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October 2020
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Free, Multi-track Online Event Focuses on Helping All Professionals Build, Test and Maintain Accessible Digital Experiences

Deque is excited to announce a brand-new digital accessibility conference: axe-con!!

Axe-con is an open and inclusive digital accessibility conference that welcomes developers, designers, business leaders, and accessibility professionals of all experience levels to a new kind of accessibility conference focused on building, testing, and maintaining accessible digital experiences.

This free, online event is March 10-11th, 2021. Early-bird committed speakers include Vint Cerf, Haben Girma, and Dylan Barrell – with more to come as we officially open our call for papers.

Headshot of Vint Cerf, Haben Girma, and Dylan Barrell
Headshots left to right: Vint Cerf – Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google, Haben Girma – Disability Rights Lawyer, Author, Dylan Barrell – CTO at Deque

Why should you attend axe-con?

Building accessible digital experiences requires a team effort, across design, development, management, testing, accessibility experts, and of course, legal. Axe-con is the first of its kind, dedicating topics to each of these key players.

Talks at axe-con will include case studies from organizations leading large-scale accessibility efforts, as well as best practices and updates from technology leaders around the world.

Attendance of axe-con sessions can also be used towards continuing education (CE) towards IAAP certification.

Topics of focus will include accessibility in development, accessibility in design, organizational success with accessibility, and accessibility compliance.

Join us to learn how to build, test, monitor, and maintain digital accessibility.

Register for free

Besides conference talks delivered by well-known pros, be prepared for awesome virtual networking activities, interactive entertainment, and always-coveted Deque giveaways.

This first year of axe-con will be completely online; we hope to host this both in-person and online in the future when it is safe to do so. Axe-con is a Deque-hosted conference that welcomes community speakers from all over the world to come together and create accessible experiences for all.

Why should you speak at axe-con?

Claim your stake in helping digital accessibility go mainstream. We’re inviting evangelists, practitioners, pioneers, and wildly successful accessibility program difference-makers from both the public and private sectors to share their stories.

Axe-con invites attendees to submit talks around the theme of sustainable accessibility. All talks will be in the Eastern Time Zone, but we strongly welcome international speakers to submit. All talks will have captions for attendees and the video software we use will be accessible for all speakers.

Additionally, we strongly encourage a diversity of speakers to help make axe-con better. It’s  important to have perspectives and voices to be heard from the greater #a11y community.

Speakers will have the opportunity to impact thousands of attendees, each working together to make the web a better place for everyone. Whether you offer stories of personal inspiration or hands-on digital accessibility experience, all are encouraged to submit to the Call for Papers by 8:00PM ET on October 23, 2020.

Call for Papers

Why is Deque offering an alternative conference to CSUN?

The CSUN Assistive Technology Conference is a great assistive technology conference and the community around it is fantastic.

However, after many years of attending and sponsoring the conference, we noticed and heard a need for digital accessibility content that is geared towards the teams who are building and managing accessible digital experiences: developers, designers, testers, business leaders, and more. We could no longer meet this need confined to a single sponsorship room limited to 100 people. This became even more apparent to us when we made the hard decision to shift all our CSUN 2020 sessions to virtual, away from the in-person conference. As a result, thousands of you joined us in our most impactful accessibility conference effort yet.

Our hope is to fill this expanded need by offering dedicated tracks for those interested in accessible design, development, strategy, and compliance with axe-con in a free and virtual conference.

Our intent to offer axe-con the same week as CSUN is to allow many of you who have reserved that time on your calendar every year, to still make efficient use of that time. We anticipate many attendees will attend both CSUN and axe-con this year and we welcome that.

What does the axe-con name mean?

The name axe comes from a well known Deque open source project called axe-core. It’s been downloaded tens of millions of times, making it the de facto standard in automated accessibility testing rules. It’s baked into every instance of the Chrome browser extension around the world and used widely by top businesses and organizations to help determine if web and mobile apps are accessible. The community response and support behind the project is the inspiration for all Deque efforts, including this conference.

We also like to think that axe is synonymous with accessible experiences.

A note about axe-con culture

We take the axe-con Code of Conduct very seriously. It is our goal to uphold the inclusive standard that the accessibility community expects and deserves. As you evaluate attending, speaking, or sponsoring the event, we expect everyone to respect this important aspect of the axe-con culture.

We strive to make the content and experience of axe-con digitally accessible. We ask that our attendees, speakers, and sponsors join us in maintaining this core aspect of axe-con culture as well.

Axe-con also strives to make accessibility more “accessible” and mainstream by making it free and open to all attendees. Accessibility content should be widespread and available to tackle the goal of making all sites accessible.


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