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Annual Interagency Accessibility Forum. October 11 - 13, 2022. Unlocking the Power of Accessibility.

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 | O Section | P Section | R Section | S Section | T Section | U Section | W Section

A

Image of Day Al-Mohamed

Day Al-Mohamed

Director, Disability Policy
White House, Domestic Policy Council

Day Al-Mohamed is the Director of Disability Policy for the Domestic Policy Council at the White House. Her decades-long career has focused on disability policy in a variety of legislative and programmatic arenas. Prior to her work with the Administration, Al-Mohamed most recently served in the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA’s) Directorate of Cooperative and State Programs working to recalibrate the Voluntary Protection Programs. Before that, she led the Department of Labor’s initiative to increase the capacity of minority-owned businesses to hire individuals with disabilities by working in partnership with local chambers of commerce.

She began her work in Washington, D.C. as a Director of Advocacy and Legislative Affairs at the American Council of the Blind and then at the American Psychological Association, working on disability policies relating to: health and healthcare, education, technology accessibility, immigration, racial and ethnic justice, and international affairs. Al-Mohamed is a proud member of United States Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 054-24-01. Outside of her policy work, she is an award-winning documentary filmmaker and author. Al-Mohamed graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law and now lives in Maryland with her wife, and guide dog - Gamma.

Speaker: Keynote, Day 3


B

Image of Bruce Bailey

Bruce Bailey

IT Specialist
U.S. Access Board

Bruce Bailey has lead responsibility for the Access Board website and with providing technical assistance on Section 508, especially as that regulation relates to websites, software, and hardware. Bailey supports Access Board members serving on Election Assistance Commission (EAC) boards and committees. Bailey serves as the Access Board 508 Program Manager.

Bailey has worked for thirty-five years in the field of digital accessibility and assistive technology, with the last fifteen years at the Access Board. Since 2001, Bailey has been an invited expert active in the W3C WAI Accessibility Guidelines Working Group (AG WG). Prior to joining the Access Board, Bailey worked at U.S. Department of Education OCIO and, prior to that, with the State of Maryland, Division of Rehabilitation Services.

Bailey has a B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an M.Ed. from SUNY Albany. Bailey lives in Frederick, Maryland.

Moderator: WCAG 3 - Current Status and Ways to Get Involved, Day 3


Image of Lorena Bradford

Lorena Bradford

Manager of Accessible Programs
National Gallery of Art

Lorena Bradford develops and runs accessible programs in the Education Division of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. In that role, she creates and oversees experiences and resources for people with hearing and vision loss, people with memory loss and their care partners, families shaped by sensory processing disorders, healthcare students and professionals, and others. She has consulted and offered training on best practices for other museums and institutions in Washington, DC, across the nation, and abroad.

Presenter: Striving for Universal Access: Image Descriptions, Day 2


Image of Krystal Brumfield

Krystal Brumfield

Associate Administrator, Office of Government-wide Policy
General Services Administration

Krystal J. Brumfield is an attorney and accomplished executive with more than 10 years’ experience of proven leadership in the public and private sectors. Krystal currently serves as the Associate Administrator for Government-wide Policy at GSA where she manages the direction of acquisition policy for GSA to ensure the promotion of effective business practices and the timely delivery of best value products for an agency that leverages billions of dollars annually in the marketplace. Among other roles, Krystal is designated as GSA’s Chief Acquisition Officer (CAO) and represents GSA on the CAO Council.

She recently served as Chief of Staff for Carlyle Airport Group (CAG) Holdings, LLC, the Carlyle Group’s dedicated US-based investment platform for airport infrastructure investment opportunities globally. As Chief of Staff, Krystal oversaw collaboration among CAG’s Washington, DC and New York teams to ensure effective and streamlined performance to advance the $7.4 billion JFK International Airport New Terminal One Redevelopment.

Prior to joining CAG, Krystal was the President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Airport Minority Advisory Council (AMAC), a national trade association that represents thousands of airports, corporations, and small businesses in the aviation and aerospace industries. She was recognized for driving growth and innovation at AMAC and was named in the top 25 of “Women in Power Impacting Diversity” by DiversityPlus Magazine in 2018 as well as awarded “Outstanding Woman in Law” by Hofstra University School of Law in 2019.

Her additional professional experiences include Vice President & Chief Operating Officer of the DC Chamber of Commerce, Tax & Procurement Counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Visiting Instructor for the International Law Institute African Centre for Legal Excellence, and Sales & Use Tax Attorney for the Louisiana Department of Revenue.

Krystal currently serves on the Board of Governors of the Aero Club of Washington as the Policy and Programs Committee Co-Chair and recently served on the Board of Directors for the DC Water and Sewer Authority (DC Water) as Commissioner and Vice Chair, appointed by Mayor Muriel Bowser. She was also appointed by Mayor Bowser to serve on the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee of the ReOpen DC Advisory Group amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Krystal is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.

Speaker: Greetings and Keynote Introduction, Day 3


Image of Arthur Brunson

Arthur Brunson

Program Analyst
General Services Administration

Mr. Brunson is a Program Analyst in the Office of Information, Integrity and Access. He currently serves as a member of the Government-wide IT Accessibility team, managing the (Accessibility Requirements Tool (ART)[https://www.section508.gov/buy/accessibility-requirements-tool], for use by the acquisition, IT, and Section 508 coordinator communities. The program supports GSA’s charge in conjunction with the Access Board to provide Section 508 technical assistance, tools, and workforce development support to federal agencies. One of his personal favorite highlights during his career with GSA is volunteering for FEMA Surge Support, 2017/2018 assisting with the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico after hurricane Maria.

He has been an associate at GSA for 30 years. His career with GSA includes 15 years with the Federal Procurement Data Center, as a Data Specialist and worked on many rewarding special projects. As well as 12 years with the Office of Government-wide Policy, as a Project Manager supporting OMB/PMA initiatives. Prior to joining GSA he worked at the Department of Veteran Affairs, as a specialist in the Loan Guarantee Division and served honorably in the U.S. Navy.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Bowie State University in Business Administration. He lives in Camp Springs, Maryland. He has 2 beautiful daughters and 5 adorable grandchildren. In his free time he enjoys yard work and traveling, supporting his brother’s automotive shop, towing cars, church and family.

Master of Ceremonies: IAAF 2022


C

Image of Annette Carr

Annette Carr

Disability Program Manager (DPM)
Transportation Security Administration

Annette Carr is a name that is not new to those in the Section 508 and assistive technology arenas. She is currently the Disability Program Manager (DPM) at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Prior to her arrival at TSA in July 2020, she held the position of Acting DPM for the Department of Transportation (DOT), and before that she was a Reasonable Accommodations Analyst in DOT’s Disability Resource Center (DRC).

