About Deque Systems, Inc

Deque (pronounced dee-cue) is a web accessibility software and services company, and their mission is Digital Equality. They believe everyone, regardless of their ability, should have equal access to the information, services, applications, and everything else on the web. Deque works 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 1,000 audit projects completed, Deque is the industry standard.

Axe-con Accessibility Conference


Axe-con is an annual accessibility conference hosted by Deque, a web accessibility software, and services company that welcomes developers, designers, business users, and accessibility professionals that are interested in building and testing accessible digital experiences.

What They Needed

Several requirements for the event included support for live, human-generated captions, support for ASL, Chat and Q&A features, and more. The team at Deque, the company hosting Axe-con, tested various virtual platforms and provided a helpful tip to verify every accessibility claim. Deque knew they wanted to deliver a fully virtual conference via WCAG 2.0 AA conformance platform, and we did everything we could to help them achieve their goals.

They had 10 objectives they wanted to us to achive:

  1. Chat Q&A and Polling features
  2. A modern look and feel
  3. Scale to support ~6k simultaneous users
  4. Zoom-powered backend for speakers and moderators.
  5. Accessible PDFs of every presentation posted in advance of the live session.
  6. Support to host 4 simultaneous topic tracks.
  7. Support for live, human-generated captions.
  8. Support for ASL.
  9. Some sort of virtual fun.
  10. A code of conduct

Ultimately our team verified all of the claims, took all of their feedback into account, acted quickly, and met all of their needs, and did not charge additional services fees in the process.

What We Provided

Screen shot of the deque live feed. There is a presenter, ASL translator and the powerpoint presentation

Attendee view of the “The Return on Investment of Accessibility” session with the presentation screen, presenter, and ASL interpreter on screen.

Keeping all of Deque’s objectives in mind, Vario got to work. Vario’s production and platform team made sure while designing Deque’s virtual platform that the website could be controlled by both a mouse and also via keyboard. This small yet important distinction helped keep the entire virtual experience inclusive to all attendees, depending on each individual’s abilities. 

The front-end was a Vimeo-powered live stream embedded within our event platform. On the back-end, we were piping four simultaneous Zoom feeds from Speakers and Moderators through vMix and into Vimeo. This provided us with a scalable infrastructure to potentially tens of thousands of simultaneous viewers. This also provided a familiar video player interface for viewers with a wide range of ability and experience levels. Vario maintained online user accessibility by using Zoom so the onboarding process for presenters was seamless.

Accessibility Virtual Event

Over the two-day event, there were over 40 live sessions with closed captioning and other accessibility options.

While each session was being streamed, Vario helped to ensure accessibility for all of Deque’s participants by having live closed captioning and a live video feed of a real-time ASL translator. Over the two-day event, there were over 40 live sessions with closed captioning and other accessibility options. All sessions are still available online for attendees to still access.

What Makes Us Different

We believe inclusion is at the forefront of innovation. Our goal was to make sure every single accessibility element we were asked to design and produce became possible. In the ever-present world of virtual and hybrid events, it’s now more important than ever to make sure events are created with accessibility in mind, so every attendee feels included and can participate in the experience. We take tremendous pride in working with Deque on their Axe-con event and can’t wait for the next one.

What They Had To Say

“We found that our friends, Vario (who we’ve partnered with in the past for AV needs at conferences in the “before-times”), easily had the best culture we encountered to: take our feedback, act quickly on it, and not charge us added professional services fees in the process. Prior to signing a contract, the work to audit and remediate the platform was already underway.”

Ryan BatemanMarketing Lead

Ready to Take Your Event Planning, Production and/or Technology to a New Level?

“Vario is more than a vendor we source, they are both our partner and extended family. Vario huddles onsite with us to discuss flow, options, and they infuse every event with spirit and thoughtfulness that ultimately assist in the overall pulse of our organization. I view hiring Vario as one of my personal successes because they not only meet my expectations, but far exceed them to ensure my executive, our employees, and our company is consistently setup for success. ”

Kelly O'Connor, Senior Executive Assistant to Greg Johnson, EVP and GM of TurboTaxIntuit, Inc.

“Thank you for taking your time and putting so much effort into our site visits. You made what would have been an incredibly tedious and daunting task of viewing all those properties and collecting proposals so much faster, easier and actually FUN!”

Elizabeth Fox, Executive DirectorForte For Children Foundation

“Five Stars for sure! My second year working with Vario on our annual spring conference and each time it gets better, knocking it out of the park. The team gives all they have in making the vision come to life. Working with Vario from the pre-production, where they make sure all the details are covered, to program day, where the team’s experience, pride in work and passion shines in creating an incredible attendee experience is what makes me a Vario client. As a meeting planner, Vario puts my mind at ease knowing I am working with a top-notch planning and production company and the A/V and production in my program are in the best hands. I look forward to working with the Vario team again.”

Carrie Shen, CMP, CMM, CEDCo-Chair EdCon Annual Conference

“The Vario team not only assists with AV needs but works with me on the planning aspect. I completely trust Vario to handle production with their amazing up to date knowledge, attention to detail and most importantly, integrity.”

Marty Covert, PrincipalCovert Operations

“Vario delivered above and beyond expectations. They are more than a vendor, they are a creative partner. Their team were exceptional and went all-in when it came to design, curation, desired impact, and budget constraints. This event was a success in a large part because of them and their professionalism. We simply could have not executed this event — to the world-class level — without their support.

My experience with Vario has given me the confidence that they are the team that can push our brand and experiences to the next level.

Crystal Mayers, Presentation Design Lead, Brand Experience & StorytellingIntuit, Inc.

“Thank you for ALL your help with our Light the Night event. Simply put, we couldn't have done it without you. We have had nothing but positive feedback about the new venue, the production value, and the event overall.”

Rachel Peniche, Board ChairLeukemia and Lymphoma Society

“In 10 years of working events, this was the most interesting experience. I can’t say I’ve seen everything but I think this comes pretty close. A huge thank you to Vario who rain or shine are bad ass partners, I will never use anyone else for my events, they pull through every time.”

Amy Ulkutekin, Event PlannerBeerfest

“We chose Vario because of their knowledge in the AV business along with their team’s professionalism, attention to detail and quality of service. They became an extended part of our team and were instrumental in making our Sales Conference a huge success.”

Angel Atondo, Sr. Marketing ManagerCavium, Inc.

“I cannot thank you and your team enough for helping to make this event a success. From the pre-event consultations, onsite flexibility and management to the personal attention – we felt so taken care of and in qualified hands. You all were such professionals and I really enjoyed working with each of your team members.”

Katie Harvill, Owner & Managing DirectorMatchstick Creative

Success Stories Are Our Standard

Some of our valued clients: