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Topics: Broadcasting,  Business, College Speaking,  Communication, Customer Service,  Digital/Tech, Disabilities, Diversity,  Education, Entertainment, Entrepreneurship, Ethics, Event Host, Healthcare, High School Speaking, Innovation, Inspirational, Marketing, Public Speaking, Women’s Empowerment

Travels from: New York

Title: Consultant, Author, Speaker specializing in user experience and accessibility

FEE: Please inquire
FREE: Some limited free talks available, depending on the event

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Deaf expert in accessibility helps educate and spread the word that the vast number of disabled people deserve and require accessibility, and by doing so everyone prospers.

Can adding accessibility help more people find and enjoy your business, product, service, website, media or live event? “People with disabilities make up 20{1892647b935b21966e7633bf10709befe79457c7b5227f5fbe8c42a5da1fc0ab} of the global population,” says captioning and accessibility expert Svetlana Kouznetsova, who happens to be deaf. Svetlana helps business owners, media producers, corporations, event organizers, and educational institutions make their websites, media, and events accessible, and she’s an expert in captioning access. 

But how do you add accessibility to your business, website or event? How do you find the right kind of captioning? Is it expensive? Where to start?

Svetlana’s fun, informative talks are done in American Sign Language, voiced by interpreters, captioned in English, and customized for your group. You’ll see how accessibility and quality captioning can boost your ROI and connect you with a new world of clients, customers, viewers, website visitors and live audiences who’d love to know more about your product, service, media or live event.  

You’ll learn how to… 

  • Find the best accessibility solutions for your product, service, media or event
  • Capture new viewers and take your audience to a new and diverse level
  • Choose quality captioning over “craptioning” (inferior products)
  • Better communicate with disabled people, the largest minority
  • Get answers to all your accessibility questions and concerns

The author of Sound Is Not Enough: Captioning as Universal Design, a TEDx speaker, and a founder of Audio Accessibility, Svetlana shares the moving personal story of how captioning changed her life when she was fifteen years old. She also offers a frank and humorous glimpse into her daily experience, as she navigates through deafness and communication barriers. “Many people think that deafness is a weakness, but I have proven otherwise through my consulting and international speaking,” she says.

The audience learns first-hand about user experience and accessibility from an experienced consultant who is deaf and gains a unique perspective about people with disabilities – the largest and most ignored minority.

Fast Facts

  • Svetlana’s deafness hasn’t prevented her from communicating in 5 languages and learning even more languages!
  • Her education spans grade school in her native Russian to graduate school in English – her third language – including seven years in regular schools where she was the only deaf student and didn’t have any formal communication access services.
  • Svetlana’s consulting has helped many organizations and individuals become more aware of the needs of people with disabilities and more proactive in accessibility.

What people are saying…
“Svetlana presented on communication access at HighEdWeb New England, which I chaired. Throughout our preparation for her talk Svetlana shared her expertise, set high standards, and helped ensure that our strategies for access would be successful. I learned a lot from this process and from her presentation. Svetlana is a passionate and articulate advocate for accessibility, a moving and experienced storyteller, and an excellent teacher.”
– Sven Aas, Chair of HighEdWeb New England 2016

  • Conferences, Conventions, Trade Shows
  • Expos, Fairs, Retreats 
  • Corporations, Non-Profits
  • Parties, Events of all types
  • CEOs, Executive Managers, HR Professionals
  • Team Leaders, Sales Reps  
  • Business & Civic Groups
  • Women’s Groups, Career Women
  • Baby Boomers, Millennials
  • Seniors, Retirees
  • Community Organizations
  • Colleges, Universities, Schools, Youth Groups
  • Attorneys, Financial Planners, Investors
  • Military, Police, Firefighters, Paramedics
  • Emergency Preparedness, Risk Management
  • Parents, Educators
  • Entrepreneurs, Business Owners, Small Offices
  • Tech/Electronics Specialists & Hobbyists
  • Travel Companies, Cruise Lines
  • Therapists, Psychologists, Counselors and Coaches
  • Political & Historical Groups/Associations
  • Libraries, Museums
  • Entertainment Venues
  • Hospitality Organizations, Restaurant Associations 
  • Health Care Groups, Hospitals, Medical Offices
  • Health Workers, Healers, Caretakers, Cancer Survivors
  • Nursing Programs, Medical Centers
  • Health Spas, Fitness Centers
  • Realtors, Real Estate Associations, Property Owners
  • Rehab Centers, Recovery Support Groups

All presentations are customized for your audience

How Accessibility for the World’s Largest Minority
Increases ROI for Your Business

Did you know that people with disabilities make up 20{1892647b935b21966e7633bf10709befe79457c7b5227f5fbe8c42a5da1fc0ab} of the global population? They make the world’s largest minority, but their needs are sadly the most misunderstood and ignored. They are often dismissed from the diversity and inclusion equation. 

