- Aaron Bangor
- Ananya Kassahun
- Brenda Adrian
- Charu Pandhi
- Crystal Baker
- David Dauber
- Dennis Lembree
- Emily Lewis
- Gökhan Boybek
- Jeanne Spellman
- Jim Allan
- Katie Haritos-Shea
- Kurt Mattes
- Lewis Phillips
- Luis Garcia
- Michael Moore
- Pooja Nahata
- Rob Carr
- Robert Jolly
- Sathish Kumar
- Sharron Rush
- Steve Lowe
- Susan Hewitt
- Wilco Fiers
- William Lawrence
Dr. Aaron Bangor is the Lead Accessible Technology Architect at AT&T and Director, Accessibility Solutions Engineer. As part of the Corporate Accessibility Technology Office, he supervises technical and compliance staff; provides technology leadership to compliance teams; develops policies, processes, and tools; conducts research; and promotes solutions that make technology usable by all. Aaron currently serves as Chair of the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities and Chair of Disability:IN Central Texas. He is a Certified Human Factors Professional, Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies, and holds over 30 US patents. Dr. Bangor has served as a technical and policy expert for accessibility and disability issues with the Federal Communications Commission, Council of State Governments, various NGOs, and the U. S. Technical Advisory Group to the International Standards Organization.
Ananya Kassahun is a well-versed accessibility subject matter expert and IAAP Certified Professional in Web Accessibility (CPWA).
She has 8 years of experience in the Accessibility field.
She is currently working as a Lead Accessibility Solutions Engineer in AT&T’s Corporate Accessibility Technology Office; leading the effort to create, maintain, and improve AT&T’s Accessibility Standards; and managing the Accessibility Compliance Resources site used by all business units.
Accessibility is her passion because it is the right thing to do!
Brenda Adrian is the Associate Director for Instructional Technology at St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas, USA.
Brenda has volunteered for Knowbility for over 15 years. She has participated in the Accessibility Internet Rally on web design teams, as a representative of a non-profit (client), as an accessibility trainer and as a judge.
Her experience with AIR over the years has contributed greatly to AIR training materials for both teams and clients
Charu is an Advisory Software Engineer with IBM Accessibility Leadership, part of IBM Design. With more than 20 years of experience as solutions engineer and as a member of the IBM accessibility team now for over 10 years, Charu is passionate about providing equal access to information and technology by pushing the boundaries of what defines accessibility and inclusive design. Her current focus is Accessibility Tools and Automation in DevOps using agile methodologies, human centric innovation and solutions essential to maintain IBM’s heritage and leadership in the accessibility space. She is an active member of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) and contributes to various W3C working groups.
In her free time, she immerses herself in various volunteering and outreach programs, empowering Women and engaging girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives. She serves as the president of the Society of Women Engineers(SWE), Austin section.
Crystal Baker is a straightforward and transparent accessibility trainer, bringing organization to chaos. She currently serves as a Lead Compliance Analyst with AT&T, managing their Accessibility Awareness Lab that builds understanding of and empathy for persons with disabilities.
With over 13 years of experience in accessibility, she has taught many classes at CSUN and John Slatin AccessU, as well as webinars, is a returning AIR judge and currently chairs the IAAP Organizational & Professional Development Committee.
David Dauber is passionate about making a difference. He recently took on the role of Accessibility Specialist in the Civil Rights Department of the State of Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) in Austin, Texas. Since 2007, David has been a co-producer, performer, writer and promoter of The Gene and Dave Show, an often-comical glimpse into the lives and lifestyles of people with disabilities which airs on Austin’s local public access television station and worldwide via an internet site with the same name. The Gene and Dave Show has been awarded two Media awards from the City of Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities and a Telly award. Their website also received a first-place award during one of Knowbility’s internet accessibility competition. Even though David has been entertaining people from his wheelchair his whole life, working on the show raised his awareness of the importance of making all forms of public media accessible to everyone. His twenty-year career as a software engineer prepared him to make a change which better expresses his values and interests. His new position allows him to champion digital accessibility in all its forms, including closed captioning for video and universal website accessibility. David produces training videos, teaches classes on digital accessibility, and verifies the accessibility of Texas HHSC’s digital correspondence across the state. David lives with the love of his life, Terri, and their son, Denver, in Leander Texas. He continues to co-produce The Gene and Dave Show with Gene Rodgers and be an active and respected part of the local disability community and the community at large.
Dennis Lembree is a Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque Systems. He previously worked on the accessibility teams at eBay and PayPal. His 20+ years of experience includes web development, inclusive design, technical writing, and program management.
Dennis has published numerous articles, presented at various conferences, and led many webinars about digital accessibility.
As personal projects, Dennis runs a popular blog on web accessibility, Web Axe, and maintains his award-winning web-accessible Twitter app, Easy Chirp.
