Episodes

Branding Accessibility

13 Letters
April 24, 2020

We don’t decide what we hear or how we hear it – but that’s changing. KR Liu, the new head of accessibility brand at Google, has a mission to bring accessibility to the masses and she’s not going to stop until everyone’s listening. A pioneer in the hard of hearing community, a sales powerhouse, a policy wonk and a creative technologist in her own rite, KR’s interests and ambitions are as vast as her experience. In her new role at Google, KR has a big task: to craft approaches, policies, and campaigns to promote and enhance what “accessibility” means at the company and by extension, for the world of information. We chatted with KR about growing up hard of hearing, reading peoples’ body language and how to stitch accessibility into mainstream consciousness.

Notes:

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Episode Transcript

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

So I went to this guest lecture on artificial intelligence and the presenter asked us these two questions, of what senses do you use to detect another person's emotions and what senses do you use to validate what you've detected?

Will Butler:

Wow! So what senses did you say?

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

I used a bunch. It's a mix of I guess listening to peoples' tone of voice combined with processing what they're actually saying, and then looking at their body language, but I'm not very good at reading body language. I've learned that today.

Will Butler:

Well, yeah, and body language is so incredibly, we communicate so much in our body language.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

And we don't even realize it.

Will Butler:

We don't even realize it.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

We're projecting a lot of our inner thoughts through our shoulders, our hands, our ... This uptick or downtick of our mouths. It's wild.

Will Butler:

Our guest today is, what's the word?

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

A body language savant, is that-

Will Butler:

She's an expert on body language.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

An expert is a good word.

Will Butler:

Maybe expert sells her short. She's been using body language, she's been looking at people's body language for years, to understand how am I reaching this person? What sort of connection am I making with this person? That's because she is hard of hearing. KR Liu is now the head of accessibility brand for Google, but she's done so many other things and she's had this incredible career.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

That spanned from starting in customer service, went into sales. She's been doing all this consulting on things ranging from close captioning to wearable devices. It's incredible just how much she's contributed to the deaf and hard of hearing community, and I'm so excited about all the stuff we're talking about with her today, and I need to stop saying I'm so excited about talking with people, but yeah.

Will Butler:

The things she talks about, it got me thinking differently just about how I wear my AirPods, and what those are for and what those are accomplishing, all the way to things like smart home devices and how those interact with accessibility.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

I think what really struck me about this interview was this idea of people being able to customize their sound landscapes and how that works in all different ways. There are people who want to turn up the sounds in their lives, there are people who want to turn down certain sounds. The idea that we can customize how we navigate these audio spaces is really, really cool.

Will Butler:

KR's a marketing expert, so she's thinking about not just how we can make creative applications of accessibility, but then how do we talk about them and how do we make people understand that these are relevant to their normal-everyday-non-disabled lives just as much as if they're somebody with a disability? Let's hop into the interview with KR. KR Liu. I realized I didn't know, where are you from?

KR Liu:

I'm from Palo Alto. I was born and raised in Bay Area.

Will Butler:

Really?

KR Liu:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Will Butler:

A rare, one of a rare few.

KR Liu:

I'm a rare one of the many few left.

Will Butler:

Wow!

KR Liu:

Yeah, and it's ironic, because the person I set next to at work, at Google, her name's [Aubrey 00:03:51], an amazing disability advocate and awesome Googler. She and I went to the same high school, and so she's the only other rare local.

Will Butler:

Palo Alto High?

KR Liu:

Gunn.

Will Butler:

Gunn?

KR Liu:

Gunn, yeah. We were I think 10, 12 years apart, but still, it was like, "Wow!" I have never been in a career where I'm working with somebody who went to the same high school, grew up in the Bay Area.

Will Butler:

What's the mascot?

KR Liu:

Titan.

Will Butler:

Titan?

KR Liu:

Yeah, which ...

Will Butler:

Yeah, I don't think I've ever worked with anyone I went to high school with either. That'd be interesting.

KR Liu:

I think about the people that I went to high school with and they would never in a million years believe I'm where I am now. No way.

Will Butler:

Why is that?

KR Liu:

We can get into the whole career story, but-

Will Butler:

Yeah, what were you like in high school?

KR Liu:

In high school, I was a basketball player. That's what I wanted to do, and-

Will Butler:

Really?

KR Liu:

My dad passed when I was 13, and so that really changed the trajectory of my life. He was my coach and basketball was my identity, and so in high school I was a four year varsity basketball player and I was going to go play college basketball. That's what I wanted to do. The first practice of my senior year, and this is in 1995, I broke my shooting hand and my career was over. No more basketball, so I thought what am I going to do with my life?

KR Liu:

I was like, well, I don't really want to go to college. I wanted to go to play, and so about two weeks before I was supposed to graduate high school, I was in Tower Records, if anybody remembers Tower Records, and they actually used to have a little bookstore right next to it, Tower Books. And I was standing in Tower Books and I was like, "Well, I'm really into this thing called AOL and the internet, and instant messenger."

KR Liu:

I was always looking for technology to help me hear, like the old school amplifiers that used to stop on the phone receivers, and so I was super fascinated by that. This is right when the .com boom was starting to happen, so I was standing in the bookstore and I was looking at programming books, like maybe I want to learn how to code, and the guy walks up to me and he sees me doing that, and he's like, "Do you know how to code?" I said, "No. I have no idea how to code." He goes, "Well, are you into computers and stuff?" I go, "Yeah, I'm pretty tech savvy, and really into technology and stuff like that."

KR Liu:

Talking about my hearing loss [inaudible 00:06:33] and he goes, "I work for a startup. It's a videoconferencing company." This is back when videoconferencing was on dial-up, so you would see the video and then the audio would come in 10 minutes later. "We're trying to build hardware, so that you can do this thing where you can see people when you're talking to them in realtime." I was like, "That's really cool for somebody who has hearing loss." "They're looking for interns. Are you interested?"

KR Liu:

Gave me his card, and then I went and I met with the company a week later, and I had a job, so I graduated high school and I ended up interning at this technology startup at 17 years old, and that is how I got in the tech industry.

Will Butler:

What was the name of the-

KR Liu:

Called Winnov, W-I-N-N-O-V. Actually still somewhere around. Their main funder, the guy that started the company, his stepfather was Sean Connery and he was the one that funded the company.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

No big deal.

