Attendees at the 2020 Accessible Publishing Summit
Jessica is the Digital and Art Director at ECW Press where she works on ebooks, accessibility, audiobooks, book covers, and metadata. Since 2018, Jessica has been working to overhaul the digital production and metadata systems at ECW to apply accessibility standards to their ebooks and hands-on, flexible control to their communication through metadata.
Roger has an extensive background of over 40 years in Information Systems and Technology, with the last 18 in Not-For-Profits, primarily Libraries for the Blind or Libraries for the Print Disabled.
As the Director of CNIB’s Accessible Publishing Department, Roger has been tasked to “Pivot and Expand” the department into a Social Enterprise organization and offer accessibility services to the Canadian Publishing Industry.
Before working at CNIB, Roger held titles such as Enterprise Architect and Sr. Project Manager for several large insurance companies and telecommunications companies.
Nicolas is a Higher Education Officer at Copibec
Karoline believes that everything should be accessible. This belief has brought her to the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS). Since starting as a Production Assistant and into her work as an Accessibility Tester she has been researching human rights concerns related to publishing and legal frameworks in which they work. In her role as an Accessibility Tester she has presented at The Accessibility Summit and at Ebookcraft. Before coming to NNELS she has worked as a Mediator, an Office Manager, and Articling Student. Karoline has 3 degrees from Queen’s University including a J.D. She is very involved in her community having been a member of Lions International since 2007, and more recently joined the Board of Directors of Blind Sailing Association of Canada. Karoline also serves as a Public Member at the College of Chiropractors. In her time off, she could be found on a sailboat and recently obtained her Small Craft Operators Licence. She enjoys spending time cooking, tasting wine, and talking to friends. Of course, one of her most cherished pastimes is reading.
David is the co-publisher and president of ECW Press, a Toronto-based book, ebook, and audiobook publisher with a mix of award-winning literary works and niche non-fiction, marketed around the world. He has a zeal for community building, both in books and beyond, and is presently the president of the Ontario Book Publishers Organization. Before books, he worked in the worlds of theatre and photography.
Mélissa is a master’s candidate in political science with the specialization in gender studies at l’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). She is a member of the Regroupement Stratégique des Chercheur-es en Études Féministes (RéQEF), the Collectif de Recherche Action Politique et Démocratie (CAPED) and the Groupe de recherche en études féministes en science politique (GREF). She is currently working with NNELS as an accessibility tester for electronic publications (EPUB) and electronic readers.
As an academic with dyslexia and dysorthographia, she is well aware of the importance of accessible publications and e-reader technologies towards a more inclusive way to share stories and knowledge.
Mélanie est directrice de la Collection universelle de Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec. Elle est responsable du développement et de la production des documents pour le Service québécois du livre adapté.
Kate is Executive Director at the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), the national voice of Canada’s independent English-language book publishers. Kate leads ACP’s government relations and advocacy program, and oversees the association’s communications, professional development, and marketing initiatives. An active participant in industry initiatives, Kate sits on the boards of eBOUND Canada, Work In Culture, and Canada FBM2020, the organization that will present Canada as Guest of Honour at the 2020 Frankfurt Book Fair.
Danny is a blind software engineer from British Columbia. An avid and curious reader, he enjoys cracking open EPUBs to explore their coding and assess their accessibility. Born accessible publishing is the future of Ebooks, and it is exciting to join you on this journey.
Kaden has been an accessibility tester with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS) for a little over a year, and was at the 2018 accessible publishing summit. Kaden lives in Nanaimo, B.C.
Éveline works for the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres for years as project manager for the Copyright Committee, the Digital, Innovation and Technology Committee, and the School Publishing Committee. She also represents ANEL on the board of the Coalition for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, and on the Copyright Committee of the International Publishers Association.
Jennifer is the Director of Policy in the Office for Disability Issues at Employment and Social Development Canada, where she is responsible the development of policy options to further economic and social inclusion of persons with disabilities. One of her current priority areas is production and distribution of alternate format materials for people with print disabilities.
