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Deque Wraps First Axe-Con: Largest Accessibility Conference Ever, With Over 17,000 Registered from Around the Globe

Over 100 Speakers, Keynote by Internet Pioneer Vint Cerf, Covered Wide Range of Digital Accessibility Topics; Conference will Return in 2022

HERNDON, VA – March 11, 2021 – Deque Systems, the trusted leader in digital accessibility, just completed a highly successful inaugural axe-con conference, which took place online March 10 and 11. With a global audience and over 17,000 people registered, axe-con was the largest assembly of accessibility professionals ever. Deque will continue the conference in 2022.

The 17,000+ professionals who registered for the free event will be able to view recordings of each session for the next six months at the axe-con website. Over 60 percent of those registered have already attended. Topics covered included accessibility in development, accessibility in design, organizational success and compliance, and a Wildcard track.

Axe-con’s speaker list of over 100 experts featured Vint Cerf, known as the “Father of the Internet,” who in his keynote commented, “It is often said that there are a billion people in the world with a disability. Every time a person with a disability is assisted in some way, you may actually be affecting positively another six billion people. To the extent that we assist a person with a disability to engage with the rest of the world’s population, we really benefit everyone.”

Noted disability rights advocate and lawyer Haben Girma spoke about her perspectives on the state of digital accessibility, and commented on her personal experiences, “People often ask me, what was the hardest part at Harvard Law School? The hardest part was ableism.”

First axe Awards: At axe-con, Deque announced its new annual axe awards, for individuals and organizations using axe-core technology. Winners were U.S. Bank, PNC, USAA, Peloton and Salesforce. Conference attendees conferred the Jim Thatcher Lifetime Achievement Award to JoAnna Hunt, accessibility advocate at Amazon. Other nominees were Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Rob Dodson, developer advocate at Google, and Apple’s James Craig.

“The tremendous energy and engagement we saw at axe-con reflects the growing commitment to building accessible experiences for everyone,” says Preety Kumar, CEO, Deque Systems, adding, “The diversity and inclusivity of our speakers and attendees was inspiring, as was their strong desire to build upon the axe standard.”

Attendee Enthusiasm:  Axe-con attendees took to Twitter by the thousands to express their comments on the movement. A sample of Twitter comments includes: “Axe-con session on data visualization was really helpful. Thanks again!” “Our team members have been in and out of amazing sessions that provide valuable information and real world examples of how important accessibility is.” “If you want to learn more about accessibility, You should check out this conference!” “Fantastic session just ending at axe-con. So many great things to take away.” “Gotta give it to the accessibility of axe-con.” “Axe-Con presentations have all been great.”

Axe-con Returning in 2022: Given the powerful response to the inaugural axe-con, Deque Systems will host the conference again in 2022. Axe-con will continue to have a virtual component going forward. When it is safe to do so, a physical component will be added as well.

About Deque Systems

Deque (pronounced dee-cue) is a web accessibility software and services company, and our mission is Digital Equality.  We believe everyone, regardless of their ability, should have equal access to the information, services, applications, and everything else on the web.

We work with enterprise-level businesses and organizations to ensure that their sites and mobile apps are accessible. Installed in over 250,000 browsers and with over 4,000 audit projects completed, Deque is the industry standard.

Axe is a trademark of Deque Systems, Inc.

News Media Contacts

At Deque:
Ryan Bateman, +1-703-225-0380,

At Deque Europe:
Ron Beenen, +31 6 28 26 78 54,

Photo of Deque Systems

About Deque Systems

Deque (pronounced dee-cue) stands for digital equality. For over 20 years, our software, services and training have helped eliminate billions of accessibility barriers from websites, mobile apps and other digital content - improving the web for everyone, including people with disabilities.

We work with enterprise-level businesses and organizations to ensure that their sites and mobile apps are accessible. Our axe tools have been downloaded over one billion times by accessibility champions around the world. Our experts have implemented thousands of successful accessibility programs. Our training has impacted over a hundred thousand learners.

Deque is the digital accessibility industry standard.
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