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Interagency Accessibility Forum (IAAF) Speaker and Presenter Biographies - 2020

Annual Interagency Accessibility Forum. October 6 & 7, 2020. Enabling Missions through Accessible Technology - Leave No One Behind. Seals of the GSA, U.S. Census, and CIO Council.

A Section | B Section | C Section | D Section | E Section | F Section | G Section | H Section | J Section | K Section | L Section | M Section | N Section | P Section | R Section | S Section | T Section | U Section | V Section | W Section | Z Section

A

Brooke Aiken

Brooke Aiken

Section 508 Program Manager
Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC)

Brooke Aiken joined the FDIC in August 2019 as the FDIC’s first full-time Section 508 Program Manager.

Brooke began her federal government career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), where she served for 13 years as a federal employee and two years as a contractor. During her time at CBP, she developed an interest in Section 508 Compliance and was able to research and learn about the law and its mandate. Through her persistence, Brooke educated management about the importance of IT accessibility and spearheaded an agency-wide initiative to implement Section 508 compliance.

Brooke assisted in the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Accessible Systems and Technology, which employs 22 staff members dedicated to Section 508 compliance.

During her time with CBP, Brooke served a six-month detail with the Executive Office of the President, where she established a framework for a Chief Accessibility Officer to ensure Section 508 compliance is mandatory within the Executive Office of the President.

Brooke was also selected to detail at the General Services Administration (GSA), Government-wide IT Accessibility Program. She provided guidance and assistance with Section 508 procurement review language and accessibility platforms during her time at GSA.

Currently, Brooke serves as the co-education chair for the federal-wide Accessibility Community of Practice. She is involved in the FDIC’s CAN DO Network and was recently selected as a member of the FDIC Chairman’s Diversity Advisory Council.

Brooke holds a Bachelor’s degree in Human Environmental Services from the University of Alabama.

Moderator: Welcome to Section 508 (for new members)


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Stephanie Barrett

Stephanie Barrett

Director of Policy, Product Regulatory
Information Technology Industry Council (ITIC)

Stephanie Barrett serves as Director of Policy, Product Regulatory at the Information Technology Industry Council (ITI). In this role, she co-leads ITI’s Accessibility Committee, which actively promotes international alignment of ICT procurement policies, technical requirements, and conformity assessment to create a seamless global approach to addressing the technology needs of people with disabilities and age-related limitations. Stephanie’s prior experience includes years working with industry and government agencies on compliance issues in the EU. Prior to her stint in the EU, Stephanie worked with a major international consulting firm on a variety of Federal US contracts on which she managed projects, budgets, and diverse project teams to ensure that agency needs were met on time and within allocated resources.

Panelist: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Throughout the Acquisition Lifecycle


Jocelyn Blakely-Hill

Jocelyn Blakely-Hill

Computer Internet Specialist
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)

Ms. Jocelyn Blakely-Hill is a Computer Internet Specialist in the Office of Innovation and Digital Engagement at the National Archives and Records Administration. She has more than 20 years of progressively responsible experience in the field of information technology and web development with a special emphasis on web accessibility and usability. Previous to this, Jocelyn held various positions as Sr. Systems Analyst, Computer Training Specialist, and Information Analyst at various U.S. federal government agencies. As one of the Section 508 Coordinators for the National Archives and Records Administration Jocelyn has helped drive and execute many of the agency’s accessibility initiatives and strategy shifts. Jocelyn holds Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Maryland and an MBA from Central Michigan University. She is an active member of the Section 508 Accessibility Professionals, HTML Writers Guild, DC Web Women, World Organization of Webmasters, and Toastmasters.

Panelist: Welcome to Section 508 (for new members)


Toni Bonitto

Toni Bonitto

Innovation Specialist
General Services Administration (GSA)

A native New Yorker, Toni spent most of her tech career in New York, New Jersey, and Florida in the private and nonprofit sectors. She currently serves as an Innovation Specialist in the Technology Transformation Services (TTS) at GSA's headquarters in DC. Her main role is as Digital.gov’s Content Lead and Editor where she writes articles and resource guides, and recruits and manages rotations of volunteer content writers via the Open Opportunities program and Communities of Practice. She also provides front-end development, social media, email marketing, analytics reporting, and customer service for the program. Toni is also a member of the TTS Digital Council and its Review Team, is a Level I Contracting Officer’s Representative (COR), has certifications in both Email Marketing and Social Media, and recently completed a year-plus term as the co-lead for the TTS Accessibility Guild, which included contributing to the development and teaching of an Accessibility 101 course as part of onboarding requirements for new hires.

Panelist: Mobile Accessibility: Now and the Future


Paula Briscoe, PhD

Paula Briscoe, PhD

Deputy Director, Intelligence Community Equal Employment and Diversity
Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI)

Dr. Briscoe joined the Intelligence Community Equal Employment Opportunity Office (IC EEOD) in March 2020 as the Deputy to oversee the implementation of IC equal employment opportunity and diversity strategic objectives. Prior to her assignment at IC EEOD, Dr. Briscoe served as the Senior Advisor to the ODNI (Office of the Director of National Intelligence) Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center. Dr. Briscoe was appointed to the Senior National Intelligence Service in October 2007, serving in various assignments to include: Director, Engagement and Policy and Senior Inter-Asian Strategist at NSA Hawaii - Joint Duty; Deputy National Intelligence Manager South Asia; National Intelligence Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations; Group Chief, Priorities and Assessments and National Intelligence Priorities Framework Manager; Assistant Deputy Director of National Intelligence for Open Source; and Senior Advisor for Document and Media Exploitation.

From 2000 to 2007 Dr. Briscoe served at the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in various assignments including as Chief, Policy Office, National Media Exploitation Center. While at DIA, Dr. Briscoe deployed to Qatar serving multiple tours as the Deputy Director and the J2, Combined Media Processing Center, Camp As Sayliyah. Prior to the deployment, Dr. Briscoe served on the Joint Staff as the Senior Intelligence Analyst (SIA), Europe, and SIA Russia and Eurasia, in the Crisis Management Division.

Dr. Briscoe is a recipient of the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Senior Executive, National Intelligence Community Superior Service Medal, multiple ODNI Superior Performance Awards, Department of Defense Meritorious Civilian Medal, DIA Civilian Expeditionary Medal, Department of Defense Outstanding Employee of the Year with a Disability Award, DIA Employee of the Year with a Disability, and several additional individual and unit awards.

Dr. Briscoe received a Ph.D. in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, and B.Sc. in Political Science from Frostburg State University. She lives in Arlington, Virginia, enjoys sailing, running, and traveling to SCUBA dive, and is active in ocean conservation and other charitable work.

