image description: rectangular graphic. On the left, white text on a turquoise background: Tech Inclusion New York. Underneath, “Voices of Innovation”. Underneath, “Community Partner”. At the bottom, “ #TechInclusion ”, “Wednesday, June 27th”, “”. On the right, the Diversability logo in black.

We’re excited to partner with Tech Inclusion New York for the third year in a row, the annual convening of the tech industry to focus on solutions to diversity and inclusion! This year’s theme, “Voices of Innovation,” features diverse, underrepresented voices building the innovative technologies and cultures of our future. It’s a full day of keynotes, panel discussions, solo talks and an interactive session focusing on inclusive innovation across the tech ecosystem. The day closes with a Happy Hour in the evening to network, debrief and unwind.

Below are a few of our Diversability community members who will be in attendance on Wednesday, June 27. We asked them to tell us what tech inclusion means to them and which speakers they’re excited about!

David Tsai

“Many of us don’t realize it, but today we are living in the future. And the future can be way better than this. To me, Tech inclusion means finding ways to enable all people to live a happy life in this future. I’m very interested in building and tweaking technology to not only help people with disabilities but also empower people with disabilities to help others.

I’ve just started my journey with Diversability and I’m very interested in listening to many of the speakers. I’m looking forward to hearing Anil Dash because StackOverflow has saved me many hours. But I’m also really interested in hearing Bianca Jackson because I would like to learn how AR/VR can help empower people with disabilities.”

Hiro Nishimura (@nishimurahiroko)

 Headshot of Hiro Nishimura

“Tech Inclusion means a great load to me, being a “transplant” from another industry (education) into tech. It is my chosen field, where I am a minority many times over (disability, race, gender, transfer), and as such, I have been working for years to entrench myself into the industry as well as to encourage others like me to transition into tech, knowing what I know now.

I am looking forward to our very own Emily Ladau, of course! 😉 I’ve read some of her works and spoken to her but have never heard her speak, so I’m happy there’s a potential opportunity!”

Meliza Mokrani

 Headshot of Meliza Mokrani

“To me, tech inclusion is a holistic view of the diverse human beings that make up the tech world. It means consciousness around the experiences, whole stories, and backgrounds of the people that are involved in helping our world move into the future, through the innovations that they make.

I am most looking forward to seeing Kelly Hoey speak. Her work to level the playing field for women and bring their voices to the entrepreneurs table is so inspiring!”

Minh Nguyen (@MinhNguyening)

 Headshot of Minh Nguyen

“Tech inclusion is the ability of a technology to be designed to be used by the wide spectrum of humankind with different abilities, backgrounds, and experiences as well as technology companies inviting, welcoming, and engaging that same spectrum of humankind to contribute fully into the company and its culture. It means that I don’t have to worry about my brother who suffered a horrible accident in how he is treated or perceived in his value to the company. It means more of my friends of color and women who represent a more significant portion of society are represented in their perspective in developing tech and within companies such that they can bring their most valuable part of themselves to work: themselves.

I’m looking forward to hearing from Wayne Sutton and Melinda Briana Epler again. I met them in 2015 in Jamaica when they were brought to talk about their work in tech. I was introduced by the Public Affairs office because I was putting on tech workshops to support the tech entrepreneurship space in Kingston, Jamaica. I love how they’ve built out this tech inclusion platform over the last few years since I’ve met them. Additionally, I’m looking forward to hearing from Saudia Ganie of Digital Ocean talk about D&I since I do that work at the non-profit level, working to provide talent pipeline from underrepresented backgrounds to tech companies. I hope to learn how one non-Silicon Valley area tech company thinks about the topic, especially since NYC is so diverse.”

Sam Berman (@cerebralposi)

 Headshot of Sam Berman

“I’ve experienced first-hand the capacity that technology has to empower people with disabilities to live more independently and autonomously, as well as even the playing field, both because I myself am disabled and because I spent the first 18 or so months of my career teaching computer literacy to young adults with developmental disabilities. My time teaching also enlightened me to what I see as the 2 biggest barriers to computer literacy: socioeconomic status and the ability to read and write. I hope that by connecting with and contributing to the Tech Inclusion community, I can raise awareness about these challenges and help to create solutions. As society becomes increasingly dependent on computers both for work and play, these challenges also become increasingly prevalent and profound. More and more jobs rely on computers, but some people with disabilities may be deterred from pursuing these positions because they can’t afford a computer or smartphone to gain experience using them, or they don’t know how to read and interact with the content presented on these screens or write and/or otherwise create their own content.

You can read more about Sam’s experience attending Tech Inclusion last year here.

Originally published on June 21, 2018 at