Washington Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib: "Accessibility & Innovation" | Talks at Google

Washington Lt. Governor Cyrus Habib:

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Thank. You everybody for joining, us, today really. Excited, to welcome our, lieutenant, governor Cyrus, Habib as, lieutenant. Governor he presides, over the state Senate and he, serves as acting governor when the governor is out of town and he's, passionate about several, issues including, veterans. Of disability, employment economic. Development. Access, to higher education, trade. And international. Relations. Prior. To being elected as lieutenant governor he. Served on both the state Senate and the state House of Representatives and he, has a degree from a law, degree from Yale, Law School and. He's. Done all of this while overcoming, many. Obstacles, he's. A self-described. Three-time, cancer survivor. Blind. Iranian-american. From, a mixed religion, immigrant. Family so, really. Excited to have him here today thank you so much for visiting us I'll, let you. Thanks. So much well it's wonderful to be here part. Of what, I guess didn't make its way into my bio. Is that I'm also a. Former. Googler. Although. Only, briefly, I was a a, I never, made it out of my noogler. Phase. I was an intern in the London office of. Google. Sales, intern. The. Summer between, my first and second years in law school working, on Middle Eastern and North, African. Sales. So. So. I do I have I have a ton, of kind. Of first. Decade, Google, swag. To, show for it and and. Actually, it was exactly ten years ago this. Year so. It's. Wonderful to be here with you guys, to talk about accessibility. You. Know I want to give. You a bit of framing. Around. Why. I'm personally. Passionate about this issue I care, about it why I'm grateful, to you all for caring, it as. You heard I. Am. The. Son of immigrants from Iran my parents came here in. Search of economic, and educational, opportunities. Shortly. After I was born I was diagnosed, with a rare childhood eye cancer, that. Took, my eyesight and my left eye as a newborn and then came back again and, left me completely blind, at age eight years old and I. Often, joke that because that happened in 1989, that's.

When I was 8 years old, so all eight years that I could see actually, took place within. The 1980s. So. All my visual, memories, are still from the 80s so everyone still looks like Cyndi Lauper and Boy George. We, moved from Maryland, where I'd grown up to that point to Washington, State and. Thanks. To a combination, of. Parents. Who really, believed, in me, and believed in my ability, to fulfill my own potential. As. Well, as, relatively. Well resourced, public. Schools here on the east side of King County and. Some. Extraordinary, teachers who had a big effect in my life and as, you'll hear in a moment thanks, also to some technologies. I. Was, able to and, of course thanks. To meaningful. Public policy, and. Laws I, was, able to travel the. Road from Braille to Yale, and. And, beyond, and. So. When I think about. Technology. I. Mean I had. The great, pleasure of representing, this district, in the state legislature, so in, addition to this, campus, I also represented, Microsoft's, headquarters. You. Know I. Could. Could around. The world say I may just be a state legislator but what, state legislature, what other person. Is the state legislature could ever say that they represent the two wealthiest people on the planet. But, more, than the, two of them. It. Was and continues to be of particular interest and, and. Privilege. For me to be able to represent the. Future Bezos. And Gates's, the. Future pages, and brands and and and the the essentially. The entrepreneurs. And innovators of, the future who may not be famous yet and certainly. Maybe in this room right now. That's, really what is exciting. To me and. And. I'll tell you why technology. Has. Always been because I even, before I was a legislator I practiced. Law at Perkins cuy, in. Seattle, and where. I represented, startups, and helped technology, companies with licensing, issues and in. Other early-stage, corporate. Matters the, reason it's always been of interest to me is that, when. You have a disability you, have got you've got this kind of special relationship, with. Technology which, is that. You're. In a kind of. Ever. Iterating. Cycle. Of being. Disrupted. By technology. And, then, having technology, then, come to the rescue. And. To some degree I mean that's not unlike our, general, condition, as as. A human race but it's particularly pronounced. For people with disabilities, so to take the, the. IT. Or, ICT, context. So. When I was a kid I was, I wasn't like the. Nerdiest, kid, like they're definitely nerdier, people. In the room right now. But, like I wasn't there like I was into computers and. And. So and you know growing up in this area like a lot of my friends were kids, of Microsoft, DS and stuff so like I grew up around computers, so, um. So. What, I first did was, I, remember the first computer I had.

