Molly  Watt 

Molly is an Accessibility and Usability consultant and inclusive technology evangelist.

Living with a genetic condition called Usher syndrome, causing deafblindness, Molly is completely reliant upon and benefits from using mainstream assistive technology.

Consequently, she is passionate about working in the world of digital accessibility, website accessibility and usability, patient participation and healthcare. Molly actively promotes the use of assistive technologies and the importance of website accessibility and inclusivity.

She has spoken widely about these subjects around the world, including at Harvard Medical school, the House of Commons, Apple HQ in Cupertino, Apple Corporate in Sydney and QCon in San Francisco alongside Sigma's Chris Bush. Molly is co-founder of the charity Molly Watt Trust, supporting those with Usher syndrome, and she runs her own company, Molly Watt Ltd, serving as an active ambassador and advocate for MWT and GN Resound.

Using and understanding assistive digital technologies

According to the Office for National Statistics, there are over 10 million disabled people in the UK, representing around 15% of the population. More than ever before, the need to deliver inclusive, accessible digital products and services constitutes both a moral and a commercial imperative. Accessible products ensure that people with disabilities, whether they are cognitive, physical, visual or auditory can interact, navigate and contribute to the web. Molly will begin the workshop by talking openly about her experience with Usher syndrome and sharing her views on how technology can be better designed and configured to improve digital experiences for everyone and not just those with an impairment.

Molly, supported by Chris and Hannah from the Sigma accessibility team, will then guide you through the various challenges and obstacles that commonly prevent impaired users from engaging with digital products or services and teach you how to use some of the most popular assistive technologies on desktop and portable devices. We’ll demo and give you a chance to try using screen readers and screen magnification tools, vision impairment glasses and mobility gloves.

After this workshop, you’ll have a better understanding of the challenges users of assistive technologies encounter and learn the basic principles that will help you evaluate your own digital products to ensure you are providing the best, most inclusive experience for all your users.