David Berman has over 30 years of experience in design and communications and has worked extensively in e-accessibility and inclusive interface design.
As an author (Do Good Design [Peachpit/Pearson, 2009, 2013]), expert speaker, designer, communications strategist, his professional work has brought him to over 50 countries.
In 2017, David was named to the AODA Standards Committee by the Government of Ontario, to help improve Ontario’s world-beating accessibility legislation.
David is an Invited Expert to the W3C, the publishers of the WCAG standard for e-accessibility.
David Berman is one of perhaps 20 people globally to hold CPWA certification, the World’s highest certification for accessibility professionals, issued issued by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals. IAAP is a division of G3ICT, for which David is an International Advisor.
In 2015, he was made an International Advisor by the G3ICT, fitting with his work helping advise governments on four continents on establishing inclusive design policy.
In 2015, he was named International Universal Design Champion for the Government of Ireland.
In 2012, David was appointed chair of the Carleton Access Network at Carleton University.
In 2009, David was appointed a high-level advisor to the United Nations on how accessible Web design thinking can help fulfill the Millennium Development Goals.
His clients include BMO, IBM, Honda, the International Space Station, the Canadian Human Rights Commission, the World Bank, Sierra Club and the Aga Khan Foundation. David’s work includes award-winning projects in the application of plain language, typeface design, and the development of a system to republish the laws of Canada in plain writing and design.
Since 1984, David has worked to establish a code of ethics which embraces social responsibility for certified graphic designers throughout Canada. The Society of Graphic Designers of Canada ratified his draft nationally in May 2000. He served as the first elected president of the Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario, North America’s first accredited graphic design organization, from 1997 to 1999. He drafted the association’s constitution and Rules of Professional Conduct and authored Ontario’s accreditation examination section on ethics and professional responsibility. He has served as the national Ethics Chair for graphic design in Canada since 2002. David also served on Axel Lebois’s committee to develop the ICT4IAL Accessibility Guidelines.
In November 2005, David was elected to the board of Icograda (now ico-D) the world body for graphic design and visual communications, and was re-elected to a second term in 2007, and a third term in 2009. Since 2011 he serves as Sustainability Chair. (How David joins a proud history of Canadians taking a leadership role in the world design community.)
He has served the ISO standards committee on signage and is currently a member of the committee for Accessible PDF (PDF/UA).
David’s “one-sheet”(speaker overview)(English)[285KB]
Mitch has over 15 years of experience as CEO of a major charitable organization in Ottawa. As well as fundraising for annual, endowment and capital campaigns, he published a community newspaper, served as public media spokesperson and advocate for the organization and led a team of 45 people. Prior to entering the charitable sector, Mitchell worked in federal politics and consulting. Mitchell has a Masters of Public Administration from Queen’s University and BA in Political Science from McGill University.
Micah Rakoff Bellman:
Micah Rakoff Bellman, BID is an award-winning designer who completed a BID (Bachelor of Industrial Design) at Carleton University. In 2016 he won first prize in the Innovative Designs for Accessibility Competition (IDeA) for his thesis project, LIFT, a height-adjustable kitchen work surface to help older individuals and people living with disabilities cook with more ease and comfort. He spoke on a panel alongside The Honourable Carla Qualtrough (Minister of Sport and Persons with Disabilities) as part of the launch of the in-person consultation process for Canada’s accessibility legislation, and has participated in workshops to improve accessibility within the federal public service. Micah strives to advocate for end-users through every stage of our process and brings unique creative perspectives to the work we do through his natural affinity for divergent thinking.
Noah Bellman joined us in 2016. He is an IT specialist who has many skills including code development, computer repairs, mobile device repairs. He is a tireless multi-tasker and, applying his experience with a variety of operating systems and hardware platform, he demonstrates a knack for discovering innovative solutions to technical problems when the typical solutions have failed. Noah has substantial experience in the care for children and teenagers living with autism.
Hannah Langford Berman:
Hannah is an award winning designer and multi-media artist who completed her BFA with a major in Design at Concordia University in Montreal, Quebec. Her projects with us include helping produce custom training events, brand conception and design, narrative development for museum multimedia, web interface design elements, and software demonstration storyboarding. Hannah has also designed magazine layouts and advertisements, spending the better part of a year as assistant design director. She has a strong interest in children’s book design, illustration, and sustainable design. In her spare time she experiments in gif art.
