Speaker information is being updated as it is received. Check back for updates!
If you would like to speak, email us your name, the session title, the session description, and a bio and (optionally) photo. Don’t forget to register, too!
Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto. Jutta established the IDRC in 1993 as the nexus of a growing global community that proactively works to ensure that our digitally transformed and globally connected society is designed inclusively. Jutta and her team have pioneered network-supported personalization as an approach to accessibility in the digital domain. She also heads the Inclusive Design Institute, a multi-university regional centre of expertise. Jutta founded an innovative graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University. She leads international multi-partner research networks that have created broadly implemented innovations that support digital equity, e.g., Fluid Project, FLOE, and many others. Jutta’s work has been attributed as the impetus for corporate adoption of more inclusive practices in large enterprise companies such as Microsoft.
Mr. Sidharth Anantha is a senior at Lexington High School, in Lexington Massachusetts. For the past 4 years, he has been working on his invention, Seeing for the Blind, which uses technology to help the blind navigate. Anantha also runs a program at a school where he teaches young kids how to build world-changing inventions. In addition. Anantha is an MIT AeroAstro student researcher, and a violinist.
Rich Caloggero received his Bachelors of Computer Science in the mid ’80s from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). Since that time, he has been working in the computer field as a programmer, accessible technology instructor, and most recently as an accessibility specialist for MIT.
Most of his current work involves reviewing web sites and online course materials and helping remediate their accessibility issues. He works closely with developers, writes small demos to explain a particular remediation strategy, and advises course staff on how to make their mathematical content more accessible.
He does not use any accessibility testing tools because most of his work entails manual checking and remediation and he finds errors as a part of the review. However, these tools can be invaluable to developers since most of the modern ones hook right into the developer pipeline and thus can catch simple errors such as missing form labels and image descriptions on the fly before the site even hits the server.
Chris Chagnon is an ITSM Architect and developer who designs, develops, and maintains award-winning experiences for managing and carrying out the ITSM process. Chris has a Master of Science in Information Technology, and a bachelor’s degree in Visual Communications. In addition, Chris is a PhD Candidate studying Information Systems with a focus on user and service experience. As A Top 25 Thought Leader in ITSM, and an ALE IT Vanguard, Chris speaks nationally about the future of ITSM, practical applications of artificial intelligence and machine learning, gamification, continual service improvement, and customer service/experience. Follow Chris on Twitter @Chagn0n.
InCare is an integrated mental health care service that’s optimal for all around care. They provide low-cost therapy devices for people with Neurological Differences (autism, brain trauma, and mood disorders) that teach CBT and DBT skills. Pamela has worked on several projects for UNFPA, AARP, Memorial Sloan Kettering and more, integrating solution-based design to help worldly problems. Pamela’s focus now involves finding affordable solutions to the mental health crisis in the United States, she first started this endeavor after losing a loved one to their mental health. Her ultimate goal with InCare is to give the wearer their independence back by giving them skill-building products that will help lessen severity of their symptoms.
Cheryl Cumings is the founder and chief executive of Our Space Our Place, Inc., a 501C3 nonprofit based in Boston. Soon after entering high school, Cheryl contracted encephalitis and became blind. She completed her BA at Princeton University and a graduate degree at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. Cheryl worked at the Pentagon, Peace Corps, Massachusetts Commission for the blind and the University of Massachusetts medical school.
Even as Cheryl worked in the community, her concern for the success of blind children grew. Cheryl was concerned that without changes, the next generation of blind people would face the same obstacles she and others have encountered like unacceptably high unemployment rates.
Randy Duke, II
Randy Duke, II is an Experience Strategist at Cantina, a strategic design and technology agency. He brings inclusive research and design to clients across industries such as finance, software, and retail. He was formerly a graduate researcher at the Center for Accessibility and Inclusion Research (CAIR) at the Rochester Institute of Technology.
Malia Faleafine, MPA
Malia is the Co-Founder of WellStats, a technology solutions company for the social and human service field based out of New York City. She launched her 18 year career in social services in the Bay Area, California, working with foster youth and low-income housing holding various leadership positions focused serving vulnerable populations through holistic approaches. Malia transitioned to working with the IDD population as the first Deputy Director for SKIP of New York. Prior to co-founding WellStats, she served as the QA Director of Medicaid Services for Catholic Guardian Services where she led their transition to paperless process and informed decision-making using data analytics. As a dedicated change agent, her focus is on elevating the culture and systems within non-profits using technology and data.