Speaker: Keynote Address

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Hilary Clark

Hilary Clark

Community Involvement Coordinator, Region 9
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Hilary Clark started as a Community Involvement Coordinator with Region 9 EPA on March 1, 2020. Prior to working at EPA, she served as an Interpretation Park Ranger with the National Park Service at national monuments, seashores, and preserves in the Southwest and on the East Coast. She enjoys hiking, running, playing tennis, and is passionate about protecting wildlife and wild places.

Panelist: CoVID-19 Creates the Case for 508 Compliance and Best Practices


Darryl Cooper

Darryl Cooper

Attorney Advisor
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Darryl Cooper is an Attorney Advisor in the Disability Rights Office of the Federal Communications Commission. Darryl joined the FCC after the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996. In various capacities, he has worked on issues involving cable mergers, broadband Internet access, Voice over Internet Protocol, IP-Enabled Services, Communications Law Enforcement Act, the Emergency Alert System, Wireless Emergency Alerts, public safety wireless communications, consumer protection for the Telecommunications Relay Services fund, and disability access to new technologies. Darryl received a B.A. from Davidson College and a J.D. from Emory University. Darryl clerked for the Honorable James C. Hill, United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Panelist: 10th anniversary of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)


Tim Creagan

Tim Creagan

Senior Accessibility Specialist/Information Technology
U.S. Access Board

Mr. Creagan is a senior accessibility specialist with the U.S. Access Board. The U.S. Access Board is a federal agency that promotes equality for people with disabilities through leadership in accessible design and the development of accessibility guidelines and standards for the built environment, transportation, communication, medical diagnostic equipment, and information technology.

Mr. Creagan is co-chair of the Education subcommittee of the Accessibility Community of Practice of the Chief Information Officers’ Council. He currently serves on the Disability Advisory Committee of the Federal Communications Commission.

Mr. Creagan provides technical assistance and training on the Revised Section 508 Standards and the Revised Section 255 Guidelines, and he frequently presents on accessible electronic and information technology and telecommunications.

Mr. Creagan joined the U.S. Access Board in 2006 to lead the team revising the Board’s existing standards and guidelines for electronic and communication technologies. He served as the Designated Federal Official (DFO) for the Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee (TEITAC). He was a member of the team that developed the revised accessibility standards for information and communication technology (ICT) under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act and the revised accessibility guidelines under Section 255 of the Communications Act, published in 2017.

He was formerly the Director of Consumer Training for the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center (ITTATC) and before that he was the Director of Public Policy for Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) (formerly SHHH). Before joining HLAA, Mr. Creagan was a litigator in the courts of D.C. and Maryland.

Mr. Creagan received his J.D. from the Catholic University of America, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Notre Dame.

Panelist: Revised Section 508 and the Federal Acquisition Regulations - The Final Rule (FAR Case)


Pierce Crowell

Pierce Crowell

Section 508 Program Manager
Social Security Administration (SSA)

Pierce Crowell is the Section 508 Program Manager for the Social Security Administration. In this capacity, Mr. Crowell oversees Section 508 policies, governance, training, 508 procurement processes, and a group of accomplished accessibility testers providing services to authors and developers throughout the SSA. Pierce is also active in inter-agency efforts to address the Section 508 standards refresh, on how to modernize accessibility design and development, and his team developed and released the ANDI 508 testing tool to the open source community on GitHub.

Panelist: Agencies Approaches to Accessibility throughout the Acquisition Life Cycle


Bill Curtis-Davidson, MS

Bill Curtis-Davidson, MS

Senior Consultant (Federal Contractor), Office of Disability Employment Policy
Department of Labor (DOL)

Mr. Bill Curtis-Davidson is a Senior Consultant on Emerging Tech Accessibility at Wheelhouse Group, supporting the PEAT/FutureWorks initiative at the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. In this role, he works to advance the accessibility of emerging workplace technologies (e.g. extended reality, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles) to increase employment of people with disabilities. To do so, he partners with the disability community and a variety of public and private sector organizations to advocate for and advance the industry adoption of inclusive design and promising practices for technology accessibility.

Moderator: Artificial Intelligence, the Emerging Workplace, and Accessibility for People with Disabilities

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Janet Dhillon

Janet Dhillon

Chair
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Janet Dhillon was sworn in as Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on May 15, 2019. She is the 16th Chair of the EEOC. Dhillon was first nominated by President Donald J. Trump on June 29, 2017 and confirmed on May 8, 2019. Her term will end on July 1, 2022.

Dhillon practiced law in the private sector for over 25 years. Prior to joining the EEOC, Dhillon served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Burlington Stores, Inc. Previously, Ms. Dhillon served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of JC Penney Company, Inc., and before that, as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of US Airways Group, Inc.

Dhillon began her legal career at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she practiced for 13 years. She is a graduate of Occidental College, magna cum laude, and the UCLA School of Law, where she ranked first in her class. A native of California, Dhillon currently lives in Virginia.

Speaker: Keynote Address

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Katherine Eng

Katherine Eng

Senior ICT Accessibility Specialist
U.S. Access Board

Kathy Eng is a Senior ICT Accessibility Specialist with the US Access Board and has worked in the federal accessibility community for over 20 years. Her accessibility career began in assistive technology accommodations with just a sprinkle of Section 508 and has evolved to almost entirely focused on Section 508 in the last 10 years. Kathy collaborates on interagency Section 508 guidance and is the co-chair of the Best Practices subcommittee of the Federal CIO Accessibility Community of Practice. She led the development of the first versions of the ICT Testing Baseline and Trusted Tester and continues to work on these and other efforts to improve accessibility testing.

Panelist: How Program/Project Managers can Integrate Accessibility Testing into Development Operations


Samantha Evans

Samantha Evans

Certification Manager
International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP)

Samantha (Sam) Evans, CAE, MBA, is the Certification Manager at the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), a division of G3ict, where she works with accessibility subject matter experts and professionals around the world to maintain, build and deliver accessibility certification programs. Working within international standards for certification and credentialing, Sam facilitates the work of IAAP and the accessibility community to establish benchmarks of knowledge, skills, and concepts for accessibility professionals. Sam is also an active accessibility and inclusion advocate, active in the association management and credentialing professions. Sam holds an MBA in International Business from Kennesaw State University and has recently earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) credential from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Moderator: Developing Accessibility Talent - A Snapshot of Accessibility Education in the United States

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Ammie Farraj-Feijoo

Ammie Farraj-Feijoo

Implementation Lead for the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act
General Services Administration (GSA)

Ammie Farraj-Feijoo is the Implementation Lead for the 21st Century Integrated Digital Experience Act (21st Century IDEA) in the Technology Transformation Services within GSA. Since 2019, she has led the team that is championing the modernization of federal websites and digital services to include developing and publishing website standards for the U.S. government. Ammie previously served as the Deputy Director for Digital and Information Strategy at the Institute of Library and Museum Services and managed GSA’s Search.gov. She also worked as a librarian for the Congressional Research Service and Advocates for Youth earlier in her career. Ammie has a Master of Library Science from University of Maryland and bachelor’s degree from Penn State University in Sociology. She has received multiple awards for her work including Service to the Citizen, Federal 100, Government Big Data Solutions, and InformationWeek’s Government IT Innovator.

