Most Active Speaker

Karl Groves

Karl Groves

Focused on actively fixing accessibility

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States


With 20 years of experience in web development, usability, and accessibility, Karl Groves is widely regarded as a pragmatic solution-finder and thought leader in the accessibility industry. In his role as CEO of AFixt, Karl focuses on pragmatic and efficient ways of improving the accessibility of websites and software.


  • Most Active Speaker 2023

Area of Expertise

  • Business & Management
  • Information & Communications Technology
  • Media & Information
  • Government, Social Sector & Education
  • Law & Regulation


  • Web
  • Web Development
  • Web Accessibility
  • Web Frontend
  • Web Design
  • Mobile web
  • Web Applications
  • Modern Web
  • Modern Web and UX
  • Accessibility
  • UX / Accessibility
  • Digital Accessibility
  • WCAG 2.0
  • User Experience
  • JavaScript
  • HR
  • IT Strategy
  • Business strategy
  • UX Strategy&Research
  • Human Resources
  • Disability Rights
  • Accessibility Standards
  • learning disabilities
  • Mobile Accessibility

Accessibility consulting is broken

Accessibility Consulting, that process where a client hires a consultant to go through their system, test it for accessibility issues, and submit a report to them, is fundamentally broken. The typical client engagement locks the customer in an audit-fix-audit-fix cycle does not directly address either the symptoms or the cause of the disease. This talk will propose a new approach for fully addressing what clients really need.

Workshop: Accessibility of Forms

Forms are the #1 method for users to interact on a website - with the site owner or with each other. Forms are how content is created and how visitors convert to customers. By volume, issues with forms outnumber all other issue types. During this full-day workshop attendees will learn the numerous challenges that people with disabilities have when using forms and how to design and develop more accessible forms. During a highly interactive and collaborative hands-on workshop, attendees will go through the process of planning, designing, and developing a form. Throughout several breakout sessions, attendees will collaborate on tasks that include:

Planning the form Choosing the proper fields Design and layout of the form Accepting and processing input Error prevention Validation Along the way the attendees will be creating their own form and testing their form for usability and accessibility.

Accessibility ROI: Risk Mitigation as Return on Investment

Over the years, accessibility advocates have proposed a number of arguments intended to provide a "Business Case" to justify investing in accessibility. During this talk, I'll describe the strongest, best-evidenced Business Case argument. With the increased prevalence of accessibility related lawsuits, Risk Mitigation is the true, measurable key to Accessibility ROI

Accessible Data Visualizations

Individuals with accessibility issues are not able to access most data visualizations. This talk describes their challenges and provides several innovative solutions for providing accessible, informative, and attractive data visualizations

All Sizzle, No Steak

This talk is an examination of the distance between fantasy and reality in the case of accessibility overlays. During this talk, I discuss research into website accessibility overlays and their marketing messages and explained why overlays are not recommended to make websites accessible. They can, in fact, add accessibility problems to websites and make them more difficult to use.

Automation as Prevention

This talk is a discussion of the benefits of automatic testing as a prevention strategy and describes "Time to Bug" as accessibility testing KPI. The talk presents a discussion of the business value of automated testing as more than just detecting errors. Attendees will walk away with a higher level of understanding of the power that automation can provide toward compliance efforts and save a ton of money

Data Mining Accessibility

Everyone agrees the best approach to accessibility issues is to avoid them in the first place. What if we could predict problems before they happen?

Informed buying decisions—such as researching a product’s accessibility before buying the product or adopting a technology—is the true path to saving money and time on auditing and remediating issues after the system has been deployed. Using a variety of data sources, it is possible to weigh how accessible a site is while also identifying which technologies it uses. The aggregated data can be used to determine the error rates, error densities, and categories of errors. This information can allow organizations to make informed decisions when they choose which technologies to use on their sites. There are many ways that the implementation of technologies can affect the accessibility of the resulting interface. The use of large-scale data gathering will provide the opportunity for the impact of implementation differences from being a barrier to effective analysis. The data that we gathered in this process confirms how pervasive accessibility problems are on the web. It can also show risk patterns that can help organizations learn about potential accessibility problems related to specific technologies before they adopt those technologies. This presentation will discuss this ongoing research effort, including our current findings and our future research plans.

