With more than a decade of experience developing and demonstrating accessible technology in mobile, web and artificial intelligence, Heather Dowdy is passionate about connecting the dots across disability, race, and tech. She currently manages Accessibility Skilling at Microsoft, with a focus on making the future of work more inclusive. Heather is responsible for the global partnership strategy to scale skilling opportunities that lead to employment for people with disabilities.
Before relocating to Redmond, she was the Senior Product Manager of Accessibility Engineering at Motorola Mobility in Chicago. Heather has served as Chair of the Accessibility Working Group (AWG) of the Mobile Manufacturers’ Forum (MMF) and Chair of the Board of Directors of the World Institute on Disability (WID).
As the oldest daughter of Deaf parents, Heather is fluent in American Sign Language (ASL). She loves using the design thinking process to create solutions that empower marginalized communities and improve usability for everyone. A strong believer in empowering communities through education and benevolence, Heather is the co-founder of Microsoft Ninja Camp and a Board member of deaf Kids Code providing STEM leadership training to high school students with disabilities. Heather obtained her Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A native Chicagoan, she can now be found exploring the beauty of the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three young children. Heather also enjoys reading, journaling, and interacting with different cultures while traveling abroad
Originally published as AXSChat Podcast with Heather Dowdy - Senior Program Manager, AI & Accessibility at Microsoft at AXSChat Podcast
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Nicole Jurewicz is the Policy Research Associate at the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). Nicole conducts research and supports the public policy and advocacy team to advance opportunities for individuals with learning disabilities. Prior to joining NCLD, Nicole was a middle school math teacher. She also has worked as a Research Assistant with Transition […]
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