2023 Attendees

Accessible Publishing Summit Attendee Bios

Adam Wilton – Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI)

Adam is the program manager of the Provincial Resource Centre for the Visually Impaired (PRCVI) and the Accessible Resource Centre – BC (ARC_BC). PRCVI provide resource and outreach supports to educational teams of blind and low vision learners in BC in the K-12 education sector and ARC-BC produces digital alternate format learning materials for students with print disabilities. In addition to his role at PRCVI/ARC-BC, Adam teaches graduate courses for new specialist educators of blind and visually impaired students and Orientation and Mobility Specialists. Finally, Adam is the current Vice Chair of CAER – the Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres for Alternate Format Materials.

Amrit Litt – Government of Canada – ESDC – Office for Disability Issues

Amrit (she/her) is a junior policy analyst from the Federal Office for Disability Issues (ODI). She has been working at ODI for over a year. One of the major projects Amrit has been involved in since starting at ODI was launching a public-facing website for the newly formed Disability Inclusion Action Plan (DIAP). Amrit attended the University of Waterloo where she completed a Bachelors of Arts and a Masters degree in Social Psychology, with a special interest in stereotypes and prejudice.

Adaobi Nnaobi – eBOUND Canada

Adaobi (she/her) is an accessible content certifier at eBOUND Canada and was previously an accessible publishing intern at Annick Press. She also currently works as a marketing and research associate at BookNet Canada where she creates accessible PDFs & EPUBs for research reports and handles accessibility for social media.

Amanda Lee – Freelance

Amanda (she/her) has worked in Canadian publishing for over 10 years and has held in-house positions at House of Anansi Press / Groundwood Books and Dundurn Press. As an independent consultant, Amanda has managed projects focused on using accessible publishing or metadata to ensure everyone looking for a Canadian book can get it. Those projects include managing metadata workflows for Canadian publishers, training publishers in enhanced metadata and digital distribution, researching the state of accessible book publishing, researching the effects of specific pieces of metadata on sales of books, and more.

bob Minnery – Alternate Education Resources Ontario (AERO)

bob (he/him) is the Manager of AERO Alternate Education Resources Ontario (AERO). AERO is a web-based digital repository operated by the Ministry of Education in partnership with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities.
The mandate of AERO is to provide alternate format text to students with perceptual disabilities who attend publicly funded educational institutions in Ontario. AERO enables students with perceptual disabilities to access educational materials in a format they require and in a timely manner.

bob is the current Chair of The Canadian Association of Educational Resource Centres for Alternate Format Materials (CAER) CAER has a membership which reflects all regions/provinces of Canada. CAER members are a collective of publicly funded centres coordinating the provision of alternate format educational materials for persons with print disabilities.

bob is also a self professed expert on all things New Orleans-just ask him.

Brendan Ouelette – Annick Press

Brendan (he/him) is the digital project manager at Annick Press, a publisher of books for toddlers to teens, where he oversees digital marketing and the production of ebooks, audiobooks, and metadata.

Charles LaPierre – Benetech

Charles is the Principal, Accessibility and Content Quality Architect at Benetech. Charles has over 25 years’ accessibility development experience and has been a pioneer in accessible product development since 1993. Charles currently is an active member of multiple W3C Standards working groups. Charles is the technical architect of our new Global Certified Accessible (GCA) initiative at Benetech to certify publisher content as conforming to the EPUB Accessibility Specification. Charles has a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. 

Christen Thomas – Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB)

Christen (she/her) joined CNIB as Director, Beyond Print, in 2022, and leads an accessible production department that creates audiobooks, EPUB, and braille for readers with print disabilities. Christen previously served as COO of human rights law publisher Lancaster House, Executive Director at the Literary Press Group of Canada, and Manager of Technology at eBOUND Canada, where she also stayed on the board for six years.

Christine Lum – ECW Press

Christine (she/her) is the digital production and data associate at ECW Press. She assists in the digital production of ebooks, audiobooks and metadata.