Annette’s decades of experience in assistive technology and the rights of people with disabilities, within both the public and private sectors, supports her work at TSA with leading the agency’s Disability Employment program. She works collaboratively with TSA’s Reasonable Accommodation, Selective Placement, Section 508 and Facility Operations Offices to ensure that TSA is a diverse, inclusive and accessible workplace.

Presenter: A Different Perspective for Looking at Accessibility, Day 3


Image of Nancy E. Casper

Nancy E. Casper

Information Technology Specialist
Federal Bureau of Investigation

Ms. Nancy Casper (Ms. Casper) was assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Office of Chief Information Officer, Accessibility Program Office (APO) in January 2022. Her responsibilities include program guidance, oversight, and implementation to ensure that the FBI information and communication technology (ICT) meets the compliance requirements of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended, ultimately posturing the FBI’s mission-focused ICT assets to be widely accessible and usable across the FBI workforce, with and without disabilities. Ms. Casper has transformed the FBI’s APO to serve as a mature and robust resource center, ensuring compliance with Section 508 coupled with its integration into the ICT development and acquisition lifecycles.

With the FBI since 2018, on top of her 40-year combined military (retired USAF) and private sector experience, she has led with great success, multiple large-scale initiatives. Her major strengths include Operation and Management (O&M), design and implementation of technology deployments for high profile Federal clients, and risk mitigation as well as management of IT Critical asset.

Presenter: Accessibility Maturity Models, Day 3


Image of Wendy Cheng

Wendy Cheng

Information Technology Specialist
U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Wendy Cheng works as an Information Technology Specialist for the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within their IT Accessibility and Section 508 program. Prior to this position she served as the FDA Library’s Assistive Technology Coordinator and was chair of the Reasonable Accommodation subcommittee in FDA’s Advisory Committee for Employees with Disabilities (ACED). As a long-time hearing aid and cochlear implant user, captioning of live and recording events is a personal focus with her. Wendy holds a master’s degree in Library and Information Science from the University of Maryland at College Park.

Outside the office, she enjoys playing music (she plays viola and rings handbells) and also runs a small nonprofit for adult musicians with hearing loss.

Presenter: Accessible Meetings: Integrating Captioning in Conference Platforms, Day 1


Image of Macey Cox

Macey Cox

Learning & Development Specialist
National Science Foundation

Macey Cox is a Learning & Development Specialist at the National Science Foundation where she has spent much of her time on the development and launch of NSF’s comprehensive onboarding program, the New Employee Welcome Program. She also co-leads the Leadership Development Program, manages the New Executive Transition Program and is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach. Ms. Cox has fifteen years of professional experience in the field of human resources, starting her career in private sector recruitment for executives and law firm staff, and more recently, spending the last ten years working in a variety of federal HR roles, including recruitment/staffing, labor and employee relations, and work life programs. She is the mom of two active little boys, a lover of all sports, especially tennis and Roger Federer, and grew up on an island in New England but loves the big city life of Washington, DC.

Presenter: Workplace Mental Health - Why It's More Important Than Ever to Focus on the Mental Health of Your Employees., Day 2


Image of 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. He 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. He 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 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: Section 508 PMs - Using What You Know, Day 1
Moderator: Mission Accessible Getting the Job Done, Day 2


D

Image of Susan Daniels

Susan Daniels

Director of the Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Executive Secretary of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC)
National Institutes of Health

Susan Daniels, PhD (She/Her, Panelist) is Director of the Office of Autism Research Coordination (OARC) at the National Institute of Mental Health and the Executive Secretary of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), a federal advisory committee created by Congress to coordinate federal activities and provide advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on issues related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD). In her role with the OARC and IACC, Dr. Daniels oversees the strategic planning, policy, communications, and operations for the committee and serves as a liaison with federal agencies, other disability advisory committees, and community stakeholders. In 2021, Dr. Daniels was designated as the Acting National Autism Coordinator, a role created by Congress to facilitate coordination and implementation of autism activities across federal agencies, taking into account the IACC Strategic Plan for Autism Spectrum Disorder. Before coming to NIH, Dr. Daniels was a Christine Mirzayan Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the National Academy of Sciences. She received her Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology from Brandeis University, where she conducted research on the function of the sensory nervous system.

Panelist: Using Technology to Enhance Intersectional Neurodiverse Accessibility at Work, Day 2


E

Image of Lesley Earl

Lesley Earl

Science Writer and Section 508 Coordinator
National Institutes of Health

Lesley Earl, Ph.D., is a science writer and the Section 508 coordinator at the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health. As Section 508 coordinator, she advocates for and facilitates making NEI’s external and internal communications accessible to people with disabilities. As a science writer, she specializes in communicating complex technical content for scientific and lay audiences, in written and video formats. NEI conducts and funds research into the fundamentals of the visual system, the prevention and treatment of vision loss, and the health problems and requirements of the blind. Prior to joining NEI, she was a scientist and science writer at the National Cancer Institute.

Presenter: Videos for All: Strategies for Developing Audio Described Videos, Day 1
Presenter: Captioning Multimedia - Is It As Complicated As It Sounds?, Day 1


Image of Paula Angela Escuadra

Paula Angela Escuadra

Co-Founder and Co-Chair
International Game Developers Association

Paula Angela Escuadra (She/Her, Panelist) has spent over 12 years working to elevate the power games can have to redefine our relationship with failure and create a sense of meaning. She co-founded and currently co-chairs the IGDA Climate Special Interest Group, a grassroots community of scientists, researchers, and game developers tackling the climate crisis all over the world. In her day job, she is building the Xbox Game Studios Cloud Publishing research program with a lens on accessibility, inclusion, and sustainability. Most recently, she co-authored The Environmental Game Design Playbook, a landmark report mapping pro-environmental predictors of behavior to game design tactics.

Prior, she led a community-based participatory research program within Google Ethical AI, identifying ways in which societal context can support human and algorithmic bias mitigation. Before that, she developed the user research program for Stadia platform’s gameplay AI/ML R&D team and Stadia Games & Entertainment’s Cloud Publishing research program. She earned her double masters’ in Business and Public Administration from Presidio Graduate School of Sustainable Management, engaging with public and NGOs to build, drive, and evaluate sustainability and resiliency initiatives.

