Why GAAD Foundation?
In 2012, Joe Devon and Jennison Asuncion teamed up and launched Global Accessibility Awareness Day. Read the blog post that started it all. With 2021 marking GAAD’s tenth anniversary, it only made sense that a foundation, to harness the energy of GAAD, take shape.
The foundation’s mission is simple: to disrupt the culture of technology and digital product development to include accessibility as a core requirement.
Accessibility is built into the product development lifecycle for technology and digital products.
Meet the GAAD Foundation Leadership
Joe Devon, is a technology entrepreneur and web accessibility advocate. He co-founded Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) and serves as the Chair of the GAAD Foundation, focusing on promoting digital accessibility and inclusive design. Joe also explores AI’s potential to revolutionize digital accessibility, developing AI solutions to enhance online experiences for people with disabilities.
Jennison has worked in the digital accessibility industry since 2006, starting on RBC’s IT Accessibility Team in Toronto. Currently, he is LinkedIn’s Head of Accessibility Engineering Evangelism. In addition to co-founding Global Accessibility Awareness Day, Jennison founded the Bay Area Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup group and the free annual Accessibility Camp Bay Area. Since 1999, he has been co-directing the Adaptech Research Network in Canada. He sits on the Boards of Directors for the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired San Francisco, Knowbility, and Accessible Media Inc.
Mindy has over a decade of web development experience, which includes working on the AmericanIdol.com and Fox.com teams; seven years at Diamond where she worked on Simpsons World, TaylorMade, FX Networks; voting apps for The Voice, NBA, and America’s Got Talent, among other properties. Mindy designed the Global Accessibility Awareness Day logo that has been featured in magazines, newspapers, and news shows all around the globe. She now serves as the Sr. Coordinator for the GAAD Foundation.
Chris Gaulin is a seasoned entrepreneur with over two decades of experience in the digital accessibility space. He regularly brings his experience in digital accessibility, communication technologies, education, and e-learning to government agencies and organizations of all sizes. Having organized over 40 conferences, Chris volunteers his skills in planning and logistics to accessibility events and is one of the lead organizers of the largest group of digital accessibility practitioners in the world. He has extensive experience with managing not-for-profit organizations, stemming from numerous roles with Canadian charitable organizations.
Diane is a senior product designer at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, designing edge-to-cloud solutions and working with teams to ensure accessibility and inclusive design are embedded in the product development process. Before HPE, she helped startups scale their operation by providing impactful design solutions. Her experience includes branding, marketing, analytics, and strategy – having advised lifestyle and performance brands like Wolverine, Merrell, and Chaco at Wolverine Worldwide. Diane also served as the Director of Design at Code for San Jose, where she organized Inclusive Product Week, a virtual global conference celebrating GAAD, designed to bring digital technologists from all areas to learn about digital access and inclusion. She also has extensive experience planning events and marketing for non-profits.
Andrew is an Enterprise Engineering Manager at Meta working on Contingent Worker Experiences. Prior to this, he was the co-founder and CTO of fintech startup and an Engineering Manager at LinkedIn. Andrew is Purdue alumni with 15 years experience in engineering management, web and mobile development at scale. Andrew is passionate about accessibility in global technology. He resides in Austin with his two children.
Kelly runs Marketing at Olark, a bootstrapped B-Corp that specializes in making accessible chat software. Earlier in her tech career, Kelly led various Product and Go-To-Market teams in startups and co-founded and scaled a software-enabled logistics company through Techstars, for which she later served as a mentor in Seattle. Today, she is passionate about advocating for accessibility and highlighting ways that people can make their organization and its products more inclusive, regardless of role, rank, or company size.
Rebecca Mir is a product manager who thrives on making things better for users and teams. She has built a variety of B2C products at non-profits that help users improve their health, communities, and creativity. She’s currently providing fractional product management support for clients with her business Producting While Curious LLC. Previously, she managed Ad Council’s portfolio of digital products, including SmokeyBear.com. Before that, she was a museum educator at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum where she managed digital media-based programs for both on-site and online learning. She lives in Orlando, FL with her partner and their menagerie of animals. She hopes to get backyard chickens soon!