Product Accessibility Manager, Blackboard
Ms. Simister got her start in accessibility in 2004 in what is now the K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability Institute at Cornell University. One of her biggest responsibilities was understanding how to take scanned journal pages with lots of charts, graphs, tables, and math formulas and make them in accessible PDFs. After Cornell, Ms. Simister spent a number of years working as a contractor helping different organizations figure out what they needed to do to be accessible, including a stint at the Department of Homeland Security where she was a DHS Trusted Tester before the program started. In her current role, Ms. Simister’s primary focus is on working with the design and development teams at Blackboard to get them to the point where all products are as accessible as possible. Her secondary focus is working with other teams and clients to spread knowledge about accessibility best practices.