Jim Tobias has more than thirty-five years experience in accessible and usable technology in both public and private sectors. He has focused on how technologies are designed and used in education, employment, communication, transportation, commerce, and civic participation, for seniors and people with disabilities.
With a Master’s Degree in Industrial Design, he began his career at Berkeley’s Center for Independent Living, then led initiatives at Bell Labs and Bellcore on enhanced usability and accessibility. Inclusive Technologies is his technology analysis consulting firm specializing in accessible information and communication technologies. Clients have included AOL, the California Secretary of State’s Office, the California State University system, Cisco Systems, HP, IBM, Microsoft, National Science Foundation, Panasonic, Qualcomm, and Verizon. He works on the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure project in several capacities, and leads the communications team for Raising the Floor, an international consortium on advanced usability. He is the Technical Director of the US Department of Labor’s Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology.
He has served on several advisory committees, including co-Chairing the Access Board’s committee on updating accessibility requirements in Sections 255 and 508. Jim co-directed the accessibility element of California’s review of voting technologies in 2007-2008, and led the user testing component.
His favorite projects have been: an innovative telecommunications relay service with integrated speech technologies, a network-based talking productivity toolkit, and “AT Boogie”, an award-winning music video about assistive technology.