About the Team
Meet the volunteers behind the Boston Accessibility Group!
John Rochford is the Director of the INDEX Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at the The University of Massachusetts Medical School. Through its DisabilityInfo.org web site,INDEX provides thousands of resources (doctors, dentists, programs, etc.) serving people with disabilities living in Massachusetts. Among other activities, John teaches in the medical school’s graduate program, “Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND)”. See John’s faculty profile.
John has worked with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism since the 1980s. As a consultant, John has provided behavior-modification services, and specializes in skills acquisition. John has a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University, and is a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst.
John has led teams of developers to build accessible websites, online courses, and learning-management systems since the mid-1990s for nonprofit and public-sector organizations throughout the United States.
John’s passion is web accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities. With partners IBM, UMass Boston, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute, John conducts related research, such as artificial-intelligence based automatic text simplification.
John is an Invited Expert of the World Wide Web Consortium‘s Web Content Accessibility Guidelines Working Group; Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force and Low Vision Task Force.
Peter Fay works at IBM Accessibility Research in Cambridge, MA. Currently, Peter is exploring how cognitive systems like IBM Watson and the Internet of Things (IoT) can enable the elderly to safely live at home as long as they are able.
Peter is also leading IBM Accessibility’s Higher Education research initiatives with key research institutions including University of Massachusetts-Boston, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and West Virginia University.
Over his 21 years with IBM, Peter has also worked in IBM Software Group focused on collaboration solutions and in IBM Global Technology Services focused on unified communications. Prior to joining IBM in 1995, Peter worked for a number of software companies in the Boston area. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College.
Connect with Peter on LinkedIn.
Follow Peter on Twitter: @PeterFay79.
Sarah E. Bourne is the Director of IT Accessibility for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where she works on accessibility policy, standards, and guidance for development and procurement for internal and public systems. These efforts started with creating accessibility guidelines in 1998 as the Commonwealth’s first webmaster.
Mark has been working in digital accessibility since 1998 when he was a sub-contractor on the MIT Open Courseware project before he began working at the Carroll Center for the Blind as a consultant where he designed and developed a Learning Management System for visually impaired users and those involved in their training and rehabilitation. Mark also worked at the W3C as the Staff Contact for the HTML Accessibility Task Force, a joint task force of the Protocols and Formats Working Group (PFWG) and the HTML Working Group (HTML WG) which manages the progress of accessibility solutions in HTML5. He was also heavily involved in Canvas 2D and Media Accessibility. Mark is an invited expert at the W3C and is still active in ensuring that the Open Web Platform remains accessible to everyone.
Kathy Wahlbin, CEO and Founder of Interactive Accessibility, is an accessibility expert in ADA, Section 508, and W3C WCAG 2.0 compliance. Kathy is an experienced digital media professional with extensive knowledge of accessibility and usability issues and solutions. She is passionate about creating a world where online communications and technology are simple and universally accessible to all people regardless of ability. Kathy is the co-chair for the W3C Mobile Accessibility Taskforce, is the chair of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) Individual Professional Development Committee, and is an invited expert on the W3C WCAG 2.0 Working Group and WCAG 2.0 Evaluation Methodology Task Force.
Char James-Tanny is the primary coordinator for the annual Boston accessibility event. Currently working in Technical Publications at Schneider Electric, Char has more than 35 years of experience as a writer and editor. She has spoken around the world on topics including accessibility, Help authoring concepts and tools, social media, web standards, collaboration, and technology.