Meet Laura Ruby!Laura Ruby’s consulting services are available through Converge Accessibility

Jeff and I are thrilled to announce that Laura Ruby is offering accessibility and inclusion consulting services through Converge Accessibility! Laura brings thought leadership and a broad set of solutions for public, private, and non-government organizations who want to increase their commitment to accessibility. Let’s get to know Laura.

Could you tell our clients about your background?

I am a former Director of Worldwide Accessibility Policy and Standards at Microsoft with a deep background in accessibility, inclusion, and technology policy. For more than 30 years, I have represented leading technology companies like Microsoft and AT&T Wireless to governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), academics, and the private sector and advised them on how to leverage digital technology to increase inclusion for people with disabilities. I helped these organizations develop and implement technology policies that increase access for people with disabilities to education, employment, and services. Now I’d like to empower others to make their digital spaces more accessible.

What kinds of projects have you worked on?

The projects span a broad set of activities, including facilitating disability awareness training, analyzing technology policy, and developing strategies for engaging with policymakers worldwide. My undergraduate degree is in social work and I’m very good at bringing together diverse sets of stakeholders (such as policymakers, industry representatives, and consumer advocates) to achieve consensus for mutually beneficial outcomes.

Can you help public sector clients improve opportunities for people with disabilities?

Yes, one of my areas of expertise is helping governments and businesses develop and implement procurement policies that leverage accessibility. This results in increased opportunities for people with disabilities and improved sales for technology vendors that include accessibility in their products and services. I helped the World Economic Forum develop a model procurement policy and Request for Proposal (RFP) accessibility clause to help public sector better engage technology vendors on accessibility and learn to evaluate vendors’ accessibility conformance reports. Cities (and other public sector organizations) around the world that incorporate the model policy into their “smart city” programs can help bridge the disability divide.

Can these same strategies help private sector companies empower their employees with disabilities?

Yes. By adding accessibility as a procurement requirement, companies can improve the accessibility of their digital infrastructure, resulting in increased accessibility for employees and customers.

What do technology companies need to do to compete for RFPs that include accessibility requirements and how can you help?

First, companies need to help their engineers understand common accessibility standards and technical requirements, such as the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1 and European Standard EN 301 549. Second, they will need to produce Accessibility Conformance Reports (ACR) using templates like the Voluntary Product Accessibility Conformation Templates (VPAT). Third, they will also want to monitor evolving technology standards in the United States, Europe, and countries such as Canada and Japan. I have worked on processes like these for more than 25 years and can help companies develop and implement similar processes.

How can clients benefit from working with you?

Converge Accessibility clients that work with me will have the opportunity to benefit from my deep knowledge base and experience in digital accessibility, inclusion, and disability rights. I’m known for being a great communicator, problem solver, and coach. Whether it’s helping a client write a white paper, develop a regulatory affairs strategy, or come up with an innovative solution to a technology policy challenge, clients can count on clear communication and a collaborative approach. For example, organizations often have a difficult time coming to agreement on what their response should be to proposed regulations and standards. I can help clients identify risks and benefits to different approaches and support them in crafting a response.

How should clients think about accessibility?

It’s important to create a culture of inclusion and accessibility. I recently read a Voice of America (VOA) interview about Sara Minkara, the United States Special Advisor on International Disability Rights. Sara is a diplomat who is charged with bringing accessibility expertise and best practices from the United States to countries who have not made as much progress in increasing accessibility and disability rights for people with disabilities. In the article Sara talks about the need to create more shared responsibility when it comes to disability inclusion and she encourages that “every single entity, space, bureau, department, what have you, should be thinking about disability as part of their efforts because it helps their work”.

I agree with Sara that we all need to take responsibility for accessibility, and I’d like to use my expertise and experience in accessibility and inclusion to help others make their digital spaces more accessible.

How can clients reach you if they would like to learn more about digital accessibility?

Please reach out to me at

Laura Ruby at United Nations representing Microsoft
Laura Ruby at the United Nations discussing the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (2006)

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