Panelist: Using Technology to Enhance Intersectional Neurodiverse Accessibility at Work, Day 2


F

Image of Emily Follit

Emily Follit

Management Operations Assistant
National Science Foundaiiton

Emily Follit has co-founded and led multiple peer support groups. As a co-founder and Chairperson of the LGBTQ+ & Allies group for Peace Corps Volunteers in Rwanda, Emily saw what an asset these peer groups can be. After Peace Corps, Emily began working at NSF and a few months later, they were diagnosed with PTSD. For Emily, when the opportunity arose to help establish Mental Health Advocates (MHA), it was a no-brainer. Fostering a welcoming and supportive work environment throughout NSF, like they found in EHR/HRD, was an excellent way to give back to the Foundation.

Presenter: Workplace Mental Health - Why It's More Important Than Ever to Focus on the Mental Health of Your Employees., Day 2


Image of Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt

Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt

Director
National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research

Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Ph.D. was appointed by President Biden as the Director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) within the Administration for Community Living in the Department of Health and Human Services. Dr. Forber-Pratt also serves as the Chair of the Interagency Committee on Disability Research which exists to promote coordination and collaboration among federal departments and agencies conducting disability, independent living, and rehabilitation research programs. As a principal investigator, her expertise relates to disability identity development and has authored more than 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous chapters. As a wheelchair-user for over 35 years, and a two-time Paralympian and medalist, Dr. Forber-Pratt is nationally and internationally recognized as a disability leader and mentor. She was a White House Champion of Change in 2013 and the American Psychological Association awarded her the 2020 Citizen Psychologist Award for Advancing Disability as a Human Rights and Social Justice Issue Award. Dr. Forber-Pratt is also a Fellow of the American Psychological Association.

Panelist: Unlocking The Power Of Accessibility - Recognizing & Embracing Your Superpower, Day 3


Image of Dr. Lawrence Fung

Dr. Lawrence Fung

Director, Stanford Neurodiversity Project; Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University

Dr. Lawrence Fung is a scientist and psychiatrist specialized in autism, and the father of a teenager on the autism spectrum. He is the director of the Stanford Neurodiversity Project, which strives to uncover the strengths of neurodiverse individuals and utilize their talents to increase innovation and productivity of the society as a whole. He directs the Neurodiverse Student Support Program, Neurodiversity at Work Program, and Neurodiversity Clinic at Stanford. Dr. Fung is an assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. His lab advances the understanding of neural bases of human socio-communicative and cognitive functions by using novel neuroimaging and technologies. His team devises and implements novel interventions to improve the lives of neurodiverse individuals by maximizing their potential and productivity. He is currently conducting a study to demonstrate that specialized employment programs such as Neurodiversity at Work program will result in higher retention rates and quality of life.

Panelist: Using Technology to Enhance Intersectional Neurodiverse Accessibility at Work, Day 2


Image of Angie Fuoco

Angie Fuoco

Community Involvement Coordinator
Environmental Protection Agency

Though Angie Fuoco works at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, she will present ideas gleaned from several professional fields that can help us consider how to deliver accessibility to our staff with disabilities in a safe, accessible, functional and engaging manner. She also proposes principles on which to operate to consider the eight dimensions of wellness for everyone and a Model EEO Program for staff with disabilities.

Presenter: The Human Reason for Accessibility (Part 1), Day 1
Presenter: The Human Reason for Accessibility (Part 2), Day 1


G

Image of Yvette Gibson

Yvette Gibson

Training & Outreach Director
General Services Administration

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.

Speaker: Welcome and Opening Remarks, Day 1
Speaker: Closing, Day 1
Moderator: Unlocking The Power Of Accessibility - Recognizing & Embracing Your Superpower, Day 3
Speaker: Closing, Day 3


Image of Lindsay Goldstein

Lindsay Goldstein

Program Analyst
Department of the Interior

Lindsay Goldstein is a Program Analyst with the Open Data, Design & Display team in the Office of Natural Resources Revenue in the Department of the Interior. An economist by training, she spent her previous life working in energy and finance at the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Institute of International Finance. She made her way over to civic tech a few years ago and there’s no turning back. She loves learning and sharing new methods of making government accessible for everyone.

Presenter: Beyond 508 Compliance: A Four-Point Hybrid Testing Approach, Day 2


H

Image of Antonio Haileselassie

Antonio Haileselassie

Information Technology Accessibility Specialist
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Following stints with the FAA and the Air National Guard as a software developer focusing on accessible software design, development, and remediation, Antonio joined NASA in 2006 as an IT Accessibility Specialist in support of the Agency’s Section 508 Program. He supported all program aspects including policy development, accessibility testing, providing guidance to customers, and overseeing the Section 508 help desk. Antonio now directly supports the NASA SEWP Program and continues to provide expertise across NASA on Section 508 Accessibility and Accessible Acquisitions. In his more than 15-year career in accessibility, Antonio also lends his knowledge and support to the Federal 508 Community by supporting the Federal CIO and CAO Council Accessibility Community of Practice’s Industry Outreach Program.

Panelist: Demystifying Section 508: Creating and Evaluating Accessibility Conformance Reports, Day 3


Image of Stephen Harding

Stephen Harding

Director of Digital Strategies
General Services Administration

Prior to his current position, Mr. Harding was Program Executive for the Electronic Capital Planning and Investment Control (eCPIC), GSA, Office of Government-wide Policy, Washington D.C.

Mr. Harding has served in a variety of cyber assignments in GSA and in the DoD joint support and operational environments around the world. He has experience managing organizations composed of active duty military, civilian, and contractor personnel. Mr. Harding has managed the operations of multi-million dollar nation-wide military intelligence, command and control networks and support systems. He has also led personnel and managed computer network systems in two combat environments. Mr. Harding retired as a Major after 25 years of military service.

Mr. Harding is from Chicago Illinois. He is married to the former Debbie Jean Willard from Simi Valley, California.

Speaker: Closing, Day 1
Speaker: Closing, Day 3


Image of Michelle Hartley

Michelle Hartley

Media Accessibility Coordinator
National Park Service

Michele Hartley is the Media Accessibility Coordinator for the Harpers Ferry Center, National Park Service. She provides consultation, training, and technical assistance to ensure media is accessible to people with disabilities. She delivers presentations at venues such as the American Alliance of Museums and the U.S. Access Board. She is the 2020 recipient of the American Council of the Blind’s Achievement in Audio Description for Visual Art/Museums, and a past recipient of the Roger Kennedy National Parks Fellowship at The George Washington University. Prior to this position, Michele was a producer and the acting manager for Harpers Ferry Center’s audiovisual arts department.