KR Liu:

Yeah, random, right?

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

And super random and awesome that your career started with a chance encounter in a Tower Records store.

KR Liu:

Yeah, I know.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

That's amazing.

KR Liu:

Yeah, so I'm a big believer in timing is everything. Things happen for a reason. There are these moments where you don't understand why, but later, a pivotal moment in your life, right?

Will Butler:

Yeah.

KR Liu:

And so that's how I started, and then I was doing tech support at night as an intern over the phone, which was not hard, and so I needed a really expensive amplification headset, so I asked the company, "Can you help me get this?" About 500 bucks. They said, "No. You have to pay for that yourself," so I had to go ask my mom for the money, because I hadn't really gotten my first paycheck yet.

KR Liu:

I borrowed the money from my mom and had to buy it, and I thought, "Wow! Okay. I guess I really can't get help for my hearing loss. I'm just going to not talk about it," so I didn't. I just didn't tell people I had hearing loss and people just thought, because we're an open office situation, that's why I wore this big headset, right? When I talked on the phone.

Will Butler:

One bad employer, one bad experience with HR, with an employer who doesn't give you the accommodation you need can set you, can totally change your perception of what you deserve as an employee.

KR Liu:

That's correct, and when you're young and you're just starting out in your career, you don't know that maybe I should go ask their boss or maybe I should ask someone else, but once you get the no you think, "Okay, that's it," and that's how I felt, so I continued to work in support and what was interesting was at that company I was really great at these relationships with people, so people would call me back and tech support just to talk to me, and I would upsell them and sell them our products. The VP of sales in that company walked up to my desk one day and said, "You're not working in tech support anymore. You're going to go work in sales," so she moved me into sales and that's how I started my sales career.

Will Butler:

Do you think being competitive, an athlete, probably made that a natural fit?

KR Liu:

For sale, yeah. Absolutely. I loved the feeling of closing a deal, like when you score that winning shot. The chase is definitely my motivation, but at the time I was the only one woman and that stayed for a long time, so I wanted to prove, just like in sports, women are just as good as men. I wanted to prove that I could be just as good as any guy that was out there, so that was really my motivation in sales, but what actually made me really good was when I would meet with customers or clients in person, because I read lips, I can read body language incredibly well, so I could tell the second they sit down their mood, how do I need to steer the conversation? Am I getting to them? Am I not?

KR Liu:

Every time I knew exactly where I needed to go and I would be able to position to close the deal, so later, about a few years later I ended up joining a company called Speck Products. I was the third employee in that company. Case company that has the asterisks on the back of the case. Most people have probably seen that, and so I started at that company. We were broke and had no money. The iPhone hadn't come out yet. It was still just the iPod.

KR Liu:

That's where my sales career really started off, but still, here I am six years later. I still haven't told anyone I have hearing loss, and so as I progressed in that company and started doing really, really well, my boss, my CEO at the time, she would have me join these investor meetings just to sit in the back and observe, and she would be like, "Okay. I want you to tell me who really is the decision maker in the room. Just read the room and then tell me who do I really need to connect with to close this deal?"

KR Liu:

Then we had the first meeting. I would pull her aside. I'd be like, "It's not the guy talking a lot. It's the other guy that's not saying one word. He's really the person you need to get to," and so every time I was right and we ended up taking that company from negative $30,000 to seven years later $100 million. It was crazy.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Wow! I don't even know how I would begin to learn how to read peoples' body language. I'm very bad at it, so if that's you're amazing extra thing that you can bring to the table that's huge, because it's so hard for people to learn to read the room like that. It's amazing.

KR Liu:

Yeah, it's just sometimes people are giving away what they're thinking or feeling, and not realizing they're doing it. You can tell if somebody's smiling, and I can tell it's totally fake or it's genuine. A lot of people go throughout their day looking like they're totally fine, and I'll walk up and be like, "Are you okay?" They're, "How did you know that?" Maybe pull me aside and break down sometimes like, "Okay. I just need to talk to somebody." I'm like, "Okay. I'm here to listen," right?

KR Liu:

It's this incredible super power I didn't realize of years and years of learning how to read lips, because you're paying so close attention to somebody's facial expressions, it's actually a way that they're giving you a tell of where they're at emotionally.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

At what point do you stop doing sales and start doing therapy though?

Will Butler:

Yeah, I know. You need to work in HR or something.

KR Liu:

It's funny, I do have a lot of people call me a lot still, because I could just tell, and I was always ... I'm a very, very empathetic person, so I'm always paying attention to people's body language, even if they're a stranger, like, "Are you okay?" People do come to me a lot just to talk.

Will Butler:

What are the giveaways in sales when it comes to body language? What are some examples of how you would use body language to close a sale?

KR Liu:

It can be the way a person's sitting, if they start fidgeting, if they start looking around the room.

Will Butler:

You're losing them.

KR Liu:

Are you losing them? Are you getting them? They suddenly sit up a little bit. I'm like, "Okay. I got something," or if I'm saying something that's making them mad, their face slightly starts to turn red or they start to get really uncomfortable in their seat, so it's really just you have to be really aware of where that person's at. It can be littlest thing, like I know Will. Will, you're listening to me, because he does this squint and head tilt with his eyes, and really engaged in the conversation, but when he's trying to think of his next question he has a tendency to-

Will Butler:

I start to tail off.

KR Liu:

Do this or push his glasses up, see what I mean? He's doing it right now.

Will Butler:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, and blind people are really, really the worst when it comes to giving away their emotions, their body language, because we don't have the input of other peoples' body language, so we forget how much we're giving away.

KR Liu:

That's a good point.

Will Butler:

We forget to mirror. People are doing poker faces all day long and we forget to practice those, so we're just like open books when it comes to body language.

KR Liu:

Right.

Will Butler:

It's hard, and how do decision makers hold themselves?

KR Liu:

It wasn't one set pattern. I've had decision makers, the more quiet they are, if they're not challenging you, then they're okay with the direction going forward, or I've had decision makers who are very adamant and vocal about which direction they want to go. It's really hard, because there's no one set way. It's really the person. Everyone's different. No one's one way. There isn't a single tell.

Will Butler:

Ever think about starting a coaching service or something? Body language coaching side hustle.