Was. A 486, and. Running. Doss, primarily. And if, you're blind, Doss. Was like the. Golden, Age right. Like command-line, interface. Just. So. Easy right so because you know there's screen, reading software and. So. Like it's great you can copy files you can find. Out what's in the directory, that you're in you can move around to different directories. And, for. For I mean I think you all knew but directory, is what we called folders, but they were folders. You, know and so like you could do all kinds of like you know things that. Seemed impressive at the time and. Then. Windows. 3-1 and windows 95 came out and I, was just starting high school and. That. Wasn't so good for people who are black because because, because you. Know graphical. User interfaces. You. Know kind of bye-bye. You know definition. Were, not made, for blind, people like. First and foremost, so. So. There was this whole kind of like setback, and disruption, where like, you, know I could still use DAWs but, like nothing interesting, was happening in Doss anymore, no one was making applications. For. DAWs, so. I. Got. Pretty frustrated, and I was like you know I loved command-line, interfaces, so, I was. Like you know what my. Friend taught me about Linux, and I was like I'm gonna learn how. To use Linux with a problem with Linux was that there was no real. Screen. Reader for Linux, like, there were some weird solutions. That people had but like there was no, there. Was no screener, that just ran on top of the operating system. So. What. I devised with a friend was. This. Kind of like dummy. Terminal. Right. This dos running, das okay. Terminal, that was like a like. I think it was like a 386. Like it had no power and all. It had was, just. Telecommunications. Software that, could could that would, you. Know run the serial, drivers, for the serial port and it were there was a serial cable connecting, that dummy. Terminal to a much more powerful Pentium. PC. That. Was running Linux, so. That I could effectively, do everything, that anyone else could do on Linux which was you know powerful, but, command, line text. Based, at. Least at that time, and. Still can largely be operated, at text-based way operating. System, so. I did that for. Like a bunch of years all, the way through college I had I was this weird guy who had two computers, you. Know connected, with a serial cable only, one monitor, you. Know and and it was like this whole thing and then. I. Finally. Like it got to a point where I was gonna go interview. For for an internship and. They. Were like look, this. Was in grad school I was gonna go work at a private equity fund it, was it was like a job, while I was in grad school it, was more than an internship and they said look like like. We don't we can't work, with you like that like you need to be able to you know create, Excel, spreadsheets, like you need to be able to do all the stuff so. So. I said. Okay well then I'm gonna have to learn how to use Windows after all and. You know like by that point it was like Windows 2000, or maybe it was almost it was it may be almost Windows XP so, it was like I I went learned how to use jaws for Windows which, is the software that that, I still somewhat used today I use it all the time when I'm using a PC and, so, kind.

Of Had to learn that and, get you know and I felt pretty disrupted, there but I you know kind of, learned. It and right. As I was feeling pretty good about. PC. Solutions, I had a laptop and, I was like I was, like I remember I started in law school in. 2006. And I was like on the metro-north from, Yale to New York and I was like using, a laptop with, like one of those like portable, modem, things, in it like you know and, using earphones and it was great using Windows then, all of a sudden, what. Happened the smartphone with the touch screen ooh. Not. Good right, not, good, not. Good for, the blind right and so. So. I. Shied. Away from using that and I mean I use all, the way until a guy who's here today who, helped put this on Mike Melo taught. Me in, I. Remember, it was Halloween, of. 2010. Or, 2011. I, just. Remember that it was Halloween as our reserve was going to a Halloween fire that he came and basically showed me how to use, voiceover. Software. On the. IPhone which is just be incorporated, into the most recent. IOS. Upgrade, and into. The iPhone and so. And. Then. What happened, was I, went. From having been divided, from my peers, by, this technology. To. Not. Only catching, up but the iPhone I've, said, this and now and I will now include. Android devices but. It was it was the iPhone that that brought the solution, first. For. Me was. The greatest. Civil. Rights. Innovation. Since. The Americans with Disabilities, Act for, the blind like. Nothing. Has, changed, my life more. That. Other than, public. Policy. When. It comes to a cop you know overcoming. This disability, then. The, iPhone then having access to a smartphone not only because it. Allowed me to do things you know which we're all now. Able to do in these in this decades since the. IPhone and its competitors, really came out but you know and do them and be more efficient the way all of you are but, also because, so. Many solutions. That, that disproportionately, help. The blind. Like. Can, you think of one like what's what's, one thing that like for the time being blind, people find. It really difficult to do. Drive. Cars, right, so. Like it, was so so if you were lucky enough to, be. Able to afford a taxi and I was a corporate lawyer so I could then you had if you were blind the distinct you know pleasure, of having. To wait twenty minutes for a taxi to come and hope, that the cab driver would be able to you. Know first of all actually make it to you and then, you couldn't communicate with them so you'd have to hope that they would just like figure, out who, you are. Right. But most likely they would pick someone else up on the way or think it's someone else or what have someone hails and down and then you got a call again on your. Like regular. Phone. Right. Like and so it was like a total nightmare if you were taking the bus it was even worse. Right. Because like but you know if you didn't have access to so, now we have a looper but if you if you were taking the bus you didn't have access to like one bus away or any other apps and so. You were really, kind. Of set, adrift in so. Many ways disproportionately. And so. Whether it's wayfinding, technologies, and I know that. With the impact. Grants, that Google has been given I know that's an area where I. Think you know Google Maps and others are working together on on. Wayfinding, solutions, for the blind by the way I mean I'm, talking about blindness. Because that's what I know about obviously disability. And accessibility is a much bigger topic but. You can extrapolate, right. So. So. Then the. Smart phone kind of became, you. Know became the thing and and and and allowed me not only to catch up but also actually. Disproportionately. To benefit I would say compared to them to the to the. Standard. Population to. The typical population I'm. Really. Excited that the most recent, user. Interface, innovation. That. Came about. Like. Essentially. Seems, to have been developed by blind people, because. It's like a just, like a random. Like. Cylinder.

