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Digital Accessibility Specialist
Team lead with an extensive engineering background, currently responsible for the technology & standards that HMH uses to develop standards-based, accessible content and web applications.
Skilled at building strong relationships with senior leaders, collaborating across the organisation and using various techniques to facilitate innovation whilst focusing on the bigger picture with the confidence to engage constructively to challenge established approaches.
- Digital Accessibility Auditing (WCAG Compliance)
- Assistive Technology (Hardware & Software including iOS/MacOS VoiceOver, ChromeVox, JAWS Screen Reader, Hardware Switches, Voice Assistance)
- Frontend Architecture & Accessible UX
- Continuous Integration & Automated testing
- Technical Leadership (Agile)
Fields of Research
- Automated Accessibility testing
- On-line-learning pedagogy
- W3C Micropub, Digital Publishing
HMH: The Learning Company - Dublin, Ireland
Technical Product Owner from March 2017
Accessibility Subject Matter Expert
- Showing passion and empathy for all users in order to resolve difficulties they face whilst using our software.
- Accessibility auditing using a range of tools, such as JAWS, NVDA and VoiceOver, ChromeVox etc.
- Demonstrated experience with Accessibility standards and guidelines such as 508, 255, CVAA and WCAG.
- Effectively communicating and evangelising the complexities of Accessibility to technical and non-technical audiences - including executive, individual contributors and team audiences with varying skillsets.
- Identifying key issues impacting user experience for users with disabilities and driving the appropriate changes across engineering, design and learning architecture.
- Coaching engineering teams through manual and automated Accessibility testing.
- Partnering with multiple organisations to identify the support needed to drive accessibility efforts.
- Providing code samples and technical POCs, documentation and training.
Leading a multi-disciplinary team to develop high profile projects, connected to multiple services, working with stakeholders from several countries to create a single robust solution.
- Effective at influencing and negotiating at the executive level, communicating explicit and implicit trade-offs that impact the enterprise.
- Developing and prioritising product backlogs; explaining a product vision that is compelling to customers, team and stakeholders alike.
- Demonstrating creativity, innovation and ethical thinking in applying solutions for the benefit of our end users - students & teachers.
Detailed understanding of Modern Web Development
- Experience writing and reviewing code.
- Detailed understanding of modern development practices including TDD and CI/CD, including the setup of Jenkins for automated end-to-end testing.
- Keeping knowledge and skills up-to-date and maintaining an awareness of industry developments.
- Use of AWS for scalable web hosting and content delivery.
- Lead Engineer July 2015 to January 2017
- Contract Engineer April 2013 to July 2015
Purple Guerrilla - Belfast, United Kingdom
Director & Technical Principal 2011 - 2015
Responsibilities & Projects
- Running an IT consultancy focused on the publishing and ed-tech sectors. Leading a team of developers and designers to develop web and mobile learning apps and content delivery platform.
- Providing Instructional Design for online training, educational content and rulebooks for tabletop war-games.
- Business development, working with ed-tech clients in the UK, Ireland and USA. Working with Invest NI to become a finalist in the 2010 Propel Program and receiving the European Regional Development Fund R&D Grant.
- Development of AWS Cloudflare based PaaS Geiger for sale, entitlement and distribution of DRM free ebooks
- Deployment and management of G-Suite for Education including configuration of SSO with Microsoft Azure based directory services.
- Mantic Entertainment Ltd
- Games Workshop Ltd
- Health and Safety Executive (IE)
- The Open Data Institute
- Co-operation Ireland
- Colourpoint Creative Ltd
- Mount Laurel School District (NJ)
Independent Christian Schools of Ulster - Kilkeel, Northern Ireland
GCSE Digital Technology Teacher (Voluntary) 2016 - 2018
GCSE Mathematics Teacher 2009 - 2012
Responsibilities & Projects
- Standard teaching duties
- Deployment and management of G-Suite for Education (then known as Google Apps) including configuration of SSO with Microsoft Azure based directory services.
University of Ulster - Belfast, Northern Ireland
IT User Services Officer 2005 - 2007
Intel Corporation - Leixlip, Ireland
Student Software Engineer 2004 - 2005
Enable Ireland - 2017
Introduction to Assistive Technologies
The Makaton Charity - 2016
Makaton Foundation Level
Belfast Metropolitan College - 2007
Belfast Metropolitan College - 2006
British Sign Language Level 1
University of Ulster - 2001-2005
BSc Hons (DIS) Computing Science
Friends School Lisburn - 1994-2001
A-Level - Biology, Maths, AS-Level - Chemistry, Computer Science
Membership & Contributions
- W3C (2017 - ongoing)
- Publishing Working Group
- EPUB 3 Community Group
- Readium Foundation (2017 - ongoing)
- IDPF (2014 - 2017)
- Dublin Tech Summit - 2018
- EPUB Summit (Brussels) - 2017
- Spiel (Essen) - 2016
- EPUB Summit (Bordeaux) - 2016
- Spiel (Essen) - 2014
- BETT (London) - 2013
- Apple WWDC (San Francisco) - 2012
- Build (Belfast) - 2010, 2011
- Producer at CATNA (Craigavon Talking Newspaper Association)
- Technical Advisor at Grace Community Church NI
- Creator & Producer for The Ordinary People Podcast
As a former teacher Andrew’s experience has seen him working as a consultant for several startups and outside of work gives seminars on the importance of inclusion, web standards, accessibility and ebook development and is even known to blog about it (occasionally).
Andrew is co-creator and producer of the Ordinary People Podcast and loves strategy wargames, retro video games, good coffee and building Lego with his wife and kids.