KR Liu:

I don't think you can teach it. I was taught how to read lips from the time I was two years old, so that was years, and years, and years, and years, and years of training.

Will Butler:

Before we talk about some of the more career stuff, just a little bit about your childhood, you have a twin sister as well, right?

KR Liu:

I do, mm-hmm (affirmative).

Will Butler:

Is she like you or are you guys very different?

KR Liu:

That's a funny thing. Interestingly, I do have a twin sister. She does not have hearing loss or disability at all. We were born premature, so was three months premature, so she was a pound and I was a pound and a half when I was born. I had apnea, where I was beginning to breathe 100 times an hour, and then I did that for the first six months of my life. And then later, I was diagnosed at two with hearing loss, so I had hearing loss and she did not, which caused a lot of tension, because we were, one; already complete opposites, and I'll give you an example.

KR Liu:

It drove my parents crazy, so I was a total tomboy, she was a girly girl. I wore blue, she wore pink. I ate ice cream, she ate cake. I had hotdogs, she had hamburgers. I wore stripes, she wore dresses. I played sports, she did not. Our birthday parties were separate, our friends were separate. We were even not allowed in the same classroom, because we would fight, and I got sent to detention once for hitting her in the fourth grade, because she was irritating me, so we didn't get along at all for the majority of our childhood, all through our teenage years.

KR Liu:

It wasn't until later, in our late 20s and stuff, that as we got older you grow up and you change, and you have families and relationships, and now we're super, super tight, but growing up it was a nightmare. I'm not like you, you're not like me. We're just going to butt heads and constantly fight, but now we're super close, and it's interesting for her.

KR Liu:

She has an eight year old and a four year old, and her four year old son has autism and is nonverbal, so she now constantly says, "I remember how much mom and dad went through with you and trying to help you navigate having hearing loss and all those different situations, and now here I am with my own son going through that as well," and she's doing an amazing job just navigating that.

Will Butler:

It's really interesting how things happen like that.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Sibling dynamics are always weird.

Will Butler:

Yeah.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

I bit my sister once in a school interview and we didn't get into the school, so yeah, I understand sibling rivalry a little bit. Are you two identical?

KR Liu:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Okay. Identical polar opposites.

KR Liu:

Yeah, we're polar opposites. We looked a lot more alike when we were kids, and now we're very different. Very different styles and personalities, so you can tell us apart, but-

Will Butler:

You mentioned once that you used to wear your hair over your ears, and I can't see, but if I'm not mistaken, you don't currently. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

KR Liu:

Well, I always had my hair long, just because ... I had my hair shorter when I was a kid, because I played sports all the time, and this is a funny story. Is I was getting my hair cut and my mom was like, "You need to wear your hair up in a ponytail when you're playing basketball. It's in your face and you can't see things clear." I'm cutting it off, because I don't want to look like a girly girl playing basketball, so then I cut it really short, and then people could see my hearing aids and the bullying got really bad, so then I was like, "Never again," so I grew my hair long.

KR Liu:

One, just because I didn't want to stand out, and back then hearing aids were a lot more visible. They're not as invisible as they are now, which I actually find to be perpetuating the stigma, so then I cut my hair and was like why am I hiding? So what? People wear earbuds and headphones all the time. If I have hearing aids, so what? To now, I wear my hair short naturally. I love my hair short. I get a lot of compliments on it, like I should have done that a long time ago, but for me-

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

It does look very good.

KR Liu:

For me, it's I don't want to hide who I am and it's important that I don't do that, because I don't want to add to the stigma of, you shouldn't be ashamed of the fact that you hear differently.

Will Butler:

Yeah, I could definitely relate. Takes a lot more energy and effort to hide something than it does to just let it show, but being a kid is hard. Kids are really-

KR Liu:

Kids are mean.

Will Butler:

Kids can be really mean.

KR Liu:

Yeah, even when I was growing up, wearing glasses, you got beat up, and now it's the coolest thing and people wear glasses without a prescription, just as a fashion statement. I'm waiting for the evolution in hearing to be that way.

Will Butler:

Yeah, or-

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Without lenses too. People just wear them, so people just be wearing, do you think people will be wearing hearing aids just as a fashion statement?

KR Liu:

It's my dream.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

That'd be cool.

Will Butler:

I've seen rappers now with, just wearing their AirPods and not listening to anything.

KR Liu:

Yeah, or even, what's interesting is even the in-ear monitors now, around the states, they're blinging them out, making them really custom and cool, and a part of their iced out attire, and I'm like, "Okay. How do we get the industry there?" That's my goal, is-

Will Butler:

Now you're speaking my language.

KR Liu:

Yeah.

Will Butler:

I'll tell you about my iced out cane and some others.

KR Liu:

You've got to tell us about it on this-

Will Butler:

We're trying to put some gold on it, but it's I just really believe, and this may take us on a bit of a tangent. We'll get back to it, but I just really believe that, whether it's a cane or hearing aid, these are accessories that are being treated like medical devices, and so they're designed without aesthetic in mind.

KR Liu:

That's right.

Will Butler:

That's how it's always been. I know you feel the same way.

KR Liu:

I totally feel the same way. I'm like-

Will Butler:

It gives us nothing to aspire to.

KR Liu:

No. Not at all, and for me, hearing aids costing thousands of dollars. Where's my Gucci and Louis Vuitton logo on it, if you're going to be charging me $5,000? Okay. In that case, I might be willing to, because of the brand and all of that, but it has no reason to be that expensive, but I want it to reflect who I am, right?

Will Butler:

Yeah.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

KR Liu:

Fashion is a big, important part of my life, so when it doesn't fit you, it already makes you feel self conscious and uncomfortable, so why should it be that way, right?

Will Butler:

Yeah.

KR Liu:

I have a good friend of mine, Liz Jackson, who had a disability later in her life and needed a cane, and she went to go get a cane, and she was like, "Why are they looking like silver, old medical products? I want something that reflects my personality," so she went and had a friend of hers, who's a designer, make her a really cool purple cane, and she became known as the girl with the purple cane, and it became a part of her brand identity.

Will Butler:

Some day, I'm going to try to figure out how to do all that at scale, because everybody deserves that sort of opportunity.