Sarah is the Head of Technology at the West Vancouver Memorial Library. She has worked with ebooks and the public and the library community in a wide variety of roles since 2011.
Anne joined Blackstone Audio in 2001 where she was quickly promoted to Head of Retail Sales, successfully developing new selling avenues, which quadrupled within 5 years. She has continued to manage Digital Sales for Blackstone Audio – the fastest growing portion of the company – since 2008, before becoming the VP of Sales. Leading her team in adapting to an ever-changing marketplace, she enjoys finding new ways to connect customers and partners with the enriching world of audiobooks. Born in France, Anne embraces her heritage by cooking French cuisine for friends and never refusing a glass of the good wine around her Southern Oregon area home.
Robert Gordon manages Canadian National Institute for the Blind’s (CNIB) Audio Publishing and Distribution departments, coordinating the creation and circulation of DAISY audio productions in French and English on behalf of CELA, the Centre for Equitable Library Access. CNIB’s Accessible Publishing department has been transcribing print works into alternative formats for Canadians living with vision loss and print disabilities for over 100 years. In recent years, CNIB has begun to more closely collaborate with publishers and educators to encourage the mainstream adoption of best practices, as well as producing accessible works on their behalf.
Rina has over 15 years of experience in public library leadership, most recently as Collections & Technical Services Coordinator at Greater Victoria Public Library in British Columbia to her new role as the Executive Director for the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA). Rina was a member of the CELA board from 2016-2019, and played a key role advocating for improved access to ebooks and digital audiobooks for libraries and their patrons through her participation with the Canadian Urban Libraries Council Digital Content Working Group. Rina is passionate about accessibility and excited about the possibilities for advancing equitable access through partnerships, advocacy, and technology.
Lisa is the CEO of the Atlantic Publishers’ Marketing Association (APMA). She joined the APMA in December 2018. In her younger years, Lisa ran her own research and communication business, then trained as a graphic designer and went on to work in IT for Core Networks in Halifax. She moved to the UK in 2001, where she spent 16 years in London working with not-for-profits and charities, focusing on areas such as homelessness, housing and health. She returned to her native Nova Scotia in late 2017 with her husband, with dreams of building a house in the countryside (soon to be realized).
Astrid has worked for the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres since last year as the Digital Cultural Project Agent, as part of the Measure 120 of the Government of Quebec’s Digital Cultural Plan. She represents the industry of book publishing and creation alongside the ADN network of the Measure 120.
Nick has spent the last 7 years working in higher education digital publishing and has just recently moved to trade publishing (with a specific focus on digital production, accessible EPUB production, and digital and print distribution/metadata management).
He was the XML workflow manager for the University of Toronto Press and responsible for producing accessible EPUBs in-house and running an XML workflow.
Nick served as a member for two years and the chair for one year on the Design & Production committee for the Association of University Presses, with a focus on digital publishing and XML/HTML workflow best practices.
He was the Organizer and Session Chair of the 2016 Association of University Presses Annual Meeting’s Workshop: “Accessibility is Accessible”
Nick spent the last 5 months of his previous job as a Production Manager for Canadian Scholars’ Press, assisting the publisher with grant applications for funding to implement an XML workflow and create accessible EPUBs. I was tasked with assessing XML workflow/digital conversion service providers and contacting accessibility experts to explore best practices and auditing/consulting.
He is now the Digital and Distribution Coordinator for Coach House Books (just started).
He teaches the course “Content Management” for the Publishing Program at Centennial College.
He is currently a member of the ACP-eBOUND Accessible Publishing Advisory Panel – Technical Specifications Group
Lindsey has been obsessed with books since she was a young girl growing up in New Brunswick. She holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College and has worked as a writer, editor, and production assistant for television news and magazines. For four years, she oversaw production and creation of Nimbus Publishing’s ebook and audiobook programs as their Digital Assets Manager. Currently, she is the Wilfrid Laurier University Press Production Coordinator and working towards implementing in-house ebook and audiobook strategies at the Press. In her spare time, you can usually find her at the curling rink or on the dance floor at a swing dance event.
