More dates

GAAD Free Webinar: Digital Accessibility Imperative Post COVID-19

This event has passed Register

Event description

Lockdown and social distancing restrictions have forced many businesses online, quickly, and often without ensuring that their solutions are accessible. These businesses are not only excluding people who have access needs, they are also missing out on many other benefits of accessibility.

Thursday 21 May is Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), a day to get people talking, thinking and learning about digital access/inclusion. This year our discussion focuses on how businesses need to consider digital accessibility. Not only is ensuring everyone has an equitable experience the right thing to do to, but there are multiple other business benefits from considering accessibility from the beginning.

InternetNZ, Access Advisors and the Access Alliance have come together for a 90-minute online event designed to start a discussion around the 'Post Covid Digital Accessibility'. The panel will be facilitated by Andrew Cushen from InternetNZ and include representatives from the business, disability, access legislation and digital accessibility consultancy communities.


Facilitated by Andrew Cushen from InternetNZ, our panel of experts will discuss:

  • How business are moving online fast, without necessarily considering accessibility - Steve Barnard, Pikselin
  • The problems faced with websites that aren't accessible - Neil Jarvis
  • The need for an Access Law in New Zealand - Chrissie Cowan, Access Alliance
  • Business benefits of and how to improve digital accessibility - Dr Chandra Harrison, Access Advsiors


This webinar will be of interest to:

  • People who believe that digital services should be technologically accessible for all New Zealanders
  • Disability community
  • Design/tech community
  • Business community
  • Internet community


Panelists will speak for 15 minutes with a five minute Q&A on their topic. After all four speakers have finished there will be a general discussion to gauge the desire for more targeted events to explore specific needs for different access types.

Attendees are encouraged to contribute questions ahead of time and during the session. Andrew will facilitate the Q&A sessions. Once you have registered you will receive a link to the Zoom Webinar.


Andrew Cushen - is the Engagement Director and leads the Community, Events and Communications teams at InternetNZ. He has over 15 years experience in managing relationships, messages and issues across the Internet, telco and tech sectors. 

Steve Barnard is the managing director of Pikselin Limited, a leading Wellington based Web Design and Consultancy business servicing the government and commercial market. He has extensive experience in software development in both the web design and web application spaces. His organisation's primary focus is in the development of user interfaces and user experiences that provide effective two way participation and communications. Steve is acutely aware of the issues in the market around accessibility, the government standards and current commercial pressures to quickly stand up web sites to address changes in market conditions. 

Neil Jarvis - is a self-employed contractor, specialising in technology innovation which is relevant to blind people. He works on such issues as increasing access to information, books and online and physical electronic services. Neil has worked for many years in the field of online content accessibility. He works with businesses, government and not-for-profit organisations, along with online content developers to ensure websites and other electronic systems are accessible to everyone. Neil is an active user of braille, mobile devices, AI-based technology and traditional computer systems. He is typically an “early adopter” of new technology, importing devices where necessary in order to be up to speed with cutting edge developments.

Chrissie Cowan - CEO of Kāpō Māori and Access Alliance. Chrissie is of Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Porou descent. She is CEO of Kāpō Māori Aotearoa NZ Inc. the oldest national indigenous Disabled Persons Organisation (DPO) in Aotearoa New Zealand and Chair of the Access Alliance, a collective of like-minded NGOs, DPOs, business, community groups and individuals working with Government to put accessibility at the heart of a more inclusive Aotearoa New Zealand. Chrissie is a passionate advocate for indigenous and disability rights and has had the privilege of serving her community and her Iwi nationally and internationally.

Dr Chandra Harrison - Managing Director of Access Advisors. Access Advisors is a New Zealand based pan-disability digital accessibility social enterprise. Chandra is passionate about helping New Zealand businesses to improve their digital accessibility and has worked in accessibility for the past 20 years in NZ, USA and UK. Chandra will discuss the numerous business benefits of accessibility, how to improve digital accessibility and explain the resources and services available.

Access Needs

Access Advisors are pleased to sponsor NZSL interpreters and live captions. 

Supporters of the event

Thanks are extended to BLVNZ, Accessibility Tick.

Powered by

Tickets for good, not greed Humanitix donates 100% of profits from booking fees to charity

Refund policy

No refund policy specified.