With No screen, that. You just talk to. Right. So, I'm of course talking about the Google home not any. Of our other hometown, competitors. But. Like you, know but, I it did I did I did of course take. Note earlier this year when Amazon came. Out with like the echo look show whatever I can't names. Or there's. A few of them but you know with a screen on it and, I was like alright so so, this will happen again. But. It's okay because the. The. The in, large part because of the interest and and and knowledge and skills the people in this room and your. Counterparts. At. Microsoft, Amazon and. Apple. I always, give. Special recognition to Apple because because of this has been part of their culture from day one. Because. Of you and your counterparts, the. Lag. Time between. The disruption, and the rescue is actually. Shrunk. But. Here's what I think is more, interesting than all of that. Okay, so that's. I mean and and I well before I do that let me say I mean the implications, of this are huge because it's not just that I get to you know know. When the bus is coming or call. An uber or whatever. Or, find my way around but, the, implications, for. Employment. For people with disabilities, are. Massive. For one thing I mean, like. One, bus away helps, people with disabilities to. Get to work just like it helps everybody to get to work disproportionately. Helps people with disabilities to get to work which, is an important part of working. Right. Is actually getting to and from the job. The. Ability, to use, a. Smartphone. Tablets. And other mobile platforms. Allows. People. With disabilities. To. Graduate, from, entry-level jobs, to more sophisticated jobs. But. Overall. As, you. Know I mean I it's. My great privilege as a lieutenant governor to travel around the, state. And even the country and brag about this region and what I say is that like. Amazon. Microsoft and, Google all, three. Have. Your. Cloud, computing, and, much of your other, fourth. Industrial. Revolution technologies. Big data AI, machine, learning. Internet. Of Things you, know have a lot of these operations, headquarter your Amazon, and Microsoft obviously. But, even Google is. Growing. Your. Your, cloud-based operations. Here in, the Pacific Northwest well, why is that important, to this discussion because as you. Create the. Solutions, that your, customers, are, are. Using, and that, they're they're, creating, and then other customers, are using. The. You, have the ability to make. Not only services. Not, only software, but entire platforms. Entire, systems. Accessible. Out of the box which. Is gonna have such a huge impact on the. Ability of people to find employment the, ability of people of all abilities to. To. Be able to live. The, quality of life that we all deserve. But. But but I'm gonna go beyond all that which is to say that's, all about. Accommodating. That's. All about accommodating. People with disabilities, and it's the right thing to do in a lot of cases when we get it right it's the law. You know you all I mean Congress passed the cvaa. The 21st century communications video accessibility Act in, 2010. To. Lead. To. Add-on to the a DA in the in the space in which I imagine many of you work which is the communication, space so there are there are there statutes, there are regulations and, those are good when, it comes to, to. Accommodating, but I actually. Think, that what's, more, important, for us to get the significance of this, evangelized. Throughout, organizations, as large as Google is, to. Talk about the. Up side business, proposition. Now. In part, that's the you, know one in five people with disabilities, in this. Country who, you also you know you don't want to write out as, part of your customer base but. Let me tell you something that I said to Microsoft, folks, much, like you guys and I, just wanted to be provocative and, and you know Microsoft's. This. Is more of a salient point to Microsoft, than, it is to Google, but. I think it applies to some degree to -, to a number of companies so what. I said to them was I said look. Do. You, believe that. The. Siri technology. The. Technology, behind Siri. Do. You believe that like that.

