Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, wearing a red turtleneck sweater and a colorful print sleeveless dress over it.

Title

Member, Board of Trustees

Education

  • MBA, Management, University of Bradford
  • B. Mus, Music, The University of Sheffield

Short Biography

Ms. Jenny Lay-Flurrie is chief accessibility officer at Microsoft, leading the company’s efforts to drive great products, services and websites that empower people and organizations to achieve more. Her team is at the forefront of creating positive experiences that apply technology to make a difference in the world and the lives of individuals, from how we hire and support people with disabilities in employment to innovative technology that aims to revolutionize what’s possible for people with disabilities.

With the help of her team and broad community within Microsoft, Ms. Lay-Flurrie leads many initiatives to empower people with disabilities both inside and outside of Microsoft. She founded the Disability Employee Resource Group at Microsoft and chaired it for 10 years. She created the Disability Answer Desk, which provides specialist customer support to people with disabilities (which has handled over 1 million calls to date) and hosts the annual Microsoft Ability Summit, which focuses on empowering 2000+ attendees with the inclusive and innovative thinking necessary to enable people around the world. She is instrumental in projects such as Autism Hiring Program, Soundscape and the Microsoft Ability Hackathon, which has supported over 500 hackathon teams building technology for people with disabilities. Ms. Lay-Flurrie was recognized as nominated as a technology groundbreaker by CEO Satya Nadella in Wired Magazine, and is a contributor to the book, “The Ability Hacks,” which shares behind-the-scenes stories of the hackers who pioneered two innovative hack-turned-solutions used by people with disabilities worldwide.

Outside of Microsoft, Ms. Lay-Flurrie is the current board chair of Disability:IN and is on the board of Team Gleason. She was recognized as a ‘Disability Employment Champion of Change’ by the White House in October 2014 and as one of Fast Companies Most Creative people in business in 2017.