Emily Lewis is a front-end developer with a passion for inclusive design. A standardista at heart, Emily specializes in accessibility, semantics and user experience. Formerly the owner of a web services agency, she’s also an expert in digital project management.
With more than 20 years working in the industry, Emily believes education and community are vital to making the web more diverse, inclusive and accessible. She co-hosted the renowned web podcast CTRL+CLICK CAST and served as Managing Editor for Web Standards Sherpa. She also wrote Microformats Made Simple and contributed to HTML5 Cookbook.
Currently, she advocates for digital accessibility through writing, public speaking and training.
Gökhan Boybek is a IAAP-CPWA certified Senior Accessibility Consultant with 15+ years of experience.
He is a Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque Systems, Inc.
He was the Web Accessibility SME at JPMorgan Chase & Co.
He has degrees from the University of Delaware and Istanbul Technical University
Jeanne Spellman is currently contracting for Tetralogical and occasionally for The Paciello Group (TPG), as a Senior Accessibility Engineer. She is phasing into retirement. Jeanne is a co-facilitator of the Silver Task Force of the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and a co-chair of the Silver Community Group. Silver is a project of the W3C Accessibility Guidelines Working Group to develop the next major version of WCAG. Jeanne worked for the W3C from 2008-2015 as Web Accessibility Engineer. She was the team contact for the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group, the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and the Mobile Accessibility Task Force.
Prior to joining W3C, Jeanne worked as an independent web developer and accessibility consultant. Jeanne has developed accessible web sites and has evaluated web pages for accessibility in a variety of technologies. Jeanne has worked with major corporations to develop and train designers, developers, quality assurance engineers and project managers in accessibility techniques.
Career spans 30+ years: Teacher of the Visually Impaired for 10 years – RRISD; Assistive technology specialist (9 years), and webmaster for 18 years; Accessibility Coordinator 6+years. Presented numerous national and international conferences on website accessibility; Consulted with WGBH on multimedia accessibility; Invited Expert at the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility Initiative 18 years – Chair of the User Agent Working Group for 6 years, – Current Chair Low Vision Task Force; Member of the Space Camp Hall of Fame 2009; Accessibility Judge for International Accessibility Internet Rally for 14 years – judging nonprofit and art organization websites for accessibility during redesign competitions. Worked on state and federal legislation related to accessibility. Alternate representative to Section 508 Refresh. 2011 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award.
Principal ICT Accessibility Architect, is responsible for providing executive strategy, implementation, and guidance for Accessibility initiatives for commercial and government clients.
On top digital communication teams Katie has been responsible for planning, training, and executing a organization-wide strategies for design/dev/QA teams to build and verify accessibility in Web and mobile channels. She has established initiatives that include; QA testing methodologies, accessible design requirements, scripts and systems development for improving UI coding frameworks (HTML, CSS, JS, jQuery, ARIA), to provide consistent design/development methods and reporting results.
As one of the first Section 508 Coordinators for the US Federal Government she then ran and planned Section 508 programs for many Federal and State agencies for 10+ years, before moving into the private sector.
Katie is a subject matter expert in US Section 508 and international IT/ICT accessibility standards. She has been actively involved in W3C technical standards working groups (WCAG, AG WG, Web Payments, Privacy, APA, Web Platform, etc.) as an Invited Expert since 2000. She was appointed Chair of the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative’s Interest Group (WAI IG) by Tim Berners Lee in 2015.
Katie is on the Board of Directors of Knowbility and is on the W3C’s Advisory Committee as Knowbility’s representative.
WCAG 1.0 was just 2 years old when Kurt began his accessibility career by assisting with resolution of a Lainey Feingold structured settlement and subsequently establishing an enterprise-wide accessibility program at JP Morgan Chase & Co. Since then, Kurt has assisted numerous organizations like Indeed, State Farm, Ally Bank, Home Shopping Network, Wells Fargo, Toys R Us, Hilton, Texas State Democratic Party, and government agencies to create accessible and inclusive applications, develop accessibility programs, and incorporate accessibility into their culture.
Kurt has judged Knowbility’s AIR competitions, been an invited to speak at several CSUN conventions, and has instructed at John Slatin AccessU. He has also been a member of the W3C WCAG Working Group as well as the Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Task Force. A recent transplant from eastern Pennsylvania, his spare time is spent exploring Texas (the place is really big!), and hiking with his wife Marci and Howie, the occasional social dog.
Lewis Phillips is a Senior Accessibility Solutions Engineer with AT&T specializing in web accessibility.
He has worked in web development since 1997 and been in the accessibility field since 2003.
Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Prescott College which does little to explain how he managed to find himself working in web accessibility.
I am driven by my passion to help others. This passion has been expressed in my two sub-passions of digital accessibility and teaching/training.