Was Not doable, before. Siri like, five years earlier. Do. You believe like, you. Know the technology, behind Alexa. And, the. The Amazon echo and other products, and now Google, home you. Know do. You believe that though that that was not it couldn't have been done that, like, everyone was on the same page that this is something we need to do they just like never got around who couldn't get the technology together and I said you know what I believe. Is, that. The. Speech, recognition, software, and, you. Know I got a chance to meet reycarts while who's a hero of mine just a few weeks ago in New York it's, like speech recognition software was, like for people with disabilities. Primarily. Having. User, out you. Know having output. Like. Siri. And Alexa. And Google. Home do like, that. Was for people with disabilities, everyone else could read the screen. So. We'd be weird like why would you have this thing talk to you it, doesn't make any sense you can read the screen right that's how everyone was thinking. Problem. Is that like, when we think about how to be, innovative. The. Hardest thing is to try. To think outside our, own box. This. Has been something Microsoft's, particularly struggle with but I will say as Google, becomes more. And more of a legacy company if. Something Google's got to think about to is. You. Know you, get comfortable you got some good products, you know you your. Cash-rich you, know your your you know a quiz Ettore and some good ways you make partnerships but, you know you you, know the paradigms, get, set in stone like it's probably I mean I don't know but I imagine it's probably quite it'd be quite challenging to come and try to like do, search in a completely different way at a company like Google the search has been you. Know and the nd and the you know the ad, ecosystem. That lies on top of it's been such a critical, part of Google's success and it's like Google's you, know cash cow the. Ad business, so. My. Belief is that, but. You know but let me say this but when you when you think about.

Someone. With a disability and how they do things, you. Are automatically. As soon as you do that you are in a different space you are already, in a creative space you're. Already, in an innovative space, because. You got to think completely, differently got it you got to completely disrupt your own assumptions, about the, best way to. Display. Information or the best way to take in a request. So. What I tell them is look I bet. You Microsoft. If you guys had. Actually, said back when nose 95 came out let's. Figure out the best and most. Logical, way for people. Who are blind. To. Use, Windows. Not. Just like let's get some third-party developer, to you know we'll share the libraries, with them like we'll have them develop something so that like you, know you can kind of like little black bears gonna limp along on top of Windows and like try to approximate but, like actually, tear it all up and say how would we do this. Yeah. It's expensive it's more expensive to do it that way even. If you like it's legal, and you won't get sued but like it's expensive to do it that way you might there's not that many blind people so. I get, why you may not want to do that from. From a short-term economic perspective, but I don't I bet you if you did that you'd have beaten Apple to the market on Siri and, I. Bet you if you did that you'd have beaten Amazon. To the market on Alexa. You. Know hard it is for people it Microsoft to hear those kind of words and me I these, people get to elect or unelect, me right so it's not an easy, thing to say to everybody. But. It's I truly. Believe and you all can correct me I truly believe that, when. You wait what when you kind of when, you wait for innovations, to happen by serendipity, it, will take longer. Than. If you follow what I believe to be a sure, proof, way of. Developing. New innovative solutions which is think, about whatever you're doing now and then think about how people of all different abilities or disabilities. Would. Want to accomplish the same task the minute you do that you will be creative, and you.

Know It will have all types of, unforeseen. Positive. Consequences. You, know people often talk about the curb cut effect the people made, wheelchair, ramps for people in. Wheelchairs. But, then if we didn't need wheelchairs anymore we wouldn't get rid of curb, cuts because everyone. In this room has used them for one purpose or another stroller suitcase, whatever. So. That effect is true but it is I think particularly true, if the business that you're in is, competitive. And the, fault, lines of competition, are around innovation, and imagination. So. Thinking, about people with abilities and disabilities not just the right thing to do, for. The market, share that you will gain in users, but the right thing to do if you. Want to come out with the next game-changing, innovation for everybody. And. I. Promise. You that there are innovations, out there right now that if you all were thinking about how to make your products and services more available to the deaf, to. People with cerebral palsy. To. People with dementia. Maybe I mean I'm serious if you start thinking about it I bet, you're gonna learn new things about memory. New. Things about kinetic. Technologies. And how. The Internet of Things can. Can move to the next level so that's what. I want to share with you all is my, personal story of how technology has. Both, disrupted, and rescued me over. Time how. It's done that, in. The wider society and, the, particular not, responsibility, because that's so boring, and nanny-state, ish but actual, economic. Opportunity. For everyone. Here and everyone at Google from. Larry Page on down to, make money and create, new innovations. By, thinking, not, about those with disabilities, as an afterthought, but, having that be a core, part of a. Multi, ability, approach towards product design and development, so, with that I will end. My. Kind of mansplaining, or politician splaining. Remarks. Telling you how to do your job and. Happy. To answer any questions that you guys have. Thanks. For the talk I, saw, I used to work in government, contractor, and this was back when the section 508 of the ATA of yes first, rehabilitations. Act right right yeah and the. So. One. One, of the core. Tenets that is that we all. Government. Appeared, software had to have compliance. With with. The Rehabilitation, Act and and, there. Was a lot of effort put in at the time to. Bring, systems to, that level compliance, and I remember, using jaws.