Workshop: Deep Dive into WAI-ARIA

WAI-ARIA is a technical specification published by the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) that specifies how to disclose Web object properties to assistive technologies. The use of WAI-ARIA increases the accessibility of web pages and user interface components developed with Ajax, HTML, JavaScript, and related technologies.

During this workshop-style training, we will discuss the following topics:

* Introduction to ARIA
* ARIA History
* Understanding the roles and interplay between ARIA and Assistive Technologies
* Deep dive into requirements for and development of custom controls

During the last section in the list above, we'll go through several types of common custom controls found on the web and dissect each one with a goal for understanding the design and behavior requirements for each type of control including how to manage name, state, role, and value information using ARIA. The controls we will cover are:

* Buttons
* Multistate Checkboxes
* Sliders
* Dialogs
* Sortable Tables
* Application Menus
* Carousels
* and more!

Everything you need to know about JavaScript accessibility

Accessibility is often seen as nebulous by designers and developers. It is particularly difficult if you don't know anyone with disabilities or have never watched anyone with disabilities use a computer. In this talk, Karl Groves uses a live coding example to walk through the high level requirements for an accessible user experience that relies on JavaScript.

Extreme Accessibility: Handling accessibility at scale in Agile environments.

Accessibility is unique in that it exists at the crossroads of technical quality and UX. During this session, I will provide a roadmap for Extreme Accessibility including tooling & processes for making Extreme Accessibility part of a mature, organization-wide approach to Accessible User Experience.

Hidden In Plain View

A popular trope about accessibility is that it is "ugly". This sentiment is easy to understand because it is often true, especially when it comes to assistive devices and assistive technologies. But, it doesn't have to be that way. Good design is the convergence between creativity and capability and in this talk we'll see good design hidden in plain view.

I Never Knew A Website Could Hurt Someone

When you're new to accessibility, it is easy to think it is only about blind people who use screen readers. After all, blind people have a really hard time on the web. They can't see the screen. They can't see the mouse pointer, so they can't use a mouse. They rely on screen readers for access. But can a website cause a user pain? Yes. I've seen it happen.

During this talk, Karl Groves will talk about users who are rarely considered and how designers and developers can help each of them through understanding the Web itself.

noscript is dead

There used to be a time when accessibility advocates decried the use of JavaScript, alleging that its use creates accessibility problems. The tables have turned and now JavaScript can be used as a tool for improving accessibility significantly. This talk will discuss several techniques for improving accessibility with JavaScript

Retail Accessibility

Since October 2015, unscrupulous legal trolls have been going after e-commerce websites alleging noncompliance with the ADA. Unfortunately, they're often right. Whether it is from inaccessible e-commerce platforms, inaccessible themes, inaccessible 3rd party apps & plugins, or inaccessible content, finding an inaccessible e-commerce site is like shooting fish in a barrel. During this talk, we'll discuss the overall accessibility of common platforms, the most frequent accessibility issues in e-commerce, and strategies to address them.

So, you want an accessibility score?

Everyone agrees that it is a good idea to track various KPIs for quality. But how do we "grade" accessibility? Fundamentally, accessibility is about usability for people with disabilities, and this is already hard to get a handle on. But there are things that we can measure, track, and grade such as: tests passing vs. tests failing, severity of user impact, and volume of errors. But how does that truly relate to the human experience? Given that 20% of the population has some sort of disability, this is an important topic to nail down. During this talk, I will discuss how I've arrived at the "One True Metric"

Workshop: Stem to Stern Accessibility

Whether you work in a large or small organization, follow an agile or waterfall process, are experienced or just starting out, this workshop will guide you toward reliably developing accessible and usable products. This workshop is structured to be inclusive and engaging to all skill sets and levels.