Panelist: Embrace Accessibility and Build It Into Every Decision


David Fern

David Fern

IT Specialist - Technical Lead
Social Security Administration (SSA)

David Fern is a Division Tech at the Social Security Administration in Baltimore, Maryland where he works in the Division of Agile Enterprise Services (DAES) focusing on the quality and testing of SSA applications ensuring that we can all apply for social security benefits online. Additionally, David with Jacob Parcell is Co-Leader of the MobileGov Community of Practice working across agencies to create anytime, anywhere government resources and solutions for today and tomorrow.

Panelist: Mobile Accessibility: Now and the Future


Camara Francis

Camara Francis

Senior Procurement Analyst
General Services Administration (GSA)

Camara Francis is a Senior Procurement Analyst in the FAR Division within the Office of Government-wide Policy/Office of Acquisition Policy. Camara has over 19 years of acquisition experience with various agencies including the Department of the Navy, Department of Homeland Security, and Defense Threat Reduction Agency. She started her career as a Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) intern.

Her experience includes developing agency level acquisition policy, awarding, and overseeing operational contracts. Currently, Camara is the Chair of the FAR Technology Team. She has published several high visibility information technology and supply chain risk management cases, such as, FAR Case 2018-010, Use of Products or Services of Kaspersky Lab, and FAR Case 2018-017, Prohibition on Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment (Section 889). Her experience includes serving as the primary representative to the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council (CAAC) for the Department of Homeland Security and participating in the implementation of several FAR cases as a member of the FAR Implementation Team.

At the Department of the Navy, she negotiated and awarded high visibility contracts for complex submarine technology. She has a broad range of operational contracting experience. She has awarded contracts for Information Technology services, major weapons and Research and Development. She was a team lead at Defense Threat Reduction Agency, where she supported the Research and Development/Nuclear Technology Branch. The contracting workload for this branch consisted of more than a hundred contract/task orders with an aggregate value of more than $500M. Additionally, she maintained a workload of awarding technically complex and politically sensitive cost reimbursable R&D contracts.

Camara earned an MPA from George Mason University, Fairfax, VA, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Princess Anne, MD.

Panelist: Revised Section 508 and the Federal Acquisition Regulations - The Final Rule (FAR Case)


Angie Fuoco

Angie Fuoco

Community Involvement Coordinator
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Angie Fuoco, now a Community Involvement Coordinator in EPA’s San Francisco Office, has worked at four federal agencies over 33 years. She uses her multi-varied experience in public health, safety, environmental protection, and accessibility as a program coordinator and management advisor. She has a Master’s in Public Health, Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering, and certifications as ADA Coordinator, Associate Safety Professional, Hearing Loss Support Specialist, National Consumer Hearing Assistive Technology Trainer, and Competent Toastmaster. Most important, she loves to teach and empower people with disabilities to help them reach or regain their fullest potential at work and in life.

Panelist: CoVID-19 Creates the Case for 508 Compliance and Best Practices


Aaron Franks

Aaron Franks

Director
Accessibility at Shared Services Canada (SSC)

Aaron Frank is the Director, Accessibility at Shared Services Canada (SSC). In this role, Aaron and his team are working to build an accessibility-confident SSC and public service. Their work supports the Government of Canada in building a sustainable, seamless approach to workplace adjustments, and is also helping to transform processes, products, tools, and services to realize a Government that is inclusive by design and accessible by default. Prior to SSC, Aaron worked as Director of Business Improvement Services and of Change Management at two other Government of Canada departments, and in the private sector (IT, telecommunications and investment banking) in Canada and several European countries.

Panelist: Accessibility on an International Scale

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Antoine Garrett

Antoine Garrett

Management Analyst, Section 508 Education Lead
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)

Antoine Garrett is the Section 508 Education Lead with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Antoine has been with CMS since 2011, and brings 20 years of training & development knowledge to his role in accessibility. Antoine believes in helping others overcome obstacles to success, and his efforts in Section 508 Education and Awareness at CMS are an extension of his core beliefs.

Moderator: How Program/Project Managers can Integrate Accessibility Testing into Development Operations


Yvette Gibson

Yvette Gibson

Training & Outreach Director
General Services Administration (GSA)

In January of 2018, Yvette began serving as the Director, Government-wide Accessibility Training & Outreach. In this role, she manages a variety of program responsibilities which include but aren’t limited to: identifying program needs by comparing training material and developing training courses, reviewing training/program implementation plans to assess risk and feasibility, and providing strategic planning decisions on training courses and outreach to meet Section 508 needs. Prior to this she served as the Deputy Program Manager and Operations Manager for the .Gov Internet Domain where she controlled policy promulgation, provided policy administration and oversaw the federal internet backbone for over 10 years.

Panelist: Welcome to Section 508 (for new members)

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Antonio Hailesselassie

Antonio Hailesselassie

IT Accessibility Specialist
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Mr. Antonio Haileselassie is an Information Technology Accessibility Specialist supporting the NASA Solutions for Enterprise Wide Procurement (SEWP) Program and the Section 508 Program at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. With over 15 years in accessibility of information technology experience, Antonio lends his knowledge of IT accessibility and support throughout NASA and to the Section 508 community across the government serving on the CIO Council Accessibility Community of Practice Vendor Outreach Committee. He began his accessibility career as a software developer focused on accessible software design, development, and remediation for the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Guard. He then joined NASA Headquarters as a support contractor where he advanced the Agency’s Section 508 Compliance Program by developing Section 508 testing capabilities, managing NASA’s Section 508 Technical Help Desk, and providing training and guidance across NASA.

Moderator: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Throughout the Acquisition Lifecycle


Thomas Harkin

Thomas Harkin

Former United States Senator (1985 - 2015), and member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Iowa's 5th district (1975 – 1985)

In 1974, Tom Harkin was elected to Congress from Iowa's Fifth Congressional District. In 1984, after serving 10 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, Senator Harkin challenged an incumbent senator and won. Iowans returned him to the Senate in 1990, 1996, 2002, and 2008. He retired from the United States Senate in January 2015.