Screen. Reader myself to to, go through and test the application made sure that it was working now and and, usable. With. Only. The audio interface and, I was wondering on over. The past decade, what. What. Has the landscape. How's. The landscape changed both in terms of government speaker software, and the. Private, industry for smaller companies and making. Their applications. Accessible. And usable yeah, I mean it's, you, know that's why I mentioned you. Know mobile. Because. I mean mobile is is so much a part of how we all. You. Know do, our computing. And I mean our. Communications. Etc. And so. You. Know, iPhone. IOS. Android. You. Know the you know increasingly. Windows. You. Know to the extent these technologies. Have. Become accessible. Natively. You, know it's. It's made it all better I mean. You. Know I don't you know I'm. Sure it is the case I know it's the case that like. You know app developers. You, know have to think about and get input from. The. Community but. It's, it's so, much easier, when. You. Know when, the. The the operating, system developers, have. Themselves. Already. Thought, about. You. Know how applications. On this platform, are gonna, interact with this, with. With this accessibility, solution, right so so, for those who don't know like I mean I don't know how it works with Android I hate, to say an, iphone. User but, like for the iPhone for example the way it works is like you, know when. You you you know you touch the screen and rather. Than then selecting. That item. It reads you that item and then you would you know double tap on it. To actually select it. So. You know kind of in that sense kind of analogous to you. Know to a graphical user interface, with a mouse and. You. Know and then there's some other you know reconfigured, keystrokes, or you. Know hand. Gestures that. That. Apple, itself which. Is constantly, in communication with, the with the community and I'm sure Google is I've heard I've heard great things about Android too. You. Know and and, you, know and so that just alleviates. The the. All. The you know most, of the pressure on developers, there's still there's. Still issues right and I mean sometimes it's it's it's really kind. Of things. You know you think for example like you know CAPTCHA challenges, and things like that which sometimes it's very simple things like that. And. Sometimes. And then websites. You. Know the, display of information websites. When they're when they're embedded in graphics and things I mean there's still issues that. The, operating system can't necessarily address, or the web browser can't necessarily address, but, they've gotten so much better at. Doing it. You. Know even you know recognition. And and just you know photo descriptions, and things like that, is. Great you know government, procurement. You. Know I mean I think. I. Will, say I think I think government does the best job that it, can, but. It's, not like there, are a ton, of options. For. Most solution. Set right like so so, usually I mean you know you, need an enterprise solution and. Here. Are your choices right, and and. So that's why working with a you know these. Big for companies is so important, so. After. Questions, for you I guess. Okay so like. Two questions like. First question, is, if. You. Don't speak English do you think your life would have been much worse for. Example, if I think of health. Bills for example they always have a page that have like a billion languages, on it saying that here's your right like we, can't provide interpreter. For you to, feel own language so you can't understand the bill but that's all printed and so if you're blind I don't know what happens there so, that's my first question is, English. If you don't speak English how your life would have no affect it and what, do you mean sorry how my level B with, respect to technology or, with. Respect to in, general, if, I didn't speak English right but, if you want you can also, particularly. In techno okay.

