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Gareth Ford Williams

Gareth Ford Williams

Pronouns: he, him — Twitter: @garethfw

In 2005 Gareth founded the BBC’s Digital Accessibility Team. Over the course of the first 3 years the Accessibility Team were an integral part of iPlayer’s core Product Team and ensured the BBC iPlayer V1.0 launched as a fully accessible product. Gareth also established the Design Research Team in 2010 and subsequently became a Head of UX Design. Whilst at the BBC some of his achievements included: 2009 he wrote and delivered the accessibility requirements for the YouView platform, including firsts for single switch access, cognitive UI design and a built-in magnifier. 2011 his team pioneered the worlds first Mobile Accessibility Guidelines, BBC MAG. 2012 he established the world’s first Accessibility Champions Network and in the same year was a key contributor to 2014 he co-wrote the first physical workplace neurodiversity guidelines for BBC CAPE. 2016 he co-managed the development of the BBC’s accessible typeface, BBC Reith. 2017 he launched the BBC GEL Tech Docs project to make accessibility easier to deliver using Documentation Driven Development. In 2021 Gareth left the BBC to work as a co-director of The Readability Group, to further the development of the font accessibility test platform, but also to focus on tools and frameworks that enable accessibility to be managed at scale.

The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers

This presentation is a personal perspective of what my last 52 years experience of having ADHD is like. I will try to demonstrate what the condition feels like, how it manifests, what the popular misconceptions are, how social media is helping, what my personal challenges are, what ‘The King and I’ taught me about coping strategies. With roughly one in ten children and adults affected by what is commonly known as Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, and with a medical service geared only to assist the children and not the adults they become, do we have an accessibility problem we just aren’t talking about? If so, surely this must be the loudest and most energetic elephant in any room ever. So how come do we not notice it? ‘Hidden disabilities’ are often misunderstood because they are either not recognized or people with the conditions have learned to mask them. We develop these masks based on others reactions and expectations of what is socially acceptable behavior, but this doesn’t mean that the condition is cured, just bottled-up. Medication can also help with control, but it does mean that all the benefits of the condition are lost in the trade-off. In this presentation I’ll talk about why we should talk more about ADHD. I’ll talk about adjustments and useful coping strategies, both for the workplace and for accessing digital products and services. I’ll also try to demonstrate what it feels like when everything is turned up to 11.