About XR Access

XR Access is a research consortium based at Cornell Tech, the New York City campus of Cornell University. It was founded in 2019 by Prof. Shiri Azenkot of Cornell Tech and Larry Goldberg, the former head of accessibility at Verizon Media.

XR Access fosters and leads a community that engages, connects, and influences the field of XR, in order to build and share knowledge, skills, tools, user experiences, and leading practices to make XR inclusive of all, regardless of abilities.

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Our Mission

To modernize, innovate, and expand XR technologies, products, content and assistive technologies by promoting inclusive design in a diverse community that connects stakeholders, catalyzes shared and sustained action, and provides valuable, informative resources.

Our Vision

Inclusive design and accessibility become an unremarkable part of all XR creation, experience and use through features such as multimodal inputs/outputs, accessibility of content and multiple means of interaction.

Resources on XR accessibility are widespread wherever XR technologies are created, and updated frequently with the latest findings from research.

People with cognitive, physical/mobility, and sensory disabilities are integral to shaping the future by creating, testing, and providing feedback on XR technology products and content experiences.

Facets of intersectionality are emphasized and explored in XR Accessibility, including diverse traits such as abilities, age, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, nationality, gender identity, and socio-economic status.

Our Values

Our Focus is efficient and useful for both present and future environments and outcomes. We are evidence-based – pairing creators with users to define needs, co-design and user-test solutions.

Our Approach is to welcome, enable, and empower diverse involvement and inclusive engagement. We are user-centered (on needs of people with cognitive, physical/mobility, and sensory disabilities). We are nimble and adaptable to changing needs of the XR business and technology community.

Our Style is collaborative, catalytic, and connected.


Shiri Azenkot headshot

Shiri Azenkot, Ph.D.

Consortium Director

Associate Professor of Information Science, Cornell Tech, Cornell University

Professor Azenkot is an expert in accessibility, with a focus on emerging technologies like augmented and virtual reality. In addition to her role at XR Access, she directs the Enhancing Ability Lab, which conducts world-renowned accessibility research.

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Dylan Fox

Director of Operations

Design & accessibility consultant, emerging technologies

Dylan Fox is XR Access’ Director of Operations, responsible for day-to-day operations of XR Access and spreading the importance of XR accessibility to the public. An accomplished speaker, he has given lectures on accessibility and ethics to campuses and conferences throughout the country.

Adelaide Nyanyo, a black woman wearing a maroon blouse and navy blue jacket.

Adelaide Nyanyo

Marketing and Communications Intern

MSc. Information Science Candidate, Cornell Tech

Adelaide, an Information Science student at Cornell Tech with a Connective Media concentration, serves as a Marketing and Communications Intern at XR Access. Leveraging a background in Economics and Business, Adelaide focuses on researching accessible tech solutions for societal challenges, emphasizing inclusivity and innovation in the tech industry.

Headshot of Shana Creaney, a black and white photo of a young woman with short hair and a nose ring.

Shana Creaney

Research Administration Specialist

Cornell Tech Research Specialist & Program Administrator

Shana is the Research Administration Specialist working for Cornell Tech to support XR Access. She has a background in higher education, accessibility, and ethics. She assists the XR Access team with operations, administration, communications, financials, and more.

Strategy Team

We thank the following experts in XR and accessibility who contributed to our strategy and have advised us through the years.

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Bill Curtis-Davidson

Strategic Advisor

Co-Director, PEAT

Bill Curtis-Davidson is a Strategic Advisor at the XR Access Initiative.  A Senior Specialist for Cadmus Group, Bill Curtis-Davidson is also serves as Co-Director of the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT), a policy initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

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Larry Goldberg

One of the founders of XR Access, Larry recently retired as Head of Accessibility at Yahoo!, where he directed a dedicated team of accessibility professionals and coordinated with thousands of designers and developers. Larry previously worked at WGBH Boston, where he founded and directed its National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM) and where he was directly involved in such ground-breaking legislation and the FCC’s regulations governing accessible media and technology.


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Elizabeth Hyman

Elizabeth Hyman is President and Chief Executive Officer of the XR Association (XRA), the trade association promoting the dynamic global growth of the XR industry. Hyman brings more than two decades of experience in the worlds of government, policy, and technology.

Christine Hemphill headshot

Christine Hemphill

As the founder and director of Open Inclusion, Christine has huge expertise in inclusive research, design and innovation. She contributed her time and expertise to inform XR Access’ 2020+ strategy and led the Accessible Design of XR team on the Inclusive Immersive Innovation Canvas project that paved the way for an organized approach to accessible 3D innovation in enterprise.