JoAnna is an advocate for people who benefit from inclusive experiences. She loves helping others understand the needs of people with diverse abilities, and inventing ways to improve access for everyone. JoAnna has been working in the design, product development, and accessibility fields for over 15 years. She has created a variety of inclusive digital experiences, changed policies, implemented inclusive development practices, and influenced culture in large organizations. She is a member of industry accessibility groups working to share knowledge and best practices and make accessible development practices more mainstream in several industries. Through her work in accessibility and education, and her background in interaction and information design JoAnna has become an influential change maker focused on delivering on the promise technology offers to those with a variety of physical and cognitive abilities. She is currently bringing her expertise to accessibility initiatives within Amazon Kindle.
Simon is an Accessibility Tester with NNELS from Nanaimo, BC. He was born completely blind and is a technology and accessibility enthusiast, audio producer, and an avid reader. He has experience with a wide variety of screen-readers and reading systems across desktop and mobile, and excellent working knowledge of audio formats, as well as ten years of audio editing and production experience. Before his position as an accessibility tester with NNELS, he spent more than 5 years training visually-impaired clients to get the most out of their computers, smartphones and other assistive technology.
Kim Johnson is a consultant for the Public Library Services Branch with the Government of Alberta. Kim works on resource sharing and accessibility in public libraries.
John Kennedy is a partner with Radiant Press based on treaty four territory in Regina, SK. Radiant Press is new on the publishing scene having been founded in 2017. In its two short years, it has acquired 50 active titles for its backlist and published 10 new books. John has spent 30 years as an arts administrator for a variety of organizations and is active in the arts ecology serving as president of SaskBooks and in an advisory role with the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance.
George Kerscher Ph.D.
“Access to information is a fundamental human right.” 2003 to the United Nations
George began his IT innovations in 1987 and coined the term “print disabled.” George is dedicated to developing technologies that make information not only accessible, but also fully functional in the hands of persons who are blind or who have a print disability. He believes properly designed digitally published materials and web pages can make information accessible to all people. George is an advocate for semantically rich content which can be used effectively by everybody.
As Chief Innovations Officer of the DAISY Consortium, Senior Advisor, Global Literacy to Benetech, and member of Publishing Groups in the W3C, Kerscher is a recognized international leader in document access. In addition, Kerscher chairs the DAISY/NISO Standards committee, Chairs the Steering Council of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Abigail Kidd is a policy analyst at the Office for Disability Issues. She has
expertise in critical disability analysis and lived experience of disability.
David has worn many hats over the years, including news photographer, technical support analyst, media specialist, and photography instructor. Around the year 2000, when his sight began to decline, and reading print material became more difficult, his career path took a big shift.
David held several positions at BALANCE for Blind Adults, a non profit organization for people who are blind or have low vision. Those roles included, Volunteer Coordinator, IT Support, and Access Technology Instructor. Currently, he works as an accessibility tester for the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), evaluating the reading of EPUB files and the applications used to read them.
In his words, “Low vision can be difficult to understand because each individual’s perception dictates how and what they see, and as a result, what reading barriers they face.”
David is grateful to have the opportunity to contribute to the understanding of how people with low vision can better access information.
Charles is the Technical Lead for DIAGRAM and Born Accessible at Benetech. Charles has over 25 years’ accessibility development experience and has been a pioneer in accessible product development since 1993. Charles currently co-facilitates the Personalization Task Force for the W3C’s Accessible Platforms Architectures (APA) Working group, and is a member of the Publishing Working Group. Charles contributed to the Book Industry Study Group’s “Guide to Accessible Publishing” published in January of 2019. Charles is the technical architect of the new Global Certified Accessible initiative at Benetech to certify publisher content as conforming to the new EPUB 1.0 Accessibility Specification. Charles has a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada.