Daniella Levy-Pinto – National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

Daniella (she/her) is the Manager of NNELS (National Network for Equitable Library Service), and leads digital accessibility initiatives to eliminate accessibility barriers to digital content. She works to promote and inform a paradigm shift towards born-accessible-content and inclusive design. Daniella has used assistive technologies for over 25 years in her different roles in academic and professional settings. She holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Toronto.

Danielle Mulhall – Kids Can Press

Deborah Nelson – eBOUND Canada

Diana Davidson – Public Library Services Branch, Municipal Affairs, Government of Alberta

Diana (she/her) is the Director of the Public Library Services Branch with Municipal Affairs for the Government of Alberta. The Public Library Services Branch is one of the founding partners of NNELS and Diana was chair of the Provincial Territorial Public Library Council when it supported NNELS as a proof-of-concept. Diana has long served as the Chair of the NNELS Funders Group and is committed to accessible library service and to the production of accessible format materials. Diana is also passionate about improving library services for and with Indigenous communities.

Elisa Molinari – Fondazione LIA

A graduate in Italian literature, Elisa (she/her) worked at the Italian Publishers Association, taking part at national and European projects devoted to digital publishing. Since 2013 she has been working with Fondazione LIA where she is responsible for events, training activities, and projects aimed at spreading the culture of accessibility. On behalf of LIA she participates in the Accessibility Task Force of the Federation of European Publishers and in the Publishing Accessibility Action Group of the Publisher Association.

Emma Côte – eBOUND Canada

A graduate of the Centennial College publishing program, Emma (she/her) found her way onto the tech side of the industry through her love of eBooks and technology. After completing an internship at Kobo, Emma moved over to working at eBOUND Canada, where she helps publishers create and distribute their ePubs to major vendors. In her spare time she torments herself by writing and re-writing the same novel.

Heather Davies – Annick Press

Heather (she/her) has worked in print production for many years. She currently manages the print production and creates the in-house ebooks at Annick. She loves the challenge of creating attractive, accessible ebooks!

Janis Nostbakken – Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Janis (she/her) is Director of Bibliovideo, the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/bibliovideo). She also heads up the Centre’s Accessible Books Project, which includes a playlist of videos exploring accessible books for kids, a searchable book bank to be launched this spring, book reviews by readers of accessible formats in Canadian Children’s Book News, and more.

Frédéric Brisson – Les Éditions David

Frédéric Brisson is executive director at Éditions David, a French-language publisher based in Ottawa, since 2021. Previously, he was the executive director of the Regroupement des éditeurs franco-canadiens (REFC), from 2015 to 2021, and an associate professor in publishing studies at the Université de Sherbrooke (2009-2015).

Jennifer Weldon – CAPER-BC

Jennifer (she/her) is the Accessibility Librarian at CAPER-BC. CAPER-BC provides accessible learning and teaching materials to students and instructors at post-secondary institutions in British Columbia who cannot use conventional print because of disabilities. Jennifer is responsible for outreach activities, providing accessibility training to faculty at post-secondary institutions, and for overseeing special projects

Joan McGouran – CNIB, Beyond Print

Joan (she/her) is the Manager, EPUB and Braille Publishing for CNIB Beyond Print where she works to continue the mission of bringing equitable and accessible materials to readers with print disabilities. With a background in markup language, she is especially interested in the nuts and bolts of the creation process, with a focus on text and braille outputs.

John Kennedy – Radiant Press

John is co-founder and co-publisher of Radiant Press based on Treaty 4 territory in Regina, Saskatchewan. He heads up the ePub and audiobook production for the press and is an accessibility enthusiast.

John Ylioja – National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

John (he/him) is an accessibility analyst with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS). He is especially interested in the accessibility of ebooks and audiobooks with screen readers, reading applications, and specialized reading devices.