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Jessie Taft

As a Research Initiative Coordinator at Cornell Tech, Jessie assisted XR Access with operations, memberships, communications, and more between 2019 and 2022.


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Regine Gilbert

Regine is a user experience designer, Industry Assistant Professor at NYU, and international public speaker. Regine’s areas of research focus are digital accessibility, inclusive design and immersive experiences. She is faculty with the Integrated Digital Media department and is faculty of NYU’s Ability project, and is the author of ‘Inclusive Design for a Digital World: Designing with Accessibility in Mind’ (Design Thinking) .


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Joel Ward

Joel has over 20 years of experience in technology design, development, and management. He currently works for Booz Allen Hamilton as a Technology Specialist and AR Product Manager, where he focuses on immersive technologies like augmented and mixed reality and devices like the Microsoft HoloLens and Oculus Quest.


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Thomas Logan

Thomas Logan is the founder of Equal Entry and one of the foremost contributors to accessible development of XR. Former head of the ADXR work stream, Thomas is an experienced accessibility consultant with a keen eye for innovation.

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Ren Tyler

Ren Tyler is a UX-focused digital product designer and advisor who specializes in accessibility, inclusion, ethics, privacy and safety for XR, the Metaverse and AI. As the leader of XR Access’ idXR Workstream, she is an experienced advocate for the accessibility of extended reality.

Ashley Coffey, a white woman with long blonde hair wearing a beige jacket and holding a VR headset over her head.

Ashley Coffey

Mrs. Coffey is the CEO of Coffey & Consult and an experienced technology accessibility professional with 10+ years of proven track record and a focus on complex and emerging technologies (e.g., VR/AR/MR, AI) and the former leader of the Business Case for Inclusive XR Workstream. She currently sits on the advisory board of SXSW Pitch, Oklahoma Women in Technology, Perpetual Motion Dance, and the OKC Chapter of the American Marketing Association.

Founding Organizations

Cornell Tech logo

As a campus of Cornell University, Cornell Tech is a world leader in computer and information sciences. Unlike other academic institutions, Cornell Tech was established with a mission for real world impact. Our students and researchers tackle meaningful challenges with feedback from professors and industry leaders in the broader New York City community. We’re committed to translating research findings into technologies and products that solve real world problems.

Yahoo logo

Yahoo connects people to their passions by bringing them more of the things they care about, with experiences they can’t get anywhere else. Accessibility is part of Yahoo’s everyday process, so you can access the world you love every day.

PEAT - Building a future that works

PEAT is a multi-faceted initiative to foster collaboration and action around accessible technology in the workplace. Guided by a consortium of policy and technology leaders, PEAT works to help employers, IT companies, and others to understand why it pays to build and buy accessible technology, and how to do so. PEAT is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

Supporting Organizations

Meta logo


Meta builds technologies that help people connect, find communities and grow businesses. A long time supporter of XR Access, they continue to push forward on supporting accessibility and using VR for good.

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Open Inclusion

Open Inclusion is an inclusive research and solutions consultancy based in the UK. They help businesses understand and access the market segments they may otherwise be missing, especially those with access needs such as people with permanent, temporary or situational impairments or of advanced age. Learn more at openinclusion.com

XR Association logo

XR Association

The XR Association (XRA) is the trade association promoting the dynamic global growth of the XR industry, which includes virtual reality, augmented reality, mixed-reality, and future immersive technology. XRA is leading the way for the responsible development and adoption of XR by convening stakeholders, developing best practices and research, and advocating on behalf of our members and the greater XR industry.

Teach Access logo

Teach Access

Teach Access is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization collaborating with education, industry, and disability advocacy organizations to address the critical need to enhance students’ understanding of digital accessibility as they learn to design, develop, and build new technologies with the needs of people with disabilities in mind. Teach Access envisions a fully accessible future in which students enter the workforce with knowledge of the needs of people with disabilities and skills in the principles of accessible design and development, such that technology products and services are born accessible.

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Helping Hands

Helping Hands: Monkey Helpers made history by training capuchin monkeys to provide daily in-home assistance to people living with spinal cord injury or other mobility impairments. Now, they are transitioning into modern technologies, including  robotic arms, exoskeletons, adaptive wheelchairs, and virtual and augmented reality, to make a difference in the lives of those they support.

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NYU Ability Project

The NYU Ability Project is an interdisciplinary research space dedicated to the intersection between disability and technology. It supports research in client-centered, assistive technology and adaptive design for people with disabilities, and fosters collaboration between individuals with disabilities and engineers, designers, educators, artists, occupational and physical therapists and speech language pathologists.