Hello everybody. Happy Thursday, and welcome to PEAT Talks, the virtual speaker series from the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology. We hold these on every third Thursday of the month, and we try to showcases various organizations and individuals whose work and innovations are advancing accessible technology in the workplace. My name is Josh Christianson. I'm a project director for PEAT, and I will be posting today's talk.

First, we're going to get started with some logistics. So, if we move to the logistic slides here, I want to quickly review some stuff. First of all, we definitely will have time for Q&A at the end, so we ask that people use the chat window, the chat function you see there to put in any questions you have. You can do it at any time, and if there's an easy break, I will check in with our speaker to see if they can answer it then, or I will hold it until the end, where we'll have a Q&A session. Also, if you're having any technical difficulties of any kind, you can chat into that window there, and we'll do our best to help you resolve any of those issues. You can see we're posting some information in there now.

Also, you can download the presentation from our website P-e-a-t-w-o-r-k-s.o-r-g. And we will have an archived recording of this webinar posted online following today's event. Also, for those of you interested in multitasking, we will be live tweeting today's event from our account handle, which is @PEATworks with an S, @P-E-A-T-w-o-r-k-s. So, feel free to follow along, to join us there. You can follow the conversation on the hashtag PEATTalks, two Ts and an SDN #PEATTalks. I think that's good for the logistics. Do use the chat box if you need anything, the window there.

But, without further ado, I want to introduce our guest. We are very happy to have Mark Penicook from Capital One join us today. Mark is Capital One's Senior Manager of Accessibility, and he currently leads the Digital Accessibility Team within their Enterprise Services Division. He works with designers, software engineers, managers, product owners across the company to ensure that all of Capital One's Web, their mobile, and their messaging applications are useful by everyone, including those with disabilities. So, we brought Mark in today.

He's going to discuss the efforts that Capital One has put in to integrate accessibility awareness across the enterprise, across their internal brand, and to establish kind of an enterprise-wide accessibility standard and best practices. I'm very happy to have Mark on and very thankful he's willing to share their challenges, their struggles, their growth, and the great effort they're putting in at Capital One. So, without further ado, Mark, are you on the line?

Yeah, I'm here, Josh.

Awesome. I'll turn it over to you, and, folks, remember to feel free to type in questions in the chat window. Thanks.


All right. Josh, thank you for that wonderful introduction. It's a summary of the presentation. I hope that I still have some good nuggets and some things to share a little bit later on, but that was a great preview into what I plan to share with you all today. So I wanted to, first off, thank all the folks at PEAT for inviting me to come and have an opportunity to share our story with you. And my hopes really are that some of the things that you see and some of the things that I hope to share that we did and that we've had success with at Capital One can help others at their organizations, whether it's, you know, some bit of inspiration, some idea, or something even maybe more tactical that helps or aids others with, really, driving the awareness and empathy for our mission, and for our cause. So, what I plan to talk about is our strategies here at Capital One that we've used to drive awareness.

Before I begin and kind of start into the presentation itself, I'll just give a little bit of history, both, of myself and the digital accessibility team here at Capital One. I joined Capital One just about five years ago, and have been a part of the digital accessibility team my entire here. The team at Capital One started about seven or eight years ago, as a one-man team, a one-person operation, and has grown to where we are today. And I'm happy to say that I'm fortunate to lead a group of 12 just amazing, passionate, dedicated, brilliant people that I'm happy to come to work with every day.

We have a mix on my team of software engineers and design and development background folks, so we have folks who have spent, you know, some time doing front-end development. We have folks that have studied and/or spent time in a design capacity, and then we also have some risk managers, process managers, kind of project manager roles that we all, to some degree, share and kind of cross train skills to help, really, kind of serve and support the entire enterprise here at Capital One.

Our responsibility at Capital One is for everything digital accessibility. We own the accessibility program. We own our corporate standard for digital accessibility, which is aligned to the WCAG 2.0 level AA standard. We are responsible for every aspect of the business, so every line of business, from our credit card business to our bank business, our auto/home loan business, our investing group, as well as operations in the United States, Canada, and also in the UK. So, we have a rather tremendous scope, and as we set out, really, to kind of advance accessibility at Capital One, the challenges that we face are really what led to a lot of what you will see in my presentation today.

