Speakers (2012)

Ronald G. Marlow. Ron is Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s administration’s Assistant Secretary for Access and Opportunity. His office is concerned with organizing state government to identify, understand, and act upon structural impediments that inhibit the equitable inclusion of various individuals within the fabric of the state’s social and economic mainstream. In short, Access and Opportunities is about opening doors and removing barriers.

Derek Featherstone. Derek is an internationally-known speaker and authority on accessibility and web development. He is the lead of Simply Accessible Inc., a leading firm that delivers insightful and creative accessibility consulting to Fortune 500 corporations, educational institutions, public utilities, government agencies, and other private sector clients.

Derek has a reputation for inspiring and exciting audiences with practical demonstrations and techniques for making web sites and applications easier for everyone to use.

CJ Johnson. CJ is one of the founders of 3Play Media, which provides premium closed captioning and transcription services that make video accessible for Section 508 and Americans with Disabilities Act.

Denis Boudreau. A pragmatic, Montreal-based web accessibility consultant working remotely for Deque Systems, Denis is chairman of Cooperative AccessibilitéWeb, co-editor of the Quebec government accessibility standards and W3C invited expert in various working groups, including Education and Outreach (EOWG) and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG). He has been advocating social inclusion on the Web since 2001 and tweets accessibility related stuff at @dboudreau.

Dennis Lembree. Dennis has over 12 years experience in web development. He’s worked for a variety of large companies and startups including Ford, Disney, and now PayPal. He’s presented at conferences such as Access U, CSUN, and AHG, and has written several articles for DesignFestival.com. Personal projects include EasyChirp.com (award-winning web-accessible Twitter app) and WebAxe.blogspot.com (blog/podcast on web accessibility).

Eleanor Robinson. A former Marine officer, Eleanor has had a varied career. She was one of the opening faculty members at Schenectady County Community College, teaching biology and nursing-related courses. She then worked for the State of New Hampshire Health and Human Services department doing health risk assessment, working on health planning for the Seabrook nuclear power plant, and finally running the Bureau of Health Facilities Administration that licenses and certifies all the health care facilities in New Hampshire. On leaving that position, she was a consultant with Landmark Health Solutions, a health care provider organization. When an opportunity to work with some friends developing computer games that are accessible to disabled gamers emerged, she jumped in with both feet.

Elle Waters. In the daylight hours, Elle works as a web accessibility evangelist as Digital Standards Manager at Humana, a Fortune 100 company and leader in the health and wellness industry. She focuses on accessibility implementation strategies in design, development, and process teams across the enterprise. When the sun sets, she participates as a member of the Accessibility Camp movement. Deeply committed to providing a universally accessible experience for all users wherever she can have the most impact, she believes that there is no greater reward than if a website acts as a doorway where there was once a wall. She has worked within the fields of social justice and web content for over 15 years to promote equality on the web. When not looking to start a revolution, Elle enjoys virtual worlds, zombie lore, and video games.

Franck Dernoncourt. As a PhD student in computer science at MIT, Franck carries out research in artificial intelligence with a focus on optimization through evolutionary computation. Seeking to optimize everything he touches—including the tools he uses to perform the optimizations—he wants to replace the traditional mouse+keyboard setup which he finds rather inefficient and unhealthy. Natural user interfaces provide an interesting solution and turn out to combine well efficiency, health, and accessibility.

Johnny Richardson. Johnny is a games and web media developer and consultant based in Boston, MA, and the Director of Industry Outreach for The AbleGamers Foundation. He is also currently a full-time developer at experiential marketing agency Jack Morton Worldwide, where he builds branded online/social media and game experiences for a wide range of clientele. Having worked on many sides and in every stage of the development pipeline, Johnny specializes in creating accessible software and games. He continues to work independently with small, indie developers and major publishers alike on issues related to accessibility – from broad conceptual methods right down to nuts-and-bolts engineering. He is also highly interested in the continuing diversification of game audiences and the development workforce, games as tools for social change, and industry quality of life.

Karl Groves. With a wide array of experiences involving the development and management of web sites and web based applications, Karl has done it all–from design, production, and programming to consulting, management of development teams and projects and managing the e-commerce efforts of a site which handled $4,000,000 in volume per month. Karl has provided accessibility and usability evaluation, consulting, and remediation work for everyone from Fortune 50 companies to some of the largest federal government agencies and private sector software vendors in the world.

Mark Sadecki. Mark is a Web Accessibility Consultant and Webmaster at The Carroll Center for the Blind who has been building accessible web interfaces for more than a dozen years. While he loves the meticulous nature of evaluating other peoples’ code, he enjoys training web developers on the nuances of accessible web development the most.

Sina Bahram. Sina is an accessibility researcher and doctoral candidate in the Department of Computer Science at North Carolina State University. His field of research is Human Computer Interaction (HCI) with a focus on the use of innovative environments and multi-modal approaches to facilitate eyes-free exploration of highly graphical information. Combining artificial intelligence, intelligent user interfaces, and HCI, Sina devises innovative and user-centered solutions to difficult real-world problems. In 2012, Sina was recognized as one of President Barack Obama’s Champions of Change for his work in enabling users with disabilities to succeed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields. You can read more about Sina and his research on his website, www.SinaBahram.com, or follow him on Twitter at @SinaBahram

Tole Khesin. Tole is one of the owners of 3Play Media, which provides premium closed captioning and transcription services that make video accessible for Section 508 and American with Disabilities Act.