Beyond Barriers with Jeff

Beyond Barriers - An Accessibility Podcast - with Jeff Luna, Consultant Specializing in AI Automation

Accessibility is more than a compliance checkbox; it's about creating inclusive environments for everyone. Jeff Luna, a consultant specializing in AI automation, shares his journey into accessibility, blending personal experiences with professional ambitions to drive impactful change.

The Inspiration

Jeff's journey began not in traditional computer science but as an academic researcher, assisting a professor with a disability. "My professor had a disability and inspired me to think about accessibility early on," Jeff recalls. This experience laid the foundation for his commitment to creating solutions that cater to everyone, regardless of physical capabilities. Jeff believes that "Accessibility is not just about catering to disabilities; it's about enhancing the experience for everyone. When we make things accessible, we inherently improve usability for all users."

Bridging Technology and Human Needs

Jeff's career led him through roles at the Agency on Aging in Sacramento, Dell, and Cisco, each reinforcing his commitment to accessibility. "Many people in computer science aren't the most physically capable, but they have brilliant minds. This inspired me to think about how technology can bridge the gap for those with physical limitations," he shares.

At the County of Los Angeles, Jeff witnessed the struggles of aging employees and those with mobility impairments. "I saw a gentleman go from walking to a cane, to a walker, to a wheelchair. This made me realize the urgent need for accessible workplaces," he recounts.

Solutions for Real Problems

Jeff developed solutions for real-world problems. At Los Angeles County, he built a SharePoint form for the mental health department, ensuring  application for those with low vision. He also tackled physical accessibility, developing an app to report potholes and dangerous sidewalks. "I built a device to measure shocks on my bike routes, thinking about how these rough paths could affect someone in a wheelchair or scooter. It’s about anticipating and addressing issues before they become complaints," Jeff explains.

Scaling Accessibility at Microsoft

At Microsoft, Jeff combined technical expertise with mission-driven purpose. "I joined Microsoft's healthcare vertical to build solutions that make healthcare more accessible and equitable," he says. One notable project was an Alzheimer's early detection system using AI to analyze MRI scans. "We built a prototype that could identify early signs of Alzheimer's more efficiently than traditional methods. It was about using technology to solve real problems," Jeff recalls.

Overcoming Accessibility Challenges

Jeff faced numerous challenges, from legal hurdles to stakeholder resistance. Yet, his resilience and passion for accessibility application never waned. "I received a cease-and-desist letter once, but it taught me the importance of understanding boundaries and finding creative solutions within them," he reflects.

Jeff emphasizes the importance of persistence and empathy. "I learned to understand the 'no' and the resistance to change. It’s about asking the right questions and finding ways to overcome objections while staying focused on the end goal of accessibility," he advises.


Jeff Luna's story demonstrates the power of combining technical expertise with a deep commitment to accessibility navigation. His journey shows that through empathy, innovation, and persistence, significant strides can be made in creating a more inclusive world. By understanding the needs of diverse users and leveraging technology to meet those needs, we can build environments where everyone has the opportunity to thrive. Jeff's experience is a testament to the impact one person can make when they are passionate about driving change and improving lives.

The podcast is now available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, YouTube, Amazon Music, Pandora, and Stitcher.