Presenter: The UniDescription Project: Audio Describing the World, One Brochure at a Time, Day 2


Image of Jason Hitchcock

Jason Hitchcock

Director, Office of Information Technology Policy Review
National Institutes of Health

Jason Hitchcock has over 20 year of experience in working with IT policy and planning functions in the federal government. For the past three years, he has served as the Director of the Information Technology Policy Review Office within the NIH Office of the Chief Information Officer. In this role, Jason provides leadership in areas of IT policy, governance, IT capital planning. In addition, he has been serving as the Acting Section 508 Program Coordinator for NIH, and coordinates with other NIH Institute and Center Section 508 coordinators.

Panelist: Agency Co-host Greetings, Day 2


Image of Jim Hogan

Jim Hogan

Vice President, Accessibility in Technology
Google

Jim Hogan (He/Him/Autistic, Panelist) is an innovator, a human rights activist and a strong representative of what is possible for autistic individuals. Jim found his passion for computer science and innovation at a young age and has since worked in leadership positions for over 30 years. Throughout his career, Jim has advocated for neurodistinct employees by helping human resources departments better understand their needs. With his powerful voice and advocacy for acceptance, he has led the way for hundreds of autistic individuals who entered the workforce behind him.

Jim wears multiple hats at Google including his roles as the Principal Innovation Strategist, Google Cloud and as Vice President, Accessibility in Technology for Google’s Disability Alliance.

Panelist: Using Technology to Enhance Intersectional Neurodiverse Accessibility at Work, Day 2


Image of Lolita Horne

Lolita Horne

Learning System Program Manager
Defense Acquisition University

Lolita Horne, a certified Project Manager, is a Learning Systems Program Manager with the User Experience Directorate at Defense Acquisition University (DAU). As part of the Development and Revision Tools Team since 2012, Lolita supports the development of authoring tool guidelines and technical assistance for creating accessible online learning content, e.g., online, virtual instructor led, and instructor led. She is the facilitator of a module of a Performance Development course entitled, “Reducing Barriers to Learning,” which emphasizes the benefits of Universal Design (UD) and Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEI&A) as a key component of asset development. She has created and populated DEI&A resource sites for DAU asset development and serves as an active member of the inaugural DEI&A Employee Council. This is her second year serving on the Interagency Accessibility Forum planning committee.

Panelist: Section 508 PMs - Using What You Know, Day 1


Image of Michael Horton

Michael Horton

Senior ICT Accessibility Specialist
General Services Administration

Michael Horton is a Senior ICT Accessibility Specialist with the Office of Government-wide Policy at the General Services Administration (GSA) providing technical assistance to federal agencies on Section 508. He also serves as the Co-chair of the CIO Council (CIOC) Accessibility Community of Practice (ACOP) Best-Practices Subcommittee.

Mr. Horton is an accessibility and technology professional with nearly 30 years of experience in web-based application development. He is a compliance subject matter expert, DHS Certified Trusted Tester, and digital accessibility advocate who joined the General Services Administration, Office of Government-wide Policy’s IT Accessibility Program in 2018 as a Senior ICT Accessibility Specialist 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 enjoyed twelve years with America Online (AOL) as a software engineer, front-end web developer, partner advocate, and online community standards policy and compliance specialist.

Moderator: Section 508 PMs - What You Need To Know, Day 1
Moderator: Section 508 PMs - Using What You Know, Day 1
Moderator: Accessibility Maturity Models, Day 3


J

Image of Antoinette Johnson

Antoinette Johnson

Section 508 Program Manager
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid

Antoinette “AJ” Johnson has been with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) since 1999 and has been overseeing CMS Section 508 activities since 2018. In her role as CMS’ Section 508 Program Manager assigned back in 2020, AJ led the agency’s mission on accessibility and inclusiveness in government. She has also supported the agency’s IT Governance initiatives; which are aligned with the CMS Administrator’s focus on operational efficiencies. AJ is a steadfast leader in Disability Inclusion as well. With the formal launch of CMS’ Section 508 Program in 2021, AJ was primarily responsible for CMS’ engagements with internal and external stakeholders with a focus on Section 508 Policies issuance, development of 508 accessible trainings and education programs, ensuring accessibility as part of CMS procurements and acquisitions, and ensuring the execution of accessibility validation testing protocols; which all support access for all, including those with disabilities. She is solution-oriented and considers accessibility, inclusion and universal design a cornerstone of any agency’s goals, workforce development, and plan management.

Panelist: Agency Co-host Greetings, Day 2


Image of Katie Joyce

Katie Joyce

Project Manager
General Services Administration

Katie Joyce is a Project Manager in GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy, Office of Technology Policy. She worked as a federal contractor for the past 7 years, including 4 years with GSA. She has previously worked with GSA’s Acquisition Workforce Division. Before GSA, she worked on projects at the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Office of Acquisition Program Management, Office of Requirements and Capabilities Analysis, and Office of Security Capabilities. She has a bachelor’s degree in Government and French from Hamilton College.

Moderator: Striving for Universal Access: Image Descriptions, Day 2


K

Image of Katy Kale

Katy Kale

Deputy Administrator
General Services Administration

Katy Kale is the Deputy Administrator of the General Services Administration under the Biden-Harris Administration.

In this capacity, she leads a staff of nearly 12,000 GSA employees nationwide, overseeing more than 370 million square feet of property, approximately $75 billion in annual contracts, 5 million government credit and purchase cards, and 225,000 leased vehicles. She also serves as GSA’s Senior Climate Adaptation Official. In addition, she is a federal member of the U.S. Access Board, which promotes accessible design, guidelines, and standards.

Prior to serving as the Deputy Administrator, and Acting Administrator in early 2021, Katy was President and Chief Operating Officer of Elevate. There she led growth strategy, operational process, financial planning, and performance management, and ensured all were aligned with the broader purpose of serving the nonprofit sector.

A public servant at heart, Katy was a senior leader in the Obama-Biden Administration, serving as Assistant to the President for Management and Administration, Director of White House Operations, and Chief of Staff at GSA. She also served 10 years in the U.S. Senate working on operational and legislative issues for several senators.

Katy is a graduate of George Mason University.

