Shadi Abou-Zahra works with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) as the Accessibility Strategy and Technology Specialist. He coordinates accessibility priorities in the W3C Strategy team, as well as international promotion, coordination, and harmonization of web accessibility standards. Shadi also maintains WAI liaisons with key stakeholders including disability, research, and standards organizations, as well as coordinates WAI outreach in Europe, accessibility evaluation techniques, and European-funded projects on accessibility. Prior to joining W3C in 2003, Shadi was a lead web developer and managed the design and implementation of web productions, online community platforms, and online games.
Shadi also worked as a Web Consultant for the International Data Centre (IDC) of the United Nations Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO), as well as for other international organizations. During his computer science studies, Shadi actively participated in the Austrian student council at the Technical University of Vienna as a representative for students with disabilities, where he advocated for equal opportunities in education and employment.
Dr. Diaz-Wionczek is a multiculturalist, media consultant, educator, researcher, and broadly published academic. She is Lecturer at NYU’s Psychology Department and Fordham’s Graduate School of Education. Mariana has given a TEDx talk on ethnic identity, lectured at a variety of colleges and universities, and presented her work at multiple media forums.
Currently the principal of her own consulting firm, she partners with organizations and businesses who strive to have a positive impact on children’s lives through high-quality educational media and technology experiences. In her role as Producer and Head of Education, Cultural Content & Research for several Nick Jr. productions, she has played a crucial part in promoting Diversity & Inclusion and Latino culture, as well as highlighting dual language competencies in the hit shows Dora the Explorer, Dora & Friends, and Go, Diego, Go! as well as Santiago of the Seas, currently under development.
Mariana obtained a B.A. in Psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a Ph.D. in Psychology from CUNY’s Graduate Center, with a focus on cognition. Her academic publications in media and children’s media journals include, Educational preschool programming in the US: An ecological and evolutionary story, Geographic Education for Preschoolers: The Dora the Explorer Contribution, Dora the Explorer: America’s Bilingual Role Model, Dora the Explorer: An insiders’ perspective. Exploring the Media with Dora: A Preschool Introduction to Media Literacy, and the upcoming An Experimental Evaluation of the Math Curriculum in Dora the Explorer.