Founding Members: Microsoft
Microsoft is the worldwide leader in devices, software and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Microsoft became a founding member of the IAAP because the company recognizes that while there are signs of progress, the industry is far from achieving an inclusive digital society. Today, few organizations fully understand the business case for accessibility, and many new products and content are inaccessible. University graduates too often are unaware of accessible design, and practitioners struggle to stay abreast of new developments. It is difficult to find qualified accessibility experts.
Microsoft hopes the association will help bring more visibility to accessibility as a globally recognized profession. One of the first steps will be to create and maintain an international set of education resources for professionals, including training and certification. The new group will support companies and organizations by helping their leaders understand how to build successful accessibility programs and develop the capacity needed to deliver accessibility solutions.
Overall, the association will be a global community for people and organizations working in the field of accessibility, where they can share expertise and resources, access a global network of experts, and follow developments in a rapidly changing field. Ultimately, the association will help accessibility professionals work together toward a common goal of true digital inclusion.
About Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft
Jenny Lay-Flurrie has a passion to see people reach their full potential including people with disabilities. Jenny is Chief Accessibility Officer at Microsoft leading our efforts to drive great products, services and websites that empower people and organizations to achieve more. Her team is at the forefront of creating positive experiences that apply technology to make a difference in the world and the lives of individuals from how we hire and support people with disabilities in employment to innovative technology that aims to revolutionize ‘what’s possible’ for people with disabilities.
Jenny is also Chair of DisAbility@Microsoft, an employee resource (affinity) group focused on “Enabling people to be successful regardless of ability or disability.” With the help of her team and broad community within Microsoft, Jenny leads many initiatives to empower people with disabilities both in and out of Microsoft. These initiatives range from creating the Disability Answer Desk which provides specialist customer support to people with disabilities to hosting the annual Microsoft Ability Summit which focusses on empowering attendees (800+ last 3 years) with the inclusive and innovative thinking necessary to enable people around the world. Also instrumental in projects such as SoundScape and the Microsoft Ability Hackathon which has supported over 270 Hackathon teams focused on empowering people with disabilities with new technologies and capabilities.
Outside of Microsoft, Jenny is the current board chair of US Business Leader Network (USBLN) and was recognized as a ‘Champion of Change’ by the White House in October 2014.
What will make our profession strong is having you as a member. Regardless of your knowledge level in accessibility, we all play a role in growing this profession. Help guide us to being a great professional association serving our diverse needs.
Through use of IAAP Connections, you can join an existing discussion or even start your own. You can also blog, upload resources to libraries and join some of our committees.
Get involved today.
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Find out more about the IAAP Career Center!