Yeah. Do, I get to speak another language or. Do I just lose English. Okay. Okay. What's your second question. Do. You ever use, like, a crib sheet when you give public talks or, similar. Assistant. Assistive, thing to help you with, remembering. What you got talk about, it's. Not your way of saying that my remarks were scattered, and disorganized, that's, okay. But. Can we what, about a hybrid question, where it's like what. If you don't speak English and you need a cheat sheet for your speech. That's. A I think, that that again. Smaller. Concentric. Circle but still would be a cool technology for you guys to develop I. Think, when. It comes to look I don't know enough about being. Blah. I got, the chance to visit a school, for the blind in Seoul. South Korea which, was really cool a. Couple, months ago and and. And. Talked to those students but I don't know enough about. How. The. You. Know the solutions, that are out there the accessibility, solutions are out there. Vary. From. Place to place I mean I do know that, like. You know that, there is Braille, in, all different languages, I mean we should not forget the Braille wasn't, developed, by an English speaker so. You. Know that. Does exist and so where there's Braille there's, the ability to you know to do Braille printing and I know that there are, screen. Readers in. A, number of different languages. For, a whole bunch of geopolitical, reasons. Farsi. Which is you, know the language that my parents, first spoke is. Is probably, good. To be one of the tougher, ones for a population, that large. For. You know for, a bunch of reasons. Having. To do with trade sanctions but. You. Know there's. No doubt that. You. Know even, if it were just living in the US but in a rural area I would have more challenges, I. Mean I I feel very lucky to have grown up in. An environment that's, just, you know I mean I grew up just a couple miles from Bill Gates's home so clearly. When. New innovations, would come out. You. Know we had the wherewithal and the and the knowledge and awareness of it to to, do it and clearly, you. Know Google, and. I mean this, is like it's interesting cuz I did spend you know a couple months working on Middle, East sales for Google I mean I know that growing. Overseas is huge but obviously. You. Guys and everyone you know tests your products out in English first of those solutions come to market first in English so that's. Definitely a big you. Know advantage. For. All of us but. You know increasingly, you. Know you have you. Know major tech, disruptors. Out there and and tech companies $0.10. And Alibaba. And others and so you know they'll be they'll be new solutions, that will originate from those places from those companies so I. Don't. Have. Any kind of a cheat sheet I could have things Braille for me and have them with me or have, a Braille display by. The way. Just. So you guys know one, of the things I do as Lieutenant Governor is I serve as president of the state Senate so, I, preside, over the state Senate I call and part of that job is calling on Senators when, they want to speak and because they are politicians they always want to speak and. So. We had to figure out okay how do we make, that happen because you, know when people stand. Up how, am I gonna know who wants to speak well we. Developed. A solution, that. That. Where state, senators have a touchscreen. On their desk and they. When they want to speak they stand up and touch the screen on their desk and sends their name up to a PC, that's operating, right, up where I am in the front of the Senate chamber and then, it sends their name onto a Braille display in, real time so I can call on senators, as they speak so if you guys come, to Olympia, we'd, love to show it to you and if you're. Struggling. With amnesia and you watch TV w channel 23 at night you can see me presiding over the state Senate, and. Putting that technology, to use so I do sometimes use technologies. In those kind of situations you. Know. We're up there I do have Braille so that I know which bills that we're doing which. Legislation, were considering but. But. I don't for speech his beacon I probably wouldn't, if I, could see because.

I I just think it's better to speak. Naturally to you guys and and have a conversational, approach even if it's a big speech. Other. Questions, oh yeah there's a line now. So. First of all thank you so much for, taking the time to come and address us this afternoon I'm, speaking. To you as the, very proud mother of two boys on the, on. IEP. S who have developmental disabilities, and as. You yourself, experienced. Technology. Is, such. An amazing difference when it comes to, their. Ability, to access the, general education, curriculum and to. Be included in gen ed and yet. Because, of funding and, inadequate. Funding growth, especially as things like autism have exploded they're, just there has not been sufficient funding. To, be able to give them that kind of an opportunity so, that they can also go to Yale so, what. Is being done in, Olympia, to address that in the short term, it's. It's it's a to, my mind. You know because my I have the benefit of a. 24. Hour a day pro bono attorney as a kid that's my mom like. You fierce. Advocate, for. Her son and I. That. A question that you asked is the. One that, both. Motivates, me and and disturbs. And haunts me which is. You. Know it's, not just I mean notice that when I I don't, have you were here when I first started out but that I said I said first parents, second, a reasonably. Well-funded public. School, district, and it's. Absolutely. Critical it's. Why smaller, class sizes are important, it's, why you. Know funding. All-day. Kindergarten, is important, it's it's so the larger education, spending. That we do is. Disproportionately. Helps kids with disabilities, but, over. And above that. The. Underfunding. Of special, education. To. My mind is. Means. That we're not we're. Not there yet when. It comes to our. Constitutional, duty in this state for basic education. We're, not there yet on our statutory, responsibilities. Under the IDE, a and state laws and. So I you. Know I, think, parents. Should. Have 100% first of all I mean legislators should do the right thing in, the first place but you, know sometimes, litigation. Is a part of that and and lawsuits have happened and they'll continue to happen and I think that's. An important part of the system because kids need to you, know the stories of kids who. Were. Not getting access to the kind of assistance that they need the support they need to be. Able to fulfill their full potential. Those stories need to to, get heard and. In. In if they're not heard in legislative, offices they need to be heard in courtrooms and. So, it's it's it's extremely important, it's extremely important. Appreciate. All of your help think yeah I. Do. Would like to thank you for coming. In addressing, us this afternoon. I thought what you said both, interesting. And inspiring thank. You. Particularly. In my case because I worked on a user experience team, and so we're very much focused on. How to make things work better for. All kinds, of people. I started, at Microsoft, back in the Windows 2.0. Days and. I, remember very clearly how. Much it came as a shock to, us to learn that. People with visual disabilities loathed. Us because. Windows. Had, disrupted, their, ability, to use computers, so much. And. I was wondering if you, see any emerging, technologies, that. Might, prove to, be as equally disruptive, for people with both, visual and other disabilities. That. We used to be watching out for you, should not sigh I I appreciate. The question but, you're asking the wrong person. You. Should be asking, your colleagues and those colleagues should have disabilities, so. That's, the that's the single best way you get the right answer to that question cuz I don't know nor. Do you want me to know right cuz if I know it means Amazon, knows right so, you don't want me to know what technologies, you guys are about to come out with it's been by when you bring it out it's too late it's, not too late but like it's late right. So. So, you, want your, trade secrets to remain your trade secrets you want your you. Know your. Project. You, know names you, know like secret, names to remain secret you, know and you, want to do what you're doing and. But, you want to have the. The, depth the bench depth of people with all different abilities so, that those questions, are being, asked and again not, just in, the, set, and not just, because. You. Want to figure out well you. Know we're. Developing, you, know we want to connect YouTube to the Google home so that like yeah whatever, right like whatever new thing you guys are gonna do like. Not, just like well how do we make sure that people who are blind can do that but, rather.