So, I will go ahead and start into the slides here. I believe we've covered the logistics, but if anyone has any questions, please put those into the chat window, and we will monitor those. And I'm happy to answer questions throughout the presentation, so if someone sparks your interest and there is question you would like to ask, please don't hesitate to put that into the chat window for us.

So, where do we begin? The first slide is titled "Accessibility. Hmm, well what is that?" And there's an image of a woman who is kind of scratching her head in bewilderment, you know, with a look of confusion on her face. And the reason that I start here is that one of the first challenges that we faced as we set out to really promote accessibility throughout our enterprise was, as we began to talk to designers, to engineers, to product owners, to our leadership, in many cases, we would get the first response of, wait a minute, accessibility, like, tell me more. I'm not sure what you're talking about. What is that? And, of course, you're starting from ground zero at that point to try to bring them up to speed with what it is we're even talking about.

Or another response that we often would get is they might jump to the conclusion or say, yeah, I know exactly what you're talking about, that's physical access; right? That's making sure our brick and mortar buildings are compliant and accessible; right? And we would say, true, that is part of accessibility, but we are talking about the digital portion of that. So, for us, that means every website, every webpage, every UI component, every form field, literally everything that exists out there that we own on the Web, as well as every mobile application that we have, you know, both for IOS, as well as Android, and also all of our electronic messaging, so e-mail, SMS, and even our voice-driven interaction skills.

You may be aware that Capital One was the first bank to being release a banking skill on the Amazon Alexa platform, which we launched a little over a year-and-a-half ago. But all of those things we have responsibility for, from a digital accessibility standpoint.

So, I'd like to borrow from a good friend and colleague of mine. Larry Goldberg from Yahoo once shared this statistic with me that, for example, Yahoo interviews all of their new hires and asks them if they're familiar with accessibility and about the principles and practices that are used to make things accessible. And they found that less than 10% of their new hires had heard about accessibility, really, let alone knew what to do about it or how to actually bill for it or address it, et cetera.

So, clearly, we know that we had an awareness and an education challenge here. And this started, I would say, you know, we felt that we were in this stage about probably four or five years ago, and then we started to see that as we continued our efforts, things got better and began to change a little bit, and we moved into what I'm going to call our second scenario, so I've advanced the slide to the next slide, which is titled "Left Behind," and there's an image here. It's a poster from the movie "Home Alone," where a family goes on vacation and forgets to bring one of their kids along with them. I think it came out in the '80s and made Macaulay Culkin famous.

But the next challenge that we began to encounter was not so much that people still had a real lack of awareness. I felt like we had done a really good job building awareness and kind of educating people about what digital accessibility means. But we were still kind of left behind in the process. And what I mean by that is, as we would talk to our delivery streams, to our product owners and our software engineers, and even our QE group, and our designers, things like that, and we would say, hey, you know, we really need to be engaged and involved and integrated with you guys from the very beginning of your process.

The right way to accomplish accessibility without it feeling like an overwhelming additional burden is not to bolt this on to the end of the process or try to correct things at the last minute. We really want to be involved from the very initial phases so that we can help designers get off on the right foot, avoid mistakes that would need to be corrected later. We can talk to engineers about how to take that design intent and properly build that out or code that, and how to avoid perhaps making some judgment calls or going down a path that, again, we would need to undo or rebuild later on.

And to our product builders, and we wanted to make sure that they understood that, hey, if we do this properly, then this is not a detriment to your delivery. We're not going to slow you down so that you aren't making, you know, your release dates or things like that if we're shoulder to shoulder with you all along the way.

And what we sort of heard and what we're kind of experiencing with that is that folks generally said, Hey, we agree with you, but we don't have time, and we've already, you know, gone so far down the road. We're already, you know, at code lock, and we'll catch you on the next release or, you know, this or that. And what happens is that's really a bit of a vicious cycle that it's very hard to break and to get integrated and in front of, because you really are kind of constantly playing catch up and you're behind in the process. You're coming in late and you don't have the right level of partnership in the early stages of the development lifecycle. And so, as we started to kind of address that scenario and really promote and campaign for earlier integration and better partnership in the early phases, we then got to another scenario, so we wanted to move to the next slide, which is kind of entitled "Missed the Bus." And this is sort of where you have groups who maybe didn't know about our services within Capital One. They maybe did not know about our corporate standards. There are groups who are delivering and just totally off of our radar. We just didn't know that they were putting new content out there, and they didn't know that our team existed to help them or that they had a requirement in the corporate standard that they needed to build to, and so we really just missed the bus on this.