KR Liu:

Absolutely.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

I feel like there's some really cool stuff happening in the prosthetic limb space, where people are really designing these really cool things with fun colors and fun patterns, and there's a lot of 3D printing, so can you 3D print a cane?

Will Butler:

Maybe. Probably. I don't know. Have to go over to Autodesk and use their fancy, they have metal cutters and all that stuff. The thing about body language, got me tripped out now, so you're going to have to give us permission to look at our questions, or else we'll never get through the interview.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

[crosstalk 00:23:49] I am thinking so much about body language now. As a cartoonist too, I realize I tend to exaggerate my body language sometimes, because I'm used to drawing it in an exaggerated way, but then sometimes I frown too much when I'm angry, because I'm used to overdoing it for my selfies I take as photo reference.

KR Liu:

It's interesting, now you'll be more conscious looking at other people. I had a colleague who would constantly wipe her chin with her finger, and I was like, "Why is she doing that?" I watched the situation, listened to the situation, and I noticed the more she did it, it was because she was nervous and stressed, so that's when I would use that as a cue to check on her. Be like, "Are you okay?" She goes, "I'm just really stressed out right now." "Okay. Can I help you?" She goes, "I really want a Starbucks coffee right now. That'll be great."

KR Liu:

I already knew, if I started seeing her do that, I'd go to the nearest Starbucks, get a coffee. I wouldn't say a word. I would just hand it to her and she'd be like, "Thank you. I really appreciate that," so that's where you can really learn to build relationships too, is because people will be like, "Wow! Someone really cares about me. They're paying attention to just the littlest thing." It goes a long way, right?

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Will Butler:

Yeah.

KR Liu:

That's to me the power of how I use my disability, is how can I help somebody else's day be better?

Will Butler:

I'm so glad you're using your powers for good.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Yeah. You could become a poker star and just rack in all this money, but you're getting coffee for the people you care about.

KR Liu:

Right. There's one time, and this is early, when I didn't come out with my hearing loss, is the offices are in glass conference rooms, so it was all open. You could see right in it. I can read conversations from across a room, so I was watching a conversation I probably shouldn't have been watching, so I got information and I was like, "Okay." That's something I might keep in the back of my mind, but I didn't do anything bad with that, but you can see how it'd be really easy to almost eavesdrop into things you probably shouldn't.

Will Butler:

Well, that's not even your fault. It's just the way the place is designed and your skillset. Makes you realized that the rules that we have about society are really ableist and based on very flimsy structures.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

You were talking earlier about being picked on as a kid and about trying to hide your disability. What are some of the most commonly held misperceptions about people who are deaf or who are experiencing hearing loss?

KR Liu:

The common one that I've seen is, and this is for people who are hard of hearing, is the second you ask, "Can you repeat that?" Or, "I didn't hear you. Sorry, what did you say?" There are common things that people do. One is they start speaking louder and over-enunciate, and then, or two they say, "Never mind," and that, the never mind one-

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

That's awful, yeah.

KR Liu:

Would really bother me, because then they would go on and talk to somebody else. Now you've been left out of the conversation, right? When you're a kid, that makes you feel really isolated, and that happened so many times. Then there would be the other extreme of somebody's picking on you, because they now know that you can't hear well, and then they start faking sign language at you and things like that, and the other misperception is that people who are hard of hearing sign. I don't sign, so then their first question is, "Oh, so you know ASL."

KR Liu:

Don't assume that, and there's this interesting tension between the deaf and hard of hearing communities at times, because the deaf community is very strong about their culture, their way of expressing themselves and their language, and when you're hard of hearing there is no defined culture there, so it's like if you don't sign you don't belong, so where do you fit? I never really felt like I fit in any specific area of hearing loss, because it's on such a spectrum, so how do you ever feel like you belong?

KR Liu:

A lot of the misperceptions are that if you don't hear you only communicate one way, or if you are deaf and you do sign that's the core part of your identity, and we forget that disability is incredibly intersectional, so for me, I'm a gay woman, and that to me is a big part of my identity. Not just my hearing loss, and so people sometimes forget about that. They just go, "Okay. You have a disability and that's you." That is definitely a part of who I am, but that's not all of who I am.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

We heard, on an earlier podcast we were talking with Mike Shebanek about the Disability Collection, which is, for folks who don't know, I guess you would describe it as a repository full of stock images, of people with disabilities, and you are featured in it, right?

KR Liu:

Yeah.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

What was the significance of that project for you?

KR Liu:

It was actually spearheaded by a really dear friend of mine, Margaux Joffe, who is now the director of accessibility at Verizon Media, and she and I were having lunch one day, and we were talking about how, when you look for images, especially being a marketer myself, there is nothing out there that really reflects what I think disability looks like, and she was like, "I totally agree." She goes, "I'm working on something and I would love for you to be a part of it," and the idea was how can we change peoples' perception of what disability looks like and how can get more representation out there in the media?

KR Liu:

Because less than 2% people with disabilities are represented in media today, or at least authentic representation, and so being a part of that was really cool, because the people I met and the stories that I heard, and then the final result of that, that is what I see as disability, because you could be a marketer, like myself, you could be a filmmaker, you could be an athlete. You can be so many different things. It just shows a different perspective of what disability representation could be, especially in media, because that's how you change stereotypes. You don't see yourself in advertising, and you don't see yourself in television, and you don't see yourself in campaigns. How are you going to feel like you're not alone?

KR Liu:

That collection was super fun to be a part of, and interestingly, several of us from that collection have gone on, to continue to grow and build our own platforms and brands, and that's been awesome to see. And I'm really grateful for Margaux, for really pushing so hard to make that happen with almost no budget, and it's just continued to grow, but it takes advocates like her really fighting for change. Fighting for what can we do with the position we're in to influence, right?

Will Butler:

Totally. Yeah. We're going to have to get Margaux on the podcast as well.

KR Liu:

Yes.

Will Butler:

We're talking to Larry actually.

KR Liu:

Larry's awesome.

Will Butler:

Tomorrow, but Margaux is definitely on the list. She's-

KR Liu:

Yeah, she's an amazing ADHD advocate and she on her own has started her own women's ADHD nonprofit called Kaleidoscope Society. It's super cool.