Okay. What, what, is it about like, how a blind person would want to receive that information, that. Would actually, be, interesting, for. Others. You. Know I mean let me get mean I don't know this didn't happen this way but I mean, one thing I think, back to Google search. And when, Google search came out compared, to Yahoo and compared to you know Alta, Vista and, Lycos, and all the other search engines that have, gone. You, know the, way of the dinosaur. One. Thing that was unique about, Google from a user experience perspective. Was. How. Stripped, down and simple it was but. It's extremely. Low. I mean I mean it was like you, know it's like a big deal. When Google will like you know put, like a holiday thing on there because it's like such a bare-bones. Thing whereas like if, you know whereas like Yahoo these are the things we're using search. Really. Embedding, search into what they hope would be kind of like a homepage for. A bunch of other things now. You know now when you go to Google search you've got news. Mail, YouTube, whatever but like it's still relatively. Bare-bones. Not. As much as it used to be but it still is now that's something that like you. Know it didn't happen because a blind person said like that makes it easier to navigate it. Does make it easier for blog people to navigate but it also has. Other you. Know market, value, for, their. Spec to non blind people so again, I would say that. Question, that you're asking you. Should both ask it of people that are your colleagues who, then would be well-positioned answer but then you should also ask the complementary. Question, which, is which, alternative. User experiences. Should. We. Metastasize. Outside. The disability, context, into a broader, use case scenario. Does, that make sense thank. You yeah. Me. I'm. Down I'm ready you. Know but there's an exhibit there's a there's a great example of. You. Know of next-generation technologies, that could, that. Could unite it could divide that could rescue that could disrupt but, in any case. You. Look people with disabilities, already, live in, realities. That are, that, have different sensory dimensions, to them so. Why, anyone, would develop kind of an ARV, our platform. Without have people with sensory, disabilities, right. In the room makes. No sense to me. And. I think failure. To do that, it, doesn't mean the end of the world but I do think it will mean a delay in. In. In getting products to, end solutions, to market because. There, is no doubt that with the technology, that Google search, you, know good that Google has and had, in 2005, 2006, like you all could have done the echo back then you know that you. Know you could have done Siri back that I mean of course you could out but. It was like weird why would someone who can see ever want to use that kind of thing so. Again, III think the AR VR is a great, great. Use case for the proposition that I'm making here. So. Thanks so much for being here today um I don't quite, follow your argument about things. Having, been able to be done back then yep, for. Example. Arthur. C clarke isaac. Asimov these, concepts, of. Robot. Units, that can answer your question offhand have been available for a very long time so. I'm not following what and. They were thought of some. Cases by people, who were trying to envision what. The world would be like by others who couldn't work that way. Right. But they were never right but it costs, money to take. It from like the. Like you know from like a las vegas expo, and even, more so from like. You know the pages of a science fiction book or a futurists. You, know ted talk it, takes money to get it from there, to something that you can hold in your hands, so, yes it's not like the idea of, alexa. Or cortana. Or google. Home or siri. It's. Not like any of these were. Like. Not, thought of before. Right. I mean, look, the. Internet of Things that, the smart home like, you guys remember you could walk in a room you could go to Redmond, and they had one in like 98. So. They knew it right but. So much of the like I think the technology that ended up making it possible. And desirable were ones that like you'd, have to be sensory deprived, to think we're innovative, like like. Why isn't there a screen, everyone's, idea was like the best way to get, information is, from a screen. The. Best way to input, information is, with your hands, and so you'll do it with keystrokes, but no that's, that's. You know a moving part oh no you know get then go to a mouse know you know okay that's, object-oriented. Okay that's an improve but still a moving part how about a touchscreen okay but you're still using your hands.

