Chief Research and Innovation Officer at Funka
Susanna Laurin has more than 20 years experience in working strategically with accessibility at senior management level.
As an internationally acknowledged expert in EU accessibility policy and regulations, Susanna regularly performs training and practical workshops with procurement officials based on the methodology she has developed on the basis of the EN-standard and the European Procurement Directive. Since the first version of the EN-standard was published in 2015, she has been focusing on procurement, touring in many European countries within and outside of the European Union, as well as in South America and Australia.
Susanna has also developed and published a series of instructive videos around how to use the EN-standard, sponsored by Microsoft and published under creative commons license.
Susanna is often assigned at strategic policy level on behalf of national governments, studies and investigations all over the world. She is assigned as an expert to the European Commission and the Member States representatives during the transposition of the Web Accessibility Directive, chairing the group focusing on monitoring methodology in the Subgroup of WADex. With a long experience in national and international standardisation work, she is a technical expert to ETSI in the Special Task Force 536, working on assignment by the European Commission to make the EN301549 into a harmonised European standard to cover the mobile requirements of the Web Accessibility Directive.
Susanna leads the Research and Innovation department at Funka, successfully covering around 20% of the company turn over with funding from various financial research instruments. She takes responsibility for major and international assignments for the European Commission, and a number of national governments in the member states especially focusing on transposition and implementation of the Web Accessibility Directive. Susanna is responsible for Funka’s close cooperation with end user organisations in all markets.
Susanna has published several white papers published by the European Accessibility Forum, G3ict, Funka and others on accessible design, accessible procurement, accessible MOOCs, the business case for accessibility, employment of disabled persons etc.
Susanna is chairman of the Funka Foundation, created by the company Funka to be able to perform not for profit assignments on inclusion and with a specific focus on employment of persons with disabilities. She is the Vice Chair of the Global Leadership Council of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, IAAP, an international member organisation that was co-founded by Funka, and joint representative to the EU for the UN-initiative G3ict and IAAP as well as the Managing Director of the first local chapter IAAP Nordic, covering Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark. She is an expert and advisor, both for Swedish Standards Institute and Standards Norway, and furthermore served as technical expert for Mandate 376, that on behalf for the EC developed harmonised requirements for accessibility in public procurement in all EU member states. Susanna was moreover over all responsible for the authorised translation of WCAG 2.0 into Swedish that Funka carried out on behalf of W3C.
During 2003-2019, Susanna has been the CEO of Funka. Since March 2019, she is now focusing on her own strategic assignments for the European Commission and national governments as the Chief Research and Innovation Officer. Before starting at Funka, she was working as the CEO of one of the subsidiaries of the Swedish Association of the Visually Impaired’s corporate group IRIS, and she has been managing external funding and projects at the Swedish Independent Living Institute. She is a frequent international lecturer and debater and she serves on a number of program committees for conferences in the field of accessibility.