Seminar - Global Accessibility Awareness Day

Guest Lecture

Speaker: Thomas Bryan and Bee Tapara
Time: Thursday 19th May 2022 at 02:10 PM - 03:00 PM
Location: Lecture Theatre, Hugh McKenzie LT002

Add to Calendar Add to your calendar


Guest Lecture - SWEN 303 (User Experience Engineering) Zoom:

Global Accessibility Awareness Day ( is on Thursday 19 May 2022. We have the following guest speakers.

Speaker 1: Thomas Bryan

Title: My Life Technology how it can be a game changer

Abstract: How and what technology I use and why. The right technology can make a huge difference in what I do throughout my day. In my presentation I will talk about some of the technology I use to remove barriers. Iâ€TMll also discuss areas where technology could assist me but due to several factors there are gaps that mean I need to develop a range of strategies to overcome the technology lockout.

Bio: Thomas is an advocate for accessibility in all walks of life. I am a blind person. I have worked in technology, as a trainer, service manager, and national technology advisor. I have received recognition for my advocacy and my work by several organisations over the last 30 odd years. One of the recent projects I lead was to roll out iBeacons into a number of shops in Wellington partnering with Wellington city Council. The purpose of the iBeacons was to help guide blind and print disabled people to know what businesses they were passing or entering. I was also part of a team that rolled out smart speakers to assist in accessing information and a library service. I now am a contractor providing advice to other organisations about how they can make goods and or services accessible for all. I host a radio show on Wellington Access Radio. I am a member of Blind Citizens NZ Wellington Branch, a member of the Greater Wellington Public Transport Advisory Group, A trustee of the board for ABLE the organisation that produces Audio Description and am one of two country delegates to the World Blind Union.

Speaker 2: Bee Tapara

Title: An Introduction to Accessibility in Context

Abstract: “Nothing about us, without us." Technology, software, and accessible design is crucial to many groups who face access barriers in day to day life, however to many it remains unknown and under-utilised. Everyday actives like grocery shopping, banking, and studying are taken for granted by many but are tasks that may only be possible for some when accessibility is considered in its design. So why is access important? How do we continue to provide a world accessible to people of all ability levels. In this talk, we will examine the history of technologies initially invented out of necessity for the survivorship of disabled people but have since become tools for the benefit everyone. Taking these lessons of the past, we will continue our journey by examining how accessible design philosophies continue to hold true in an age of exponential development and how a culture of diversity creates unique and inspired solutions. By exploring why including minorities in the conversation is important, we can create connection as well code and continue on a path towards a richer and more diverse world.

Bio: Bee (they/them is an undergraduate here at Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University of Wellington studying computer science. Born with a genetic based disability that significantly impacts my vision, I have been exposed to and utilised adaptive technology since I was a toddler to allow me a chance at independence. As one of the many people who experience a significant impairment during childhood, I have been fighting with assistive technology and accessibility softwares since pre-primary school. I took an interest in accessible software design in my early teens after having noticed the increasing gap in access between myself and my able bodied peers. Now, I strive to use my knowledge of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines(WCAG) and first hand experience to shine a light on accessibility and inclusion and how they fit into the rapidly changing industry of software development.

Go backGo back to the seminar list