Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion for EMEA at Google

Christopher Patnoe, Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion for EMEA at Google

Christopher Patnoe is the Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion for EMEA at Google. He leads Google’s efforts around the accessibility of products, people (both Googler and end-users), and partnerships.

Podcast

Overview

We have seen technology changing the world in ways one can never have thought. With the world always leaving people with disability at the side, there is an increasing awareness among people to help them be on par with others. Technology has played a tremendous role in building products and services that empower people with disability.

About Christopher Patnoe

Christopher Patnoe is the Head of Accessibility Programs and Disability Inclusion for EMEA, Google. After realizing that his products were not inclusive, he developed a passion for building technology products for people with disabilities. He speaks about the importance of such products and maintaining an inclusive hiring process and diverse workforce.

DISCUSSION

Christopher talks about his journey from being a music student to the Head of Accessibility Programs and Disability Inclusion at Google. He defines disability as the importance of realizing it’s not about you.

Christopher didn’t realize the importance of inclusion till he faced rejection of his designed product. He believes in adopting the evolving technology to continuously innovate to design products that involve the inclusion of the community.

Leaders Mindset Change

Christopher explains that the leaders have shown mindset change as they know that their employees are more aware. He also calls the change in leaders behavior due to technological benefits that the products for people with disability bring to people without them.

He talks a great deal about the benefits of metaverse with examples to prove it.

Ensuring Workplace Inclusion

Christopher takes us through the comprehensive hiring process at Google to promote inclusivity. He talks about access to interpreters and captioners during the hiring process.

Also, the millennials in the workforce are more aware and accepting of everyone to contribute. They express discontent if the company doesn’t follow measures to promote equality.

Profile

Christopher Patnoe is the Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion for EMEA at Google. He leads Google’s efforts around the accessibility of products, people (both Googler and end-users), and partnerships. He has more than 25 years of experience in Tech working at companies like Apple, Sony Ericsson, and Disney where he’s built hardware, software, and services.

His current passion is Accessibility at the intersection of immersive technologies (AR/VR) and consumer hardware.

He is the chair for the Immersive Captions Community Group with the W3C, is a co-Chair of the XR Association Accessibility Working Group, and sits on the Board of Trustees for the American Foundation for the Blind and for the GAAD Foundation. Christopher has a degree in Music from UC Berkeley.

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