Kieran is the Executive Director of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta. Her background includes marketing, public relations, communications, human resource management and political organization. Kieran volunteers on several boards, and is a founding member of the Alberta Partners for Arts and Culture.
Amanda has been working with metadata and digital publishing for almost a decade. She has worked with large presses, small presses, independent presses and indie authors, as well as with retailers, distributors, and industry groups.
Ka is an Accessibility Tester for the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)
Farrah is the Content Coordinator at the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), a national digital library of accessible format materials that works with public libraries and publishers across Canada to ensure equal access to reading materials for all Canadians. She manages digital book production, acquisition, technical services, and various projects that aim to integrate accessibility into mainstream publishing practices.
Rémy Marcotte est Directeur des services au public à Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ) et responsable du Service québécois du livre adapté (SQLA).
Sarah Mayes is the manager of the Support for Organizations’ component of the Canada Book Fund . The Canada Book Fund is responsible for the delivery of the five-year federal investment of $22.8 million to assist Canada’s independent book publishing industry in increasing the production and distribution of digital Canadian-authored accessible books. The Support for Organizations’ component of the program complements direct funding for publishing companies by funding collective projects that contribute to the marketing and promotion of Canadian-authored books and that strengthen the infrastructure of the Canadian book industry. Sarah has worked at the federal Department of Canadian Heritage in various roles since 2003. She is a graduate of the Master of Publishing program at Simon Fraser University and an avid reader of Canadian books.
Bryan is the National Account Manager for Recorded Books
I am an Accessibility Tester for the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS).
Accessibility is what I have been fighting for so long. It is my passion to live in a world where knowledge is accessible to me that brought me to NNELS.
I am also an Account Coordinator and Accessibility Specialist for the Rick Hansen School Program. As part of my job, I evaluate documents, websites and other platforms to identify potential accessibility issues and insure that they work well with screen readers; I provide practical advice and steps you need to take to overcome disability access issues to insure that a blind or low vision user can has the can understand, navigate and interact with websites the same way a seeing person would.
As part of the government of BC 2024 initiative, I worked as an accessibility Specialist for the Rick Hansen Foundation. I conducted accessibility assessments of both businesses and public venues; I compiled information and wrote detailed and informative reports of the outcome of the assessment, and I made recommendations where improvement were needed. In addition, I participate in refining the sensitivity training manual designed to increase awareness of how to interact with people with disabilities.
I was a CNIB board member for few years (BC and Yukon).
Moreover, I worked as a News Analyst for a community newspaper (NOUVEL ESPOIR) and the University of Sherbrooke, Ecole de Politique Appliquée website (Perspective Monde).
I worked as a Project Coordinator for Children’s Faith Charity, where I initiated and implemented projects and programs to support new immigrants’ children and families in their integration to Canadian society.
Furthermore, I was a Community Outreach Worker for Le-Pont-De-La-Vie (United Nations NGO) where I researched and drafted training material for AIDS orphans’ care givers; I wrote promotional news articles to encourage community mentoring and support of AIDS orphans. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a minor in International Relations (University of Sherbrooke). I also hold a Baccalauréat in Math and Philosophy (College Notre Dame de Quaben). I am currently working toward starting a Master in Counselling Psychology.
Kevin is the Executive Director of the BC Libraries Cooperative
bob is the Manager of Alternative Education Resources for Ontario (AERO).
Monique has always been fascinated with the intersection of books and technology – from her start making fansites for her favourite books, to her current role as Project Manager at BookNet Canada. Monique also teaches ebook production at Ryerson University’s Chang School. Prior to joining BookNet, Monique worked in ebook production for Penguin Random House Canada.
Leigh is the publisher of Invisible Publishing. She currently serves as past chair for eBOUND Canada and secretary for the Association of Canadian Publishers, and chair of the ACP-eBOUND accessibility advisory panel. She received an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph, and is the author of the poetry collection Goodbye, Ukulele.
