Austin Startup Week 2022 Austin Startup Week 2022
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Why Accessibility Should Be Part of Your MVP

Sharron Rush
Knowbility, Executive Director

Co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, an Austin based pioneer advocacy, training, and technical support agency. Sharron's leadership in digital equity for people with disabilities has been recognized with numerous awards, including most recently the AARP Purpose Prize for 2023. She is the co-author of Maximum Accessibility, a seminal text in the accessibility filed.

Meryl Evans, CPACC, Accessibility marketing consultant

Meryl Evans, CPACC, is a professional speaker, trainer, author, and accessibility marketing consultant who was born deaf. She is a highly regarded speaker on diversity, equity, and inclusion who focuses on people with disabilities and accessibility. She has spoken at many events including TEDx. She's the co-organizer of A11yNYC and A11yVR Meetups on accessibility and virtual reality. She's also a member of the XR Access and W3C Immersive Captions groups. She's a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC). Be sure to follow her on LinkedIn as she's one of 12 people who are LinkedIn Top Voices for Disability Advocacy.

Albert Swantner
The Fund Austin, Partner

Albert Swantner is the co-founder and CTO of Betterleave, a company working with employers, insurers, and health care providers to support people experiencing the death of a loved one. Betterleave does that through estate planning, grief counseling, and care coordination. Albert is also a Partner at The Fund Austin investing in early stage startups and a Co-Founder of Tandem Brands, the parent company of Slow Ride Coffee and Everly.

Albert has a Bachelors and a Masters degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Mechanical Engineering where he has been inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni. He is active in the Austin community and is a Culturati and Notley Fellow. He is on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Texas, The Adventure Project, Naturally Austin, Knowbility, the Austin Monitor, and on the City of Austin Zero Waste Advisory Commission. He advises and invests in multiple startups, and works with the University of Texas Humanitarian Engineering Program, SKU, Techstars, SXSW, and DivInc. He currently lives with his wife, Sarah, and two sons, Elliott and Everett in Austin, Texas.

Panel discussion among marketing and branding professionals, some with disabilities, who have contributed to the creation of products with digital accessibility as part of the MVP. We will explore the benefits of inclusive design while recongizing and facing the challenges of accessibleity integration into product development processes. Takeaways include:  

- market trends that support accessibilty  
- what NOT to do  
- how digital inclusion elevates your brand  
- accessible design is simply good design  

We will learn from the experience of developing brand marketing content design for major digital products, from successful digital agencies, and from a serial startup entrepreneur who integrates accessibility into product development life cycle.  It will be a highly interactive session with plenty of examples, Q&A and polling from the audience.