As a young senator, Tom was tapped by Senator Ted Kennedy to craft legislation to protect the civil rights of millions of Americans with physical and mental disabilities. He knew firsthand about the challenges facing people with disabilities from his late brother, Frank, who was deaf from an early age. What emerged from that process would later become his signature legislative achievement — The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

The legislation changed the landscape of America by requiring buildings and transportation to be wheelchair accessible, and to provide workplace accommodations for people with disabilities. For his ongoing and dedicated work to people with disabilities around the world, Senator Harkin was twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Speaker: Keynote Address


Keith Hays

Keith Hays

IT ADA Coordinator, Office of Access and Equity
University of Illinois

Keith is the new campus ADA IT Coordinator for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. While this role is new, he is no stranger to EIT accessibility. Over the last ten years, he has been a user interface designer and accessibility specialist in the Technology Services unit on campus. While there, Keith played a key role in IT accessibility efforts across the Illinois system; creating educational resources and training opportunities, consulting with units on the accessibility of their websites, working with software vendors to correct accessibility issues, helping craft campus policy, and more. Up until accepting his new role this September, Keith was a co-creator and instructor of the award-winning Information Accessibility Design and Policy professional certificate program, offered by Applied Health Sciences at Illinois; and he works with the Big Ten Academic Alliance CIO IT Accessibility Group to help determine best practices and shared approaches for all of the member institutions. Keith is a recognized subject matter expert in IT accessibility for persons with disabilities, and he brings his eclectic skillset to bear on creating a more inclusive culture on campus.

Moderator: Developing Accessibility Talent - A Snapshot of Accessibility Education in the United States


Michael Horton

Michael Horton

Accessible Design and Development Advisor
General Services Administration (GSA)

Michael Horton is an accessibility and technology professional with over 25 years of experience in website and web-based application development. He is a compliance subject matter expert, DHS Certified Trusted Tester, and advocate who joined the General Services Administration, Office of Government-wide Policy’s IT Accessibility Program in August 2018 as an Accessible Design and Development Advisor supporting agencies in their efforts to ensure independence and the dignity of work for people with disabilities. Prior to joining GSA, Michael served as the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Section 508 Program Manager for eight years, and also enjoyed twelve years with America Online (AOL) as a software/web engineer, partner advocate, online community standards policy and compliance specialist, and creator of member education.

Panelist: How Program/Project Managers can Integrate Accessibility Testing into Development Operations


Yolanda Humphrey

Yolanda Humphrey

Section 508 Program Manager
Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Yolonda is the Program Manager for the IRS Section 508 Program office, known as IRAP (Information Resources Accessibility Program). She has been in the position for about 10 years and in that time has worked relentlessly towards establishing a solid framework to integrate Section 508 as a core IT requirement across the breadth of the IRS’s development/configuration and purchase work streams.

Moderator: Agency Showcase - Smithsonian Institution

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Gretchen Jacobs

Gretchen Jacobs

General Counsel, Executive Director (Acting)
U.S. Access Board

Gretchen Jacobs has over 30 years of experience as a federal litigator and regulatory practitioner, with expertise in disability rights, administrative law, regulatory processes, and cost-benefit analyses. She joined the U.S. Access Board as General Counsel in 2014 and also currently serves as the agency’s Interim Executive Director. As General Counsel, Ms. Jacobs played a key role in the Access Board’s regulatory efforts that culminated in publication of Revised 508 Standards in January 2017.

Prior to coming to the Access Board, Ms. Jacobs served for several years as Research Director at the Administrative Conference of the United States. This followed a distinguished, two-decade career at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). As a trial attorney with DOJ's Disability Rights Section, she litigated enforcement actions under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including as lead counsel in a series of major cases concerning access to stadium-style movie theaters. She also served as a senior regulatory advisor on ADA implementation efforts, where her responsibilities included conducting cost-benefit analyses, advising senior DOJ officials, and representing DOJ in discussions with other federal entities on regulatory matters. She was active in DOJ's development of updated ADA standards, regulatory initiatives concerning Next Generation 9-1-1, and website accessibility. Ms. Jacobs joined the DOJ as an Honors Program trial attorney at the Federal Programs Branch of the Civil Division and served as lead counsel in over 30 federal district and appellate cases nationwide. She received numerous awards throughout her tenure at DOJ, including the Civil Rights Division's highest awards for her leadership on ADA regulations and related cost-benefit analyses.

Earlier in her federal career, Ms. Jacobs served as a law clerk to Judge Warren J. Ferguson of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and as a judicial extern to then-Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg during her term on the District of Columbia Circuit Court. Ms. Jacobs, a native of California, graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles Law School with honors (Order of the Coif) and earned a bachelor's degree in history with highest honors from the University of California at Berkeley.

Panelist: Revised Section 508 and the Federal Acquisition Regulations - The Final Rule (FAR Case)

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Jeff Kline

Jeff Kline

Program Director, Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) Accessibility
Texas Department of Information Resources

Jeff Kline is the author of "Strategic IT Accessibility: Enabling the Organization" and is a recognized subject matter expert in keys areas of IT accessibility that include policy, rulemaking, process integration, procurement and risk mitigation. He currently serves as Program Director of Statewide Electronic and Information Resources (EIR) Accessibility at the Texas Department of Information Resources, and consults on IT accessibility policy matters for federal agencies, NGOs, and accessibility certification bodies. Prior to his current position in public service, Mr. Kline managed IBM's Worldwide Accessibility Consulting and Business Transformation initiatives, and held other management positions in research and product development during his 26 year IBM career including industrial design, operating system UI development, and system usability.

Panelist: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Throughout the Acquisition Lifecycle


Jennifer Kuk

Jennifer Kuk

IT Category Management Specialist
Office of Management and Budget (OMB)

Jennifer Kuk is the IT Category Management Specialist in the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Office of Management and Budget. In this role, Ms. Kuk supports the government-wide IT Category Management activities for the nearly $50 billion in IT spending, including subcategories such as hardware, software, telecommunications, and related goods and services with the goals of improving coordination across federal agencies, streamlining the IT acquisition process, and achieving significant efficiencies and cost savings. Ms. Kuk also supports the implementation of the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform (FITARA), which gives agency Chief Information Officers (CIOs) more authority over the budget, governance, and personnel processes for agency IT investments and provides areas of opportunity for greater collaboration and reduction of duplication.