Digital accessibility is both my primary hobby and my day job. Whenever given the opportunity I evangelize and build empathy in others about digital inclusion.
I have almost a decade of experience in providing customer service for users of all levels of expertise and training others in providing the same.
Mike is the accessibility coordinator for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission.
He has worked in accessibility since 2003 and in web development since 1995.
He has taught at John Slatin AccessU and been an AIR judge since 2004.
He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife Denise, his son Lindon, six cats, a dog and a leopard gecko.
I have a passion for how technology can empower persons with disabilities, and I have turned that passion into an accelerated career during which I progressed from a Tester to an Evangelist.
I am a pragmatic Digital Accessibility Evangelist with over 16 years of global industry experience. A proven track record of assisting customers in achieving Accessibility compliance across platforms & domains.
I have led Accessibility teams since 2004 and am adept in Digital Accessible Experience at both strategic and tactical levels. I did my first accessibility project in 2003, and still learn something new every day.
Strength lies in the ability to represent the complexities of accessibility to technical and non-technical audiences including executives, individual contributors, and group audiences with varying skills and experiences.
Rob Carr is the Accessibility Coordinator for Oklahoma ABLE Tech, Oklahoma’s Assistive Technology Act Program, housed at Oklahoma State University. Rob helps organizations to embrace inclusion through technology. He trains and guides state agencies, higher education institutions and the occasional private sector partner to make accessibility efforts into sustainable programs. From high-level topics like accessibility in procurement and building accessibility initiatives to the nuts and bolts of PDF and web accessibility, Rob makes accessibility something that organizations can fit into their existing operations. Rob works closely with peer Assistive Technology Act Programs around the country to provide training and technical assistance around technology accessibility. Rob also speaks at local and national conferences on various accessibility-related topics.
An accessibility-focused Product Manager and technologist with over 20 years experience, Robert has worked on for teams including Knowbility, Studio Zeldman, Happy Cog, Seven Heads Design, SuperFriendly, Big Medium, and Simply Accessible.
He currently works with 18F, a part of the U.S. Federal Government that aims to deliver technology work with exceptional value to the public.
I am Sathish Kumar, a passionate Accessibility evangelist, currently working at Deque Systems as a Senior Accessibility Consultant.
With the love of computers, I fell into the accessibility space and now, I have been here for more than eight years. All these years have brought more experience in auditing websites, documents, mobile apps, writing VPATs and Conformance Statements for different accessibility standards and guidelines. This journey is a learning one for me as I travel with varied customers and developers, providing different solutions and bringing more and more awareness to the table.
I am an author and editor in popular a11y blogs like digitala11y.com. I hold CPWA from IAAP. I do speak at both a11y and other developer events both in India and internationally.
In 1997, Sharron Rush worked at Easter Seals as a program development officer in a city that was being remade by technology companies. Facing digital accessibility barriers to employment for her constituents, she connected to a community of fellow advocates and launched a contest – the Accessibility Internet Rally. Its purpose was to get the attention of tech sector makers and doers and to help nonprofits get on the World Wide Web, many for the first time. The AIR contest led to the founding of Knowbility within two years.
She says,”I stand on the shoulders of the Judge Brothers – Jim Thatcher, John Slatin, and Jim Allan – who developed the first judging form. In their collaborative spirit, I am very happy to participate in AIR 2019 as a judge.”
Steve Lowe, CPACC, is a senior accessibility consultant at Deque.
He was introduced to assistive technology and digital accessibility in 1994 when he started at AbleData, the national assistive technology database and information service.
For over 20 years, Steve has been working as a web and PDF accessibility consultant with design and development teams as well as content providers for a variety of private firms and federal and state government entities.
Susan is a Senior Accessibility Consultant at Deque Systems. She started her career in web development in the mid 1990s but has spent the past 10 years focused on accessibility.
She has helped organizations from start-ups and Fortune 100 corporations to universities and state government with their accessibility challenges. She is CPWA-certified, has served on committees and working groups with the IAAP and W3C, and has delivered presentations & workshops at a variety of conferences including CSUN, SXSW, and Knowbility’s John Slatin AccessU.
Wilco Fiers is product owner and accessibility engineer of the axe and Attest for Web product lines at Deque Systems. Based in The Netherlands, Wilco helped set up Deque Research, the European arm of Deque.
Wilco is co-facilitator of the Accessibility Conformance Testing Task Force in the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AGWG) for the W3C, in which he works on standardisation in accessibility testing. This work is put into practice in the ACT-R Community Group; a group that Wilco helped found and is currently the chair of.
Helping make the complex not so complicated.
Experienced Solutions Engineer with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunications industry.
Skilled in Wireframing, Adaptive Technology, User Experience, and Requirements Analysis.