The deadline to apply to this Studio has passed.

Orbital
 
New

BigCo Accessibility Lead Studio

A 5-week community of practice for people who lead accessibility initiatives at large tech companies.

Apply to join the waitlist Join our email list to get notified when this Studio runs again.

Schedule

Online via Zoom
  • October 20

    Thursday

    5:00pm - 6:30pm UTC
  • October 27

    Thursday

    5:00pm - 6:30pm UTC
  • November 3

    Thursday

    5:00pm - 6:30pm UTC
  • November 10

    Thursday

    6:00pm - 7:30pm UTC
  • November 17

    Thursday

    6:00pm - 7:30pm UTC

Requirements

  • Currently employed at a product company (not an agency)
  • Responsible for org-wide accessibility initiatives
  • Senior, Group or Director level from Product, Design or Engineering orgs
  • Not at a startup

Application Timeline

  • Oct 12
    Application Deadline
  • Oct 15
    Confirmation Deadline
  • Oct 21
    Program Begins

Studio Lead

The Goal

Develop a Community of Practice

Orbital Studios helps you find and develop a community of practice—a group of peers you can both learn from and turn to for challenges (and opportunities) down the road.

First, we screen applicants to ensure they meet the specific requirements for experience level, role and responsibility.

Then, we convene a series of live virtual gatherings—usually over 4-5 weeks—facilitated by an experienced Studio Lead.

What you can expect:

  • Stories, best practices and perspectives that will aid you in your career.
  • Thoughtful dialogue amongst a cohort of relevant peers.
  • Access to an ongoing, growing alumni network after the program concludes.

Where we start

We focus on actual problems

To ensure relevance, prior to the start of the program we ask participants to share their current, day-to-day challenges, which we share back in Week 1.

We use their responses as a starting point. It helps us (and them) get a sense of where everyone is at, and it helps us understand how to direct the program.

This is our first time running this particular Studio, but here's a sample of what past participants have shared in our previous Studios for managers:

What We Do

Collaborative problem solving

Each week, we allocate a portion of our time to exploring those questions in short, directed, small group discussions.

We reserve most of our time for in-depth problem solving, using our Get Unstuck framework, which incorporates inquiry, deep listening and reflection.

We'll also sometimes invite more experienced alumni to join in on these conversations when more expertise is needed.

Lessons Learned

A Process of Discovery

Often times people simply need to be reminded of what they already know, or to take a moment to consider a fresh perspective.

For that reason, our process is heavy on dialogue, listening and self-reflection, rather than instruction.

This is our first time running this particular Studio, but here's a sample of what past participants have shared in our previous Studios:

"A focus on clear and direct communication would solve a lot of my and other people’s problems. In almost all situations being direct and honest, while potentially more difficult initially would be more beneficial in the long run. Building a environment where that communication can occur can be challenging but is important."

— Engineering Manager, 2019

"Managers come in all shapes and sizes and I need to adapt my style to meet the needs of the organization/team."

— Engineering Director, 2019

"The importance of establishing and building cross-functional relationships outside of engineering — your first team isn’t your direct team, it’s your cross-functional peers."

— Engineering Manager, 2019

"Talking through your challenges with others is valuable, and doesn't need to be about finding a solution. Sometimes just fresh perspectives can help, especially when you are so close to the issue yourself."

— Engineering Manager, 2019

"Communication, empathy, and relationship building with your peers are key. Ask yourself, “Who can I co-own this problem with?” Articulate the value. Tell the story. For your team, setting expectations, delivering feedback, and celebrating wins are key"

— Engineering Manager, 2019

"I need to focus more on building relationships with my peers and reports, to help them accomplish their goals more than my own - and it’s ok to give my bandwidth to that."

— Engineering Manager, 2019

What We Ask

Expectations

  1. Show up for the full duration of each session
  2. Be willing to give before you get
  3. Adhere to Chatham House Rules and our Code of Conduct.
  4. Give us feedback along the way

Time Commitment

  1. < 1 hr of prep work before Week 1
  2. < 30 min of prep work before Week 2

There's no homework, though we may assign challenges over the course of the program which will be scoped to fall within your normal work schedule.

Since 2016, we've gathered 300+ product managers, designers and engineering managers and directors from over 100 companies to learn from and with their peers across the industry.

Adobe
Artsy
Axios
Automattic
Betterment
Blink Health
Blue Apron
Bonobos
Buzzfeed
Casper
Cedar
Chartbeat
Classpass
Code Climate
Codecademy
Conde Nast
Crisis Text Line
Digital Ocean
DoSomething
DuckDuckGo
Enigma
Etsy
Facebook
Flatiron Health
Foursquare
Fundera
Ghostery
Github
Glossier
Greenhouse
Harrys
Harvest
HyperScience
Justworks
Kickstarter
Major League Hacking
Medium
Meetup
MongoDB
Mozilla Foundation
Namely
Newsela
Peloton
The New York Times
Shutterstock
Simulmedia
Skillshare
SoundCloud
Spotify
Spring
Spruce
SquareFoot
Squarespace
Stash
StreetEasy
Teachers Pay Teachers
The Farmer's Dog
Trello
Tumblr
Twitter
Two Sigma
Venmo
Vox Media
VTS
Warby Parker
WeWork
Yieldmo
Zocdoc
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