W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) logo

Judy Brewer

Between September 1997 and January 2023, Judy was Director of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI)
at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)

Contact Information


Photo of Judy Brewer


Between September 1997 and January 2023, Judy Brewer directed the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C). W3C's work to improve accessibility of the web for people with disabilities and older users includes ensuring that W3C standards support accessibility; developing accessibility guidelines for Web content and applications, browsers and mobile devices, and authoring tools; developing resources to improve Web accessibility evaluation tools; providing education and outreach on Web accessibility; coordinating with research and development which may impact future accessibility of the Web; and promoting implementation of Web accessibility standards. WAI guidelines include the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, which has been adopted by many governments around the world; the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines and User Agent Accessibility Guidelines; and Accessible Rich Internet Applications (WAI-ARIA).

Judy coordinated accessibility policy and standardization issues for W3C internationally, promoting awareness and implementation of Web accessibility, and ensuring effective dialog among industry, the disability community, accessibility researchers, and government on the development of consensus-based accessibility solutions.

She was a Principal Research Scientist at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL).

Judy is the recipient of a RESNA Certificate of Appreciation for efforts related to assistive technology policy development during national health care reform; an Equality of Access and Opportunity Award from the American Foundation for the Blind for advocacy to increase the accessibility of the Windows 95 operating system; and an Access Advancement Award from the Association of Access Engineering Specialists for efforts related to Web accessibility. She was named in the August, 2000 issue of Internet World as one of the "Net's Rising Stars." She was awarded the Harry J. Murphy Catalyst Award at the CSUN 2002 Conference; the Roland Wagner European Award for Computers Assisting People with Special Needs in 2002; the Susan G. Hadden Pioneer Award from the Alliance for Public Technology in 2003; SXSW's Dewey Winburne Community Service Award in 2012; the Newell Perry Award from the US National Federation of the Blind in 2014; the Migel Medal from the American Foundation for the Blind in 2015; the ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium Social Impact Award in 2016; the UN G3ict 10th Anniversary Digital Accessibility Leadership Award in 2016; the 2018 SIGACCESS Award for Outstanding Contributions to Computing and Accessibility, and the ACM 2021 Policy Award.

Prior to joining W3C, Judy worked on several US-based initiatives to increase access to mainstream technology for people with disabilities, and to improve dialog between industry and the disability community. These initiatives included work on Section 508 of the Workforce Investment Act, Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act, accessibility of the Windows 95 Operating System, and access to durable medical equipment for people with disabilities. Judy has background in management, technical writing, education, applied linguistics, disability advocacy, and biotechnology.

Last updated 6 July 2023.