Menlo Park, CA
Born legally blind due to Retinitis Pigmentosa, Matt lost his remaining vision while studying electrical engineering and music at the University of Notre Dame. Relying only on screen reading software to use a computer, he was both amazed by its potential and frustrated with its limitations, sparking a passion to make the world more accessible with better technology.
After graduating magna cum laud, Matt began his career at IBM as an electrical engineer and soon transitioned to software development. In 1998, this led to his first accessibility job – designing and implementing accessibility programs for the IBM CIO. In 2015, Matt accepted a position in accessibility engineering at Facebook, further accelerating his efforts to develop ways of engineering products so their experiences are as enjoyable and fruitful for people with disabilities as anyone else. He is also continuing to advance industry standards for accessibility as a W3C editor and task force chair.
As a three-time Paralympian with a world record in tandem track cycling, Matt is passionate about sharing his message that disability is not a reason for expecting less from life or from one another.
“A healthy society is one where all people can participate and everyone feels they matter. Inclusive technologies are an essential key to such a reality.”