the evolution of the EPUB standard. He is also involved in standardization work in French and international organizations, and participates in metadata specifications, particularly for ONIX.

photo of Denis

AccessiWeb, the story of an expert community in Web accessibility by Denis Boulay, Accessiweb

Denis Boulay is head of AccessiWeb, BrailleNet's Web Accessibility service. Since 2009 he has worked to update and develop Accessiweb criteria for certifying compliance with WCAG and RGAA standards. He works with the most competent experts in the field to ensure the quality of the Accessiweb certification process. He also leads a professional community of 400 web accessibility specialists.


photo de Michel E-Accessibility at Groupe La Poste by Michel Delattre, Groupe La Poste

Michel Delattre, 60, graduated from Ecole Polytechnique and from  École Nationale de la Statistique et de l'Administration (ENSAE ). He began his career at Institut National de la Statistique et des Études Économiques (INSEE) at the Department of Enterprise. In 1986 he joined the Directorate General of Taxes where he was the Head of IT, human resources and budget. In 1999 he joined  Crédit Lyonnais as Head of treatments and services to customers. In 2004 he was appointed Chief information officer at Crédit Agricole Group. Since 2006 he is Chief information officer of La Poste Group and, since 2011, Director of Central Directotate of Information Systems.

photo of NicolasNecessary changes in the profession of document adaption for visually impaired students by Nicolas Eglin, Director, Regional Technical Center for the Visually Impaired (CTRDV)

Nicolas Eglin is the director of a regional resource center in the Rhone Alps area of France. He also coordinates the Care and Support regional network for the visually impaired (SARADV), a network bringing together medical and social services that accompany more than 450 visually impaired young people aged 0-20 years in the Rhône Alpes area. The CTRDV provides transcriptions and adaptations of educational documents (CAD / Raised line drawings / school books).
Nicolas graduated from Sciences Po in Paris, and specialized in communication and management related to disability policy. His ambition is to develop networking pooling tools and practices to serve people with disabilities, particularly for facilitating  access to accessible books.

photo of Shawn

Community Collaboration through W3C WAI: Working Together on Web Accessibility by Shawn Henry, W3C

Shawn Henry leads World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) education and outreach promoting web accessibility for people with disabilities, and holds a research appointment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Prior to joining the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), she consulted with various organizations to optimize user interface design for usability and accessibility. Shawn focuses her personal passion for accessibility on bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organizations in designing human-computer interfaces. Her recent book, Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design, advocates including people with disabilities in the design process.

photo of Sarah

Develop awareness and training among  publishing professionals by Sarah Hilderley, Accessibility Project Lead, EDItEUR

Sarah has worked in publishing for many years, most recently as Production Director at HarperCollins Publishers. Her work there included the creation of standard ‘prelims’ which look at social responsibility and ethical sourcing of a publisher’s third party suppliers. She is taking the lead in EDItEUR’s involvement in Enabling Technologies Framework - a project funded by WIPO. This three year global project will develop a worldwide standard of best practice for publishers helping them ensure full accessibility to their digital material for the print-disabled.

photo of NigelMind the Digital Gap – Join the Revolution by Nigel Lewis, CEO of AbilityNet

Nigel Lewis is currently CEO of AbilityNet the UK’s leading charity on accessibility. AbilityNet has over 25 years’ experience in providing advice, guidance, assessment and consultancy in accessible ICT to all those in need whether at work, in education or at home. Nigel is also Chair of the One Voice for Accessible ICT Coalition. Prior to joining AbilityNet Nigel worked for over 25 years in the IT services sector starting his career in software development, then progressing to customer support, project management, presales and sales culminating in managing various public sector business units responsible for all areas of sales, delivery and support. Through his career Nigel has gained a comprehensive knowledge of IT and the implementation of major IT systems but also the management of business.

