Lowney Access Research
Lowney Access Research is dedicated to helping make technology available to widest range of individuals, including people with disabilities or who are aging.
We approach this through three directions:
- Research - deepening our understanding of accessible design
- Education - providing informational resources and training
- Consulting - helping organizations make and buy accessible products
To achieve our vision requires cooperation:
- Mainstream Developers - must design products that accommodate the wide range of people's needs and preferences, and enable assistive technology add-ons.
- Assistive Technology Developers - need to share best practices, and develop strong, mutually-beneficial relationships with developers of mainstream products.
- Users - need information about what products they can use, how to make best use of the products they have, and how to influence industry and policymakers.
- Policy Makers - need to understand the low cost and high benefit of making, purchasing, and encouraging accessible products.
Greg Lowney is widely recognized as one of the leading experts on accessible software design—the design of products and technologies that are usable by a wide range of people, including individuals with disabilities or who are aging.
In 1988, Lowney became the first person at Microsoft to work on accessibility, and founded Microsoft's Accessibility and Disabilities Group in 1992. He managed a variety of projects, including drafting corporate policy and strategy on accessibility, and guided the development of accessibility features for products such as the MS-DOS, Windows, and Windows NT operating systems. He was responsible for corporate relations with the disability community, developed guidelines for accessible software and Web sites for and addressing accessibility in product documentation, customer service, support, and internal training.
Bill Gates promoted him to Director in February 1998, and he also served as Microsoft's Accessibility Architect beginning in February 2000.
Before working full-time on accessibility, Lowney was Senior Program Manager for the Microsoft Windows 3.0 and 3.1 operating systems. He was responsible for core components such as the basic user interface, protected mode systems, and networking, as well as accessibility. He joined Microsoft in December of 1986 and served as test manager for Windows/386 and development tools, after holding a variety of programming positions and serving as microcomputer support specialist for a large school district.
For his work in developing guidelines for accessible software, Lowney was honored with the Vice President's Hammer Award for Reinventing Government. For his work in promoting accessibility inside and outside of Microsoft, he received the Ron Mace Designing for the 21st Century Award. He is co-inventor on three U.S. patents. During his work on Windows, the organization of Microsoft Systems Engineers awarded him honorary membership and the title of “Vice President of Cool Things.”
Lowney left Microsoft in January 2002 in order to pursue accessibility goals for the wider disability and developer communities, and founded Lowney Access Research, LLC, in March 2002.
Among recent and current projects, he was one of the primary authors drafting technical sections of the international standard ISO 9241-171, “Ergonomics of human-system interaction — Part 171: Guidance on software accessibility” and the American national standard HFES/ANSI 200.2, “Human Factors Engineering of Software User Interfaces — Part 2: Accessibility”, and a technical contributor to guidelines being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium's Web Accessibility Initiative. The ISO standard, in particular, is likely to be adopted as purchasing requirements by European governments in their efforts to promote an inclusive society.
For more information, please contact:
Greg Lowney, President
Lowney Access Research, LLC
8040 161st Ave NE, #412
Redmond, WA 98052
Phone: (425) 895-8227
Fax: (425) 885-2902
E-mail: greglo at access-research.org
Web Site: http://www.access-research.org