Through a mix of lecture and highly interactive group work, this workshop covers everything from the beginning to the end in developing a high quality, accessible product. This includes product requirements, procurement, design, development, release, maintenance, and support.

Workshop: Testing Web Accessibility

This 1-day training event provides hands-on training in testing for accessibility. We will cover various testing methodologies including automated, manual, and use case testing and provide helpful job aids for each. We will also cover how to configure and use various types of assistive technologies and discuss how to use each during manual and use case testing. Note: This is not training about how to use assistive technologies. While we will be covering assistive technologies and will also be using them periodically, this training is not focused on testing a system for compatibility with screenreaders. This is a holistic training aimed at all facets of accessibility, which extends far beyond users of specific assistive technologies.

There is no such thing as a "normal" user

The sheer variety of combinations of browsers, operating systems, screen sizes, devices, ATs, etc. that make the notion of a "normal" user absurd. This talk shares the math behind this concept and best practices for Universal Design toward a more inclusive Web

What is this thing and what does it do?

"As web developers we like to think that our hard work creating HTML, CSS, and JavaScript is what makes our sites so great. But this ignores the magic inside the modern browser. When the user’s browser receives your web page and all of its assets, your control of the situation entirely ceases. How your site really looks and operates is entirely in the hands of the browser.

This talk provides important technical insight into accessibility by describing the interactions between HTML/ CSS/ JavaScript, the DOM, the BOM, Accessibility APIs and Assistive Technologies."

Don't be afraid of accommodations

People with disabilities represent the largest minority group in the United States. Demographically, they are often well-qualified and educated. Unfortunately, they are underrepresented in the workforce, with high rates of unemployment. While it is true that often the person's disability may make employment difficult, in other cases hiring managers and recruiters avoid hiring people with disabilities because or misperceptions about what support is needed for them. During this talk we'll break down these misconceptions while providing actionable advice on how to hire and support employees with disabilities.

Supporting the newly disabled employee

Title I of the ADA mandates non-discrimination based on disability in the workplace. This includes all aspects of employment including recruitment, hiring, firing, and the day-to-day performance of work-related activities. When an existing employee becomes disabled - either temporarily or permanently - supporting their new situation can be challenging if you've never needed to do so before. During this talk we'll go over the potential challenges of your new employee, discuss how to support them, and share resources that can help.

Chatbot Accessibility

Discussion of the accessibility concerns of chat bots including a breakdown of the common interaction patterns inherent in chatbot accessibility and the accessibility challenges of each. Finally, we'll discuss the extent to which major chatbot products meet core accessibility requirements.

Understanding WCAG

The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines, or "WCAG", is the global standard for accessibility. It is 99 pages, when printed, and contains 78 distinct success criterion. It is filled with jargon and complex standards-speak, making it dense and hard to understand. This presentation presents a method of understanding all of the important parts of WCAG while also making it easier to break down the deeper information when you really need to get in the weeds.

Orlando Code Camp 2024 Sessionize Event

February 2024 Sanford, Florida, United States

Build Stuff 2023 Lithuania Sessionize Event

November 2023 Vilnius, Lithuania

MagnoliaJS 2023 Sessionize Event

October 2023 Jackson, Mississippi, United States

UtahJS Conf 2023 Sessionize Event

September 2023 Sandy, Utah, United States

Beer City Code 2023 Sessionize Event

August 2023 Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Denver Dev Day | Spring 2023 Sessionize Event

June 2023 Denver, Colorado, United States

Orlando Code Camp 2023 Sessionize Event

March 2023 Sanford, Florida, United States

Devfest Florida 2022 Sessionize Event

December 2022 Miami, Florida, United States

Karl Groves

Focused on actively fixing accessibility

Washington, Washington, D.C., United States


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