I have an image here of a gentleman who is chasing a bus, trying to catch it as it's moving away from him. And the idea there is that you kind of really felt like, hey, there, something went on and something went down the road and we did not have visibility to it, and/or the team that was driving that bus or the group that was delivering that content did not know or have awareness about us. So that's another sort of gap or scenario that, I think, most of us in the accessibility space have probably experienced.

And then I'm going to advance a slide again and talk about maybe our most recent challenge, and this slide is titled "Uphill battle," and there's a picture here of a group of 10 or 12 people that are pushing a bus up a hill on a snowy road, which I'm sure what we maybe feel like sometimes ourselves, very challenging. And the kind of message or scenario that we think as we capsulate it here, is the notion of, hey, we've done a lot of work around awareness and empathy, and we even have, at this point, a lot of buy-in. We have leaders who know what accessibility is. They're prioritizing it. They are bought in. We have supports. We have different partners in design and in our engineering group and in our quality assurance group that are all aware of our standards and what that means. And there's this thing called WCAG 2.0 level AA and all the success criteria that we are holding them to, and those kinds of things.

But, then, you can see it's hard; right? It's complex. It's not easy, so the teams are kind of start pushing back, some saying, like, you know, we really are in agreement. We're not fighting you and we want to do this, but this is not an easy task. This is tough. We don't have the training or the subject matter expertise to know how to solve maybe some of these things that are in violation of one of our success criteria, or we really need more help to do that, or we don't have enough capacity on our team, or the time to get the fix in with this release. So, then maybe we start talking about how we can play fast followers, you fix that in a subsequent release, or we're going to have to delay that release. We're going to have to stop it and push it back, or some things like that.

So, you have a group of people who are willing, but who are challenged with the complexities of what it means to be accessible to our standard across so many different type of experiences that we offer to our customers. So, you have, as I mentioned, like, all of these websites, that we have teams and lines of the business that deliver in many different ways that are using the different type of implementation, different types of languages. You've got different devices when you get to the mobile space and different operating systems there, of course.

So, that, I think, kind of summarizes over the last four or five years some of the real challenges that we encountered and some of the things that our company, our enterprise was telling back to us, or that they were experiencing on their end, as we were really trying to establish, you know, how we go about building and making sure that accessibility is just a fundamental way that we do everything, it's how we build things and it's how we deliver. So, we decided to approach this strategically.

The next slide is a lead in and is just titled "Our Strategic Mission." And the beginning of the story, the beginning of that started with our internal brand. So, I've advanced the slide to an image of our team logo. So, we had or designed this logo, which is an "A." It's intended to be the letter A in sort of a stencil appearance that also presents the letter "C" and the number "1" in it. So, it's meant to reference Capital One but not call us, you know, something other than Capital One. But it's really all about accessibility, so it's an A for accessibility, and it's meant to represent our team.

And the reason that we felt like this was important is we want to everyone at our company to know that we have a dedicated digital accessibility team and recognize us, recognize us as we participate in all of — well many of these different things that you will soon see in the slides to come. But one thing that Capital One is really very good at is marketing and branding. And, also, I mean, that for internal teams, many of our tech teams, our product teams, and our delivery teams have their own internal brand. They have a name, they have a logo, and they have posters or flags and things like that, where they sit or where they're located in our office building. Many of us — and we also do this as well, but they have stickers made with their logo that they pass out to all of our partners and coworkers and colleagues, and people will put those on their computers or on their laptops or, you know, things near their desk, and that — whoops, it looks like I may have lost connection. But that is one way that our teams establish their identity, and also let others know kind of what it is that they work on and what they do. It looks like I may have to rejoin the conference.

Mark, are you having trouble forwarding the slides?

Yeah. I just lost connection to the conference and I'm trying to reconnect.

Okay. If it would be helpful, you can tell us when to forward the slide and we could try to move it for you.

I think I'm back.


So, yeah, I'm back.

Reach out if you want us to forward them for you.