Speaker: Welcome, Day 3


Image of Kimberly Knackstedt

Kimberly Knackstedt

Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Disability Economic Justice Collaborative
The Century Foundation

Kim Knackstedt is a senior fellow and co-director of The Century Foundation’s Disability Economic Justice Collaborative, where her work focuses on economic justice for people with disabilities and their families. In addition to her work at The Century Foundation, Kim is a partner at K. Ventures, working closely with new disability startups. She previously has served in disability policy positions in Congress and the White House. She brings experience as a classroom teacher of students with disabilities and as a person with chronic illness to her policy perspectives. In 2016, Kim was the Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Public Policy Fellow, serving on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. From 2017 to 2019, she served as the disability policy advisor for Chairman Bobby Scott on the Committee on Education and Labor in the U.S. House of Representatives. From 2019 to 2021, she was the senior disability policy advisor for Senator Patty Murray on the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee in the U.S. Senate. In January 2021, Kim was appointed as the first director of disability policy for the Domestic Policy Council for the Biden–Harris Administration. Kim received her Bachelor of Education in special education and elementary education from Gonzaga University, Master of Science in Education in special education from the University of Kansas, and Ph.D. in special education and policy from the University of Kansas. Kim grew up in Oregon and lived in Kansas for several years before moving to Washington, D.C.

Speaker: Keynote, Day 2


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Alison Lemon

Supervisory Writer/Editor
National Institutes of Health

Alison Lemon is a Supervisory Writer-Editor at the National Library of Medicine (NLM) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she leads the web/digital team. Some of her projects include overseeing NLM’s social media program, internal newsletter, and video production program. Prior to joining NLM, Ms. Lemon was a Health Communications Specialist at the National Institute of Nursing Research at NIH where she developed web content, social media, and a speaker series of extramural researchers. She previously spent 10 years at FDA’s Office of Women’s Health where she created easy-to-read publications, social media content, videos, webpages and infographics about the safe use of medicines, devices and other products. She managed the consumer publications program through USA.gov, which distributed millions of fact sheets and brochures every year. She has been an adjunct professor in both George Washington University’s Department of Exercise Science and the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, where she served as a preceptor to students doing field placements at FDA. She holds a BA in Public Relations and Psychology from Syracuse University, an MHS in Health Education from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and a certificate in Social Media Management from the Georgetown University School of Continuing Studies.

Presenter: Videos for All: Strategies for Developing Audio Described Videos, Day 1


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Brianna McGowan

IT Specialist
General Services Administration

Brianna is part of the Digital Strategies Division within GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) as an IT Specialist developing machine learning and artificial intelligence for the Solicitation Review Tool (SRT) and assisting with the Section508.gov and the Accessibilty Requirements Tool (ART). She is a developer, poet, data scientist, modern dancer, and an advocate for connecting people to resources. Some of her previous roles have been in the private sector as data scientist, a NASA contractor developing websites and APIs, and a Python developer for a DC startup developing bots. She graduated from UT Austin with a degree in Economics and a certificate in Computer Science. Outside of work, she is a Co-Director for both Women Who Code DC and Delicious Democracy, DC’s Creative Advocacy Lab. She is passionate about intersecting worlds and developing community-owned AI. As a data scientist, her mission is to develop AI and automation tools that are accessible, secure, and grounded in equity.

Moderator: Accessible Meetings: Integrating Captioning in Conference Platforms, Day 1


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Dr. Rachael Montgomery

Digital Accessibility Architect
Library of Congress

Dr. Rachael Bradley Montgomery has been working in accessibility and usability for over 20 years. She currently serves in the following roles: Digital accessibility architect at the Library of Congress, Co-chair of the W3C Accessibility Guidelines Working Group, Executive director of Accessible Community, Adjunct lecturer at University of Maryland’s College of Information Studies (iSchool), and Affiliate faculty with the Trace Research and Development Center.

Rachael has a PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park and an MS from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Presenter: WCAG 3 - Current Status and Ways to Get Involved, Day 3


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Rhonda Moore

Program Officer Global Mental Health
National Institutes of Health

Rhonda J. Moore, PhD received her PhD in Cultural and Medical Anthropology at Stanford University and postdoctoral training in Behavioral Science in the Psychiatry Department at Stanford Medical School, in Clinical Ethnography and Epidemiology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Hospice/Palliative Care at St. Austell’s in the UK. Her work combines anthropological methods, ethics, data science and clinical medicine to better understand patient experiences and data disparities across culturally and medically diverse care settings (cancer, pain, palliative care, Neurodiversity), gamification, community engaged research, and the differential and ethical impacts of new and emerging technologies on individuals and communities in vulnerable situations in low resource settings and in low and middle income countries (e.g. AI, Digital Health, etc.,).

Rhonda is author and editor of the following books: Climate Change and Health Equity (Forthcoming, Springer 2023), Handbook of Pain and Palliative Care (Springer, 2012, 2nd edition, Springer, 2019), Biobehavioral Approaches to Pain (Springer 2009) and Cancer Culture and Communication (Springer 2004). Currently, she is a Program Officer with the Center for Global Mental Health at NIH’s National Institutes of Mental Health (NIMH). Areas of responsibility include Social Drivers of Global Mental Health, ethics of new and emerging technologies, climate change and mental health, citizen science, and Neurodiversity at work. She is the Program lead for the Digital Global Mental Health program.

Moderator: Using Technology to Enhance Intersectional Neurodiverse Accessibility at Work, Day 2


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Gary Morin

Section 508 Program Manager
National Institutes of Health

Gary M. Morin joined the National Cancer Institute’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison (OCPL) as their Section 508 Coordinator in March 2020. In this capacity, he oversees Section 508 policies, governance, training, 508 procurement processes throughout the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Gary supports NCI staff in making its wide array of digital contents more accessible for employees and for members of the public. He supports staff who are producing ICT products as well as those in contracting to ensure that their acquisition documents are inclusive of Section 508 requirements. Prior to joining NCI in March 2020, he similarly functioned as NIH’s Section 508 and accessible ICT guru, based in NIH’s Office on Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) (2001 – 2008) and the Office of the Chief Information Officer (2008 - 2020).

Gary joined the NIH as a Sign Language Interpreter, in 1993. Throughout the 1990s, he coordinated NIH interpreting services and he trained ASL interpreters across the US to facilitate communication in healthcare settings. He was also actively involved with HHS’s Shared Neutrals, mediating conflict resolution in agencies across the federal government, with an emphasis on reasonable accommodations. With the onset of Section 508, he quickly saw and embraced the potential of accessible of Information and Communication Technology.

Gary sees the role of accessible technology as a means of enabling employees with disabilities to perform to their greatest potential and as part of an institutional responsibility and strategy to address healthcare disparities experienced by persons with disabilities. Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act is more than a law – it’s a means to address barriers to employment and to better healthcare outcomes. Since the law’s implementation, he has been one of NIH’s few agency-wide subject matter experts for the coordination and implementation of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as Amended, and its integration with both business ICT and digital content, as well as the role of assistive technology (AT).