Julie Rainville – Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL)

Julie (she/her) is a Project Manager at Association nationale des éditeurs de livres, in Montreal, Quebec. She is in charge of many committees and promotion campaigns, as well as a member of the Technology and Innovation Committee, which brings together editors around the questions of digital books, audiobooks, and also general innovation. Since 2004 she has worked as as a communication and marketing specialist for different cultural and feminist organizations, and is a graduate in Fine Arts from Concordia University.

Ka Li – National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

Ka (he/him) is an accessibility consultant in the areas of digital access and tactile graphics. He currently works with NNELS on their accessibility testing and tactile initiatives. He tirelessly works toward a vision where blind and low vision individuals feel empowered to create and use tactile graphics and models through projects that emphasize production of high quality materials and the development of tactile literacy skills from a disability-led model. Outside of work, he enjoys practicing Krav Maga and reading good books.

Kate Edwards – Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP)

An experienced arts administrator and advocate, Kate (she/her) serves as Executive Director of the Association of Canadian Publishers (ACP), the national voice of Canada’s independent English-language book publishers.

Kieran Leblanc – Book Publishers Association of Alberta

Kieran (she/her) is the executive director of the Book Publishers Association of Alberta, an industry association that supports the work of 30 Alberta book publishers, including advocacy, professional development, collective marketing, industry development and an awards program. Projects have included work in accessible audiobook production, accessible book publishing, ebook collections with Alberta libraries, and Alberta Books for Schools (including accessible resources for teachers and students).

Kieran is a founding member of the Alberta Partners for Arts and Culture. Her past board involvement includes the Book and Periodical Council, Cultural Connections Institute – The Learning Exchange, Shadow Theatre, the Forum for Young Albertans, Edmonton West Rotary Club, Think Equal, and the Professional Arts Coalition of Edmonton.

Kim Johnson – Public Library Services Branch, Government of Alberta

Kim (she/her) works for the Government of Alberta as a Library Network Advisor, with a focus on accessibility in public libraries. Recently, Kim has also been working on a very exciting accessible government documents project, where her team trains and supports Government of Alberta staff in creating accessible documents and publications.

Laura Brady – eBOUND Canada, among others!

Laura (she/her) is an inclusive publishing expert whose priority is always to put users first. She has more than 25 years of trade publishing experience, creating and converting ebooks, training publishers on accessible workflows, writing a blog helping developers work more accessibly, and consulting for services organizations about how to publish inclusively while worrying about everyone’s reading experience. She is on the board of the Accessible Books Consortium.

Laurie Davidson – Centre for Equitable Library Access

Laurie (she/her) is the Executive Director of CELA (Centre for Equitable Library Access) and is passionate about building an accessible and equitable reading landscape for all. She has more than 25 years of experience working as a librarian and technologist in a variety of settings. She has worked in non-profits, library consortia, academic and public libraries, and the library technology industry and is interested in the intersection of systems and people, and how best to support collaboration and cooperation across organizations.

Leah Brochu – National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

Leah (she/her) is the Accessible Publishing and Resources Coordinator at NNELS. She is also takes the lead on organizing the Accessible Publishing Summit!

Lindsay Tyler – Centre for Equitable Library Access

Lindsay (she/her) is Senior Manager with the Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA), a national non profit organization which provides books and other materials to people with print disabilities. Lindsay has worked in accessible library services for over 15 years, both providing direct service to persons with print disabilities as well as supporting libraries and other organizations to offer accessible services.

Lindsey Hunnewell – Wilfrid Laurier Press

Lindsey (she/her) 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 the project lead for developing in-house accessible 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.

Marianna Schultz – Association of Book Publishers of British Columbia

Marianna (she/her) works in Communications at the Association of Book Publishers of BC where she has assisted on a remediation project that converted books to accessible formats. She lives in Vancouver, BC, on the unceded, ancestral territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh Nations.