Will Butler:

So cool. I want to hear a little bit about your transition from sales into marketing, but also what I thought was a dramatic transition, but sounds like maybe it was a more gradual transition from working in mainstream tech too. Focusing on accessibility and doing more mission centered work. Did that happen at Pebble? Did it happen earlier, at the video chat company, or was that something that happened at Doppler? Where do you-

KR Liu:

Yeah, that's a good question, so I had left Speck. Speck had been sold, and I got recruited by Kevin Lee, who was with Monster, Kevin Lee. Started Beats by Dre and he wanted to launch his own headphone company called Sol Republic, and so I wanted to go into audio, because that was where I thought the future was for hearing. Wireless headphones were starting to become a thing. He had a really hot, cool brand, and so I was starting to push them to explore how could we incorporate hearing into a really cool headphone platform? We had ambassadors like Michael Phelps and Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris, and some really incredible artists. Right when we were getting to talk about it, Apple bought Beats and the headphone industry just went, "Okay, if you're not Bose or Apple you're done-"

Will Butler:

Consolidated.

KR Liu:

But right then I had gotten contacted by Pebble, and Pebble with the smartwatch Kickstarter that did $10 million in two days. It was crazy, and so Eric Migicovsky, the CEO and founder of Pebble, asked me to come launch their sales and marketing for the smartwatch, and when I was at Pebble, Eric walked up to me one day and said, "Why do you like our product?" I said, "Because it vibrates on my wrist and I don't miss a phone call, because I constantly miss my phone calls, because I can't hear the phone."

KR Liu:

He goes, "Huh, I have never thought of it that way. Everyone tells me, 'I can get a text notification or I can check the weather,'" and I'm like, "No. It's an actual, a piece of assistive technology in my mind, it's just cool and it's like a fashion statement." He goes, "Well, if you could do anything with that, what would you do?"

KR Liu:

I said, "Well, I have these new Bluetooth hearing aids," that had just come out at the time, "That allow me to stream phone calls from my phone to my hearing aids, but I have to pull out my phone to control them, which is super rude when you're in a meeting. I need to check up the volume and people think I'm not listening or paying attention, so if I could just do that with my watch, that would be cool, and we have an open API, so can I go build an app?"

KR Liu:

He's like, "Sure. Go ahead." Total hacker, engineer, so I on my own contacted [inaudible 00:34:54] I knew the CTO, I had a relationship with him, so I flew to Minnesota and I told them my idea, and they're like, "That's a great idea. We can build an app in a week," so we built an app in a week and it was for me. I wanted it. It was just for me and for my watch, and so then I got the app and I showed Eric, and he's like, "That's really cool."

KR Liu:

This is before Apple Watch, and so he goes, "Can you show our PR team?" And I was like, "Yeah," and they're a great group of ladies. I told them the story of why I did this and they're like, "We should have you talk to the press. That's a great story of you just really hacking something for yourself," and so I told that story and it was out in the press, and before I knew it, all of a sudden, all this attention started happening, coming to me. And then through that I actually ended up getting a US Congressional Award for that work, so that really elevated my platform, and then that awareness got me to Doppler.

Will Butler:

I don't know if I missed, so the app did what?

KR Liu:

The app was on my watch, so instead of having to pull out my phone, turn the volume up and down-

Will Butler:

Oh, app for the watch. Got it.

KR Liu:

I can do it just physically by looking at someone and then pushing the button up and down, so it was a super simple idea, right?

Will Butler:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), but they talk about entrepreneurs all the time, like founders, right? Scratching the itch of whatever it is in their life, and of course, why shouldn't disabled founders have perfectly legitimate itches to scratch that could then turn into big ideas?

KR Liu:

Yeah, and ending up leading all the hearing aid companies to then a year later work with Apple to create a made for iPhone, Apple Watch application, which is on every single Apple Watch, every single hearing aid platform.

Will Butler:

Really? I didn't know that.

KR Liu:

Yeah, so I'm not going to take total credit for it, but-

Will Butler:

I know.

KR Liu:

I'm just happy that the idea got out there, because now you're seeing this merge between wearable tech and medical devices. Now they're starting to come together, and that convergence is going to continue to happen.

Will Butler:

Is there a mainstreaming happening for the hard of hearing community, from assistive tech into mainstream devices in the same way that it's very much happening in the blind community or-

KR Liu:

[inaudible 00:37:12] is definitely happening, so what you're seeing now is [inaudible 00:37:18] wireless earbuds and whipping up on your phone you could control everything you heard around you, and it was meant to be a live music curation product, so if you went to Coachella you could-

Will Butler:

I remember they were passing them out at Coachella, right?

KR Liu:

Yeah, and so then we ended up getting a bunch of emails from people saying, "Can I use this to control how I hear?" And then that's when Doppler was like, "I don't know. Can we?" And then that's how I ended up working at the company. Absolutely, since then, you're starting to see hearing technology slowly getting embedded into earbuds, so you look at Apple AirPods now have Live Listen, and allow you to control volume and background noise, and you see things like Amazon launching EcoBuds and Microsoft announcing theirs.

KR Liu:

What you're going to see is this convergence of you already have ear-share, right? People use headphones. Now, if we implement hearing technology, it could be used in several different ways. It could be used to turn up the world for someone like myself, who has hearing loss, it could be used to turn down the world, because it's just too noisy while you're in a coffee shop trying to focus on what you want to do. Now you've completely changed the landscape of what hearing means, and now you've started to blur the line of stigmatizing hearing in general.

Will Butler:

There's a fascinating synergy that I don't think is super obvious, where you'd think the needs of a blind consumer base, the needs of a hard of hearing consumer base would be very different, because the blind are all pro voice, going for voice interfaces, and the hard of hearing are, but because of this revolution in voice, Alexa and all this stuff, everyone's got things in their ears now, which is total synergy for the things you're trying to build.

KR Liu:

That's right, and what's going to be interesting is I've even had blind people come to me going, "Hearing in my way of navigating, I'm starting to lose my hearing, so now I need to make sure about what am I doing to address my hearing loss? Because I can't lose that. Those are to me my eyes, how I navigate the world," so for me it's, well, that's the whole goal, is how do we make sure that you can continue to have that tool or that function? I need it now, but you might need it 10 years from now.

Will Butler:

Think about that. Blind people are a high stakes subset of your market.