Gary is Vice-Chair of ABILITIES, NIH’s employee resource group for persons with disabilities and allies; he is equally active with the NIH Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing community. For the last couple of years, he has also become more and more fascinated with audio-description and is now involved in the American Council of the Blind’s Audio Description Project and sits on the ADP’s Section 508 subcommittee.

Outside of the NIH, he finds great joy spending time with his 4-year-old granddaughter, seeks dead people in family history research, and loves a good film noir or classic, black-and-white horror flic. His most recent recognition includes NIH EDI’s 2020 NIH Champions and Allies of Disability Awardees and NIH EDI’s 20 profiles for 2020: Celebrating LGBT community Diversity at NIH and Beyond.

Presenter: Section 508 PMs - What You Need To Know, Day 1
Panelist: Section 508 PMs - Using What You Know, Day 1
Speaker: Welcome and Speaker Introduction, Day 2


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Andrew Nielson

Director, Government-wide IT Accessibility Program
General Services Administration

Andrew is the Director of the Government-wide IT Accessibility Program in GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy, which has the mandate, under Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to provide technical assistance to federal agencies and individuals in meeting Section 508 requirements. Andrew is an expert in the field of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) accessibility. He is Co-Chair of the annual ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium, which 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 a leading practice in accessibility testing.

Presenter: The Human Reason for Accessibility (Part 1), Day 1
Presenter: The Human Reason for Accessibility (Part 2), Day 1
Moderator: Keynote, Day 2
Speaker: Closing, Day 2
Speaker: Government-wide IT Accessibility Program Update, Day 3


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Dennis Oden

Accessibility Program Manager
Merit Systems Protection Board

Dennis is the Accessibility Program Manager for the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. In that capacity, he is responsible for developing a comprehensive Rehabilitation Act Section 504 and 508 Accessibility Program. He brings over 15 years of Federal experience, most recently at the U.S. General Services Administration where he served as Director of the Civil Rights Division. He worked to promote accessibility in Federal facilities and technology, and he provided direct assistance to non-profit organizations through the donation of millions of dollars in Federal surplus property. Prior to GSA, Dennis spent a number of years at the Department of Homeland Security’s Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, the Internal Revenue Service’s Office of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ Office of Equal Opportunity and Inclusion, and Department of Defense agencies.

Dennis has two children and a husband, and he spent over seven years as a volunteer paramedic in Prince William County, Virginia. Dennis also has a passion for trivia and game shows, and he was on “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” in 2016.

Moderator: Beyond 508 Compliance: A Four-Point Hybrid Testing Approach, Day 2


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Andrea M. O’Neal

Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Equity
General Services Administration

Andrea M. O’Neal is a presidential appointee of the Biden-Harris Administration serving as the Senior Advisor to the Administrator for Equity at the U.S. General Services Administration. In this historic, first-ever position for the agency, O’Neal brings 20 years of experience championing the advancement of historically and socially marginalized communities with expertise in institutional equity, racial and economic justice, organizational behavior, and cultural change management.

Andrea is a recognized thought leader in the diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) field with a career spanning global Wall Street, social impact, and advisory services for C-Suite executive teams. As a former capital markets investment banker, including four years abroad structuring cross-border IPOs in Europe and Asia, Andrea developed a multicultural business acumen that she leverages to achieve exceptional stakeholder management and metrics-driven results.

As a social and public sector principal, Andrea has been on the front lines of mission-critical conversations related to breaking down systemic barriers, closing racial wealth gaps, fostering equitable workplaces, and operationalizing high-performing culturally competent leadership practices. She has served as a research advisory committee member for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Equitable Futures Project, Brown University President’s Leadership Council, and Ambassadors Program for the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture (NMAAHC). Her work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, Business Insider, and in several industry conferences. She hails from Atlanta, GA and resides in Washington, DC.

Moderator: Keynote, Day 3


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Dr. Brett Oppegaard

Associate Professor; Program Director, Journalism Program; Principal Investigator, The UniDescription Project
University of Hawaii at Manoa, College of Social Science, School of Communication and Information

Brett Oppegaard, Ph.D., researches media-production processes and products at intersections of Technical Communication, Rhetoric, Disability Studies, Digital Inequalities, and Journalism. He primarily studies those interests within mobile contexts, including creating novel research tools through interactive mobile media, mobile apps, and mobile technologies. His research has been supported by the U.S. National Park Service, the U.S. National Endowment for the Humanities, the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts, and Google, among others.

Presenter: The UniDescription Project: Audio Describing the World, One Brochure at a Time, Day 2


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Dennis Papula

Deputy Director, Office of the Chief Information Officer
National Institutes of Health

Dennis Papula is the Deputy Director in the Office of the Chief Information Officer at NIH. He has a wide range of IT leadership experience in the Federal government. Most recently, he served as the Chief Technology Officer for HHS’s Program Support Center, and then previously as the Director for Enterprise Strategy and Governance at the HHS Office of the Chief Information Officer. Mr. Papula holds a Master of Science degree from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pittsburgh and is a graduate of the National Defense University’s CIO program.

Moderator: Agency Co-host Greetings, Day 2


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Shannon L. Paschel

Chief, Information Technology Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility
Defense Intelligence Agency

Mrs. Paschel is currently serving on a joint duty assignment at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, within the Intelligence Community (IC) Chief Information Office (CIO) as the Information Technology (IT) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Chief.

In this role, Mrs. Paschel is responsible for integrating inclusion and IT accessibility considerations and requirements into the policies and processes that govern IC enterprise IT.

Mrs. Paschel has been with DIA since 2007, and previously served as DIA’s Deputy Chief Data Officer, responsible for the oversight, governance and implementation of DIA’s data strategy to eliminate barriers and expand information sharing.

She also served as Deputy, CIO within DIA’s Insider Threat Cell and in January 2019, established DIA’s first ever IT Accessibility Program leading DIA’s efforts to integrate Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act compliance into policies and processes throughout the organization.

As a joint duty assignee, Mrs. Paschel served as an Intelligence Analyst with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, specifically implementing and executing FBI’s participation in the Director of National Intelligence sponsored Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (IC ITE) initiative.