So. The idea that you would use your mouth to. Input. Information. Was. Like, it wasn't that they hadn't thought of it of course have people thought of it like but. It was not desirable, and now it wasn't viewed as marketable, because it was like well who's doing, that like just, like some paraplegic like, who can't, use their hands to like use it touch bouncing the easiest thing ever. So. That's my point it's not a lack of, it's. Not a lack I think of, technological. Imagination. I think, it's a lack of business, case imagination. Thanks, but I want to I want people to push like, disagree. With me cuz it's. Like nothing's more offensive, to me than when people come in and tell me how the legislative, process works so I'm sure it's like some, of you find it really irritating, that this know-it-all, was like you know took, my last math class in 12th grade is. Like telling you guys at what you could or couldn't have done or whatever like well yours she's like tell me that I'm wrong. Alright, I'm only asking this question because no way else is up here alright ever, since I saw your first campaign, sign. After, I moved to, this area I have, a really good friend from grad. School has a son named sue ruse and when. We looked at the sign I looked my wife and I said do you think he pronounces, it serious, or Cyrus, because. His cos my friend who, has the kid name seriousness of Farsi, name or a Persian, name right and, so now. You're here so now I want to ask you so I can settle this as my wife. I would. Say it depends, on which language I'm speaking okay, right so if I'm speaking. Farsi. Then you would say see ruse. You, know and and, if you're you, know if I'm speaking like if, I'm speaking English I would say Syrus because that's that's the English language pronunciation, you, know just. Like if you, know if you're speaking. Spanish. You would say Mexico. You're. Speaking English you'd say Mexico, and from. My perspective, you. Know that's. Okay I mean it's okay to use either one it's okay to use both we were just curious so. Yeah. I mean I you, know I'll tell you like like. Miley, Cyrus was like a big help because it's it's, it's more that the, thing is it's it's it's. More that like you. Want people to know how. To spell it when they hear it that's a bigger problem than, knowing. How to say it when they read it right. Right, so the the problem that that I want. To solve, for is like you, know when I say like email. Me at Cyrus, H at gmail.com right like s. IR. Right whatever right, so if I said Cirrus like that would just really throw people off right, so. So. I, like. To, to. Build off of the kind of name equity if not necessarily brand equity, that, Miley, Cyrus has. Built in in, in pronunciate pronouncing, that name so. It. Is the case that like Cyrus and and there's kind of similarly. Sibilant, names of Silas, you, like how I did that right there's very meta what I did right there similarly. Sibilant. Named Silas, tend, to be the names of like villains, in a lot of movies so just. Think. About it. Are. There any other questions no other questions okay I'll be around, I. Think. We'll be around for a couple more minutes and then I'm, heading out you. Know where to find me on social media, and. Now you know how to pronounce, spell. At. Cyrus, Abebe or at wal. Teague of, on. Twitter and on Facebook etc. So, look. Forward to being. In touch with anybody who wants to talk about these things and in. Closing I. Will just say the single best thing that anyone can do here, above. And beyond the the substantive. Engineering, work that you're doing is to. Help to build a culture an HR. Culture. That. Will allow there to be because you really don't need there's nothing about the job of lieutenant governor that, that says that I need to come in and give, you know tech, companies. Ideas. On how to you, know build. Products. The, best thing is to hire people with, with all different sorts of personal, stories, and experiences, and abilities. To it, into, the company to. Enrich. And enliven the. The user base right, here and to, help you all imagine, what the future can look like thank you so much. You.

2018-04-20 21:38

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Thank you for this inspiring talk. Indeed, designing with accessibility in mind often ends up benefiting more people than just the initial target group. :)

Before anyone judges, he wears the sunglasses indoors because he lost his eyesight at 8 due to cancer.

it says in the details of the vid.

Totally though this was a new Nelk video based on the thumbnail. Woops

Washington State Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib is impressive!!

He is easily a cog in The Machine. I have no trust. He plays the machina well tho... slippery fuck.

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