Ms. Kuk received her Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of California, Los Angeles and Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Panelist: Revised Section 508 and the Federal Acquisition Regulations - The Final Rule (FAR Case)

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Jim Langevin

Jim Langevin

Congressman, U.S. House of Representatives, Rhode Island 2nd Congressional District

Congressman Jim Langevin represents Rhode Island’s Second Congressional District, and is recognized as a leader on national security, cybersecurity, health and disability policy. He is a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, where he is the Chairman of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee, and of the House Committee on Homeland Security.

Langevin was inspired to enter public service by the tremendous outpouring of support he received during the most challenging time of his life, after a gun accident paralyzed him at age 16 and left him a quadriplegic. He is driven by a belief that everyone deserves a fair opportunity to make the most of their talents. He co-founded and co-chairs the House Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, which is dedicated to raising awareness of issues affecting people with disabilities. He is a strong advocate for inclusion and independence for people with disabilities, and helped pass the ADA Amendments Act that strengthened the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Speaker: Keynote Address


Susanna Laurin

Susanna Laurin

Chair, Global Leadership Council
International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP)

Susanna Laurin is the Chair of the Global Leadership Council of the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, IAAP, the Representative to the European Union for the UN initiative G3ict and IAAP, the founder and leader of the first international chapter of IAAP, based in the Nordic countries. Susanna is assigned by the European Commission to lead the expert group supporting the Member States in transposing the Web Accessibility Directive and she is also appointed technical expert in the ETSI Special Task Force 536, responsible for the development of the EN301549. Susanna is the Chief Research and Innovation Officer of Funka, a European based market leading accessibility consultancy. She has been working in the field of digitalisation, inclusion and e-government at senior management level for more than 20 years and she is a frequent international lecturer and debater.

Panelist: Accessibility on an International Scale


Axel Leblois

Axel Leblois

President and Executive Director
Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ICT)

Axel Leblois is the president of G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs, a global advocacy organization founded in 2006 at the initiative of the United Nations Department of Social and Economic Affairs, the IT industry and organizations of persons with disabilities to promote the digital accessibility and assistive technologies dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Prior to leading G3ict, Axel Leblois spent over 20 years at the helm of information technology companies in the United States including as CEO of Computerworld Communications, CEO of IDC - International Data Corporation, Vice-Chairman of IDG - International Data Group, President of Bull HN Worldwide Information Systems - formerly Honeywell Information Systems, and CEO of ExecuTrain while serving on the board of several publicly traded technology companies.

In his capacity as President of G3ict, Axel oversees global advocacy and capacity building programs including through its division, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), through the M-Enabling Summit series in the U.S. and Europe, the e-Accessibility Policy Toolkit for Persons with Disabilities jointly with the ITU, SmartCities4All, GAATES, Access to Justice and the DARE Index – Digital Accessibility Rights Evaluation Index – covering 130 countries in cooperation with Disabled People’s International.

Moderator: Accessibility on an International Scale

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Lawrence Malakhoff

Lawrence Malakhoff

IT Specialist
U.S. Census Bureau

In 2001, Mr. Malakhoff began working on Section 508 issues when it became a Federal law. As part of usability testing, he tested and documented accessibility problems in Web surveys, E-Learning courses, Web applications, Desktop applications, PDF and MS-Word documents based on requests from many Census Bureau Program areas. He also worked to identify accessibility issues with 2010 and 2020 Census Web applications.

Moderator: Agencies Approaches to Accessibility throughout the Acquisition Life Cycle


Rayvn Manuel

Rayvn Manuel

Senior Application Developer/Architect and Lead DevOps Engineer
National Museum of African American History & Culture

Rayvn serves as the Senior Application Developer/Architect and Lead DevOps Engineer for the National Museum of African American History and Culture’s [NMAAHC’s] within the Digital Media group. She is the principal programmer responsible for the planning, design and implementation of some of the web-based interactives developed by the museum.

As the DevOps team lead, Rayvn is responsible for defining the standards, workflows and recommending the appropriate tools which NMAAHC’s development teams adopt/adapt to produce the museum’s digital products and serves as the primary administrator of the agency’s cloud-based resources.

Along with advising leadership about the state of App Development & DevOps best practices and tools, Rayvn is responsible for ensuring that the unit’s digital products are developed and delivered in compliance with established dev/op guidelines as well as unit-level and OCIO security protocols.

Moderator: Agency Showcase - Smithsonian Institution


Rhonda Moore, PhD

Rhonda Moore, PhD

Medical Anthropologist, Behavioral Scientist, and Fellow, Ethical AI, Food and Drug Administration
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Dr. Rhonda Moore is a Medical Anthropologist and Social Scientist working at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In that role, Dr. Moore serves as a social science reviewer performing reviews of consumer and clinical studies and research. Part of her current research focuses on the socio-technical and ethical implications of artificial intelligence (AI). For example, she examines how to use AI and machine learning to understand treatment differences in breast cancers and computational ethnography as a method to extend participatory approaches to better understand AI fairness for pain and disability use cases, etc.

Panelist: Artificial Intelligence, the Emerging Workplace, and Accessibility for People with Disabilities

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Andrew Nielson

Andrew Nielson

ICT Accessibility Subject Matter Expert
General Services Administration (GSA)

Andrew is an expert in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility. He is a co-organizer of the annual ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium and continues to serve as a member of its event committee. The Symposium brings together other experts from around the world in the field of ICT accessibility testing to exchange academic analysis of current ICT accessibility testing issues and explore approaches to improve accessibility testing practices. He is a principal co-author of the current version of the Harmonized Processes for Revised Section 508: Baseline Tests for Web Accessibility (aka the “ICT Baseline”). Andrew was also the coordinator and facilitator of the inter-agency team of experts that developed both the Baseline and the current version of the “Trusted Tester” accessibility testing process, which is recognized across the federal government as the gold standard for accessibility testing.

Panelist: How Program/Project Managers can Integrate Accessibility Testing into Development Operations

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Shannon Paschel

Shannon Paschel

Program Manager, Information Technology Accessibility
Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA)

Mrs. Paschel has served as DIA’s Information Technology Accessibility Program Manager since 2019. This position includes establishing and leading DIA’s IT accessibility program and serving as the Intelligence Community (IC) champion for improving information technology accessibility in the IC. Prior to this position, Mrs. Paschel served two years as DIA’s Deputy Chief Data Officer, and prior to that, served as an intelligence analyst for the FBI’s, Senior National Intelligence Officer for Intelligence Community Engagement, Bureau Intelligence Council. Mrs. Paschel has held and led various programs within DIA and the IC over her 13 years in the federal government.