Presenter: Accessibility Maturity Models, Day 3


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Dr. Sachin Pavithran

Executive Director
U.S. Access Board

Dr. Sachin Dev Pavithran is the Executive Director of the U.S. Access Board. In this role, Pavithran oversees research funded by the Access Board that supports the development of rules and voluntary guidelines in the areas of transportation, information communication and technology, the built environment, and outdoor recreation. With over twenty years of direct involvement in development, testing, and training for assistive technology, Pavithran has given lectures and training in accessible information technology for individuals and groups, as well as assisted in the evaluation of products related to web accessibility and design. Pavithran also has extensive experience working with the higher education community in providing access to instructional materials to facilitate transitioning from K – 12 to post-secondary education into the workforce. As a lifelong advocate for the rights of people with disabilities, Pavithran has presented and provided training in the U.S. and worldwide, including in the United Arab Emirates, India, Egypt, Syria, Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, and Mexico.

Panelist: Unlocking The Power Of Accessibility - Recognizing & Embracing Your Superpower, Day 3


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Dan Pomeroy

Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Technology Policy
General Services Administration

Dan Pomeroy currently serves as the Deputy Associate Administrator in the Office of Technology Policy within the Office of Government-wide Policy at the General Services Administration (GSA). Dan’s work is focused on enabling Federal CIOs to deliver world-class information technology services across government, particularly in the areas of accessibility, identity credentialing, digital services, IT infrastructure modernization, and IT capital planning. In 2020, Dan established a dedicated emerging technology policy office in GSA.

Dan Pomeroy has also 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. He possesses a Masters in Public Service and Administration from Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University, and a Master of Science in Government Information Leadership from the National Defense University.

Speaker: Opening Remarks, Day 3


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Avis Ryan

Program Analyst
General Services Administration

Avis is a Program Analyst for the Office of Government-wide Policy at GSA and 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, and serves as a Contracting Officer Representative.

During the pandemic, Avis took the opportunity to go to school for Massage Therapy, something very passionate to her heart. She thought this was a perfect time to cross something off of her bucket list. Avis graduated in April 2021 and passed the MBLEX exam. She will soon be a licensed Massage Therapist.

Moderator: Phases of "Advancing Accessibility" in a Small Agency, Day 2


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Marcelle Salley-Owens

Section 508 Program Manager (Backup)
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Marcelle Salley-Owens serve as the Section 508 Program Manager (Backup) and Audit Support for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation since April 2019. As of 2022 she also took on the role as a Contracting Officer Representative. Prior to her joining PBGC in April 2019, she worked for Department of Defense as an Acquisition and Contract Management Specialist and Contracting Officer Representative. She has previous experience as a Software Tester and Software Customer Support Specialist. She serves as a member of the Section 508 Intra-Agency team representing OIT along with the agency’s communications, human resources, legal, EEO, IT, facilities, and procurement departments. Additionally, she chairs the Office of Information Technology Strategic Technology Acquisition Council.

Marcelle holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Maryland University College, as well as Master Graduate level certificate of Project Management and Information Assurance, and an Undergraduate degree in Computer Information Systems from Bernard M. Baruch College of New York.

Presenter: Phases of "Advancing Accessibility" in a Small Agency, Day 2


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Siddhartha 'Sid' Sharma

Section 508 Program Manager
Department of the Interior

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: Creating Accessible PDF Forms, Day 1


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Patrick Sheehan

Chief, Section 508 Office, Section 508 Program Manager
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Patrick has worked at the Department of Veterans Affairs since 1989. He joined the Section 508 Office in 2001. As the Chief of the 508 Office and the agency’s 508 Coordinator, Patrick leads a team to ensure all electronic and information technology the VA uses, procures, maintains, or develops meets Section 508 requirements. The Department’s 508 Office is available to IT professionals, procurement officials, and disabled VA employees to explain what Section 508 is, what disabled employees can expect from the VA regarding access and the VA’s responsibilities under Section 504 and 508. Patrick received a BS degree in Computer Science from the University of Maryland and a BA degree from Providence College. He serves on the Board of Directors with the American Council of the Blind. He has also chaired the Accessibility Advisory Committee for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) for the past 20 years.

Presenter: The UniDescription Project: Audio Describing the World, One Brochure at a Time, Day 2


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Betsy Sirk

Director, Information Technology Programs
National Aeronautics and Space Administration

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 serves as the Chairperson of the Chief Information Officer Council Accessibility Community of Practice Industry Outreach Program, the NASA Section 508 Program Manager for the Goddard Space Flight Center, and chairs NASA’s Section 508 Program Managers Working Group.

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 Federal mobility solutions as the Strategic Sourcing Program Director 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 Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and holds a Masters Degree with Distinction in Computer Science and Management Information Systems from George Washington University.

Presenter: Best Practices for Achieving Digital Accessibility, Day 3
Panelist: Demystifying Section 508: Creating and Evaluating Accessibility Conformance Reports, Day 3


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Dr. Elizabeth Small

Program Analyst/Section 508 Coordinator
Department of Labor

Dr. Elizabeth Small is the Section 508 Subject Matter Expert for the Department of Labor. She served twenty-five years in the U.S. Army. Additionally, Dr. Elizabeth Small holds a Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington DC, and a Master of Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College, Westminster, MD. Dr. Small is a Professional Life Coach, and she enjoys helping people become unstuck.

Moderator: Best Practices for Achieving Digital Accessibility, Day 3


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Dr. Rosemary Speers

Team Lead
Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Dr. Speers leads the Information Technology (IT) Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) contractor team supporting the Chief Information Officer of the Intelligence Community. In this role, she focuses on reducing barriers for intelligence officers to access the technology they need, and has helped develop the Intelligence Community’s IT Accessibility Maturity Model. She has been working with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) for the past year.

Dr. Speers previously served as Strategy Consultant to the Chief Data Officer for the Defense Intelligence Agency. Prior to that, she worked with the Center for Naval Analyses (CNA) for nearly 20 years, as Principal Scientist and Managing Director leading projects for the U.S. Navy, Office of the Secretary of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and several state-level agencies.

Dr. Speers has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Michigan. Throughout her graduate research, she focused on biomechanics for persons with disabilities and movement disorders. She is the author of numerous peer-reviewed journal publications and received the Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Biomechanics.

Dr. Speers is also the Chief Scientist for Avail Solutions, LLC.

Presenter: Accessibility Maturity Models, Day 3


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Kate Sweeney

Director, Section 508 Program
Health and Human Services

Kate Sweeney is the HHS Section 508 Program Director. She has over has over 12+ years’ experience in enterprise governance, policy, and process improvement across the federal government. She as an Advanced Certified Scrum Master and Lean Six Sigma practitioner, she has led the HHS Section 508 program through an extensive program maturity effort in hopes of establishing an HHS Accessibility Center of Excellence. She has held the role of HHS Section 508 Program Director since 2019, previously serving as the Office of the Secretary (OS) Section 508 Program Manager.