Yeah. Sorry about that. I'm back in action. So, we started real hi thinking about this for our team and wanting to ensure that we created an identity for ourselves, and that we promoted our identity. We want it to be very recognizable everywhere we went, because we do support the entire enterprise. We travel a lot to our other office locations. We meet with a lot of different groups, so we absolutely are very closely tied in with a lot of the groups that I've mentioned to this point, such as our design group, our develop engineering group, our QA-QE product, our product donors. But we also work extensively with our compliance group, with our legal group, and many others, so we really wanted to be known as the accessibility team.

This is also directly tied back to the first scenario that I mentioned with the slide of the bewildered woman who was kind of scratching her head, and were saying "Accessibility, Hmm, what is that?" We wanted to separate ourselves from our physical accessibility team. So, here at Capital One, we have another team — my team is entirely responsible for digital and digital only. We have another team that's responsible for physical access, and we wanted to create our own identity separate from them so that people thought of the digital accessibility team when they saw our logo and they saw our team, as opposed to thinking of our partner group who handles physical accommodations and physical accessibility. So, that was the first step that we did.

And so, the next piece of that was, you know, how do we kind of roll that out? How do we begin to promote that? And we began to think about empathy. We began to think about what could we do to really win the hearts and the minds of our colleagues and our coworkers and all the folks that we talk to. We were perhaps lucky, but we were very fortunate to have a leader who agreed with our marketing approach, our mission, and provided us some budget to produce a video. So, I've gone and advanced to the next slide, which does not have a title. There's just an image here, which is a screenshot from a video that we produced, and it says — within the video, it says "Accessibility for all."

So, we were really thinking that one of the best vehicles that we can come up with to perhaps most efficiently or effectively communicate with 40,000 associates all across, you know, the U.S. and Canada and the UK, and we have operations in other countries as well, was to create a video, to create some media, and we began to, you know, really kind of strategize around that. And we have a group internally that specializes in those types of productions, who we engage, and we really just kind of told our story about what we do and the challenges that we face, and the things that we were try toing accomplish. And they came up with some great ideas of how we could film something like that. And we partnered with a non-profit group down in Austin, Texas, called Nobility, and went down to Austin to produce the video and met with three individuals there, who are local or live close to Austin, and participated in making the video with us who have three different types of disabilities.

So, we had a gentleman who, when he was 17 years old, was hiking and slipped on the trail and fell, and now lives in a wheelchair, has limited use of his arms. He can operate his wheelchair with his arms, and he uses a trackball to move a mouse cursor, but it's very difficult for him to do that. He has limited control over that. We also featured a young lady, a mother of three who is blind and was telling her story. She actually does all of the banking for her household, and that was very interesting to us, obviously, as a bank. She was telling a little bit about her story and how she loves banking on her phone, her mobile device. That's the easiest way for her. And then the third lady that we featured had suffered a traumatic brain injury, today, kind of known as concussion, but she lives with effects from that injury that affect her cognitively, so she has a hard time remembering things, as well as focusing or concentrating on things for a long periods of time. She can become fatigued when trying to work on or do things that are very complex. So, you know, for us, that was very insightful as well.

So, you can think about managing your finances or applying for a loan or a credit card or lots of things that we do in our business, you know, those were all, like, really powerful nuggets of information that helped us think about how do we make things that work for everyone, for all of these kinds of scenarios to make sure that things are simple and intuitive and accessible as we can absolutely make them.

And in our video, each one of these people tell their own story in their own words. And it really is a powerful message to see these people, to see how they interact with the computer, with their phones, you know, how they think about technology, what they think about accessibility and what that means to them. And then, of course, we spend a little bit of time in the video saying that why that's important to us here at Capital One. So, that video was completed last year, and is now a part of almost every presentation that we do here at Capital One. We also share it quite a bit externally in scenarios like today's webinar, or at other presentations or accessibility conferences that we attend, or things like that.

But what's even better is that it's part of our annual computer-based training that's required for certain job types here at Capital One. So, if you have a job type that, for us is related to accessibility, if you have any kind of role in producing customer-facing content or webpages if you're an engineer or designer or in our QA organization, if you're a product owner, if you're in legal or compliance, any of those things, all of the people who have those types of jobs are required to take our digital accessibility CBT, our computer-based training, and in there is this video. And we've had great reaction and response to it. People saying that, you know, it really helps to frame up not only the issue but the humanity and the human side of what it is that we're talking about.