Brendan is the Digital Project Manager at Annick Press; part of his work is managing e-book and audiobook production, metadata creation, and managing new developments in technology to bring our books to new audiences. He is also part of the Association of Canadian Publishers‘ Accessibility working group.
Katya Pereyaslavska (M.I., M.A.)
Katya is the Accessibility Librarian at Scholars Portal and a manager for the Accessible Content ePortal (ACE) which is a consortial service designed to make library collections accessible to users with print disabilities and currently offered across 43 Ontario universities and colleges. Katya has recently completed her secondment as a Visiting Program Officer at the Association of Research Libraries where her work included raising awareness around digital inclusion and publisher practices. She is deeply commitment to creating equal access opportunities to information to all library users.
Meagan works for the Manitoba Public Library Services Branch as the Municipal Library Consultant. Prior to her current role, Meagan earned her MLIS from Western University and worked in public libraries in Manitoba and Saskatchewan.
Rachel (BA, MPub) is Iñupiaq on her mother’s side and settler on her father’s. She lives as an uninvited visitor on the traditional, ancestral, and unceded territories of the səl̓ilwətaɁɬ təməxʷ (Tsleil-Waututh), Skwxwú7mesh-ulh Temíx̱w (Squamish), S’ólh Téméxw (Stó:lō), Stz’uminus, and šxʷməθkʷəy̓əmaɁɬ təməxʷ (Musqueam) Peoples. Rachel is a freelance editor and also works in communications. As an Interim Director with the Indigenous Editors’ Association, Rachel is driven to promote Indigenous people who work in stories, and to facilitate accessibility for Indigenous people in the publishing industry. She believes that traditional knowledges are needed now more than ever and that Indigenous Peoples’ Traditional Knowledge and Intellectual Property Rights must be protected in the transmission of that knowledge.
Marjorie est présidente-directrice générale de Vues et Voix depuis près de 18 ans. D’une petite organisation subventionnée, sous sa présidence Vues et Voix est devenue une entreprise d’économie sociale fonctionnant avec aucune subvention. Madame Théodore est fortement engagée pour la mission de l’organisme Vues & Voix et pour d’autres projets humanitaires au plan international. Elle a une expérience de plus de vingt ans dans le développement de services et de produits éducatifs, culturels pour les populations avec des limitations visuelles, perceptuelles ou pour des raisons liées à un contexte social défavorisé. Depuis 2014, Marjorie Théodore a amené Vues et Voix a avoir un statut consultatif spécial du Conseil économique et social des Nations unies (ECOSOC).
Vues et Voix est une entreprise d’économie sociale inclusive qui oeuvre dans le domaine de l’audionumérique en produisant des livres audio adaptés pour les personnes vivant avec un handicap visuel, physique ou perceptif et également des livres audio pour tout le monde
Lindsay is the Senior Manager at the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA) where she supports the amazing public libraries of Canada in their efforts to deliver library services to patrons with print disabilities. The best part of her job is speaking with readers and library staff across the country who share a commitment to accessible books and reading.
Tristene Villanyi Bokor
Tristene is the Accessibility Librarian with Ottawa Public Library.
Heidi is the executive director of the Association of Book Publishers of BC, which represents the interests of 30 BC-owned publishing companies, and coordinates marketing, training, and business development initiatives on their behalf. She was previously the managing editor at Coach House Books, a literary press based in Toronto, where she was engaged in all aspects of the press’s publishing program, including editorial, production, sales and marketing, and digital publishing. Heidi completed the coursework in Simon Fraser University’s Master of Publishing program and an editorial internship at McClelland & Stewart. She holds a BA in English Literature from the University of British Columbia as well as a Certificate in Editing from Simon Fraser University.
