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About Shawn

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Shawn Lawton Henry ("Shawn Henry") helps organizations develop and implement strategies to optimize design for accessibility and usability. For the last decade, she has been working with international standards bodies, research centers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions, and Fortune 500 companies to advance user interface design.

Shawn developed www.UIAccess.com as a resource for universal user interface design and "usable accessibility" information. She brings a personal passion to her speaking, training, and consulting on accessible technology.

Shawn has helped companies define and implement user interface design standards for Windows and Web applications. She has led user interface design efforts through all stages of development, including analysis of requirements, graphical interface and web interaction design, and usability testing of design prototypes. Shawn has also developed and led workshops on a variety of user interface and accessibility topics, including the user-centered design process, usability standards and testing, and accessible design for Web interfaces, software, and consumer products.

Prior to going independent, Shawn was a founder and principal of Optavia Corporation, where she led accessibility initiatives as Director of Research and Development. Before Optavia, she was Senior Usability Specialist with a $2 billion national consulting firm, where she established the accessibility and user interface standards group. Shawn leverages her educational background in computer science, human factors, and communications to help companies excel in their interface design and technical communications.

Shawn actively advances work in the accessibility and standards fields as:

  • Invited Expert in the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG)
  • Executive Member of The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences
  • Advisory Committee member for the Trace Research and Development Center, the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Access to Information Technology funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research
  • Member of HFES/HCI 200, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Technical Standards Committee developing software interface standards for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • Contributor to International Organization for Standardization (ISO) work on accessibility standards
Shawn has published papers for Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), Usability Professionals' Association (UPA), and Computer-Human Interaction (CHI) conferences. Her publications also include:
  • Managing Accessibility In Technology: Bringing Together People, Processes, and Techniques For Successful Implementation
  • "Understanding Web Accessibility" chapter in Constructing Accessible Web Sites, April 2002
  • "Everyone Interfaces" chapter in User Interfaces for All, Stephanidis, C. (Ed.), July 2000
  • Accessibility columns in Internetworking, a publication of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) Internet Technical Group

Shawn is particularly interested in bringing together the needs of individuals and the goals of organizations in the design of human-computer interfaces.

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About Shawn

mail icon shawn@uiaccess.com

photo of shawn

Areas of Expertise

  • Training, mentoring, speaking, and writing
  • Strategic planning for accessibility, managing accessibility in projects and organizations
  • Implementing W3C accessibility guidelines and Section 508 standards
  • Accessibility assessment, usability evaluation, usability and accessibility testing
  • User interface design for web and Windows applications
  • Writing and designing online communications

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