Megan Toye – Centre for Equitable Library Access (CELA)

Megan (she/her) is the Metadata Coordinator for the Centre for Equitable Library Access. She is passionate about all things metadata-related and enjoys structuring and organizing digital content to facilitate accessibility. She has a Masters in Art History and in Information Studies from McGill University, where she specialized in equitable practices in metadata creation, information architecture, and digital culture.

Mélanie Dumas – Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec

Bio coming soon!

Mohammed Ali – Canadian Children’s Book Centre

Mohammed was recently hired by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre to help provide direction with accessibility, consult, and outreach with other organizations to further their mandate on accessible books for children.

Nancy Lusignan – Bibliopresto

Holder of a Master’s degree in information sciences (Université de Montréal, 2010), Nancy (she/her) first worked in a public library where she collaborated in the deployment of Pretnumerique.ca, the platform for ebook lending in Québec public libraries. She then worked for six years as a school librarian for a school board (Centre de services scolaires des Hautes-Rivières). Very involved in the school libraries community, she was responsible for a regional working committee on ebooks and participated in two national school librarians work committees. Since February 2019, she has worked at BIBLIOPRESTO, a non-profit organization that provides digital services and resources to libraries. Nancy coordinates the development and deployment of Biblius, the national platform for ebook lending in Québec schools. Collaboration is at the heart of her professional actions.

Nicole Lambe – House of Anansi Press

Bio coming soon!

Patrick Bouchard – National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

Blind since birth and currently living in Barrie, Ontario, Patrick (he/him) is a web developer and accessibility specialist who joined the NNELS accessibility testing team in January 2021. He is a fantasy/sci-fi buff, cat dad, hockey fan, and always looking for new restaurants to try.

Paula Bruce – eBOUND Canada

Paula is a graduate of the Humber Publishing Program. After graduating the program, she joined ECW Press as their Marketing Coordinator. From there, she joined The Puritan as their Publicity Assistant and promoted literary events in the city. She also worked as a bookseller for both Indigo and House of Anansi Bookstore. An avid cookbook collector and baker, she enjoys destroying coworkers’ diets by bringing in homemade baked goods.

Rachel Osolen – National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

Rachel (she/they) is the Production Coordinator for NNELS where she runs all in house production and training for accessible formats including DOC, EPUB3, DAISY Text, and DAISY Audio. She trains and supervises the Production Assistants, who reformat digital books into accessible formats for patron request and awards programs. She also trains and supervises the development and use of the NNELS in house application for DAISY Audio conversion. When she is not helping run production, she also assists in collection management, and works with publishers and librarians in training and creating image descriptions and accessible documents. Rachel is proud to be part of the NNELS team, for just over 5 years now, helping create an equitable future for all readers in Canada. She holds her MLIS from the University of Alberta and is also a freelance writer who specializes in Folklore, Supernatural, Death Studies, and the macabre.

Riane Lapaire – National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

Riane (she/her) is the Braille and Accessibility Testing Coordinator for the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS). With over a decade of working in alternate format materials and accessibility, her current passion is finding ways to increase timely access to quality braille and tactile graphics for readers. In her spare time, Riane enjoys reading, gardening, and playing music.

Ricky Lima – House of Anansi Press

Ricky (he/him) is the Production Manager at House of Anansi Press.

Ronok Sarkar – Book Connect Inc.

Ronok Sarkar, CIO and partner at Book Connect, has been working in system design and development for over 25 years. Originally working in the movie exhibition industry, Ronok joined the publishing industry in 2003, working as IT Directory for Canadian distributor and publisher Thomas Allen & Sons. Originally launching in 2012 as an Onix, metadata, and content toolkit with an emphasis on helping independent and smaller publishers, Book Connect has grown to a customer base of over 30 publishers and distributors across North America: from large distributors and publishers like Workman Publishing, IPG, eBOUND, and Thomas Allen to respected publishing houses including Kodansha, Cottage Door, Fox Chapel, and Annick Press. With a small team of six employees, Book Connect continues to grow and expand based on a love of the industry and a genuine desire to solve problems and improve publishers ability to reach the world.

