About

Short Summary

Brian DeConinck wearing a hat and jacket sitting in the woods.

Brian DeConinck is a Chicago-based digital accessibility specialist. He works with the UX Accessibility team at Edward Jones, and was previously a web developer and manager of the Design & Web Services team at NC State University’s central IT unit. He is committed to inclusive design principles and believes that people come first.

Long Summary

Brian DeConinck is a digital accessibility specialist. As a member of the UX Accessibility team at Edward Jones, he works with product teams of UX designers, developers, QA analysts, and others to ensure the accessibility of the digital tools used by Edward Jones branches and customers.

Prior to Edward Jones, Brian was a web developer and then (through no fault of his own) manager of the Design & Web Services team in the central IT unit at NC State University. While at NC State, he received multiple staff awards for his work on digital accessibility. As part of his involvement with WPCampus, he was co-lead on the Gutenberg accessibility audit—helping to initiate an effort that has lead to significant accessibility improvements in the content-editing experience of the world’s most popular content management system. (He is embarrassed by how braggy that sounds, but it was a big deal!)

Brian centers his work on inclusive design principles and the core belief that people come first. He also believes that when we build things, we have an obligation to think about the consequences of how they might be used—and when possible to ensure that they’re used to help others, and not to hurt, exclude, or take advantage of. Everyone has ethical and moral obligations, but all too often people who write code find ways of rationalizing away their own culpability. Sometimes you have to make tough choices, and sometimes you have to make compromises. But you’re responsible for those choices and you should own them.

He believes people should be kind, generous, and humane. He’s not always good at those things, but he tries to do better whenever he can and is fortunate to have people in his life who help push him in the right direction.

He also apparently thinks his personal biography is a good place to stand on a soap box and opine on non-biographical topics. He doesn’t really expect many people to read this, so he’s not too concerned about it.

Brian is based in Chicago, Illinois, where he shares his life with Dr. Emily Barnard, their son, and two cats. In his free time, he enjoys baking and cycling on the trails in and around Chicago. He dreams of one day writing his novel, which he describes as “What if Contact but then nothing happens.”

Employment History

Senior UX Accessibility Specialist – Edward Jones

June 2021 to Present – Remote

  • Works with product teams to ensure the accessibility of digital tools used by Edward Jones branches and customers.
  • Educates UX designers, developers, QA analysts, product owners, and others on accessibility and inclusion best practices.

Manager, Design & Web Services – NC State University Office of Information Technology

October 2020 to June 2021 – Remote

  • Manager and team lead for a five-person web development and consulting team based in central IT.
  • Service owner for enterprise-level content management system and university-wide “broadcast” email notification service.

Web Solutions Implementation Specialist – NC State University Office of Information Technology

October 2014 to October 2020 – Raleigh, NC and Remote

  • Senior developer and accessibility lead for central IT web development and consulting team.
  • Trainer for web content creation, content management, security, and accessibility.
  • Interim Team Lead from May 2020 to October 2020 prior to promotion to manager.

Content Specialist – WebAssign

October 2011 to October 2014 – Raleigh, NC

  • Created interactive mathematics education content using HTML, Perl, and Mathematica.
  • Provided tier-2 content support for math faculty customers.

Education

Bachelor of Arts – Northwestern University

September 2007 to June 2011 – Evanston, IL