Panelist: Welcome to Section 508 (for new members)


David Peters

David Peters

Chief of the Applications Development and Services Division, Office of the Chief Information Officer
U.S. Census Bureau

Speaker: Wrap-up and Thank You


Daniel Pomeroy

Daniel Pomeroy

Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Information Integrity and Access
General Services Administration (GSA)

Dan Pomeroy currently serves as the Deputy Associate Administrator in the Office of Information Integrity and Access at the General Services Administration (GSA). Dan’s work in this capacity is focused on enabling Federal CIOs to deliver world-class information technology (IT) services across government, particularly in the areas of emerging technology, accessibility, identity credentialing, improving digital services, IT infrastructure modernization, and IT capital planning. Dan Pomeroy has recently served as the first Director of the Infrastructure Optimization Center of Excellence under the White House Office of American Innovation, and as the Director of GSA’s Data Center and Cloud Optimization Initiative (DCCOI) Managing Partner PMO. Dan is a native of Las Vegas, Nevada.

Dan possesses a Masters in Public Service and Administration from Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University, a Master of Science of Government Information Leadership from the National Defense University, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Political Science from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Moderator: Revised Section 508 and the Federal Acquisition Regulations - The Final Rule (FAR Case)


Vinodkumar Prabhakaran

Vinodkumar Prabhakaran, PhD

Research Scientist
Google

Dr. Vinodkumar Prabhakaran is a Research Scientist at Google working on issues around ethics, fairness, and transparency in machine learning and natural language processing. Prior to joining Google, he was a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford University, and attained his PhD in computer science at Columbia University. His prior research focused on building scalable ways to identify and address large-scale societal issues, such as racial disparities in policing, workplace incivility, and online abuse. He served as a Diversity and Inclusion co-chair for the Association for Computational Linguistics' 2020 Conference.

Panelist: Artificial Intelligence, the Emerging Workplace, and Accessibility for People with Disabilities


Cheryl Pruitt

Cheryl Pruitt

Director of the Accessible Technology Initiative
California State University

Cheryl is the Director of the Accessible Technology Initiative (ATI) for the California State University (CSU) System. She leads the ATI implementation across the CSU 23 campus system. Cheryl has been involved with the ATI since its inception in 2007, first at the campus level, then at the system-wide level. Under her leadership the system has made significant progress towards implementing ATI process improvement in the areas of web accessibility, accessible procurement, and accessible instructional materials. She is currently managing several projects that are moving the initiative forward. They include: implementation of CSU Accessible Procurement Process; ATI reporting processes to measure the systemwide progress towards the ATI goals; creation of synergy projects resulting in system-wide shared services that are delivering cost savings; and a high level of cross-campus collaboration through the ATI Communities of Practice. Cheryl can be contacted at cpruitt@calstate.edu.

Moderator: Developing Accessibility Talent - A Snapshot of Accessibility Education in the United States

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Scott Robertson, PhD

Scott Robertson, PhD

Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Disability Employment Policy
Department of Labor (DOL)

Dr. Scott Michael Robertson is a Senior Policy Advisor on the Employment-Related Supports (ERS) Policy Team in the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). He spearheads the ERS Team's engagement on ODEP's $2 million Apprenticeship Inclusion Models (AIM) initiative to expand access to career pathways in information technology, healthcare, and advanced manufacturing. Dr. Robertson advises ODEP's $1.5 million FutureWorks initiative as a subject matter expert on accessible emerging technology, including artificial intelligence (AI). He also drives ODEP's activities to enhance national autism policy, support neurodiversity in the workplace, and increase access to gainful employment for people on the autism spectrum. Before joining DOL, Dr. Robertson served as the Founding Vice President of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), a national nonprofit organization based in Washington, DC. He then served as a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Fellow in the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP). He completed his PhD in information sciences and technology at Penn State University and his master's degree in human-computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University.

Panelist: Artificial Intelligence, the Emerging Workplace, and Accessibility for People with Disabilities


Avis Ryan

Avis Ryan

Program Analyst
General Services Administration (GSA)

Avis is a Program Analyst for the Office of Government-wide Policy and GSA. Avis has worked at GSA for a long time. She started out as a summer intern and worked her way up in lateral positions. Avis worked on projects within OGP to help her improve and excel in challenging areas. Her background is budgeting, contracting and administrative duties. She presently serves as Assistant to the Director, for Training Outreach on the IT Accessibility team, manages the CRM, and serves as as a Contracting Officer Representative.

Moderator: Embrace Accessibility and Build It Into Every Decision

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Jessica Salmoiraghi

Jessica Salmoiraghi,

Chief Acquisition Officer & Associate Administrator, Office of Government-wide Policy
General Services Administration (GSA)

Jessica Salmoiraghi serves as the Chief Acquisition Officer of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA). Jessica began her GSA service in April 2018 as the Associate Administrator of GSA’s Office of Governmentwide-Policy.

Jessica comes to GSA from the American Council of Engineering Companies, where she served as Director of Federal Agencies and International Programs. As Director, she focused on federal and international procurement issues that affected engineering firms. Previously, Jessica served as the Director, Federal Relations and Counsel at the American Institute of Architects where she drove the Institute’s advocacy and outreach efforts before the executive and legislative branches of the federal government. She also led activities focused on improving federal contracting for small, medium and large businesses.

Jessica received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and her Juris Doctor from Catholic University.

Speaker: Welcome (Day 1)


Will Schell

Will Schell

Designated Federal Officer (DFO) for the Committee, Disability Rights Office
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Will Schell serves as an Attorney Advisor at the Disability Rights Office of the Federal Communications Commission where he assists in the consumer complaint process; drafts various guidance and orders; and engages in outreach with the disability community, among other efforts. Will also serves as the Designated Federal Officer of the Commission’s Disability Advisory Council, which provides advice and recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability issues within the FCC’s jurisdiction. Prior to working at the Disability Rights Office, Will was a Civil Rights Analyst at the Office for Civil Rights in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services where he provided assistance and guidance on regional Olmstead cases; reviewed proposed regulations and other clearance documents; and coordinated systemic Olmstead compliance reviews. Will has also served as a staff attorney at Disability Rights California, California’s Protection and Advocacy agency where he represented students in special education hearings and participated in Olmstead class action cases in various stages of litigation.

Panelist: 10th anniversary of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)


Reynold Schweickhardt

Reynold Schweickhardt

Senior Advisor for Technology, Office of the Administrator
General Services Administration (GSA)

Reynold Schweickhardt comes to GSA from the U.S. House of Representatives where he had served as the Director of Technology Policy since 2011, providing oversight on all House IT programs and leading many cross-organizational initiatives. Previously, he had served at the U.S. Government Printing Office as the Chief Technology Officer, Chief Information Officer, and acting Chief of Staff.

