Listening for Expert Voices When Building for Accessibility

Discussion Emerging from the 2020 NISO Humanities Roundtable

During the course of her presentation during the 2020 NISO Humanities Roundtable, Dr. Bethen Tovey-Walsh was asked for her recommendations of additional expert voices working in the field of accessibility. She referred initially to Tom Shakespeare (on Twitter as @tommyshakes) as a reliable and useful source of information, but subsequently followed up with a longer list of experts working in the field. Other participants, Margot Lyon of Atla and Rebecca Blakiston of the University of Arizona, contributed additional Twitter handles of those individuals actively engaged in advocacy. 

We are listing all of those recommended in alphabetical order below: 

@Imani_Barbarin  Imani Barbarin writes "from the perspective of a black woman with Cerebral Palsy. She specializes in blogging, science fiction and memoir." Her website is 

@Keah_Maria   Keah Brown is a journalist, author, and screenwriter. She is the creator of #DisabledAndCute. Keah has a B.A. in journalism from The State University of New York at Fredonia.

@derrickcogburn  Dr. Derrick L. Cogburn is Professor in the International Communication and International Development Programs at the School of International Service and the Information Technology and Analytics Department in the Kogod School of Business at American University. He is Founding Executive Director of the AU Institute on Disability and Public Policy (IDPP; and the IDPP for the ASEAN Region. 

@mattbc  Matthew Cortland, Esq. is a healthcare lawyer and policy expert and writer from Massachusetts. His legal practice focuses on helping patients navigate the health care system, and his activism is dedicated to advancing the recognition of health care as a human right. 

@NyleDiMarco  Nyle DiMarco is a deaf actor and executive producer as well as being an activist. His Instagram may be found at: 

@elizejackson  Liz Jackson is Curator of - Founder of @DisabledListOrg - Liberatory Design Practices: Designer in Residence and Disability Studies at School of Visual Arts, New York City. 

@itsLOLOlove  Lauren Lolo is a Film Independent Nominated Actress for her role as Tracy Holmes in the critically acclaimed and John Cassavetes Award Winning film Give Me Liberty. Her website is

@miamingus  Mia Mingus is a writer, educator and organizer for disability justice and transformative justice. Her website may be found at:

@DisabilityStor1   Aparna Nair teaches disability history, history of medicine, medical anthropology and disability studies at University of Oklahoma, Georg-August-Universitat and the Center for Development Studies.

@epicciuto  Dr. Elizabeth Picciuto is currently an instructor associated with the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.

@annieelainey  Annie Segarra creates weekly videos (as long as my health allows) on various topics that include my observations and experiences with body image, gender, race, LGBT+, disability, chronic illness, and mental health. Her YouTube channel may be accessed at

@DrSamiSchalk  Dr. Sami Schalk is Assistant Professor of Gender and Women’s Studies at University of Wisconsin-Madison and author of Bodyminds Reimagined: (Dis)ability, Race, and Gender in Black Women’s Speculative Fiction.  Her website is

@TommyShakes  Tom Shakespeare a social scientist and bioethicist, an academic who writes and talks and researches mainly about disability, but also about ethical issues around prenatal genetic testing and end of life assisted suicide. 

@sesmith   S.E. Smith's website is:

@LinguaCelta  Dr. Bethan Tovey-Walsh is a PhD research student at Swansea University in Wales, U.K., working as part of the CorCenCC Modern Welsh-language Corpus project. She previously completed a DPhil in Anglo-Saxon literature, before working as a dictionary researcher and then as a content architect for dictionaries and scholarly publishing.  Her website is:

@jaivirdi  Jaiprit Virdi currently teaches at the University of Delaware as Historian of Medicine, Technology & Disability.

@DisVisibility and @SFdirewolf  Alice Wong is owner of Disability Visibility LLC, a research and consultancy, and Founder/Director of the Disability Visibility Project®. 

Note: Twitter handles and the information associated with each name were valid and active at the date of this writing, September 24, 2020.