KR Liu:

That's right, so if you can get hearing to a point where you can have true control yourself of what you need to hear, when you needed to hear and how you need to hear it, you're going to completely change the landscape of many different purposes for many different people, whether you have ADHD, whether you have PTSD, whether you have hearing loss, whether you're blind.

KR Liu:

Hearing controls so much of that for so many people, so if you can really focus on how can you build that incredible piece of AI? In my opinion, I think AI is going to really take hearing to a whole other level, whee I can have something in my ears and I can just walk in the room and listen to exactly what I need to without me having to do all the work. It just knows, and that will change my life. That'll change anyone's life, right?

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Where do you think AI is going to take this?

KR Liu:

Like the example I said, is for me people think I just need to turn up the volume to hear better. That's not true. I spend most of my time using my brain to filter out the noise that's in my way, of trying to hear what I'm trying to focus on, which is cognitively exhausting, and as I get older it's harder and harder for me to do that. Like when you're at work and everybody's like, "Hey, let's go get a drink after work." I'm like, "A bar is the last place I want to be after a long day of work."

KR Liu:

It's just too much work for me cognitively, so I think AI is going to do, is it's going to start to figure out how do we help people in the world, when they're trying to just focus on one thing, a conversation, a voice or even for me at night, how do I know that there isn't a fire happening and my smoke alarm's going off, and I can sleep safely, right?

KR Liu:

How can it get so smart that it knows what I want to know without me telling it and what I want to focus on, and I see that also taking us to other things like autism and things like that, where you can really help the cognitive, what's the biggest challenge for people with autism? It's overstimulation sometimes, and so what are you going to do, just put earplugs in the ears and they can't engage at all? Or if there's some way that AI can help them not have that fight or flight feeling, so that they're not overstimulated and it's a different situation.

KR Liu:

Hearing as well, so I see AI really becoming this mechanism of a way to allow people to just have peace of mind, to know that something is always there doing a lot of the work for them, to allow them to engage in their life.

Will Butler:

I want to talk about the work you did at Google. You are now back at Google and seems like a good place to be working some of this stuff. Tell us about Live Caption, first of all. How did that happen?

KR Liu:

That to me is honestly why Google is so awesome, is there's a group within Google called the Creative Lab. They're based in New York and they work on a lot of things, and one of the areas that they were looking at is that they had an employee who wanted to figure out what can we do in hearing? We do YouTube captions. There's something we can do there, and so they reached out to me and another person named Elise Roy, and was like, "Hey, we want to workshop on an idea we have. Can we fly you out to New York for a week and have you take a look at some of our ideas, and you tell us if we have anything?"

KR Liu:

I went to New York. We sat down for a week and they just showed us a few things, and they were like, "We think we want to go in this direction and focus on deaf and hard of hearing," and I said, "No. Please don't do that. Let me tell you why." They had this incredible caption technology that they wanted to figure out if we could put captions on a device, allow any kind of media, a podcast, an audiobook, Instagram video, so that on your phone, any kind of audio, you could get captions in realtime, and I said, "That's not just for me. What if you're on the subway and you forgot your headphones, and you want to know what's happening on Instagram Live or you want to continue to listen to your audiobook?"

KR Liu:

That's mutually beneficial, so why limit yourself? What we're trying to do is show the power of these 'assistive technologies', how they're actually beneficial to many people, and captions are used by a lot of people, right? They're used like maybe your spouse is asleep at night and you want to continue to watch TV, but you don't want to keep them up, right?

Will Butler:

Accessibility freeloaders.

KR Liu:

Yeah, and the statistics show that, if there's captions in video, people are 80% more likely to watch the video all the way through, so that's how that happened and we brainstormed on the idea, and then while I was doing that they said, "You should meet a few other people at Google and see if you can help on their projects," like Sound Amplifier, that was released on Android, Live Transcribe, which was a really cool product, and then I did some work at Google X for a while, and so I was with Google for about a year. Just really advising on different areas of expertise that I had and giving them some insight, and we launched Live Caption at I/O, and was hugely successful.

KR Liu:

It really put Google on the map for the cool things we're working on in hearing, whether it's transcription in realtime on your phone, so somebody like Dimitri, who built the product, who's deaf himself and had a very thick Russian deaf accent. He just wanted to be able to communicate with his granddaughter, so he recorded 15,000 lines of his own voice to train the machine to understand him, and so that was how he built Live Transcribe, so I was just really excited about Google's passion around creating different applications for ways to communicate, right? We're not talking about hearing. We're talking about how can we stay connected? How can we communicate?

KR Liu:

I was super stoked about that, so I was at Google doing that for about a year, advising. I ended up going to Amazon for a while, and then, all of a sudden, I got contacted by Google and said, "Hey, we really care about this accessibility space and we want to do more, and we want to figure out how we can really elevate our brand, profession, our mission, which has always been to make the world's information universally accessible? Would you be interested in coming back?"

KR Liu:

I said, "Absolutely," because everyone there is so passionate about accessibility. They're so passionate about creative ways to tell stories, to inspire, to amplify people. The thing I love about Google is they give the credit to the person who really came up with the idea. It's not about Google taking the credit. It's about amplifying the innovation that the disability community has been doing for so many years. Our chief innovation officer is [inaudible 00:47:31] who created the internet and email, who's deaf himself and his wife is deaf, so we have a huge history of incredible innovators that have inspired a new generation of disability innovators, so it's super, super cool to be back.

Will Butler:

That's awesome. I saw something just the other day, someone wearing a tablet around their neck as, what was that? It was a live-

KR Liu:

Yeah, Live Transcribe, because with Live Transcribe you have to hold the phone to see the transcription, so you have one phone to see the transcription, and then you're trying to see who else is talking, so somebody just put it on a tablet and just wore it, so you could see what they were saying, because usually if the person has a deaf accent it's hard to understand them. It was cool. It was cool to see people thinking of creative ways to again be able to communicate and show the conversation in realtime.

Will Butler:

Yeah, so it'd be like if you couldn't afford ... If you had a little indie event and you couldn't afford captions, someone could wear this thing around their neck and people could have the captions, right? On their chest, right?

KR Liu:

You could do that, yeah, or have it on your phone in the audience. That's pretty cool.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

I want a speech balloon coming out of my head at all times.

