Microsoft Ability Summit 2020
May 27, 2020, New York, USA
Microsoft Ability Summit 2020
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Mental Health and Using Technology to Create a Culture of Emotional Inclusion | INCLUDE
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About speakers

Megan Lawrence
Sr. Accessibility Technical Evangelist at Microsoft
Wendy Chisholm
Principal Accessibility Architect at Microsoft
Taylor Adams
Manager, Workplace Mental Health at Mental Health America
Theresa Nguyen
Vice President of Policy and Programs at Mental Health America

Megan Lawrence is the Sr. Accessibility Technical Evangelist at Microsoft with 15 years of experience working with the disability community. Dr. Lawrence builds trusted relationships with customers, NGOs, and Assistive Technology partners to further Microsoft’s mission of empowering every person and organization to achieve more through the lens of inclusion. Megan works deeply with customers and the disability community to educate and keep them up-to-date on the latest at Microsoft Accessibility including how we continue to build a culture of inclusion and how built-in accessibility is the lens of innovation in Microsoft technology.Dr. Lawrence is the co-chair of the People with Mental Health Conditions discussion group within the Disability employee resource group at Microsoft. She leads the Accessibility User Research Collective (AURC), a partnership with the Shepherd Center, as a way to improve the accessibility of Microsoft products through feedback from people with disabilities. This project engages the disability community to helps shape the future technology at Microsoft.Outside of Microsoft, Megan is a board member of the TechSAge Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center focused on developing technology to support people aging-in-place for people living with long term disabilities.

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I am an author and strategist who has pushed to make the world more equitable since 1995. I co-wrote “Universal Design for Web Applications” with Matt May (O’Reilly, 2008) and edited Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and 2.0. I have appeared as Wonder Woman in a web comic with the other HTML5 Super Friends and as myself at Ignite Seattle. In 2014, I gave a short keynote at OSCON, “Introvert? Extrovert? Klingon? We’ve got you covered.”As a Principal Accessibility Architect at Microsoft, I lead AI for Accessibility–a $25 million grant program that aims to accelerate the development of accessible and intelligent AI solutions that amplify human capability for the more than 1 billion people worldwide with a disability. Previously, I helped start the infusion of accessibility throughout Microsoft’s internal engineering systems; worked to make Visual Studio Team Services more accessible; shepherded Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 1.0 and 2.0. as staff for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); helped the University of Washington’s AccessComputing project increase the number of people with disabilities in computing fields; contributed to the development of WebAnywhere–a screen reader on the go; and independently consulted for companies including Microsoft, Google, and Adobe to integrate universal design into their products and as a consultant for the American Foundation for the Blind. I have a B.S. in Computer Science and M.S. in Industrial Engineering/Human Factors.

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About the talk

Mental health is top of mind for so many of us as we juggle to support family and friends while keeping up with our day jobs. In this moment, we have an incredible opportunity to define a new work from home culture that includes emotional inclusion and compassion. This session will bring together people with disabilities to share how technology is playing an important role in helping people to proactively take better care of themselves and others.

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