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AccessU 2021 is a virtual conference that lets you bring the accessibility community to your desktop. It is dedicated to the memory of our friend and colleague Christopher Schmitt.

All times are Central Time.

May18 - May 20 

Premier Sponsors are Google and Dell – thank you!

Keynote talks by Reginé Gilbert, Tara Voelker, Judith Heumann and Joe Devon


Classes are offered over three days in seven rooms. Each room has a featured topic, although there is some topic overlap. Unique links to join each room are distributed the night before each day’s classes.  

Morning classes are held from 9:00 am to 12:15 Central time each day

We break mid-day for keynotes talks and lunch 

Afternoon classes resume at 2:00 pm and end at 5:15

Class details listed on the Full Schedule

Keynote Presentations

May 18th / 12:30 – 1:30

Reginé Gilbert

Reginé Gilbert is a User Experience Designer in NYC with over 10 years’ experience working in technology. She has a strong belief in making the world a more accessible place, and she believes that starts and ends with the user.  She started her career in Design as a Fashion Designer and evolved into working in corporate information technology before returning to the world of design. She is passionate about accessibility, design and technology. Reginé previously worked in New York City as a User Experience Designer at Ralph Lauren Digital. She is an Educator at General Assembly and New York University teaching User Experience Design and recently published Inclusive Design for a Digital World.

May 19th / 12:30 – 1:30

Tara Voelker

Tara is a passionate accessibility advocate, having served as the IGDA Game Accessibility chairperson, during which time she co-authored a White House policy briefing and established accessibility guidelines with Film Victoria. She currently remains on the steering committee.

She is currently the Xbox Gaming and Disability Community Lead as part of the Gaming for Everyone program, and Co-Director of #GAConf, the world’s first conference dedicated to game accessibility. Tara is also a AAA industry vet, having shipped titles such as Red Faction: Guerrilla, Bioshock Infinite, and The Order 1886. During her time at Turtle Rock Studios as a producer for Evolve Stage 2, she championed the release of accessibility features such as colorblind mode and remappable controls.

May 20th / 12:30 – 1:30

Judith Heumann

Interviewed by Knowbility ED Sharron Rush

Judith (Judy) Heumann is an internationally recognized disability advocate after serving in the Clinton and Obama Administration and being a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation. She was featured in the documentary "Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution," a 2020 American award-winning documentary film, directed by James LeBrecht and Nicole Newnham, produced by the Obama Higher Ground Production. She is also an author of her memoir "Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist." along with Kristen Joiner. Not only that, but she is now the producer of The Heumann Perspective, a podcast and YouTube channel that aims to share the beauty of the disability community.

Networking Events

May 19th All Day: Social Commons in the Dewey Winburne Room

Join AccessU sponsors and participants in interactive actities including product demos, Round Tables, sponsored talks and opportunities to learn more about accessibility activities in organizations of all kinds. Drop in and out of the Social Commons on your own schedule.

May 19th 6:00 to 7:00pm: Game Night!

Compete for prizes and meet new people.

May 20th 5:15 to 6:00pm: Live QA with Joe Devon, co-Founder of GAAD!

Join the cofounder of Global Accessibility Awareness Day for Q&A followed by a recorded talk about his 10-year journey evolving GAAD. 


Ana Sisnett Room

sponsored by Pearson
Featured topic: Content 
Moderator: Jayne Schurick

Bill Cahill Room

sponsored by Big10/Fox
Featured topic: Business
Moderators: Rich Schwerdtfeger, Becky Gibson, Jan McSorely

Christopher Schmitt Room

sponsored by codemantra
Featured topic: Design
Moderator: Jayne Schurick

Jim Thatcher Room

sponsored by
Featured Topic: Coding and Testing
Moderator: Jim Allan, Whitney Quesenbery

Dewey Winburne Room

Sponsored by Oklahoma ABLE Tech
Featured Topic: Social Commons
Moderator: Jillian Fortin, Cheryl Pearson, Kelsey Ruger

Justin Dart Room

Sponsored by Verbit
Featured Topic: Document Accessibility
Moderator: Mike Paciello, Alicia Evans

Teach Access Room

Sponsored by Teach Access
Featured Topic: Study Away, Faculty Grants
Moderator: Kate Sonka, Shea Tanis, Cheryl Pearson


Featured Sponsors:

Additional Sponsors:

  • Verbit
  • Deque
  • Monkee-Boy
  • Oklahoma ABLE Tech
  • Swantner Ventures
  • Big Ten Network / FOX
  • Teach Access
  • IAAP
  • codemantra
  • Pearson