Adam is the Program Manager of the Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) and Accessible Resource Centre – BC (ARC-BC) in Vancouver, BC and is the current Chair of the Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres for Alternate Format Materials (CAER). He is a teacher of visually impaired students and a certified orientation and mobility specialist by training and has a doctorate in Special Education from the University of British Columbia. Adam’s current work at PRCVI and ARC-BC is focused on knowledge translation and building capacity around digital accessibility and inclusive design in the K-12 education sector in British Columbia while also ensuring timely and equitable access to learning materials for students with perceptual disabilities from across the province.
Laura is the Director of Cross-Media at the House of Anansi Press.
Leah is the Accessible Publishing Coordinator for the National Network for Equitable Library Service, where she helps to improve the state of equitable reading in Canada. From organizing the Accessible Publishing Summit, to coordinating logistics for a variety of projects, to website maintenance and social media, Leah is passionate about using her skills and experience to work towards a more accessible and inclusive future. Leah has a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Studies from the University of Alberta, and a Master of Arts in Classical Studies from Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Paula is the Sales and Marketing Specialist for eBOUND Canada
Rachel is the Senior Director of Content Standards and Accessibility at Macmillan Learning. Her team works with colleges and universities to make sure that Macmillan is providing accessible and user friendly educational materials that any student can use and that conform to international accessibility standards.
Laurie is the Emerging Initiatives Coordinator at the BC Libraries Cooperative and Project Manager, Grants for the National Network for Equitable Library Service.
Marisa is a software developer for the DAISY Consortium. She has worked on all aspects of the accessible ebook ecosystem, from reading software to standards and testing. Her current projects include Ace and epubtest.org, and she also chairs the W3C Synchronized Media for Publications Community Group. Outside of work, she volunteers with Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls Los Angeles as an instructor and member of their executive team.
Sarah takes care of Communications for the DAISY Consortium.
Daniella is an expert in accessibility, including digital technology as well as livable spaces. She has been a user of assistive technologies for more than 25 years in her different roles in academic and professional settings. As the Coordinator for Accessibility Testing with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), Daniella leads a team of testers who assess the accessibility of EPUB files and reading apps to access content through public libraries across Canada, and provides advice to prevent or eliminate barriers. Daniella works to promote and inform a paradigm shift towards accessible-by-design ebooks and platforms. Outside of the digital space, Daniella works to improve the accessibility of public spaces and advocates for pedestrian safety and the design and construction of streets which are useable for people of all abilities. She sits on the Steering Committee of Walk Toronto – a grassroots pedestrian advocacy group that works with various levels of government and community groups to improve walking conditions and safety in Toronto. Daniella holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto and an MA in International Relations from the University of California, San Diego. Some of her previous roles include Senior Policy Analyst at the Council of Ontario Universities and Policy Advisor to the Mexican Minister of Foreign Relations.
Wendy is a Senior QA Analyst at Rakuten Kobo, working on the Technology Practice team to improve quality standards including security and accessibility. She is also one of the co-chairs of the W3C Publishing Working Group, and Editor of the Audiobooks specification. Passionate about accessibility in reading, she is excited to attend the summit for the second time!
natalie abdou (natty)
I am a community facilitator, theatre practitioner and artist who loves to reflect and learn alongside others. I have spent the last 15 years connecting and collaborating with diverse communities in co-creating learning environments that are founded upon shared values of diversity, love, respect and empowerment – embracing a vision of solidarity, social justice and change from the inside-out. Through a blend of participatory and creative approaches, I nurture learning for the purpose of personal, collective and organizational transformation. It is a deep pleasure to be collaborating, once again, with the NNELS team and wider accessible publishing community on this year’s Summit.
Natalie Zend, MA
Natalie is the Principal at ZENDialogue, and an IAF CertifiedTM Professional Facilitator. She facilitates strategic conversations and multi-stakeholder collaborations with the aim of supporting the shift from work as usual to collective learning and innovation. She co-designed and co-facilitated the first Accessible Publishing Summit in 2019 and is thrilled to be supporting the next stage in the process.