Panelist: Agency Co-host Greetings, Day 2


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Christine Thomas

Program Analyst
Department of the Interior

Christine Thomas is a Program Analyst with the Open Data, Design & Display (ODDD) team in the Office of Natural Resources Revenue (ONRR) in the Department of the Interior. She has a BS and MS in geology, and spent 8 years working as a geologist for both private industry and federal agencies. She recently transitioned to the ODDD team, and truly enjoys making difficult concepts displayed on the ONRR websites more accessible.

Presenter: Beyond 508 Compliance: A Four-Point Hybrid Testing Approach, Day 2


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Mark Urban

Accessibility Program Manager
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Mark Urban is the Accessibility Program Manager for the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mark’s 30+ years of experience translate to frequent engagements in the Accessibility community across the Federal and State workspace, and the award-winning program at CDC generates resources and practices used throughout the world. In the recent year, COVID and other health issues have been front and center, and CDC has learned to find the balance of ensuring accessibility alongside the need for just-in-time response activity.

Panelist: Agency Co-host Greetings, Day 2


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Angela Watkins

Section 508 Program Manager
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

Angela Watkins, a certified Project Manager and CGEIT certified professional, has served as the Section 508 Program Manager for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation since January 2018. She’s been aware of the goals of accessibility since serving on agency wide team in 2001. Prior to her current role, she’s had experience as a Business Representative, Service Desk Manager, Procurement Support, and a Contracting Officer Representative ensuring that products and deliverables she was responsible for included Section 508 compliance as a requirement. She serves as the chair of the Section 508 Intra-Agency team of representatives from the agency’s communications, human resources, legal, EEO, IT, facilities and procurement departments. She and her team have been effective in promoting the message that “Accessibility is Everyone’s Responsibility” in her agency.

Presenter: Section 508 PMs - What You Need To Know, Day 1
Panelist: Section 508 PMs - Using What You Know, Day 1
Presenter: Mission Accessible Getting the Job Done, Day 2
Presenter: Phases of "Advancing Accessibility" in a Small Agency, Day 2
Moderator: Demystifying Section 508: Creating and Evaluating Accessibility Conformance Reports, Day 3


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Regina Wendling

Government Information Specialist
Bureau of Reclamation

Regina Wendling started her career at the Bureau of Reclamation as an administrative professional, then joined the Office of the Chief Information Officer as the Program Manager for the Department’s Enterprise Forms System in 2015. Regina has 20 years of Federal service with varying in multiple information management disciplines, such as records, forms, Section 508, and information management.

As a native to Colorado, Regina earned a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado at Boulder; Masters of Management from University of Phoenix; and is currently pursuing a Masters of Science in Human Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a Colorado native, two young men that are Eagle scouts and started community college this fall. Regina enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, hiking, biking, and climbing. She competes in Figure bodybuilding competitions and enjoys staying physically active.

Presenter: Creating Accessible PDF Forms, Day 1


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Andrew Wiley

Video Producer
National Institutes of Health

Andrew Wiley is a video producer and writer for National Library of Medicine’s Office of Communications and Public Liaison. Before coming to NLM in 2008, Andrew produced local television in Frederick Maryland and worked as a video journalist for the Frederick News-Post.

Presenter: Videos for All: Strategies for Developing Audio Described Videos, Day 1


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Martha Wilkes

Designer and Accessibility Strategist
U. S. Digital Service at Department of Veterans Affairs

Martha Wilkes is a designer at the U.S. Digital Service, a tech startup at the White House. She is currently detailed to the Office of the Chief Technology Office (CTO) at the Department of Veterans Affairs where she is the accessibility strategist. Previously, she spent her career designing enterprise software for various private industries, from banking to statistical analysis to home health care. Martha holds a bachelor’s degree in music engineering from the University of Miami and a MFA in theater design from the University of Georgia, where she learned the Photoshop skills that helped her get her first job as a web designer.

Moderator: The UniDescription Project: Audio Describing the World, One Brochure at a Time, Day 2
Moderator: A Different Perspective for Looking at Accessibility, Day 3


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Taryn M. Williams

Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy
Department of Labor

Taryn Mackenzie Williams is the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy. In this position, she advises the Secretary of Labor on how the Department’s policies and programs impact the employment of people with disabilities and leads the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), which works with employers and all levels of government to promote evidence-based policy that improves employment opportunities and outcomes for people with disabilities.

Previously, Williams was the managing director for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at American Progress, which works on progressive policies focused on a broad range of anti-poverty strategies. Before joining American Progress, she worked at ODEP on a variety of issues related to education, workforce policy, Social Security, Medicaid and civil rights. In her role as director of youth policy, Williams led agency efforts to coordinate education and employment policy in support of improved labor force outcomes for disabled youth. From 2014 through 2016, Williams served as ODEP’s chief of staff. She also undertook detail assignments as associate director for public engagement and liaison to the disability community at the White House from 2014 through 2015 and as a policy adviser on the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions from 2012 through 2013.

Prior to joining the federal government, Williams worked as the research coordinator for leadership programs at the Institute for Educational Leadership and as the director of programs at the National Association of Urban Debate Leagues headquartered in Chicago. She holds a bachelor’s degree in public policy from Brown University and a master’s degree in education with a concentration in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University. She resides in Washington, DC.

Panelist: Unlocking The Power Of Accessibility - Recognizing & Embracing Your Superpower, Day 3


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Alex Wilson

Program Analyst
General Services Administration

Alex Wilson is a program analyst within GSA’s Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP). Alex works within the Digital Strategies, Government-wide IT Accessibility and Content Management teams supporting content creation, metrics & analytics, content rationalization and strategic planning efforts, among other activities. Alex is a disabled Army combat veteran.

Moderator: Workplace Mental Health - Why It's More Important Than Ever to Focus on the Mental Health of Your Employees., Day 2


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Deanna Wood

User Experience Designer
National Gallery of Art

Deanna Wood is a user experience designer on the Digital Experience, Product and Experience team at the National Gallery of Art. Deanna focuses on taking user-centered approach in creating digital experiences that are useful, usable, and accessible for users of all the Gallery’s digital products. Deanna has over ten years of experience in the digital design field working for a variety of industries, including non-profit, private agency, and other federal government agencies.

Presenter: Striving for Universal Access: Image Descriptions, Day 2


Reviewed/Updated: October 11, 2022

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