photo of Klaus

What is important is in the curricula by Klaus Miesenberger, Linz University

Klaus Miesenberger is Deputy Head of the Integriert Studieren Institute at the University of Linz, Austria. He has a background in computer science and economics. He is responsible for R&D and teaching at the institute which also runs a service centre for students with disabilities. In 2001 he got his professorship (habilitation) in Human-Computer Interaction with a focus on HCI for People with Disabilities. His research and teaching work is related to IT based Assistive Technologies, eAccessibility and Design for All. Klaus has been involved in more than 70 national and international R&D projects in these fields. He is member of the scientific and professional societies IFIP, working group 13.3 (HCI and People with Special Needs), OCG, AAATE, ACM and FEDORA, and is involved in a number of organisations which help improve access and training for young blind and visually impaired students. He acts as the managing director of National Contact Point for EDeAN (European Design for All e-Accessibility Network) and was previously President of the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe (AAATE).

photo of MathieuE-learning : The Power of Communities by Mathieu Nebra, CEO,  Simple IT

Since the age of 13, Mathieu Nebra has been givings free computer classes on the Internet. In 1999, he created the website Site du Zéro which has become a reference in the world of education.  Today, Site du Zéro counts more than two million visitors each month. In 2007, Mathieu launched the company IT Simple which was named Young Innovative Company of the Year by the French Ministry of Research in 2010. Simple IT develops collaborative tools for writing courses on the Web and for multi-media publishing including print and mobile applications. Following a governmental call for proposals, Simple IT’s CLAIRE project dedicated to digital technologies for education was selected.

photo of Rob

Creating a Global Community of Accessibility Professionals by Rob Sinclair, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft

 Robert Sinclair is Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft, responsible for the company's worldwide strategy to develop software and services that make it easier for people of all ages and abilities to see, hear, and use their computers. He believes that addressing the needs of people with a wide range of abilities is the key to transforming and improving the way everyone interacts with our increasingly digital world.

photo of Gerald

e-Accessibility as a transferable skill in production teams by Gerald Schmidt, Pearson Education

Gerald Schmidt is specialized in implementing accessibility in e-production. Gerald has worked in educational publishing for many years, first at ProQuest in Cambridge and then at the Open University in Milton Keynes before joining Pearson Education in London in 2011.



On-line registration is open (link "registration" on this page). The registration includes the participation to lunch served at conference location.

Programme Committee

  • ABOU-ZARA Shadi, W3C Consortium, WAI Initiative
  • ASSIMACOPOULOS André, Association pour le Bien des Aveugles, Genève (Switzerland)
  • BENHAMOU Bernard, Délégué aux Usages de l'Internet (France)
  • BURGER Dominique, Institut National de la Recherche Médicale (France)
  • BOULAY Denis, Association BrailleNet (France)
  • ENGELEN Ian, KUL (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven - Belgium)
  • KAHLISCH, Thomas, Deutsche Zentralbücherei für Blinde, Leipzig (Germany)
  • KERSCHER George, Daisy Consortium
  • KUBITSCHKE Lutz, Empirica GmbH (Germany)
  • LUCENO Varju, Daisy Consortium
  • MARMOL Bruno, INRIA (France)
  • MARTINEZ USERO José Ángel, Technosite, Fondacion ONCE (Spain)
  • MAY Mike, Sendero Group (USA)
  • MIESENBERGER Klaus, University of Linz (Austria)
  • OSBORNE Pete, RNIB (United-Kingdom)
  • OUALID Magali, INHA Nationale (France)
  • SANCHEZ Jordi, Code Factory (Spain)
  • RICE Donal, Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (Ireland)
  • SEIFFERT Marc-Daniel, University of Reims (France)
  • VARGENAU Marc-Etienne, Alcatel-Lucent (France)




BrailleNet/GTA/CFPSAA/CFHE95 €
Individuel / Individual130 €
Etudiant/Student - En recherche d'emploi / Looking for a job - Accompagnant / Companion40 €
Entreprise / Administration / Company190 €

More information :

Help - Site map - Contact