Becky is a recognized expert in the field of digital inclusion and enabling accessible solutions. Her extensive career as an Software Engineer and Accessibility Architect at IBM impacted products, customer strategy, and industry standards. She is passionate about making Web and mobile applications usable for people of all abilities.
Becky participated in the creation of W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 (WCAG) and helped to develop and evangelize the Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) specification. She is currently a member of the W3C Accessibility Platform Architectures (APA) Working Group and the Personalization Task Force. As Sr. Accessibility Strategist at Knowbility, Becky creates blog posts, documentation, training materials, and speaks at conferences to further the mission of digital inclusion for all.
An unstoppable force for change and thought-leader in an industry regarded for saying “No”, I’d rather lead by example in saying “Yes, and here’s how…”. I seek to offer solutions to complex problems relating to universal usability. Together we can meet both our goals: your business goals and my goals to lead the way in accessible user experience. I have over a decade experience in doing IT consulting for the biggest companies in the world and biggest agencies in the US Government. Widely regarded as a pragmatic solution-finder, my work is cited in nearly a dozen books and used on curricula in Human-Computer Interaction across the globe. I lead by doing, I teach from experience, and I succeed by facilitating others’ success. When others say “That can’t be done” I show them how.
Prateek Jain is a UX researcher currently pursuing Ph.D. in Innovation with User Experience at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. His Ph.D. research focuses on User Experience. His research interests are augmented reality, internet of things (IoT), accessibility, and persona development. He is working on multiple research projects focusing on the use of augmented reality and IoT to improve the user experience of products and services. Along with that, he is also working on developing and testing different persona frameworks to help organizations make effective design decisions.
Tom is founder and CEO of Cognitopia, home of the Cognitopia Platform for Self- Determination, emphasizing tools for IEP self-direction, goal management, task analysis, and team coordination. Keating has been focused for the past 20 years on research and development of self-management and community living applications for individuals with cognitive disabilities and has been principal investigator on over 20 federally-funded technology development projects. He is also a Courtesy Research Associate in the Computer and Information Sciences Department of the University of Oregon. Tom’s perspective in all of his work has been strongly influenced by his experience of 31 years as a caregiver for a brother who experienced autism.
Ryan LaMarche is a digital transformation and design thinking expert that brings ideas to life with a focus on user experience, and smart system design. When Ryan isn’t building systems, he spends his time as a dual-enrolled Bachelor’s and Master’s student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute studying Computer Science and Innovation with UX. Ryan is also a founding member and CTO of Seldom Technologies where he works with companies to develop systems, applications, and websites and consult on process improvement in the ITSM space.
Peter McNally is a Senior UX Consultant at the User Experience Center at Bentley University. Pete has more than 20 years’ experience in usability, information architecture, accessibility, and software engineering. His current areas of interests include the intersection of user experience (UX) and customer experience (CX), universal design, and the UX of Blockchain.
Regardless of the area or technology, Pete always focuses on the human at the end of the product, so they can have the most seamless and engaging experience. He has worked with users and designed digital experiences in the financial services, healthcare, government, education, energy, manufacturing, defense, and electronics industries.
Prior to joining the center, Pete was a Principal Consultant in the CSC User Experience Practice, Senior User Experience Architect at HP Enterprise Services, Research Officer at University of Hertfordshire in the UK, and Senior Software Engineer at 3M Health Information Systems. Pete holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Northeastern University and a Master of Science in Computer Science from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI). He is a member of the International User Experience Professionals’ Association (UXPA), Boston UXPA, Boston CHI. Pete holds the Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (CPACC) credential from the IAAP (International Association of Accessibility Professionals).
William O’Donnell is the Marketing & Social Media Manager at Open Access Technologies. William has a BA in Communications from Brooklyn College and a MS in Public Admin and a post-graduate certification in counseling from University of Massachusetts, Boston. His professional background is diverse. He has worked in the public, nonprofit and corporate sector in several areas. William’s experience includes management, data analytics, project management and promotion.
Hale Pulsifer is the co-lead of the Office of Customer Accessibility at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries.
In this role, Hale works to optimize customer interactions for people with disabilities by ensuring that accessibility is a design principal in everything we do at Fidelity. In addition, Mr. Pulsifer is the former national co-chair of the Fidelity Enable Employee Resource Group for associates affected by disabilities.
