Book Nicolas Steenhout for your next event.

Keynotes - In-Person or virtual workshops

Most companies have a problem that isn't quite on their radar: Accessible products.

Or rather, they aren't building accessible websites, applications and documents. They don't realize how much of a problem it is for them. And for the up to 25% of their target audience. Because approximately 1 in 4 adults have a disability.

I'm on a mission! I'm here to guide your company make more products that are more accessible. And to do it in such a way that is less painful.

I am not a "motivational speaker", but I will motivate you and your teams.

Book Nic

Nic Steenhout, a white man with short hair and glasses.

Speaker reel

Video Transcript

Nicolas Steenhout. Speaker/Trainer/Accessibility Expert.

Nic Steenhout
You can become an accessibility champion. By becoming a champion, disabled people will be able to function on the web just like everyone else. What's accessibility? It's the inclusive practice of building websites that are usable by everyone, regardless of level of ability for disability. A non accessible environment, that's the problem. The problem is not using a wheelchair.

Denis Boudreau
I had the pleasure of working with Nic Steenhout in events that I've organized. One of the things that I really like about what Nic contributes to a conference is his perspective. He allows the audience to really understand with very down to earth, concrete, pragmatic examples how to get the job done.

Nic Steenhout
I've been involved in web accessibility for a good number of years, I do mostly consulting with nonprofit organizations and government organizations in the States and in Europe, helping making barrier free web. Digital accessibility work is not really about removing steps or making doors wider. But the concepts are the same. If you have a website that doesn't have image description, someone who's blind and using a screen reader, they won't be able to access the website.

Carie Fisher
Nic has a unique ability to captivate and engage participants from the very beginning of his talk. What truly stood out was the impact he had on our audience.

Nic Steenhout
We all have responsibilities, you know, we can all be superheroes and fix the web. So it's not just the responsibility of the developer. It's the responsibility of people with disabilities. And every single other stakeholders in the process.

Sharron Rush
He engages the audience and the attendees in a way that is very rare. He does what he does with humor.

Joe Dolson
Nic Steenhout is an engaging speaker, with a breadth of experience that's hard to match.

Nic Steenhout
You don't have to be an accessibility expert to make a positive difference in the lives of potentially millions of disabled people. What it comes down to, I think, for me, is education and awareness building from people with disabilities, to the developers, to the stakeholders, to the site owners. I like to think in terms of accessibility is to make websites usable by everyone, regardless of disability status, because we develop permanent disabilities, we develop temporary disabilities. Digital accessibility is a tech solution to a human problem. And I'm not saying that disabled people are a problem far from it. What I'm saying is, the problem is using a wheelchair when the only way in has steps! It the right thing to do. In this day and age corporations want to act ethically. And that really comes down to it. It's the right thing to do. If the environment is broken, we have a problem. If the tech is broken, we have a problem. We have to fix the environment. We have to fix the tech. And to do that we need to know there is a problem. And that's where you the champion come in. See the issues. Raise the issues. Be the squeaky wheel. Because when you do that, things are going to start to become accessible. Because it's about independence. It's about dignity. It's about humanity. Be part of the solution.

Booking info

Nicolas Steenhout

Typical presentation takeaways

  • Understand why accessibility is so important to your company, to your clients, and to disabled end users.
  • Discover why and how to build an internal network of accessibility champions.
  • Find out what accessibility-related laws and regulations apply to your company, and how you can become compliant.
  • Learn through story telling what positive impact removing barriers can have on disabled end users.
  • Identify processes and workflows you can improve to reach a point where accessibility work becomes second nature rather than a major effort.

Some past events

Nic Steenhout facing a crowd. A slide is shown behind Nic, with a cat reaching on top of a table and the words Captchas are Evil. Nic is using a wheelchair.
Nic presenting on Accessibility and Security at AccessU in Austin, TX
Nic Steenhout sitting in front of a group of people. The logo for Apple Genius Bar is on the wall behind Nic. Nic is using a wheelchair.
Nic giving a workshop about assistive technologies at an Apple store in Vancouver, BC.
Nic Steenhout on a stage in front of an audience. A slide behind Nic says Don't turn off that JavaScript just yet! Nic is using a wheelchair.
Nic presenting about JavaScript and accessibility at A11yMTL in Montreal, QC

Keynote and presentation topics

Presentations that help your organization and teams understand and implement accessibility.

I can also create a bespoke presentation for your organization.

  • Building a network of champions - As long as we treat accessibility as "projects to complete", we're always going to be on the back foot. We build a culture of accessibility by building a network of champion. Once we have a culture of accessibility, it's a bit as if accessibility is part of our organizational DNA. It's just part of what we do.
  • The evolution of assistive technologies - Assistive technologies, or tools, devices, and software that help disabled people, often get adopted by the public at large, making all our lives easier. And then get refined for further use by disabled folks. It's a healthy cycle.
  • Introduction to digital accessibility - Filled with real life example, this talk introduces the concepts of what is digital accessibility and why it's so important.
  • ARIA 101 - An introduction to the Accessible Rich Internet Application standard, and how to use it to improve accessibility.

Book Nic

Speaker bio

Nic Steenhout has been an accessibility trainer and troubleshooter for over 25 years. He’s worked on three continents, collaborating with various organizations, from local governments to large corporations, focusing on web accessibility and digital inclusion. Known for his pragmatic, down-to-Earth approach, Nic helps his clients navigate complex accessibility challenges. When he is not off on a birdwatching adventure, you can find him speaking at events or leading workshops.


  • 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
  • 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

Some of the clients I've worked with in the past

  • Intuit Mailchimp
  • Yelp
  • Lincoln Financial Group
  • Vimeo
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • jetBlue
  • AirBNB
  • Griffin Museum of Science and Industry