About

Hi, I’m Scott.

I am a web accessibility consultant and front end engineer from Toronto, Canada. I write, speak, instruct workshops, and share code about accessibility development and design. I'm also a participant on the W3C ARIA Working Group.

My primary goal is to help with all things web accessibility across your team and organization. This might sound like a large task, and it is, but I’m very excited to help and take on this challenge. I bring many years of experience to all teams in order to help make their product usable and accessible to all people.

My approach

I work with your team to suggest edits and recommendations to both design and code to meet WCAG 2.1 AA. If a recommendation doesn't fit within the constraints of your existing system, we'll work within said constraints to find a fix that does. This is a team based approach and we're all on the same side, making the best user experience possible.

My methodology includes manually testing UI by working my way down my Assessment Checklist to not only meet WCAG 2.1 AA compliance, but also to ensure a fully usable, reliable, and comfortable user experience for all. Manually testing is the best way to test as it brings a human perspective.

“Can I get to point A to point B? Does this make sense?“

Automated accessibility testing tools can only find so much. This is why manual testing is so very important. That said, I also run a few automated tests to ensure technical accessibility issues are not missed.

Some history

A brief history of how I got to this point in my career:

  • 1999 — I receive my first computer as a gift for graduating high school from my parents.
  • 2000 — I go away to college and experience high-speed internet for the first time (no more dial-up!?)
  • 2001 — Instead of studying my original major of Social Work, my interest in the web and how computers work increases. I also play a lot of Diablo 2 (after upgrading my RAM from 32mb to 64mb allows smooth Battle.net gameplay.)
  • 2002 — I switch majors from Social Work to Computer Science. My family, friends, and peer groups are all confused. I know this is the right move for me.
  • 2003 — I return home and go to a local trade school to learn programming. I play a lot of Counter-Strike, start gaming communities online, and get way into Linux by running my own web and gaming servers from my parents basement. Dad is not impressed by my power consumption or time spent on the computer. I insist I'm investing time into "my future career." (I was right!)
  • 2007 — I get my first "real" job in Ottawa, Canada as a web developer writing both back end (MySQL & PHP) and front end code (HTML & CSS.)
  • 2011 — I discover screen reader technology. My mind is blown at the realization that some people rely on this to experience the web. I'm also horrified at the thought of everything I've ever created might not work for people with disabilities. Learning all the accessibility things commences.
  • 2013 — I nervously start contributing to The A11Y Project, my first attempts at open source and GitHub.
  • 2014 — I implement accessibility best practices to client sites without disrupting design or workflow. No one knows or notices, except myself and the end user. Releasing inaccessible experiences is no longer acceptable.
  • 2015 — Start on the Shopify FED Admin team working with Snook, searching for and fixing accessibility issues alongside other team projects.
  • 2016 — Leave Shopify for family reasons and start learning and working with Derek Featherstone and the Simply Accessible team.
  • 2016-2018 — Learn a ton about accessibility audits and remediation by implementing accessibility fixes for various big-brand property sites and apps while being immersed in the #a11y community. Also conduct research on accessibility in Angular and React frameworks.
  • 2018 — I return to Shopify as its first full-time accessibility advocate.

Workshops

  • Pixel Pioneers — Web Accessibility for Developers: Essential Tools for Inclusive Coding
    Bristol, UK - 7 June 2019

  • Deloitte — Web Accessibility for Developers: Essential Tools for Inclusive Coding
    Toronto, Canada - August 31st 2018

  • The Globe and Mail — Web Accessibility for Developers: Essential Tools for Inclusive Coding
    Toronto, Canada - September 27th 2018

  • HackerYou — Web Accessibility for Developers/UX Designers: Essential Tools for Inclusive Coding
    Toronto, Canada - July 7th, 2018, August 3rd, 2018, November 3rd 2018, January 26th 2019

  • Canada Learning Code — Intro to Browser Extensions with JavaScript
    Kingston, Canada - 22 September 2018

  • Canada Learning Code — JavaScript for Beginners
    Kingston, Canada - 24 March 2018

  • Canada Learning Code — Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for Beginners
    Kingston, Canada - September 23, 2017

Speaking engagements

  • #a11yTOConf — Creating Accessible React Apps (live coding session)
    Toronto, Canada - October 16th, 2018

  • HYA11Y Meetup — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Toronto, Canada - May 31st, 2018

  • Kingston Developers — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Kingston, Canada - May 23rd, 2018

  • ForwardJS — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Ottawa, Canada - April 5th, 2018

  • Shopify Partners Webinar — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Remote - March 15th, 2018

  • TribalScale (developer lunch-and-learn) — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Toronto, Canada - March 14th, 2018

  • #a11yTalks — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Remote - February 28th, 2018

  • A11Y Tour — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Montreal, Canada - February 24th, 2018

  • A11Y Tour — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Ottawa, Canada - February 23rd, 2018

  • OttawaJS — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Ottawa, Canada - February 21st, 2018

  • #a11yTO Camp — Creating Accessible React Apps
    Toronto, Canada - November 18th, 2017

  • Kingston Developers — Launchy!
    Kingston, Canada - December 13th, 2017

  • #CodePenOttawa — Launchy!
    Ottawa, Canada - September 27th, 2017

Television appearances

Radio/podcast interviews

Let's work together

After reading all this and decide you'd like to work with me, feel free to send me a note!