HighEdWeb Assocation
The Annual Conference for Higher Education Web Professionals, Austin, Texas, October 23-26, 2011

General Session

Shawn Henry


Leads World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) education and outreach promoting Web accessibility for people with disabilities

Embracing Accessibility - Go for the Carrots

Monday, Oct. 24, 1:10-2:15 p.m.

Accessibility is essential for developers and organizations who want to create high quality websites and Web tools and not exclude people from using your online resources. Web accessibility is getting more attention at universities and colleges recently because of lawsuits. But that's just one aspect. In this session we'll look at the more exciting reasons to embrace accessibility, and how to reap the technical and financial benefits of accessibility. With engaging stories and illustrations, Shawn will offer a different approach to accessibility. Instead of focusing on the stick, go for the delicious carrots motivating accessibility.


Shawn Henry focuses her personal passion for accessibility on bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organizations in designing human-computer interfaces. Her most recent book, Just Ask: Integrating Accessibility Throughout Design, offers an approach for developing products that are more usable for everyone.

Shawn leads the World Wide Web Consortium's (W3C) education and outreach activities promoting Web accessibility for people with disabilities. Before joining the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), she developed and implemented strategies to optimize user interface design for usability and accessibility with Fortune 500 companies, nonprofit organizations, education providers, government agencies, research centers and international standards bodies.

Although Shawn holds a research appointment at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory and has a Massachusetts phone number, she isn't a super-geek and she lives in Madison, Wisc. When not typing on her little laptop, she is often out paddling her long sea kayak.