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Monday, November 13 • 14:00 - 17:00
Workshop: An Introduction to Inclusive Design of Audio Products (ONLINE)

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As the audio industry seeks to improve diversity within its workforce, and the music industry seeks to widen the diversity of artists creating music, it is essential that the inclusion becomes woven into the design of the tools available.

But what do terms such as accessibility and inclusive design actually mean?
How might you begin to adopt inclusive design practices so that your software becomes accessible to a wider audience?
What are some of the big-name audio companies doing to support accessibility and how can you learn from their experience?
How can companies take practical steps, together, to act on a shared desire for a more inclusive industry?

These are the kind of questions that this workshop seeks to answer.

Workshop outline

The format of the workshop will be as follows:

1. Introductions and updates from panellists, sharing insight into their companies' recent and future work on accessibility (45 mins).

2. Pre-recorded updates shining a light on other accessibility-related projects from across the industry (20 mins).

3. An overview of accessible GUI design in JUCE (30 mins) – Harry Morley (Focusrite). Harry will:
  • Tour the Focusrite Control 2 software to introduce the common accessibility-related terminology.
  • Share his experience of working on Focusrite’s Scarlett and Vocaster software, using the JUCE toolkit to make this software accessible to screen reader users.
  • Explain key concepts such as screen reader focus and keyboard focus, control grouping, and focus priority order.
  • Share useful learnings and tips for working with JUCE, and other things to be aware of.
  • Suggest approaches to testing accessibility directly, working with visually impaired beta testers, and collaborating with the user community.
[10-minute break]

4. Panel discussion: a collaborative approach to inclusive design in audio products (30 mins).
  • How do we make the most of the shared desire for an industry that is more inclusive to disabled engineers and artists?
  • A look into the MIDI Association’s proposed ‘Music Accessibility Standard’ so far, and more.
5. Roundtable discussion in response to audience Q&A. Attendees can contribute in person, or via Zoom Q&A or Discord. If you encounter barriers to accessing these platforms, please send questions to: contact@soundwithoutsight.org

Speaking in person
  • Jay Pocknell (RNIB)
  • Harry Morley (Focusrite)
  • Tom Poole (JUCE)
  • Adil Ghanty (Native Instruments)
  • Scott Chesworth (Freelance Accessibility Consultant and Trainer)
  • Martin Keary (Muse Group)
  • Arvid Johnsson (Softube)
Joining remotely
  • Athan Billias (MIDI Association)
  • Adi Dickens (Ableton)

avatar for Jay Pocknell

Jay Pocknell

Music Support Officer, RNIB
avatar for Arvid Johnsson

Arvid Johnsson

Plug-in Framework Developer, Softube
avatar for Tom Poole

Tom Poole

Director, JUCE
Tom Poole is a director of the open source, cross platform, C++ framework JUCE (https://juce.com). Before focussing on JUCE he completed a PhD on massively parallel quantum Monte-Carlo simulations of materials, and has been a foundational part of successful big-data and audio plug-in startups... Read More →
avatar for Harry Morley

Harry Morley

Software Developer, Focusrite
Harry has been a software developer at Focusrite for 4 years. He mainly works on C++ software that interacts with audio hardware, such as the Vocaster and Scarlett interfaces. Harry loves talking all things music, creativity and accessibility. Before Focusrite, Harry studied MA Computational... Read More →

Scott Chesworth

Accessibility Stuff, Freelance

Adil Ghanty

Senior Product Manager, Native Instruments
KontaktKomplete Kontrol, MaschineAccessibilityDAW integration

Martin Keary

Product Owner, Muse Group
avatar for Athan Billias

Athan Billias

President, The MIDI Association
Athan’s life is centered around music, technology innovation and MIDI. He started his music career playing keyboards with Herb Reed of the Platters and Jerry Martini from Sly and the Family Stone. He then moved into the music instrument industry working for Korg Inc in Tokyo in... Read More →
avatar for Adi Dickens (they/them)

Adi Dickens (they/them)

Accessibility Specialist, Ableton

Monday November 13, 2023 14:00 - 17:00 GMT