Innovative IT Specialist and Accessibility Consultant with comprehensive background in software design and development, project management, diversity leadership, and disability advocacy. Recognized for developing performance-driven strategies that accelerate business growth by unleashing hidden talents and discovering untapped markets. Demonstrated success maximizing productivity by building strong and effective Employee Resource Groups (ERG) for employees with disabilities and creating accessibility-compliant web sites and communication systems, usable by all people. Expertise includes comprehensive workshop facilitation and web site analysis. Moving beyond legal accessibility compliance and social obligations, to achieving productivity gains and market growth, is a key to your business success.
David Constant is a strategic advisor and organizational development consultant with over 30 years’ experience, working with organizations in the public, private and non-profit sectors. Clients have ranged from Fortune 500 companies to small start-ups, throughout Canada and the United States. David has contributed to the community by launching a best-in-class professional organization focused on process improvement, helping to write international appraisal and process standards, and delivering award-winning research in organization science.
Michael is an Adobe Certified Expert (ACE) and Adobe Certified Instructor (ACI) with over 18 years experience teaching design, web and mobile development, accessibility, and user experience. Beginning his career as a graphic designer in the music industry in the mid 90s, Michael branched out into 2D and 3D animation and programming and moved into marketing, advertising, and communications. Previous positions include Art Director at a promotions firm in Toronto and Director of Training at a continuing education facility in Ottawa. Michael has represented Adobe Systems and Corel Corporation at prestigious events worldwide, most often speaking in the areas of accessibility and user experience. Michael fuses his knowledge of functional accessibility and compliance with his extensive background in instructional design with the ADDIE and ARCS models to create engaging, accessible learning experiences from course design to content to delivery.
Michel Daw has been training adults in software and soft skills for almost twenty years, and on four continents. He is a certified Master Trainer (Langevin) with a background in psychology and computer studies. An expert in where instructional design meets universal design, trainers who have learned under his tutelage know his mantra, “The job of the teacher isn’t to present information, it is to ensure that students learn.”
Michel has worked as a teacher, curriculum developer and training manager in multiple industries, from aerospace maintenance software to consumer focused design and illustration applications. Michel also uses the skills he teaches in the professional world, designing interactive courses, databases and websites. He routinely melds popular culture with real-world application into his classes, keeping the materials and skills relevant and engaging.
Ray Farmilo is our business development expert and training consultant, from 2007 to the present, and had a strong role in helping us coordinate and improve dozens of projects and events for clients in both the private and public sectors. He ignites opportunites, and sees them through, with a relentless commitment to customer satisfaction and integrity. Ray worked for Ottawa’s Internet Institute, from 1996 to 2006 as vice-president of business development and assisted in curriculum development and other facets of the organization. Prior, he was vice president of business development for one of Ottawa’s first ISPs in 1994-1997. He also led business development teams for two other software companies during this time.
We’ve worked with Veronica Feihl from the start. Based in Toronto, she is an accredited public relations practitioner and online communications strategist. Since 1996, she has provided training, consulting and management services to help clients optimize their online communications, including an interest in making content accessible to all. She has planned and implemented many bilingual public sector and not-for-profit Web sites featuring extensive content. Before specializing in this area, Veronica worked in the public sector and six years at a full-service public relations agency. She also draws on her extensive experience in stakeholder research, information architecture, usability testing and presenting information to serve client and stakeholder needs, including WCAG 2.0 and AODA compliance.
Dr. Deborah Fels:
Dr. Fels has a PhD (1994) in Human Factors from Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto. She is a professor in the Ted Rogers School of Information Technology Management, and Director of the Inclusive Media and Design Centre at Ryerson University. Her research interests involve inclusive design, access to media and technology for people with disabilities and older adults, inclusive video game design and inclusive business. She has published over 150 articles on inclusive technologies and applications, and received three patents. She is also a professional engineer.
Research projects include: 1) emotive captioning and music visualization including software application, EnACT for adding animation to text; 2) audio description including software tool, LiveDescribe and LiveDescribe Web; 3) TerpTube – co-creator for creating online sign language web pages and for sign language interpreter training support tool; 4) sensory substitution techniques for access to sound and visual information including creation of a vibrotactile system called the Emoti-chair and a vibrotactile music facility, the VibroFusionLab; 5) mixed-reality gaming for older adults; 6) needs analysis methods that are inclusive of older adults; and 7) gamification in education.