Moderator: Keynote Address


Siddhartha Sharma

Siddhartha Sharma

Section 508 Program Manager
Department of the Interior (DOI)

Serves as the Department of the Interior’s Section 508 Program Manager. As Interior's Section 508 Program Manager, he manages and oversees the implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and ensures all IT products and services developed, procured, maintained and used by Interior are accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Moderator: Mobile Accessibility: Now and the Future


Suzy Rosen Singleton

Suzy Rosen Singleton

Chief, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

Suzy Rosen Singleton, a native user of American Sign Language, is the Chief of the Disability Rights Office of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Since 2016, she has overseen rulemaking proceedings and stakeholder activities to ensure accessible emergency communications, modern communication technologies, and video programming for millions of individuals with disabilities. Since 1992, her disability policy expertise has involved work as a litigator for the California Center for Law and the Deaf, government affairs counsel of the National Association of the Deaf, special education law compliance officer of the U.S. Department of Education, the ombuds of Gallaudet University, and an attorney with the FCC. Suzy is a member of the bar of the District of Columbia and holds a Juris Doctor from the UCLA School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Panelist: 10th anniversary of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)


Betsy Sirk

Betsy Sirk

Information Technology Program Manager at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Ms. Betsy Sirk is an Information Technology and Section 508 Program Manager for NASA with over 35 years of leadership experience in program, project, technical, and acquisition/contract management focused on implementing IT-based solutions to support NASA's mission and the Federal Government. She is the Information and Communication Technology Accessibility Program Manager for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, the Chairperson of NASA’s Agency Section 508 Program Managers Working Group, and the Co-Chairperson of the Chief Information Officer Council Accessibility Community of Practice Industry Outreach Program.

Ms. Sirk is a leading expert in developing and acquiring accessible technology and has presented to diverse audiences in multiple venues. Ms. Sirk also leads government-wide strategic sourcing efforts for workstations and mobility solutions as the Strategic Sourcing Program Manager from the NASA Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement (SEWP) Program. Ms. Sirk has received numerous NASA and federal awards for program management and leadership. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Maryland with a Bachelors degree in Psychology and holds a Masters Degree with Distinction in Computer Science and Management Information Systems from the George Washington University.

Panelist: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Throughout the Acquisition Lifecycle


Kevin Smith

Kevin Smith

Chief Information Officer
U.S. Census Bureau

Kevin Smith is the U.S. Census Bureau’s chief information officer. He joined the Census Bureau in June 2016 and serves as the principal advisor to the director and deputy director on information resources and information systems management.

Smith leads the Census Bureau’s information technology program in providing business value by delivering enterprise technology services in collaboration with all the survey and program areas. Smith is focused on enabling new ways for the Census Bureau to do its work through evolving technology services for data collection, analytics, processing, and dissemination.

Prior to joining the U.S. Census Bureau, Smith worked in the public sector for the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

He led the USPTO as the deputy chief information officer and the chief information security officer. He guided the transformation of the USPTO’s technology and IT culture into a high-performing and secure DevOps service provider. This allowed the organization to be more agile in technology development and more customer-centric in delivery.

As a federal contractor for the IRS, Smith directed the development and implementation of an innovative strategy and planning system that corrected IT problems while modernizing technology infrastructure and balancing financial, risk, and technology pressures.

Outside the federal government in the private sector, Smith has experience in the Fortune 100/500 space in technology consulting, research and development, sales, and operations. He helped stabilize technology in financial and manufacturing organizations, as well as develop first-of-their kind solutions to resolve new problems facing the media, entertainment, broadcasting, and life sciences industries as they transitioned into the digital age.

Smith has a bachelor of science degree in computer engineering from the University of Florida.

Speaker: Welcome (Day 2)


Willie Smith

Willie Smith

Senior Procurement Executive
Department of Transportation (DOT)

In October 2010, Willie H. Smith officially assumed the responsibilities of Senior Procurement Executive for the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). He is the official responsible for the management direction of all DOT procurement systems and programs. His responsibilities encompass implementation of the full range of procurement policies, regulations, and standards applicable to the Department.

Prior to this assignment, Willie served as Director, Office of Acquisition Management for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). He was responsible for overseeing the full range of greater than one billion dollars of annual procurement services performed by the Office of Acquisition Management, including the development of FHWA procurement policy, planning and procurement programs, the recruitment and development of potential contracting sources, and the provision of the supply items required for the daily operation of the FHWA technical offices.

Before assuming the above assignment, Willie served as a Senior Program Analyst in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics. In this capacity, he provided acquisition management oversight for Major Defense Acquisition Programs for the Departments of Air Force, Army, and Navy. He facilitated policy development and ensured the successful planning and integration of cost, schedule, and technical aspects of acquisition programs by promoting coordination, integration and mutual understanding within the Department of Defense (DoD), between Defense agencies and other federal agencies, and with international cooperative programs and allied nations.

Just prior to his position with the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, Willie served as Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Air Programs. He provided recommendations and guidance in the evaluation of the politics, institutions, and actors involved in the agenda-setting, formulation, and implementation of Navy and DoD acquisition, procurement policy, and budget.

In addition to the aforementioned, Willie has served in an assortment of other leadership capacities within the Navy including Deputy Program Manager for the Navy’s Defense Suppressions Systems Program office, Acquisition Deputy to the Program Executive Officer for Tactical Aircraft programs, Operations Officer for the F/A-18 E/F program, and Program Manager for the $3 billion Finland F/A-18 Foreign Military Sales program.

Willie is a graduate of Fayetteville State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management. He holds two Masters degrees; a Master of Public Administration degree with concentrations in Financial Management and Government Contracting; and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy. Willie also holds a Doctorate of Management and Organizational Leadership.

He has received numerous performance and honor awards including the FHWA Administrator’s Award for Superior Achievement, the Navy’s Civilian Meritorious Service award, the Secretary of the Navy’s Acquisition Reform award, and the Department of Defense Acquisition Excellence Award.

Panelist: Revised Section 508 and the Federal Acquisition Regulations - The Final Rule (FAR Case)


John Sullivan

John Sullivan

Director, Government-wide IT Accessibility Program
General Services Administration (GSA)

John Sullivan is the Director of the Government-wide Digital Strategies team within GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy, which includes serving as the Director of the Government-wide IT Accessibility Program. In this capacity, John leads the effort to provide technical assistance to federal agencies for implementing Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. In addition to accessibility, John oversees the DotGov Domain Registration Program for all levels of government and recently oversaw the federal Data Center and Cloud Strategy Optimization Initiative. John has 32 years of public service spanning the Environmental Protection Agency, the Office of Management and Budget, and the General Services Administration, spending many years building enterprise architecture programs, information integration, data standards, and geospatial information initiatives at the agency, inter-agency, and inter-governmental levels.