Will Butler:

Yeah, exactly. You're like a walking cartoon comic character.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

One question I had, because there are a lot of companies that are working in the live captioning space and an issue I keep hearing more and more about is the role of censorship within captioning. I know there's one, I won't name which product, but there's one product I use where if you curse it will just bleep it out and put in little asterisks, so what do you think about censorship and captioning?

KR Liu:

That's a tough one. It depends on the audience. If you have kids. I think we have to be careful, be responsible, because you never know who's watching or listening, so I think that's important. It's not to be truly transparent about what someone's trying to say, but again, with captions it's hard, because it's not like ... We're in a room and we're probably very comfortable swearing right now, right? Because I'm pretty sure this room is a safe place to do that.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Yeah, we could just swear nonstop on this podcast.

KR Liu:

But you don't know in certain context or media, whatever, who is watching, so until there's a better way to control that, parental controls in captions, that doesn't really exist, right?

Will Butler:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). It seems like a mainstreaming issue. It's not mainstream enough yet, to where you can hit the-

KR Liu:

Captions is getting pretty mainstream, but not to the point where it's like is there a way to control it? Please show this word, because there are no kids in the room, do you know what I mean?

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Yeah. I feel like captions are the prime example when you're thinking about assistive tech that helps everyone, like you were saying. It's not just for the deaf and hard of hearing community. It's for literally everyone I know who uses captions all the time, so it does seem mainstream already, at least to me.

KR Liu:

Yeah, it's pretty mainstream. I think it's just more getting to the level of being able to moderate or have some type of parental control.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Yeah, for sure.

KR Liu:

There are those things in the internet now, making sure your kids don't go to certain sites or things like that, right?

Will Butler:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), so accessibility brand with Creative Lab, that's what you're doing now.

KR Liu:

I'm with Brand Studio, so Brand Studio is an arm under our marketing, so we do a lot of the cool content that you see today, like our Black History Month ad, our Loretta ad that we did for Super Bowl. We do a lot of work in other really important areas like sustainability, crisis response, education. We're really working on the brand of Google and how that influences all different areas of the world, so my role is really to look at how Google's brand impacts accessibility.

Will Butler:

Does that mean accessibility related campaigns and things like that, or factoring sustainability into-

KR Liu:

It could be anything the Google brand touches, so it can be how we hire and how we talk about Google employees. It could be everything from campaigns that we do with our products that we launch around accessibility, or maybe it's not accessible product, but there's a story there that we want to tell. It could be policy related. So many different ways, that what we've realized is that disability touches so many things right now.

KR Liu:

It can be politics in these conversations right now, so it's all about how Google wants to show up and how we really want to have an impact in how people with disabilities, their friends, their families, everyone that touches that sees us, and that's actually super cool to me, that Google really was caring about that. They're like, "This is not just about building accessible tools. This is about how do we use our platform? How do we tell those powerful stories the right way? How do we give voices to people who don't have one?" That's really what we're about.

Will Butler:

It's a new role.

KR Liu:

It's a completely new role.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

That's awesome.

Will Butler:

Where is Google at in its accessibility journey? What's the future of accessibility at Google, just broadly speaking?

KR Liu:

That's a good question. I think I've only been there two months, so it's a little early for me to answer that question. My hope is, when I look at the landscape of accessibility, whether you're Apple or Microsoft or Google, or whomever, when it comes to the conversation around accessibility and disability, we're all trying to do the right thing. It's how do we innovate? How do we include? How do we build things for people to do whatever it is they really want to do that they really care about?

KR Liu:

For me and for Google, what we really enable is how do we help people pursue those passions? People with disabilities have passions. They have things they want to do, they have goals in life, and if there are barriers in the way, how can we help remove them, whether it's product innovation or whether it's storytelling, or whether it's community outreach, all those things, how can we help? How can we really be helpful in the movement I'm seeing in disability and accessibility in general? Because the accessibility conversation five years ago was not important. It wasn't even a ...

KR Liu:

I always used to have to convince companies to even talk about it, much less make it a priority, and now it's becoming extremely important. We have an aging population, 10,000 people are turning 65 every day, and that's going to be impacting. We have situational disabilities where innovation can be really helpful, whether you're just holding a bag of groceries and you can't open the door, or you lose your voice for a week, because you're sick.

KR Liu:

And then we have permanent ones that people live with every day, and we have a responsibility, if we have this knowledge and this incredible technology, and a way to use our platform to help people, we should be doing it and we are. And that's what makes me really proud to be at Google, because we really, really care about this and we are going to do everything we can to leverage our strength, and get stronger in areas where we may need to improve, and we're very honest about that.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Something that you said really struck me when you were talking about how companies weren't really thinking about this even five years ago, and now everyone is and people aren't really competitive about it, I feel like. They're all helping raise each other up, which is really, really cool.

KR Liu:

Yeah, absolutely, because when it comes to this conversation around accessibility, sure, we want to build great things and it's important for companies to sell product or bring in revenue, but when it comes to this it's the right thing to do and every company has a different strength, so we often talk to each other. We often share knowledge and information on how we can help elevate each other. We are constantly on panels together and conferences together, because we have great knowledge that we can all learn from each other, and that's what I really appreciate about this. Is that it's not like back in the day, where I'm competing with eight different brands for [inaudible 00:56:51] in a retail store.

KR Liu:

This is a completely different thing and it's why I shifted my career, because I wanted to feel like I was doing something that was helping people, making a difference. I didn't want to do something just to sell stuff. That was not fulfilling me at all, and this is really fulfilling work, because it's definitely personal for me and it's personal for a lot of us that work in this space, so it's our life's work. We're not just doing this and then at five o'clock we go home and forget about it. We live, sleep and breathe it, and we're constantly trying to figure out ways, how can we do more?

Will Butler:

Something I've become aware of more recently is how key global events have big impacts on our little field. Just talking to a colleague who had a whole inclusion business, where she was placing job candidates into corporate jobs, people with disabilities 20 years ago, but was majorly set back by things like 9/11, and when the national or global attention shifts to something like security, sometimes things like diversity inclusion, accessibility get swept off to the side. What global events do you think are affecting our field either for the better or for worse? I know it's a big question, but I wonder if you have any thoughts about it.