Sahiba Shah – eBOUND Canada

Sahiba (she/her) is a graduate of the Toronto Metropolitan University publishing program. She currently works as a Technology and Marketing Specialist at eBOUND Canada, where she handles ebook conversion projects, manages the Accessible Publishing Learning Network (APLN), and continues to improve her knowledge of accessible publishing.

Sarah Hilderley – The DAISY Consortium

Sarah (she/her) worked in publishing in the UK for many years before taking the lead on the WIPO project: Enabling Technologies 14 years ago. She is the author of Accessible Publishing: Best Practice Guidelines for Publishers as well as many other resources on the ABC website. After this Sarah took on the role of community engagements at the IDPF, namely running EPUBZone until the integration with W3C and she now works with friends and colleagues at the DAISY Consortium at Inclusive Publishing. Intensely passionate about accessible publishing, Sarah has advocated for mainstream accessibility within publishing practices at many events over the years.

Stephanie Schwartz – McGraw Hill Canada

Stephanie (she/her) is a content developer at McGraw Hill Canada. As a member of the publisher’s Accessibly and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committees, she is passionate about creating educational resources that meet the needs of all learners.

Tan Light – Literary Press Group 

Tan (she/her) has been supporting book sales in Canada for more than 15 years. A former student librarian and bookseller, Tan worked with the Digital Sales and Marketing department at Random House for 5 years before joining the Literary Press Group of Canada as Sales Manager. For the past decade, she has worked in partnership with the Canadian Manda Group to bring thousands of independently published works of Canadian literature to the attention of booksellers and librarians.

Tobe Duggan – National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS)

Prior to joining NNELS as an Accessibility Tester in April 2022, Tobe (he/him) was a research and acquisition specialist with two decades of experience securing the use of literary, artistic, music and dramatic works for documentary films, museum exhibitions, and academic purposes. Having life-long experience with low vision and, over the years, becoming increasingly reliant on assistive technology, Tobe is proud to be working for an organization dedicated to ensuring that people with print disabilities have access to accessible reading materials.

Victoria Owen – Faculty of Information, University of Toronto

Victoria (she/her) holds a joint appointment as Special Advisor to the Dean on Information Accessibility at UTSC and as Information Policy Scholar-Practitioner in the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto. Her particular focus encompasses copyright, access, accessibility, preservation, and the public interest. Her background is in library administration at the University of Toronto, and in special and public libraries, including the CNIB Library for the Blind. Victoria holds a Master’s in Library Science and a Master’s in Law, specializing in intellectual property. She is the chair of the Canadian Federation of Library Association’s Copyright Committee, on the board of the World Intellectual Property Organization’s Accessible Book Consortium, Chair of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) Advisory Committee on Standards, and a member of OLA’s Copyright Users Group. She chairs the ARL-CARL Joint Task Force on the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation.

Wendy Reid – Rakuten Kobo

Wendy (she/her) is the Accessibility and Publishing Standards Lead at Rakuten Kobo, where she focuses on the accessibility strategy and implementation for the business. In addition to her work at Kobo, she is also the chair of the W3C EPUB 3 and Audiobooks Working Groups, focusing on the next generation of publishing standards.

Winona McMorrow – Toronto Public Library

Winona (she/her) is a librarian who works at Toronto Public Library as the Senior Services Specialist for Accessibility Services. Winona works to advance accessibility and d/Deaf and disability inclusion in all aspects of library service.

Yolanda Pigden – McGraw Hill

Yolanda (she/her) oversees and mentors the Production team for McGraw Hill Canada. Her team takes care of many activities such as budget, vendor and project management, scheduling, design, permissions, digital product builds, manufacturing, custom, server management, accessibility, sales support and more. Yolanda has been the Senior Accessibility lead for over 8 years. She is passionate about change management, problem solving and loves a challenge, so leading the accessibility team is a natural fit for her.