Panelist: Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility Throughout the Acquisition Lifecycle

Speaker: Wrap-up and Thank You

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James Thurston

James Thurston

Vice President for Global Strategy and Development
Global Initiative for Inclusive ICTs (G3ICT)

James Thurston is an international technology policy leader. As G3ict’s Vice President for Global Strategy and Development, he leads the design and implementation of new worldwide advocacy strategies and programs to scale up G3ict’s global impact. He has experience applying both technology and public policy to important social and economic challenges. He has led efforts ranging from using technology to promote the inclusion and human rights of people with disabilities around the world to using technology to increase the economic competitiveness of aging industrial centers in the United States. He has broad policy and management experience in both the private and public sectors and at the federal, state, and international levels of government. Prior to joining G3ict, Mr. Thurston was Director of International Accessibility Policy at Microsoft, where he developed and executed a worldwide strategy to expand the company’s outreach on disability and technology issues to governments and NGOs around the world. He has also served as a standards leader for an international technology industry association, an economic and technology advisor to a U.S. senator and vice presidential candidate, and a senior manager for a national technology and economic development initiative of the U.S. government. Mr. Thurston holds both a Master of Public Administration and an M.A. in East European Studies from the University of Washington, as well as a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Maine.

Panelist: Accessibility on an International Scale


Cammie Truesdell

Cammie Truesdell

OS Section 508 Program Manager
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Cammie has worked in the accessibility field for over 12 years and has been a part of activities ranging from evaluating compliance, training development, acquisition reviews, project management, and many tasks in between. She also has experience in process development, gathering business requirements, and quality assurance testing. As a relatively new federal employee, Cammie looks forward to collaborating with accessibility connoisseurs internally and externally to benefit her organization’s accessibility program and those throughout the government.

Moderator: CoVID-19 Creates the Case for 508 Compliance and Best Practices

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Mark Urban

Mark Urban

Section 508 Program Manager, and Section 508 Co-Chair at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Mark Urban is the Accessibility Program Manager for the US Centers for Disease Control, and Co-Chair of the US Department of Health and Human Services Section 508 Program.

Panelist: Agencies Approaches to Accessibility throughout the Acquisition Life Cycle

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Gregg Vanderheiden

Gregg Vanderheiden

Professor and Director of the Trace R&D Center
University of Maryland Trace Center

Gregg Vanderheiden is a Professor in the School of Information Studies (iSchool) at the University of Maryland, College Park, and Director of the Trace Research & Development Center at the University of Maryland. Dr. Vanderheiden is the principal investigator of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Information Technology Access, and a co-principal investigator for the RERC on Telecom Access funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Vanderheiden has been working in the area of access to technology for over 47 years. He was a pioneer in the field of Augmentative Communication (a term taken from his writings in 1979). He then worked with the computer industry in getting them to build disability access features directly into their standard products. For example, access features developed by Dr. Vanderheiden and his team have been built into the Apple’s Macintosh OS since 1987, IBM’s OS/2 and the UNIX X Window system since 1993. 9 of the first 10 access features built into Windows 95 (and subsequently 98, NT, 2000, Vista, Windows 7, 8, and 10) were licensed (royalty free) from Dr. Vanderheiden and his team.

With the explosion in information and telecommunication technologies, and their increased importance in employment, education, and daily living, Dr. Vanderheiden and the Trace Center focused on building access into public information technologies. Recent achievements include co-chairing and co-authoring the W3C's Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0, and development of the EZ™ Access techniques for providing cross-disability access in electronic products of all types. He has worked with over 50 companies, and his work is reflected in phones, computers, over 80,000 accessible ATMs, 60,000 Point of Sale terminals, and 20,000+ cross-disability accessible Automated Postal Stations of the USPS, the Amtrak ticket machines, and kiosks in memorials, museums and airline terminals.

Dr. Vanderheiden served on the FCC's Technological Advisory Council, was a member of the Telecommunications Access Advisory committee and the Electronic Information Technology Access Advisory Committee for the US Access Board, and served on the steering committee for the National Research Council's Planning Group on "Every Citizen Interfaces," co-authoring the National Research Councils, More Than Screen Deep Report. He also served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Disability in America, the National Task Force on Technology and Disability, and the National Academies’ IOM committee on the Future of Disability in America. He is a past President of RESNA - the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, and a Founding Fellow of the American Institute of Medical & Biological Engineering (AIMBE).

Moderator: Developing Accessibility Talent - A Snapshot of Accessibility Education in the United States

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David Whittington

David Whittington

Section 508 Subject Matter Expert
U.S. Census Bureau

David Whittington currently works for the US Census Bureau in the Application Development and Services Division (ADSD) as a Section 508 Subject Matter Expert where he helps administer enterprise Section 508 governance and training for the Bureau. Prior to joining the agency, he worked for the Defense Information Systems Agency (DoD-DISA) where he was a Test Director, helping the US military develop, maintain and operate mission critical Information Systems for the warfighter. Before that, he served as a QA Manager for Northrop Grumman where he helped establish Agile development best practices.

Panelist: Agencies Approaches to Accessibility throughout the Acquisition Life Cycle

Moderator: 10th anniversary of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA)


Dan Williams

Dan Williams

Product Lead, U.S. Web Design System
General Services Administration (GSA)

Dan Williams is the Product Lead of the U.S. Web Design System. Previous to working on USWDS, he worked as a designer at 18F, and with both the Harvard Law Library and the Berkman Klein Center For Internet & Society. He lives with his family in Portland, Oregon.

Panelist: Embrace Accessibility and Build It Into Every Decision

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Beth Ziebarth

Beth Ziebarth

Director, Access Smithsonian
Smithsonian Institute

Beth Ziebarth has a personal interest and professional responsibility in advocacy for people with disabilities. She currently serves as the Director of Access Smithsonian. In her position, Beth develops and implements accessibility policy and guidelines for the Institution’s 19 museums, the National Zoo, and nine research centers, ensuring that the Smithsonian’s 30 million annual visitors experience a welcoming environment that accommodates individuals of all ages and abilities. Her work includes staff training on accessibility and disability topics, facility and program technical assistance, direct accessibility services, outreach and collaboration, and five signature programs for people with disabilities.

Panelist: Agency Showcase - Smithsonian Institution