So, I want to move to the next slide, which is titled "Summit," and talk a little bit about one of the other avenues and things that we really got involved in here at Capital One, and we have a lot of internal conferences. We have a software engineering conference. We have a data week conference. We have a conference that is a collaboration conference that tries to bring different groups or from different roles and areas of the company together to think about or facilitate better collaboration across teams and across organizations and things like that.

And there's an image here. It's actually of myself presenting at our collaboration conference a little over a year ago, and there's a meme that says #A11Y FTW, or for the win. This was posted by one of the attendees at the conference. And what we did here was we developed a presentation that was designed entirely around two things, driving empathy and then action. So, we talk a lot about why we should care about accessibility.

We also talk about the benefits of accessibility, and this is probably one of the, like, largest, biggest, like, messages that I try to promote almost every time that I speak internally and to, really, just anyone, particularly from engineering and design backgrounds and those kinds of things, is that if we do well at accessibility, we're almost guaranteed to have a better product, a better design, a better code base, a more usable interface or interaction for literally everyone.

And the analogies that we try to point out are things like if we think about the things that we should do or that we need to do for someone who has a vision impairment, for example, then we're also going to enhance, improve the experience for someone who has maybe a temporary situation; for example, is suffering from cataract that is hasn't had corrective surgery to help those yet, or someone who's made blinded by the sunlight or something, you know, very bright sunlight, and is having a hard time seeing their screen or their phone or something.

The things that we're doing, from an accessibility standpoint, is going to create a better experience for those people, whether it's situational, like you're outside of the sun, or it's temporary, like maybe you have cataracts and haven't had those, you know, corrected yet or something like that. And the same goes for other, you know, forms of disability and things as well. The things that we do for someone who maybe has mobility impairment, has lost the use of a limb, for example, those things can also help the new parents, you know, who's holding a baby in one arm and trying to use their phone or cook dinner or stir a pot or type something on a keyboard with their other hand, et cetera.

And so. we want to frame the discussion around, yes, accessibility is absolutely important and we must absolutely think about the human side of what we're trying to accomplish. But we also want to expand the conversation to understand that the things that we advocate for are ultimately making our designs better, making our code base better, making it more functional. And, ultimately, that results in better experiences and better products for everyone, for our customers.

So, I'm going to advance more one slide and talk about orientations. We saw an opportunity to plug ourselves into our onboarding facilitation. So, all new hires that are brought on at Capital One go through an orientation. Some of them are more extensive than others. You know, sometimes they're half a day or a full day of orientation. Sometimes they're multiple days. But everywhere that we had an opportunity, we plugged ourselves into those orientations to make sure that we were letting people know — and I have an image here on this slide from our design groups orientation, where a brand-new group of designers that had just joined the company and folks from my team are presenting to them, and there's kind of a funny catch here that I'll explain in just a moment. But we wanted to really get people that were branding to the company to make sure that they knew that we have a corporate standard for accessibility, to make sure that we were driving awareness, that we were explain that standard to them and how they can work with our team and the things that they needed to know. When they started their jobs, you know, back at their desk, we wanted to make sure they were equipped with, like, the tools and the information and the resources and knew where to go if they had questions, and the kind of things that they should do.

And, as you can imagine, when someone is brand new to your company, they're going through, you know, all the kind of orientations and introductions, there's a lot of information there, and we learned, over time, over, you know, probably 6 to 12 months of doing a lot of orientation, we began to learn that presenting a lot of information or kind of overwhelming people with a technical standard and lists of resources, and things like that was ineffective. You know, it was overwhelming and it was too much to give to people who are brand new to the company, and, you know, were kind of sitting through hours and hours and hours of onboarding orientation-type meetings and just meeting all kinds of people from all different groups and telling them about lots of different things, and it really didn't resonate or kind of stick out in their mind, so we decided to change that.

And the actual direction that I gave to my team was I want this to be fun and memorable for these folks. So, I want them to remember us after we left. And so, what we did was we got rid of our old presentation and boiled that down to a lot less information, with just the most important things that we really wanted people to know and we wanted them to walk away with. And we started having them participate in hands-on exercises. So, we would kind of surprise them with materials at their table that they didn't — we could or would sneak in different pieces of paper and other things that would sit on their tables in front of them that they didn't really recognize that they had been placed there. And, you know, part way through our presentation, we would say, "Please make us an accessible house," for example, using the pieces of paper and paper clips and rubber bands and things that you have there in front of you, and there's no public wrong answer, and you know, have fun with it, and we'll give you a couple of minutes and then we'll come back. And people loved it. They had a good time. It was fun. It made it interesting. It brought them into the conversation, and also gave them a chance to do something a little bit different, not just sit and watch a presentation or look at the things that you're putting up on the screen in front of them, et cetera.

