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GAAD: Raleigh 2024

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Celebrate Global Accessibility Awareness Day with Ablr.

Ablr Celebrates Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2024

Join us on Global Accessibility Awareness Day for the 2nd annual GAAD: Raleigh, presented by Ablr and the Triangle accessibility community!

Discover how Raleigh and the Triangle are becoming the leader in accessibility and disability inclusion in the nation! This annual event shines a spotlight on the Triangle’s growing accessibility community, and how it is making an impact on business, education, and DEI efforts. Be inspired as we educate and highlight how everyone can make an impact in fostering a more inclusive community for all. Don’t miss this opportunity to join the accessibility movement!

We are honored to organize this event in collaboration with our friends from Pendo, GitHub, Microsoft, SAS, Lenovo, and more!

CART Captioning and an ASL Interpreter will be provided during this webinar. For additional accommodations, please email Sarah Clark.

Event Time & Day

May 16, 2024, 8:30 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Missed Us Last Year?

Whether you missed the event last year or were able to make it, we are excited to share with you all an exciting recap video that sums up some of the highlights of last year’s first ever GAAD: Raleigh event!

Keynote Speaker

Jamie Dean
Senior Corporate Counsel, Microsoft Accessibility and Privacy Regulation

Jamie is a Senior Corporate Counsel on Microsoft’s Accessibility and Privacy Regulation Team, where he supports engineers, product attorneys, and executives in understanding the many U.S. and global accessibility laws that apply to Microsoft and its products and services. His work is informed by his personal experience as a blind person who relies on accessible technology on a daily basis.

Prior to joining Microsoft, Jamie spent more than a decade as a business litigation attorney handling cases on issues ranging from trade secrets to the First Amendment. He has served as first-chair trial counsel in state and federal courts and argued multiple times before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit.  

Jamie received his Bachelor’s, Master of Business Administration, and Juris Doctor degrees from Wake Forest University. He is an active volunteer and has held board roles with organizations including the Academy for the Certification of Vision and Rehabilitation Education Professionals, American Foundation for the Blind, Disability Rights North Carolina, and Industries of the Blind.

In 2008, Jamie won a silver medal in rowing in the Paralympic Games and, while he has retired from rowing, he still loves the outdoors and stays active hiking, paddling, and traveling with his wife and their four children.

Visit Jamie’s LinkedIn Page.

Lightning Speakers

Dennis Lembree
Senior Accessibility Program Manager, GitHub

Dennis Lembree is a Senior Accessibility Program Manager at GitHub. He previously worked at Deque Systems and on the PayPal and eBay accessibility teams. He has two decades of experience in writing articles, training, and presenting on digital accessibility. He is also the creator of the first podcast on web accessibility, Web Axe, and created the first accessible Twitter app, Easy Chirp. Dennis lives outside Raleigh, NC with his wife, two teenage boys, and four cats. He enjoys playing guitar, watching football and tennis, hiking, and traveling.

Visit Dennis’ LinkedIn Page.

Ada Lopez
Sr. Manager of Product Diversity Office, Lenovo

Ada Lopez manages the Lenovo Product Diversity Office team and is responsible for the daily operations of the Diversity by Design Process. In addition to leading the team, she works with development teams across the company to implement inclusive and accessible design practices. With over 18 years of professional experience as a teacher, and both a product and project manager, Ada understands the importance of creating processes that increase diversity and inclusion which are supported through education, employee empowerment, and are championed by leaders. She believes that by including individuals from different backgrounds, varying abilities, and unique minds in decision making, human advancement is accelerated. She is customer obsessed and is thrilled by different points of view and large-scale systemic change.​

Birkir Gunnarsson
VP of Accessibility Engineering, Fidelity

Birkir is VP of Accessibility Engineering at Fidelity Investments where he co-leads a team of 17 engineers and business analysts dedicated to providing accessible digital experiences for Fidelity’s 50 million customers.
Before joining Fidelity Investments in 2021, he help build the accessibility program at BB&T / Truist.

Some of his early gigs in Digital accessibility include translating the NVDA screen reader into Icelandic, contributing to the EU Accessibility Directive For Public Websites, utterly failing as an accessible math software salesman, a more successful career as an accessibility consultant, and contributing to standards as a member of the W3C ARIA and ARIA Authoring Practices Working groups.

Birkir lives in Raleigh with his beautiful wife, 3 mostly well-behaved kids, and a beat up acoustic guitar.

Angela Lean
Sr. Business Program Lead for Accessible Employee Experience, Microsoft

Angela Lean is the Senior Business Program Lead for Accessible Employee Experience at Microsoft. She manages cross-functional teams and programming dedicated to building an accessible and disability inclusive workplace environment. Throughout her career, she has been an accessibility change agent with professional and personal diversity and inclusion advocacy experience. She is also the global co- lead for Microsoft’s Employee Resources Group dedicated to families. Angela graduated from Yale in 1993 with a degree in History and earned an MBA from the Stern School of Business at New York University in 1999. She lives in NYC with her daughter and two dogs. Her son is in college on the west coast