KR Liu:

I think we have a big opportunity right now, when it comes to crisis response, when it comes to our community, because when we look at, for example, the campfire that happened, 85 people died and most of them had disabilities. They couldn't get out in time. I have friends who were just impacted by the tornadoes in Tennessee. Literally, it was one neighborhood away from them and they had eight minutes to get out. Imagine somebody who lives alone, maybe in a wheelchair, maybe are deaf and don't hear, what are they supposed to do? How do we help them?

KR Liu:

I feel like that is our biggest opportunity right now, because it's not going to stop. We have a climate that is changing. How can we help our community and how can we have them help us? They're the problem solvers. They're really the innovators. How can we come together and find some solutions? Again, I feel like this is another way that the industry can come together.

Will Butler:

Do you think these key crisis events, we're at a point in our evolution as accessibility community where key crisis events, rather than eclipsing the needs of people with disabilities and changing the conversation, might actually highlight-

KR Liu:

A problem-

Will Butler:

The importance of what we do?

KR Liu:

Mm-hmm (affirmative). I do now. Maybe that wasn't the case 20 years ago. Now, more so, because there's a lot more attention on it, and we live in a different time and there's a different generation coming in that's really vocal about wanting to create change and wanting to create equality, and I see that as an opportunity.

Will Butler:

That's really interesting.

KR Liu:

Yeah. It's making even like government agencies figure out are our alert systems accessible? I have a friend of mine she's an entrepreneur, she's deaf and [inaudible 01:00:36] and she was ... Her parents created the Emergency Alert System for the Deaf like 40 years ago, and so now she is trying to figure out, "How can I continue that journey that my parents started for now?" Like when the false missile alarm crisis that happened in Hawaii, remember somebody accidentally hit the button and there were people in their bathtubs hiding, but a lot of people who were deaf didn't ever get the alert, so if it had been real they would have been in a really bad situation, right?

KR Liu:

I think people are thinking about it differently now and I'm seeing a lot more of that, like wow! Okay. We have to think about all the different circumstances that people are in and how are we making it safe for them? Give them peace of mind, to know that we can resource them with information, because that's what we want right now, is information, what's really happening and then what can I do, or what can I do to help others?

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

I'm just thinking about emergency response systems and how absolutely tragic it is that they aren't all accessible.

KR Liu:

Yeah. My wife is from China and her family has been very much impacted by the coronavirus, and there was one story about a father and his son. His son has cerebral palsy. The father got infected, and so he had to be isolated, so they removed him from the phone, which left his son alone, and so they only allowed people to leave their homes twice a week, so the son was only getting checked on twice a week, so he couldn't feed himself, he couldn't help himself and he died from starvation, so situations like that where we are not prepared for making sure everyone is able to be accounted for or helped in these situations.

KR Liu:

We're just not set up, we don't know what to do in those situations, so it's important that, now is the time to start thinking about that. Now is the time to start taking more examples of those real world situations and, if we have people from the community at the table going, "This is what I worry about every night, what are some solutions we can come up with?"

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Yeah, and now, compared to 20 years ago, now we do have so many more technologies at our fingertips to facilitate these conversations, to have these multimodal responses to crises, and to pull everyone's awesome ideas about how we can move forward.

KR Liu:

That's right.

Will Butler:

Yeah, everyone's got a smart speaker, or something on their wrist, or something in their pocket, or something in their ears.

KR Liu:

Yeah, so why not use that platform that's already there?

Will Butler:

Right, really interesting, so you went from being a bullied kid hiding your hearing to being somebody who's affecting perceptions of disability, arguably more than anybody in the world. What narratives about disability or accessibility do you think were growing out of, as we try to push the marketing and the conversation forward?

KR Liu:

I think what I'm hoping people will start to understand is people with disabilities are not only incredible dreamers, but incredible doers. We've invented some of the most incredible things out there, people have no idea, so as we bring those stories to life, we bring awareness to the history of the many things many of us enjoy today, whether it be text messaging or the many different things that people with disabilities have really pioneered, that's going to change perception, and then it's going to start making you think wow! Okay. There's this incredible talent pool out there that we need to help amplify and elevate.

KR Liu:

What I think we're shying away from is that disability is, one, the representation of what disability looks like. It's not just an older, white person in a wheelchair. It's not somebody who's not capable of doing incredibly innovative things, whether it be a product you build or a creative marketing idea, or being a musician or filmmaker, or whatever that may be. I think people are realizing that we have incredible talents and you don't really need to hide that or look at it like we want you to feel sorry for us.

KR Liu:

I think the whole empathy thing is I hope fading. We just want to be seen as ourselves. That the whole world just looks at us like who we are. Not defining us by something that we navigate through the world different, because I hear differently or world sees different, so what? We're just our own uniques selves. We have all different flavors and colors of who we are.

Will Butler:

Well, KR, we're really excited to see what you do not at Google and thank you so much for joining us on the podcast.

KR Liu:

Thank you.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Thank you so much.

KR Liu:

Yeah, of course.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

I'm going to be analyzing Will's body language for a lot of interviews to come.

KR Liu:

When he does this, that's when he's a little uncomfortable.

Will Butler:

My dad does that. I scratch the back of my head. Yeah, my dad does that.

KR Liu:

You'll now be so much more aware of-

Will Butler:

I push up my glasses, because they're literally falling down my face, but that's just-

KR Liu:

No, but when you're really thinking about something or you're into something, see, you're about to do it, you're doing this or you do this.

Will Butler:

What are you doing? Are you ...

KR Liu:

You do like this or like this.

Will Butler:

Oh, like so?

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Hand on the chin.

KR Liu:

A little bit. Yeah, and then you push up your glasses. Not because they're falling off, but it's a habit.

Will Butler:

Okay. Getting no sleep tonight.

Cordelia McGee-Tubb:

Anyway, thank you. This has been illuminating on so many different levels. Not just learning a lot more about Will, but really appreciate you telling us about-

KR Liu:

I really enjoyed it. My name is KR Liu and I'm the head of brand accessibility for Google. This moment of crisis that we are in has especially impacted the disability community, including myself. I feel a greater sense of responsibility to help support our high risk communities. Grateful to be at Google, where we can help people find useful information, be helpful with remote technology, support nonprofit organizations and schools. As someone who has a disability myself, as well as several friends and family members who have disabilities, this is a moment where we all need to come together. For more information on COVID-19, please visit google.com/covid19.