Simone Flanagan has over 15 years experience running accessible events, beginning with running accessible Freeza events in her hometown in regional Australia. She was the General Manager of the Other Film Festival, Australia’s only international disability film festival in 2012-13. She has independently produced disability focused and accessible performances for Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Melbourne Fringe Festival, and Anti-Street Harassment Week. She is an advocate for disability rights issues and is a firm believer that access doesn’t have to be difficult. Simone is also passionate about digital inclusion with extensive knowledge and skills in the implementation of digital accessibility, especially captioning and audio description.
Alan Frank Ph.D. is a project manager, senior Web information architect, and senior usability designer, with over 25 years of experience. He applies his knowledge of human information processing, human factors, and user-centered design techniques to increase compatibility amongst people, products, and processes. The scope of his activities includes designing a wide and varied range of user interfaces, developing Web information architectures, conducting market research, and improving the effectiveness of support organizations.
Mike Gifford is a special advisor on Drupal: arguably the most knowledgeable resource on Drupal accessibility in North America. He has been spearheading accessibility improvements in this popular content management system since 2008, based on his philosophy of meeting the challenge of web accessibility by fixing the problem at the source, as an official Core Accessibility Maintainer, potentially helping some million Drupal websites meet accessibility requirements worldwide. Mike is also deeply involved in raising awareness on accessibility issues and regulations and participates in talks, conferences and events to help spread the word for a more accessible world. Mike is also well-versed in the broader challenges of web accessibility and strategies to address these barriers in other systems. Mike was nominated for Ottawa’s Celebration of People award in 2014 and has been recognized for his contributions to make the Web more accessible.
Curtiss Grymala is an expert Web developer and consultant for dotEduGuru, including experience as the University Webmaster at the University of Mary Washington. Prior to working with us he served as webmaster at Lord Fairfax Community College He has consulted with various divisions and organizations at the University of Michigan, University of Virginia, Southern Arkansas University and the University of Florida. Over the past five years, Curtiss has developed more than 50 custom WordPress plugins and created more than 20 custom WordPress themes for various organizations and companies. As a Web developer with experience at two state-funded institutions of higher education, Grymala has a strong understanding of Section 508 accessibility requirements and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 1.0 and 2.0.
Neena Gupta is our accessibility law consultant. She is a partner at Gowling Lafleur Henderson LLP, where she focuses her work on employment and human rights matters. Since she obtained her masters in Human Rights Law from the University of Toronto in 1993, she has focused a significant portion of her practice on issues of inclusiveness and accessibility. She spearheaded diversity issues in the legal profession, serving as Chair of the National Equity Committee of the Canadian Bar Association (“CBA”). She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal for her contributions to the CBA in areas of equity and diversity for almost a decade.
Randolph (Randy) Harwood:
Randy was born and raised in Brandon, Manitoba and attended the University of Manitoba where he received a Bachelor of Arts (Political Science / History) in 1978. Following two years of study towards obtaining his Bachelor of Law degree, Randy applied successfully to join Canada’s Foreign Service in August of 1982. In a career spanning over three decades and as a member of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade’s Trade Commissioner Service, he accepted challenging assignments both at home and abroad, serving in five overseas postings including Egypt, Australia, Iran, South Africa and Chile, and also as Ontario Regional Director of the Department’s international trade operations based out of Toronto. Besides English and French, Randy has studied Arabic and Spanish.
In her 25 years as a design director, Cynthia Hoffos has become highly-skilled in project and brand management, creating processes, analysing, paraphrasing, and prioritizing information for both electronic and print projects. She especially has extensive design experience working in the agricultural sector with clients such as: AgriBiz Communications, Centre for Studies in Agriculture, Law and the Environment (CSALE) at the University of Saskatchewan, Canadian Western Agribition, Del-Air Systems, Farm Animal Council of Saskatchewan, Heyday Communications (AllAgro Parts, Bulani Agro, Canterra, GrowTec, HighLiner, and Philom Bios), OMAFRA, and OSCIA. Cynthia is former national president of the Society of Graphic Designers of Canada. She also has experience working on various wayfinding projects (including CATSA, Gentry Capital, and the Museum of Nature).
