Nell Chitty is a Digital Media and Design Specialist with Strategic Public and Employee Communications at the City of Toronto where she specializes in accessible digital document design and media. She is a certified Registered Graphic Designer (RGD) and has a Master of Design in Inclusive Design from OCAD University.
At the City of Toronto, Nell is the accessibility contact for Strategic Communications’ Innovation Working Group, was a member for the Employee Disabilities Network steering committee during its inaugural year, and has represented the City as a guest speaker at the Elevate Tech Fest and the University of Guelph’s Accessibility Conference.
Nell sat on the Diversity and Inclusion Committee for RGD in 2023 and was a judge for the 2022 RGD Student Awards for the Intent Award for Accessible Award. She has also volunteered as a guest teaching assistant for the AODA certification at Ryerson University where she shared her passion for accessibility with students. From 2015-2021, Nell was on the organizing team behind #a11yTO, which is one of the largest digital accessibility Meetup groups in the world. #a11yTO holds regular Meetups, an annual camp, and three conference in Toronto, now part of #a11yTO Week.
Nell became interested in inclusive and accessible design while witnessing the accommodations and lifestyles changes her family members made to adjust to their aging eyesight. This prompted Nell to dedicate her fourth year Bachelor of Design thesis in Fashion Communications at Ryerson University to designing a typeface for people with vision loss.
After working in the Montreal fashion industry within sales and marketing, Nell returned to Toronto to pursue her Master of Design in Inclusive Design in the program’s first cohort at OCAD University. Nell researched areas relating to art, design, and disability while studying how we can create more inclusive digital environments for individuals’ unique needs.
As part of her Master’s at OCAD, Nell’s Major Research Project (MRP) looked at how designers can reduce user fatigue through changes in the visual user interface of eye controlled computers. Her MRP was completed in 2013.
She is on the organizing committee for the Friends of St James Park in her local community and takes an active role at her child's school. She is active on social media and as a photographer documenting her life as a mother and her interest in travel, nature, food, and culture.
Nell Chitty grew up in an artistic family regularly involved in contemporary art, dance and theatre. Nell was an avid creative writer as a child and began her passion with photography at a young age. As a child, Nell would shoot one roll of film a week. She considered pursing photography as a career after high school, but settled on design in the end. As a lifelong learner, Nell has continued her education in photography through post-secondary courses and workshops. There is always something new and exciting to learn!
Nell's passion for photography has stayed with her all through life. Since becoming a mother, Nell’s focus has shifted from street photography to portraiture as there is nothing quite like capturing a child’s smile! Nell loves working with children, working with families to capture this special time in their life. Nell is a member of Gallery 44 in Toronto.