Accessibility benefits everyone, and not just those with disabilities. In fact, it can actually increase your business’s bottom line. In this talk, Sveta shares her personal experience as a deaf consultant and explores what needs to be done to make products and services accessible.

Accessibility needs to be baked into any process from the beginning, rather than being an afterthought. It’s every team member’s responsibility to make their products and services accessible regardless of the type of industry they work in. When you do this, everyone wins!

Accessibility through the Deaf Lens: Coding and Beyond

Are your team members struggling with accessibility, or how to implement it? While a lot of web accessibility guidelines are focused on coding, there are other accessibility components that all team members need to consider in order to improve the overall product or service from the beginning of any project. 

In this talk, Sveta shares her personal experience as a deaf person and some examples of accessibility issues and solutions. They may be new to some and sound like common sense to others, but sadly there are many products and services that fail at accessibility. The talk will help developers and their team members better understand why accessibility is not just about coding and why it’s not to be seen as an afterthought. 

Accessibility for Deaf People: Beyond Video Captions
and Sign Language

When people think about accessibility for deaf and hard of hearing individuals, video captioning and sign language, interpreting automatically comes to mind. But it goes beyond that. What about webinars, live events, telecommunications, emergency situations, education, employment, and so on? The vast majority of deaf and hard of hearing don’t know sign language to benefit from interpreters, and not everyone can lipread or benefit from hearing devices. 

Sveta’s presentation will help attendees better understand that not all deaf and hard of hearing people are the same and learn more about various hearing and communication abilities and preferences in various situations. The speaker is an experienced deaf professional providing consulting services to businesses, thus giving you the unique opportunity to hear first-hand about accessibility for deaf people. 

Let’s think outside the ears!

Quality Captioning and Speech to Text Transcription
as Universal Design 

Benefits of captioning access are not limited to those who cannot hear. Just being able to hear is sometimes not enough. Captioning also helps foreign language speakers, remedial readers, individuals with learning disabilities, those in noisy or quiet environments, and many more. Businesses also benefit from captioning, as it improves user experience and SEO of their aural information and attracts more loyal customers. 

But it’s not enough to just provide speech to text translation – captioning also needs to be easy to read and understand. Quality captions are as important to deaf people as quality audio to hearing people. In this talk, Sveta dispels common myths about deaf and hard of hearing people, shares her personal experiences with deafness, and explores case studies of good quality captioning for various types of aural information that can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of hearing abilities. 

Let’s think outside the ears!

Meet Svetlana Kouznetsova…

Svetlana (Sveta) Kouznetsova is a user experience and accessibility consultant helping businesses make their products, services and events user-friendly and accessible to more people. She has a Master of Science degree in Internet Technology, several advanced certifications, and project experience with national and international organizations and educational institutions. Sveta is also a founder of Audio Accessibility and provides consultation and training to businesses about quality communication access to media and live events. She is an international speaker and the author of Sound Is Not Enough: Captioning as Universal Design. Sveta’s TEDx talk reveals the benefits of captioning access that increase audience and ROI for businesses. Her daily experience with deafness and communication barriers gives others an exceptional insight into her professional experience and expertise in accessibility.

What people are saying…

“Svetlana presented at an event I organized for NYC UXPA in July 2016. She shared an inspiring and actionable approach to generating empathy with the express purpose of making technology products more accessible to a wider variety of potential users. As we increasingly consume online content that relies on audible tools, such as video recordings and podcasts, as designers, it is critical to develop content that is flexible and can be enjoyed through multiple sensory experiences. Sveta’s presentation helps those in the UX community see this as an imperative design choice. Her on-going consulting with NYC UXPA helps ensure that our events are accessible and that our efforts are supported by high-quality communication access providers.”
– Elaine Matthias, NYC UXPA President

“I’ve rarely worked with anyone as passionate and reliable as Sveta. We collaborated on a web project for the IA Summit that was only successful thanks to Sveta’s hard work. In addition, she educated me on the importance of web accessibility and accessible content in particular.”
– Jackson Fox, IA Summit

