Part of a Whole

My name is Nicolas Steenhout.
I speak, train, and consult about inclusion, accessibility and disability.

Nicolas Steenhout Speaker Page

Nicolas Steenhout

A great speaker helps make your event great.

It can be challenging to find the perfect speaker for your event. If you don’t find all the information you need to make your decision, please do get in touch.

On this page

  1. Why book Nic to speak?
  2. More about Nic Steenhout
  3. Nic’s most requested topics
  4. What to expect working with Nic
  5. What people say about Nic’s presentations
  6. Videos from some past presentations
  7. Contact me

Why book Nic to speak?

Nic Steenhout has been involved with accessibility (on the web and in the built environment) for over 2 decades. During that time, he has spoken at conferences and private events on the topic of web accessibility, building accessibility, and disability awareness in the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. His no-nonsense approach to accessibility makes him a favourite of event attendees.

Nic Steenhout presenting in front of audience at A11y MTL
At A11yMTL.

Nic began developing websites in 1993 and quickly became aware of the need for web accessibility. While he continued developing websites using HTML, CSS and JavaScript, he focused his energy on helping organizations improve the accessibility of their websites.

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More about Nic Steenhout

  • Nic has been a public speaker for 20 years and has spoken at:
    • Large conferences such as OSCON, Confoo, and Linux.conf.au
    • Smaller events such as A11yMTL, A11yTO, and A11yQC
    • Private company functions
  • Nic has worked with government organizations, health care providers, corporations, tertiary education providers and non-profits
  • Nic has been involved in Open Source since the early 2000’s and was on the Joomla! Core Developer team (Nic wrote Joomla!’s accessibility statement still used today).

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Nic’s most requested topics

Talk with Nic about creating a custom presentation just for your event, or pick from one of the following popular topic.

Disability, technology and communication

Keynote exploring the relationship between great communication, technology (in particular the web), and their impact on people with disabilities.

Accessibility and Security

These two topics are mission critical on the web, yet rarely discussed together. I review common areas where accessibility and security come together.

Introduction to web accessibility

A primer as to what web accessibility is and who it impacts. A quick overview of common barriers and simple fixes.

Accessibility: Don’t turn off that JavaScript just yet

It wasn’t so long ago that people still said you can’t have an accessible site that uses JavaScript. But now, you can even use JavaScript to improve accessibility.

The evolution of assistive technology into everyday product

Many products we use daily have their origin in assistive technologies that were intended for people with disabilities, such as digital assistants (e.g. Siri), or even the computer keyboard.

Listen to the difference – Comparing before and after code of 5 top accessibility barriers

Demonstration using a screen reader and discussion of some common barriers, and how to remedy them

Get in touch

Nic Steenhout speaking into a microphone in front of an audience.
Nicolas Steenhout, at the start of Don’t turn off that JavaScript just yet at A11Y MTL meetup

What to expect working with Nic?

  • Prompt communications
  • A professional presentation by Nic that is informative and engaging
  • Nic will work with you directly to ensure the details of the event are correct
  • Whenever possible, Nic stays on site for the duration of the event and makes himself available for attendees to talk with him
  • Follow-up calls in the week(s) following the event

What people say about Nic’s presentations

Before Nic’s talk, I’d been aware of a few tools out there for increasing accessibility of your web applications, but it quickly became apparent that I’d barely scratched the surface. Excellent talk. I appreciated how he balanced detail with pointing attendees to references and resources to further their own understanding later. He has an easygoing, amiable presentation-style. – Hilary Stohs-Krause

Really great talk that left me mildly horrified about my own sites as I could immediately think of examples where I had been unknowingly doing things wrong. Nic brought many things to my attention that I had not thought of before and moving forward I feel this session will improve my coding and accessibility practices dramatically. – Crysta McKenney

Even though I have a lot of experience in accessibility, I still learned a lot. – Derek Binkley

Excellent talk! Really opened my eyes to how many different ways people with disabilities navigate the web and what we can do to improve upon their experiences. – Michael Sullivan

Nic broadened my understanding of what it means for something have a “barrier.” Accessibility matters to a lot more people and in a lot more ways than I had previously realized. He provided plenty of examples of what to do about it, as well as further avenues for investigation. – Vesna Vuynovich Kovach

Excellent talk that opens eyes on things we may not think to everyday… although we should! – Pierre Voisin

Videos from some past presentations

My wheelchair, a precision crafted tool – Ignite presentation – A11yMTL 2017

Listen to the difference: Using a screenreader to compare before/after code – OSCON 2015

Accessibility and security – OSCON 2014

Accessibility mythbusting – WDCNZ 2013

WDCNZ 2013: Accessibility Mythbusting from WDCNZ on Vimeo.

Accessibility panel – WCDNZ 2013

WDCNZ 2013: The Accessibility Panel from WDCNZ on Vimeo.

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Photo credits

Evolution of computer mouse: CC BY 2.0 raneko