And the best part is we've taken pictures of every single house that every orientation team has ever made, and we have a collage of that, that we show people. And it's always fun to get people's descriptions on what they made and why they made it and, like, how, to them, that made it accessible, and then to see other people from, you know, classes, past or, you know, that did the same exercise many, many months ago, and what other people created and stuff like that, and compare and contrast what everybody ultimately made. And so, that was a big leap forward for us.

Then the last thing that we also kind of stole from someone else who we believe in absolutely, you know, flattering people by stealing great ideas or great presentations, ideas from them. There was an executive at Capital One who would come in after us many times, and we were able to see him do this. But he would not prepare a presentation for any of his presentations. He would literally walk into the room and ask people to write down a word or a phrase or something that was meaningful to them in some way, and he would always have some kind of a topic or something like that that he would give them some direction on. He would say, "Tell me what's meaningful to you about designing" whatever it is they're working on or things like that. And people would write down words and phrases, and he would collect those and just kind of get to know people and introduce himself as all of this was going on in the first few minutes of starting his presentation.

And then he would take all of those words or phrases, very quickly, he would look at them and then create his presentation and complete, coherent, and cohesive story that used all of their words or phrases that they had given to him throughout the entire story. It was really just amazing. We're probably not that talented or capable as he was at doing that, but we do have some folks on our team that play instruments and love music and things like that, so we did our best imitation of that and would ask people, while we were talking to them, to write down, in one word, what accessibility meant to them, and then we would collect those cards.

And this picture is on the slide is of Mike Clark from my team with his guitar at the front of the orientation meeting, and he would take all of those words and make up a song and sing it to the class and play his guitar along with that at the very end, before we were out of our time and would wrap up and say goodbye. And the whole idea was really just to make sure that people remembered us; that they didn't forget about us. Even if they don't remember any of the things that we showed them or the technical things that we covered, they at least remember who we are and that they know how to get ahold of us if they need to.

I'll move on the next slide here, and I think this is actually my last one, and we'll have some time for question and answers. But, the slide simply says "Flag," and there's a picture here from the television show "The Office," with Michael Scott, the character played by Steve Carell, who he's at a business conference and he's just loaded up with bags and bags and bags of all the free giveaways and stuff like that.

Of course, budget is a concern, so we had to be, you know, as frugal as we could, but we did have some budget available to do things like making the stickers that I mentioned earlier with our team logo on those. So, we passed those out to anyone and everyone that we could come in contact with all the time. We made some T-shirts, also with our logo on them, and that same accessibility and had Capital One branded on them too. And those are a little bit more expensive, so we give those away a little bit more judiciously. But when we have great partnership, or folks go above and beyond in some way, shape, or form, that we will give them T-shirts.

One of the other things that I — it's probably my particular favorite is books that we really like. I won't advocate specifically for any books. But, you know, if you have books that you really like, then we buy those for people and we'll mail them to them, or we'll get them an eReader version to them, so that we're sharing kind of, you know, our favorites with folks. And we've really tried to be unique with, like, kind of how or why we're doing this. We are a team that relies upon, like, the partnership and the work of others. We don't actually own the cone; right, so we can't necessarily go in and fix it ourselves. We can tell you what's wrong with it and tell you how to fix it and things like that. We don't own the design. We're not creating the design. We're not the product builders ourselves. We only rely upon all of those people to partner with us and work with us, which is why all of these strategies are so important.

But we want to reward people where we can, and we want to also have some branding and some presence. So, we try to give away, as cost effectively as possible, as many things as we can, just to get our name, our presence out there, and to assure that folks are aware of us, and that's also been really quite successful, reaction to kind of the look at our logo and to our team, and things like, that has been really good. Where he made a large poster board, as well as a flag, so when we go to presentations and things like that, we have also some ways of signifying or kind of showing people where we are and what team we are. So, you know, a lot of times you may be in a group where there's lots of tables and lots of presenters and things like that, so we also wanted to make sure that we were well branded there as well, and it's been really successful for us.

