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Michael Cooper
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Make emerging technologies accessible to people with disabilities by identifying user experience and technical challenges and developing solutions that move the global technology industry forward in meaningful ways for users in all parts of the world and with any challenges.


For over 20 years I have been a leader in making the Web accessible to users with disabilities in roles focused on identifying and finding ways to meet user requirements. I provided important direction and content for WCAG 2.0 and WAI-ARIA 1.0, and have been involved in dozens of other technologies and guidelines. This involves working with globally distributed heterogenous groups of people and ensuring that all perspectives are authentically heard. I use my broad knowledge of technologies and user requirements to perceive potential issues and to create new solutions. I seek to continue this global focus to combine user research and technology solution development.

I have citizenship and work authorization in Canada and the United States.


June 2006 - July 2023 Massachussetts Institute of Technology (MIT) / World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), Cambridge, MA

Web Accessibility Specialist / Web Accessibility Technical Lead / Accessibility Strategy and Technical Lead

  • As Team Contact to technical Working Groups in the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), supported them to follow the W3C Process and produce technical standards and support materials.
  • Provided content, editorial, and technical expertise reflected in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA) 1.0 which are key web accessibility standards.
  • Expanded the capacity for accessibility specialists to engage with other areas of work, leading to accessibility improvements in many web technologies, including important impacts on HTML 5.
  • Supported the emergence of leaders in the work and mentored them through new opportunities.
  • Helped conceive and incubate the project that is now W3C Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 3.0.
  • Engaged with representatives of diverse user groups, finding ways to authentically understand perspectives, advocate with less-heard voices, and contribute to mutual understanding in group discussions.
  • Maintained strategic and technical focus on technology changes and emerging user needs.
  • Represent the organization in the field at conferences and trainings with some keynote presentations.
Aug 2002 - June 2006 Watchfire, Ottawa, ON.

Accessibility Project Manager

  • Led the redevelopment of the Bobby product developed at CAST (see below) into Watchfire’s WebXM tool.
  • Worked with customers to understand their business needs, support deployment of the product, provide best practices training, and design and implement customizations as needed.
  • Forged business partnerships with high-profile North American and European associations.
Jun 1998 - Aug 2002 CAST, Peabody, MA.

Bobby Project Manager / Technical Designer

  • Managed continued development of Bobby, the first Web accessibility evaluation tool.
  • Developed ways to apply Universal Design for Learning principles to early web design.
Sep 93 - Aug 97 University of Denver, Denver, CO.

Disability Services Technology Specialist

  • Coordinated access and accommodations for students and employees who are disabled.
  • Managed data from a campus accessibility survey to help prioritize building improvements.


  • Analysis and clarification of technical misunderstandings
  • Requirements breakdown
  • Knowledge of intersection between users and technology
  • Ability to perceive connections between topics
  • Mentoring and developing people’s skills


  • English - Primary fluency
  • French - Professional working proficiency
  • German - Elementary proficiency
  • American Sign Language (ASL) - Elementary proficiency


Jun 98 Harvard Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, MA.
Master of Education (Ed.M.). Emphasis on adminstration, community development, and technology in education.
Jun 94 University of Denver, Denver, CO.
Bachelor of Arts (B.A.). Major in Psychology, minors in Music and History.