Prior to leading the Office of Customer Accessibility, Hale served in multiple finance and strategy roles at Fidelity for over 15 years. Hale has his Master of Business Administration from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College and earned his Bachelor of Science in International Relations and Development from Brown University.
Ramakrishna (Ram) Raju
Ram Raju is the founder and volunteer executive director of Vision-Aid a non profit serving the visually impaired. Ram has over 25 years of experience as a Technical Architect in the IT industry and has a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics Engineering from BIT Mesra, India, a Masters Degree in Computer Since from the Pennsylvania State University, and is currently completing his Masters Degree in Information Management Systems from the Harvard University Extension School. Ram is passionate about creating an inclusive environment for persons with vision related disabilities.
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 Website, 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)” and teaches medical school students how to interview patients with disabilities. See John’s faculty profile.
John has worked with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism since the 1980s. 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 information-technology professionals to build accessible Websites and online courses since the mid-1990s for state and nonprofit agencies serving people with disabilities 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, Low Vision Task Force, and Silver Community Group.
Corey is a senior designer with a strategic focus at Cantina, a Boston-based consultancy. He has led multiple service design projects aimed at transforming the cost and efficiency of healthcare. He’s also worked on strategy, accessibility, and prototyping for several clients in the New England area.
Corey spent 5 years working in healthcare before moving over to the consulting realm. His current research focuses on ethical applications for emerging technologies and innovation strategy. In his free time, he works with nonprofits, colleges, and NGOs.
Samantha is a Content Marketing Specialist at 3Play Media, a video accessibility company located in Boston, MA. She started her work in accessibility while attending the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where she worked in the university’s disability services office helping students and faculty receive accommodations in order to achieve in the classroom and workplace. Now, Samantha takes her passion for accessibility to 3Play and works to spread awareness through various forms of content like blog posts, webinars, social media posts and more. https://www.3playmedia.com
Glenda Sims is the Director of Accessibility Services at Deque, where she shares her expertise and passion for the open web with government organizations, educational institutions, and companies ranging from small business to Fortune 50.
Glenda is an adviser and co-founder of AccessU, and serves as the lead judge for AIR (Accessibility Internet Rally). She spent over a decade as a senior developer at the University of Texas at Austin, where she helped support the university’s central web site and worked as an accessibility expert and web standards evangelist along with her mentor and hero, Dr. John Slatin.
Glenda co-authored the white paper “A11Y Wars: The Accessibility Interpretation Problem” with the amazing Wilco Fiers. Glenda is an active member of the IAAP Global Leadership Council.
Jeanne Spellman is currently contracting for Tetralogical and occasionally for The Paciello Group (TPG), as a Senior Accessibility Engineer. She is phasing into retirement. Jeanne is a co-facilitator of the Silver Task Force of the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and a co-chair of the Silver Community Group. Silver is a project of the W3C Accessibility Guidelines Working Group to develop the next major version of WCAG. Jeanne worked for the W3C from 2008-2015 as Web Accessibility Engineer. She was the team contact for the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines Working Group, the Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines Working Group and the Mobile Accessibility Task Force. Prior to joining W3C, Jeanne worked as an independent web developer and accessibility consultant. Jeanne has developed accessible web sites and has evaluated web pages for accessibility in a variety of technologies. Jeanne has worked with major corporations to develop and train designers, developers, quality assurance engineers and project managers in accessibility techniques.
Jeff Wissel is the Co-Lead of the Fidelity Office of Customer Accessibility at Fidelity Investments. Fidelity is a leading provider of investment management, retirement planning, portfolio guidance, brokerage, benefits outsourcing and other financial products and services to more than 20 million individuals, institutions and financial intermediaries.
In this role, Jeff works to optimize interactions with customers who have disabilities by ensuring that accessibility becomes a design principal in everything we do at Fidelity. In addition, Jeff is the founder of the Fidelity Enable Employee Resource Group for associates affected by disabilities.
Jeff is a Certified Financial Planner and holds the ADA Title II Coordinator certification. Prior to leading the Office of Customer Accessibility Jeff served Fidelity clients for 23 years in various financial planning roles.
Jeff earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Communications and Business from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Jeff Witt is currently the Accessibility Specialist for edX. In previous roles he was a Program Manager for accessibility issues at Microsoft, an independent user experience researcher, a Director of Technology Product Development at the National Federation of the Blind, and an Accessibility Analyst (contract) for Fidelity Investments.