Ben Watson

Ben is the Director of All Able and Digital Accessibility Lead at University College London.

Session: Accessibility Surgery

Strand: Engaging people

Where: M Shed, Bristol / Hybrid – streamed online

When: 15:00 – 15:45, Tuesday 14th November 2023

Ben, a former law librarian and qualified teacher, has a passion for inclusive design that has led him into researching and implementing approaches to inclusive information and technology provision for education. He has experience of working with all UK education sectors (primary, secondary, further and higher education) and many years experience of working to improve both the physical and digital accessibility of education organisations.

In 2015 he initiated the OPERA (Opportunity, Productivity, Engagement, Reducing barriers, Achievement) project. This project reconsidered approaches to learning and teaching, digital systems and assistive technologies and catalysed a shift towards anticipatory reasonable adjustments and inclusive practice by design. This work has been hugely influential and was recognised in 2018 with Times Higher Education Award for Outstanding Support for Students.

Ben is also one of the founding chairs of the Further and Higher Education Digital Accessibility Working Group (FHEDAWG) which has worked directly with the Government Digital Service to develop guidance for the Higher and Further Education sectors to best meet obligations under the Public Sector Bodies (Websites and Mobile Applications) Accessibility Regulations 2018.

Ben holds two Masters degrees associated with education and learning development, and is undertaking a PhD at the University of Kent looking at the provision of accessible information in education and developing mechanisms for measuring its impact.

Connect with Ben on LinkedIn here.

Follow Ben on Twitter here.