A free breakfast presentation, sponsored by University College of Northeastern University, called "Accessible Web Design Is Good Business", took place on July 31, 2003.
"Accessible Web Design Is Good Business"
Date: July 31, 2003
Location: Northeastern University
7:30 - 8:00 a.m. Breakfast
8:00 - 8:30 a.m. Presentation
8:30 - 9:00 a.m. Q&A
[Editor's Note: The Accessible Web Design graduate certificate program at Northeastern University is no longer offered. University College is now called the "School of Professional and Continuing Studies".]
Despite the early hour, the breakfast was well attended, with people from many companies and institutions present to hear a presentation about why creating accessible web sites makes sense in today's business world.
The presentation began with an introduction by Christopher E. Hopey, Vice President of Adult and Continuing Education for University College, Northeastern's part-time division.
The majority of the morning's program was delivered by Rose A. Doherty, Assistant Dean and Director of Liberal Arts Programs and Criminal Justice Programs. Rose was instrumental in creating the graduate certificate program in Accessible Web Design [later renamed the "Interactive Design" program] offered by University College, the first program of its kind focused completely on accessibility.
The morning's topic featured a PowerPoint presentation, called "Accessible Web Design Is Good Business", followed by questions from the audience.
The program was interpreted in American Sign Language by two Northeastern graduates.
Available to answer questions following the PowerPoint presentation were three instructors from the Interactive Design program: Neil Duane, Jim Sampson, and Joel Sklar. Neil just completed teaching "Accessibility and Interactive Technologies" during the Spring 2003 term, and Joel is scheduled to teach "Communication and Interactive Media" in the Fall. Jim is the instructor for "Human Factors and Interactive Media", starting in January.
At the end of the program, Rose presented the First Annual Award for Outstanding Accessible Web Design on behalf of University College to Wells Fargo and Company, this year's winner. Wendy Tazelaar, Vice President for the Internet Services Group, came from San Francisco, California, to accept the award.
Wendy was very pleased to receive the award on behalf of her company and answered questions from the audience about the process Wells Fargo has developed for creating accessible web sites. She talked about the sense of excitement that the Wells Fargo team experiences as a result of working together to create more accessible products for their customers.
The criteria and the choice of Wells Fargo as the winner of this year's award were determined as a joint project by students from the Interactive Design program, including Anne Russo-Quinn, P.J. Gardner, Lucille Blaschke, and Lori Gillen, with support from Neil Duane.
Following the breakfast, many of the attendees took advantage of a tour of the accessible technologies provided to Northeastern University students and others at the Snell Library. Northeastern University staff members Debra Mandel and Karl Yee were on hand to show people the screen readers, Braille devices, and other capabilities available at the library.
© 2003-2005 P.J. Gardner. All rights reserved.
Boston-IA founder, P.J. Gardner, contributed a handout to the Northeastern breakfast that lists favorite accessibility resources for web and information designers.
To find out more about Northeastern University's graduate certificate programs: