21NTC Session
Digital Inclusion

Centering Accessibility to Access Expertise


When the pandemic suspended the Urban Land Institute’s popular tours of exemplary real estate projects, the staff pivoted to interactive digital storytelling through 360-degree photography and video interviews. We knew that Peter Slatin would be a perfect partner for the interviews, because of his grasp of real estate, his long familiarity with ULI, and his proven writing skills. Peter is blind, and we all committed to fully integrating the team to create a compelling and innovative visual product.

In this session, you will learn practical tips for creating a mutually constructive working process. You’ll also learn productive strategies for overcoming inaccessible technologies and miscommunication. Our goal is to help you deliver a successful product by prioritizing the team’s cohesion and wellness.

Session Type

30 minute session

Learning Outcomes

  • Staff at every level and department will acquire tools to interact effectively with all stakeholders when digital barriers arise.
  • Attendees will learn to recognize and accept these barriers without surrendering quality, and to initiate remediation while moving forward.
  • Attendees will explore a management template for creating an inclusive project when digital technology fails to provide full access.

Target Audience

project managers; Human Resources professionals; designers/IT; development and outreach professionals; Marketing & Communications staff at all levels.


AccessibilityHRProject ManagementStorytelling


Melanie Starkey

Senior Vice President, Digital Marketing

Urban Land Institute

Executive specializing in digital transformation and strategy for customers in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. Expert in leading high-performing teams across such disciplines as product development, project management, technology, marketing, and events. Experienced in nonprofits, membership associations, business process, and change management.

Peter Slatin


Slatin Group

Peter Slatin is the founder and president of Slatin Group LLC, which provides education and training on service to consumers with disabilities. Along with strategic partner Slatin Media Group and its e-learning course, Elements of Service, he has trained thousands of hospitality workers at hotels across the U.S. Clients include four and five-star hotels , destinations and public facilities. He consults on accessibility and disability to numerous organizations, including Lighthouse Guild and New York City’s Destination Marketing Organization, NYC & Company, and speaks frequently on disability rights.
Peter is an award-winning journalist and writes on disability for Forbes.com and other publications; he is also an Encore Public Voices Fellow with the Op-Ed Project; he has written extensively for major national publications, such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal . He was the founder and editor in chief of Grid Magazine, a trade magazine covering the intersection of architecture and commercial property. Grid received numerous Jesse H. Neal awards for editorial and design excellence from American Business Media, and Peter received the Oculus Award for Excellence in Architectural Journalism from the New York City Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Peter, who is blind, is an 2020-21 Encore Public Voices Fellow. He currently serves on the boards of Empire State Employment Resources for the Blind ; the Colorado Center for the Blind; and CampAbilities Kenya. He holds a Master’s degree in Painting from Hunter College and a B.F.A. from SUNY New Paltz. He lives in New York City.



March 25, 2021


12:15pm – 12:45pm