Cynthia also regularly combines her graphic design creative and technical skills and experience with her passion and experience as a professional educator. She has delivered 1, 2 and 3-day hands-on courses in Adobe InDesign and Acrobat Pro, in a way that get newbies comfortable, while challenging those already with advanced knowledge. One client put it this way: “Honestly, I wish I could clone you.”
Craig Horswill, on our accessibility testing team, has used assistive technology for people who live with development challenges successfully since 2011. He uses document reading technology and announcing assists primarily on large-screen iOS devices. Craig fearlessly enjoys working with new technologies in discovering improvements that can make electronics more effective for everyone. He is a graduate of Olds College with a specialty in horticulture.
Celebrated infographic artist, Trevor Johnson has worked with us on human rights, iconographic, and wayfinding projects over two decades … most recently, on the graphic design and illustration for Daniel Libeskind’s Wheel of Conscience human rights memorial. Trevor has over two decades of infographic experience, with work featured in the Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Macleans, Reader’s Digest, Consumer Reports, Men’s Health, Popular Science, Forbes, the Toronto Star, and the Globe and Mail. His work has been recognized with awards from the Society of Newspaper Design. Trevor is also a co-winner of a Canadian National Newspaper Award for human rights coverage, and a co-winner of a Pulitzer Prize.
Kim Kilpatrick has used accessible technology for people who are blind over the past 20 years of its evolution. She uses screen reading software, braille displays, and software paired with iOS and Windows devices. She is comfortable with Windows, MacOS, and iOS platforms. Kim enjoys assisting others to make their materials and sites accessible, through testing and consultation. She has been a disability awareness trainer since 1992. Kim loves helping others to better understand disability while losing any associated intimidations.
Steven Kimball joined us in 2011. He graduated from the University of Ottawa, earning a Bachelor of Social Science with a major in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. His interest in human rights issues has brought him to Rwanda, where he studied first hand on genocide issues and the transformation toward a society where this cannot be repeated. Steven is a junior consultant and project manager, and has made major contributions to projects such as our accessibility strategy for the Canadian Human Rights Commission and concept work for the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
For over 30 years Brian has been a leader in the field of accessibility in both the United States and Canada. He has held senior level positions with businesses that design, develop and manufacture technology that promotes the principles and practices of both accessible and universal design. Brian was selected to represent the disability community for the writing of the AODA Customer Service Standard. His work in facility audits, human resources, and customer experience spans Fortune 500 corporations, universities, government, and not-for-profits. For 17 years, Brian has held a role as an industry expert to the US Department of Education in evaluating new assistive technology. On behalf of Ontario March of Dimes, Brian developed their accessibility program for Customer Service training. He also trained staff on how to perform accessibility audits for buildings under the AODA. He continues to work with us to provide his expertise in assessing businesses for compliance with all five of the AODA standards and the Ontario Human Rights Code. Brian has organized and participated in four international symposia on accessibility.
Charles (Chuck) Letourneau:
Chuck Letourneau has been involved with assistive technology and persons with disabilities since 1989. Before leaving the federal government of Canada, he managed a group of highly trained specialists who provided job-assessment, assistive technology, training and support to employees with disabilities. Chuck has been active in developing, applying and promoting standards for Web accessibility since 1995. He was co-chair of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) working group that developed the first Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. Chuck was a major contributor to the development of the Treasury Board Secretariat’s original Common Look and Feel accessibility standards. He was a member of the original committee that developed standards for Section 508 for the U.S. Access Board. Chuck is also General Secretary of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), which provides expertise to national and international governments and organizations on the practical implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and other accessibility laws and policies.
Larry McCloskey, M.A., M.S.W. has over thirty years’ experience working with people with disabilities. In 1990, he founded the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities, which was designated the ‘gold standard’ of disability support service offices by University Affaires magazine. In 1987, he co-founded the twenty-four hour/ seven day a week Attendant Services Program at Carleton, which remains the only of its kind in the world. In 1986, he co-founded the National Educational Association of Disabled Students, that continues to thrive today. Larry also co-founded IDIA (the Inter-university Disability Issues Association) including securing core funding for disability services to all universities in Ontario. In 2005, he co-founded Make the CUT, the largest gathering of persons with learning disabilities in Canada, and likely beyond. He also co-founded F.I.T.A. (From Intention to Action), an equal parts effective retention program, and dynamic mental health service delivery model. Since 2012, Larry has worked with David on such initiatives as Research Education Accessibility and Design, the Carleton Access Network (which David chairs), and organizing Canada’s largest accessibility conference to date.
