NEW YORK (January 8, 2018)—The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) has named Jennison Asuncion, Engineering Manager – Accessibility at LinkedIn, as the recipient of the 2018 Stephen Garff Marriott Award. The award honors a blind or visually impaired individual who has served as an extraordinary mentor or who has attained remarkable professional success.
“Throughout his career, Jennison’s commitment and dedication to ensuring digital accessibility has not only improved the experiences of people with vision loss, it has inspired those around him to do the same,” said Kirk Adams, AFB president and CEO. “For his positive influence upon a generation of engineers and designers, for whom accessibility and inclusion will be an intrinsic part of the product creation and design process, I can think of no one more deserving of this year’s Marriott Award.”
As part of his role directing LinkedIn’s digital accessibility efforts, Asuncion manages a team of software engineers who focus on enabling the global workforce of professionals with disabilities to be more productive and successful. Before coming to the Silicon Valley and LinkedIn in 2013, Jennison worked in the Canadian financial services industry. As a member of the Royal Bank of Canada’s (RBC) IT Accessibility Team, he spent nearly seven years working with designers, developers, QA testers, project managers, and external vendor partners, supporting their efforts to meet the bank’s IT accessibility standards.
Throughout his career, Jennison has been bringing leadership to organizations and initiatives that focus on digital accessibility and assistive technology, including acting as 2017 and 2018 General Session Chair for the annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference; co-founding Global Accessibility Awareness Day in 2012; co-directing the Adaptech Research Network since 1999; and founding the Bay Area Accessibility and Inclusive Design Meetup in 2014. Jennison sits on the Board of Directors for the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired San Francisco and AMI (Accessible Media Inc.). He has received awards in the past for his accomplishments, including a Careers & the disABLED Magazine Employee of the Year award and a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Jennison has a master’s in Educational Technology and a bachelor’s in Political Science, both from Concordia University in Montreal.
The Stephen Garff Marriott Award was established in honor of the late Stephen Garff Marriott, who lost his vision later in life and served as an exemplary role model to others with vision loss. He rose to the upper ranks at Marriott International through hard work and tenacity, and was known for being a talented executive, sales trainer, and ambassador of the Marriott brand.
The Stephen Garff Marriott Award will be presented at the 2018 AFB Leadership Conference at the Oakland City Center Marriott in Oakland, California, on April 6.
About The American Foundation for the Blind
Founded in 1921, the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that creates a world of no limits for people who are blind or visually impaired. AFB mobilizes leaders, advances understanding, and champions impactful policies and practices using research and data. AFB is proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the more than 40 years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. Visit: www.afb.org
About the AFB Leadership Conference
The 2018 AFB Leadership Conference, cohosted by San Francisco’s LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Northern California Chapter of the Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired, provides a forum in which leadership personnel in the blindness field have the opportunity to increase their awareness of student and client needs, expand their knowledge, refine leadership skills, and share concerns and strategies. The event is sponsored by Google, Delta Gamma Foundation, Vanda Pharmaceuticals, and Microsoft, among others.