And I believe that wraps us for today. So, I will stop there. Thanks everyone. Thanks, PEAT, for having me, and I'll see if we have some Q&A.


Thank you, Mark, for that awesome overview. I do want to underscore people watching that video, it's a great video, and I would encourage you to check it out. We typed in the link there in the chat box. Also, want to encourage people, if you have questions, to put them in the chat box here. We have a couple of minutes left. We can try to get some answers from Mark. I see some people typing. I'll ask one just to kick us off, which is, one of the things, we have, at PEAT, a think tank, and we convene them. They kind of lead our work. And a few years ago, we got them together and they said kind of one of the major challenges to achieving accessibility in the workplace is simply awareness and awareness of accessibility. I think, since then, we've seen some growth. But I wanted, Mark, to get your perspective kind of around accessibility awareness. Is it increasing, in general, in the employer world. Have you seen it, and; if so, kind of where and how?

Yeah, I would say that over the last five years, in my opinion, and in the places that I'm involved — I can only speak for myself — I would absolutely say that awareness for accessibility is on the rise, and it has, I think, dramatically increased. I think — well, I would like to think, and I hope that a lot of that is due to the, you know, great efforts of probably all the people like us who are on the webinar today; right?

But there is also, without a doubt, another force that's driving that, and that's, you know, some of the litigation and a lot the letters that are going out from the certain legal offices and things like that. But, you know, I try to — and I think it's really important that we focus on accessibility for the right reasons, and I honestly really try to rarely, if ever, talk about accessibility from a legal or a regulatory or a compliance standpoint. We talk about it here from a do-the-right-thing standpoint, and it's a better product, a better design, a better code base. It makes sure that the quality of the things that we are producing, our customer experiences and our experiences of our associates and all of those kinds of thing is why it's so important.

Yes, we acknowledge that, there's legal and compliance and regulatory concerns, absolutely. But if you asked us why we did it or why we're so passionate about it, it would be because we want to do the right thing, and we believe that there's so much benefits to everyone. I kind of mentioned, you know, there's people with permanent disabilities and then there's also what we call sort of situational or temporary circumstances that also benefit people by the things that we're thinking about and that we're doing. And I'll give you an example.

Just today, right before I came to this webinar, we have, we call them business resource groups, which is really an associate network here at Capital One, and it's called the "Capabilities Network," so Capabilities Network or Business Resource Group, and that is for anyone who cares about, you know, people with disabilities. You know don't have to be disabled or have a disability. You don't have to be a caregiver or a loved one or family or friend like that. It can be anything, anyone. Everyone is welcome.

And in support of October, for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. We had Marlee Matlin come to our Chicago office, and we just did a webcast for every office that we have and had Marlee speak for about half an hour or so. And it was absolutely inspirational, and we had, you know, associate and awareness that [indiscernible]. I think it was tremendous.

That's awesome. Thank you for plugging NDEAM. I should have done that at the top of the webinar. We have also been celebrating it this month. At least the new resources around procurement. But in the tag line we have at ODEP, it's "Innovation Drives Inclusion," and I think part of your presentation speaks to that, I'm sure. During your innovations you're going to have a lot more inclusion.


That's all the time we're going to have for questions today. Mark has his e-mail up there in case anybody thinks of a question and wants to reach out. A quick plug before we close up. Just next month, on Thursday the 16th, we'll have our PEATTalks, which is featuring a new partner of ours, Jessica Merrell-Miller, who is the founder and CEO of Workology, and she's going to really talk about, from an HR perspective, how recruiters and HR leaders can prioritize their digital recruiting options and move these efforts forward by developing smaller initiates designed to drive and change and establish buy-in, and we are really going to be bringing in accessibility angle for that and talk about how recruiting can really support inclusion of people with disabilities. So, we're going to have her on next month, and hope you all join us.

I want to give a special thanks to Mark for speaking with us today. Thank you so much for your transparency and sharing the work you do, to Capital One for their willingness to do that. It's really important, I think, to see the gains. And then also know it's not so easy for everyone; but that people are out there trying and making progress, and we really appreciate you sharing those with us. Make a plug to see the video again. We've gotten a link, because I think it was very well done. So special thanks to Mark.