Dean Mellway, MSW:
Dean Mellway, M.S.W. is a current member of the Province of Ontario’s AODA Accessibility Standards Advisory Committee and Standards Development Committee. He began at the Ontario March of Dimes as a community development officer and was quickly promoted to Regional Director. He moved to Ottawa in 1980 to become Executive Director of the Canadian Wheelchair Sports Association and after ten years, opened the Paul Menton Centre for Students with Disabilities. Dean enjoyed a long career as a competitive athlete, representing Canada with medal performances in Paralympics and World Championships in over three decades. He won a gold medal in the 1976 Olympiad, a bronze in the 1994 Winter Paralympics in Lillehammer, and took home silver from the 1998 Winter Paralympics in Nagano. He is currently director of Carleton University’s READ Initiative (Research, Education, Accessibility and Design).
Khadija (nee Safri) graduated top of her class as a graphic designer from Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus in Doha, Qatar in 2011. As one of our experts in both the development and coaching of the production of accessible documents, Khadija has been personally involved in both the automatic and manual remediation of hundreds and hundreds of documents to conform to WCAG and PDF/UA standards, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, InDesign, HTML, and PDF files. She has also helped develop learning materials and participated in many aspects of audits for Web-based properties. As part of the David Berman Communications team, she has worked on projects, such as website design, online documents and print publications for clients including Ontario Ministry of Government and Consumer Services, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs, University of Ottawa, OSCIA, the Canada Revenue Agency, the Library of Parliament and the refreshed edition of our book, Do Good Design. She is passionate about sustainable design, and has worked on environmental graphics projects such as interior wayfinding for the new Ras Gas headquarters in Doha, Qatar.
Brian Moore, CPACC:
Brian Moore has worked in the adaptive technology field for over 20 years, including providing technical support for assistive technologies and training. He learned HTML with the focus on enabling all users to use online products.
Brian has spent significant time with the WCAG 2 guidelines and their implementation recommendations, and believes strongly that excellent visual design and accessibility are not mutually exclusive. Brian has worked onsite at the Government of Ontario at a number of Ministries, as well as at Canada’s distributor for JAWS as an expert in assistive technologies. Brian has worked with us on making dozens of sites and events more accessible.
Nick Stone, MBA, holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Hawaii where he graduated Beta Gamma Sigma and a bachelor of arts in English from Dickinson College. Advocating for the disabled has been a lifelong endeavor for Nick, whose only sibling has Down syndrome. Hawaii’s First Lady invited Nick to the governor’s mansion roughly 35 years ago to acknowledge his “outstanding service” to the disabled community. Nick began writing computer code in 1980, has been developing accessible websites since 2006, and is a member of GAWDS, an international guild of Web accessibility experts. An avid communicator with three decades of business management experience, Nick enjoys sharing his knowledge of digital accessibility with the business communi
In addition to managing various projects at David Berman communications, Tamara Torok is currently very passionate about assisting with production of David’s courses on accessibility. Her education includes earning an Honours degree in Linguistics and Applied Sciences from Carleton University, at the same time as a Certificate in Teaching English as a Second Language (CTESL). She then went on to enhance performance and productivity in a number of Carleton’s departments. Today, Tamara simultaneously coordinates project portfolios, speaks on leadership and coaches athletic performance. Having mentored and coached youth from multiple disciplines she is an enthusiastic and dedicated leader with more than 15 years of experience managing community fitness and recreation programs. The same drive that contributes to Tamara’s professional success is equally apparent in her singular personal pursuits, such as being a member of an award-winning dragon boat team and pulling a plane (team required).
Kelsey Voy attended the University of Ottawa and has received a Bachelors Degree in Social Science, with a focus on Psychological Development and Biology, as well as a Bachelors of Education. She has been a registered educator with the Ontario College of Teachers for the past four years and has a great enthusiasm for both teaching and learning. She has worked in administration and client services for several years in a variety of different roles.
Amelia has worked as an Accessibility Specialist at both the Cabinet Office and the Ministry of Education of Ontario, successfully helping make their public-facing websites and web content compliant with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). Amelia also has experience in training managers and staff to create accessible documents. She has studied inclusive design at OCAD University and is a member of the Inclusive Design Research Centre. She speaks English and Mandarin fluently.
Reviewed April 11, 2017