National Tech Non-Profit Expands Staffing Footprint To Chattanooga

Digital Equity And Inclusion Is The Mission

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
Mindy Kolin
Mindy Kolin

Teach Access is a national non-profit organization with active collaboration among education, industry, and disability advocacy organizations addressing the need to enhance higher education students’ understanding of digital accessibility as they learn to design, develop, and build new technologies with the needs of people with disabilities in mind.   

Since its founding in 2015, Teach Access has been investing in creating student learning opportunities, providing faculty grants to teach accessibility, and developing accessibility toolkits and resources. 

Teach Access hired Chattanooga resident Mindy Kolin to join their national team as director of Development and Industry Partnerships. Ms. Kolin has been living in Chattanooga for eight years and has worked for several local non-profits supporting marketing and development initiatives and is also part of the Greater Chattanooga Colon Cancer Foundation, where she will continue to serve part-time.

In late 2019, Ms. Kolin began struggling with vision loss.  After months of working with many physicians and undergoing tests, one piece of the medical mystery was solved: a medication she had been taking caused closed-angle glaucoma.  After several laser surgeries to try and repair the damage, the doctors then discovered she had cataracts.  Ms. Kolin spent several months using assistive technologies to allow her to continue to work during the process. 

"I have a very different understanding about accessible technology now that I’ve been one to actually use it and not just know about it,” said Ms. Kolin  “Chattanooga has had a rapidly growing tech hub for years, and while Teach Access works with various tech hub cities and regions like Silicon Valley, I am excited to introduce Teach Access to the Gig City and all the industry, educators and advocates we have right here."

Apple, Meta, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Verizon, and Yahoo are just a few of the industry members, while dozens of advocacy groups, colleges, and universities are also on board.  Membership to Teach access allows partners to access digital accessibility experts in academia and the tech industry, “train-the-trainer” instruction for faculty on the latest trends, techniques, and best practices used by industry-leading technology companies, ability to participate in Teach Access task forces, and working groups, as well allowing members to create technology that is born accessible and inclusive for all. 

"We're growing and are thrilled to have Mindy join the team," said Laura Allen, Teach Access Board chair and head of Strategy & Programs, Accessibility & Disability Inclusion at Google.  "While we work with industry and partners all around the country, we're keeping an eye on Chattanooga and recognize it as a growing tech hub and a potential future location for Teach Access programming.” 

For more information about Teach Access or to become a member, visit teachaccess.org or email Mindy@teachaccess.org



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