“Ms. Kouznetsova has been very helpful to IxDA New York in our efforts to make our events more accessible to people of all abilities. She was able to provide detailed information about facility requirements and vendor selection that helped make our process more effective. I would work with her again on future events.”
– Peter March, IxDA New York President

“Svetlana presented on communication access at HighEdWeb New England, which I chaired. Throughout our preparation for her talk Svetlana shared her expertise, set high standards, and helped ensure that our strategies for access would be successful. I learned a lot from this process and from her presentation. Svetlana is a passionate and articulate advocate for accessibility, a moving and experienced storyteller, and an excellent teacher.”
– Sven Aas, Chair of HighEdWeb New England 2016

“I met Sveta at a NYCUPA meeting several years ago and she opened my eyes to the needs of deaf and hard-of- hearing passengers and the use of captioning as part of a universal design approach to the airline passenger journey and in particular the use of captioning on in-flight entertainment systems. Sveta’s knowledge of creating accessible systems and services is extensive and I would recommend her consulting services without hesitation.

Sveta’s book, Sound is Not Enough: Captioning as Universal Design, provides a comprehensive and extremely informative overview of the challenges that deaf or hard- of-hearing people face during everyday life – at home, at work and whilst traveling. It should be essential reading for anyone who wants to provide services to, or reach out to the market of over 640 million deaf or hard-of-hearing people worldwide. Whilst the use of captioning (closed or open) is covered in detail, the book providing clear guidelines and suggestions to incorporate captioning as part of a system or service, it also focuses on the benefits that captioning brings to all users of the system or service through universal design.”
– Jon Norris (Vice President of Sales at Lumexis Corporation)

“Like most organizations, we need to be better with accessibility, and can only be better with professional guidance. For that, in both strategy and application, we turn to Sveta. There’s not a more passionate advocate, and her high standards are the right benchmark for our efforts.”
– Adam Churchill (Director, Online Products at User Interface Engineering)

“Svetlana worked with me on the planning and coordination of the IA Summit conference in 2013. Her support was critical to ensuring that the conference was as accessible as possible both at the event and in the materials we share to the community afterwards. Her passion and expertise in this space combined with her strong work ethic and quick turnaround made her an invaluable partner year after year.”
– Crystal Kubitsky (IA Summit 2013 Chair)

“If you are looking for someone committed to hard work with attention to detail, then Sveta is the person for the job. Aside from her fantastic personality and humor, I have rarely worked with someone so eager to get the job done and get it done well and correctly. I highly recommend her in all that she does.”
– Tim Senft, Content Strategist at Cornell University and former Deputy Director of Strategic Communications at NYU

Sound Is Not Enough: Captioning as Universal Design

Sound Is Not Enough: Captioning as Universal Design

Do you want to expand the audience for your podcasts, videos, and live events? Try this: Provide quality captioning to communicate with people who can’t hear you. Captioning — converting audio content into text and displaying that text on a screen or monitor — will help you reach people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, an audience currently estimated at 642 million worldwide. Captioning also can prevent your message from being missed or misunderstood because of other barriers, such as background noise, mumbling, or accented speech.

In Sound Is Not Enough: Captioning as Universal Design, NYC-based accessibility consultant Svetlana Kouznetsova guides you through the process of adding captioning to your communications so that you can go beyond meeting accessibility mandates. The book dispels common myths about deaf and hard-of-hearing people, describes the author’s experiences with deafness, and provides examples of quality captioning. The book focuses on speech-to-text translation because of its broader application.

“This is a comprehensive guide to the many uses and applications of captioning technology, written in a straightforward, friendly style,” raved one reviewer. “As both a deaf woman and a professional accessibility consultant, Ms. Kouznetsova is extremely knowledgeable about the benefits of captioning, not only for people with hearing loss, but also for aiding in English language learning, literacy, remote viewership, and many other aspects of universal design. She describes industry best practices, compares the pros and cons of various types of captioning, and offers tips on how to determine the quality of a captioning professional before hiring them.”

Those who can benefit from Sound Is Not Enough include:

  • Educators and students;
  • Owners of websites, media outlets, or other businesses;
  • Audio and video producers;
  • Event organizers;
  • Supervisors;
  • Those considering a career in captioning and interpreting.

Let’s think outside the ears!