My name is Anthony Vasquez and I’m Knowbility’s latest hire. In my role as communications specialist, I’ll use this blog to post about Knowbility events, interview our experts and leaders in the digital accessibility community, and share my thoughts on trends in assistive technology. Read on to learn a bit about me and my experience with digital accessibility.
In 2014, Wayne Dick, Cal State Long Beach computer science professor emeritus, recruited me to conduct accessibility testing for Knowbility. I worked as a contractor for a little more than two years. Now, I hope to play a larger role in the organization contributing news and information about digital accessibility, highlighting upcoming events, and showcasing the work of our experts and others striving to improve equal access to technology, information, and inclusion.
In 2006, when I was a sophomore at Cal State Long Beach, I became the first blind American to study Mandarin at the college level. Disabled Student Services and the school’s Language Lab worked together to ensure I had braille versions of my Chinese textbooks and course materials in an accessible digital format. I also used specialized software to access Chinese electronic documents. Since then, technology has advanced greatly, and screen readers like Freedom Scientific’s JAWS and Apple’s VoiceOver now provide Chinese speech.
I have a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and bachelor’s degrees in journalism and Chinese studies from Long Beach State. I live in Southern California and enjoy hiking, exploring new restaurants, and traveling.
If you’re interested in being interviewed for Knowbility’s blog, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. This May, I’ll be in Austin, Texas for Knowbility’s AccessU 2017 conference. If you plan to attend, feel free to introduce yourself in person.