Marcie Roth, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer
Marcie Roth is WID’s Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer. She joined WID in September 2019, bringing her lifelong commitment to advancing the rights of people with disabilities and expanding disability leadership locally, nationally and globally. Active in the Independent Living movement since 1982, Marcie has served in senior and executive leadership roles for national and global disability advocacy and public policy organizations since 1995, establishing, supporting and leading coalitions committed to operationalizing disability inclusion as an intersectional imperative for global social justice. In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11/01 terrorist attacks, she focused her advocacy on improving emergency preparedness and disaster outcomes for people with disabilities and building accessible disaster resilient communities. Marcie was subsequently appointed by President Obama to the U.S Department of Homeland Security – Federal Emergency Management Agency from 2009 to 2017, where she served as Senior Advisor to the Administrator; establishing and directing the Office of Disability Integration and Coordination. At FEMA, and subsequently in launching the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, she led national and global transformation towards disability inclusive emergency management and disaster risk reduction as critical elements for expanding global climate adaptation and disaster resilience.
Marcie has always been a huge fan of musicians who use their talent to advance humanitarian action and wants to see disability inclusive messaging more fully embedded in their words and actions. Her universe revolves around her family, and especially her granddaughter. She leads WID from Washington DC.
Trained as a tax lawyer and financial planner, Tom leads WID’s business consulting, financial inclusion, and information technology access practice. After more than 30 years of experience in the disability community, Tom authored EQUITY, the first asset building book for people with disabilities. He also serves on the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Board and has been recognized by numerous organizations, including the Center for Economic Development (CFED), National Disability Institute (NDI), and Center for Financial Independence and Innovation (CFII) for his financial inclusion work.
Tom is a member of the American Red Cross National Diversity Advisory Council and works closely with national and local disaster and first responders to ensure disability inclusion in America’s emergency preparation, response, and recovery efforts.
Tom is a competitive tri-athlete and ever-hopeful Chicago Cubs fan. His love of travel and golden retrievers (and his necessary pursuit of the ultimate vacuum) compete for his spare time.
Caradwen Braskat, Accounting & Contracts Manager
Cara is WID’s Accounting & Contracts Manager. They oversee Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable processes; federal, state, and international vendor contracts creation; vendor contracts review; grant funding contracts; staff allocations; and they coordinate materials production for the annual audit.
Prior to joining WID in the spring of 2015, Cara worked in the maritime industry as an Accounting Manager. There, in addition to overseeing Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable, they handled the day-to-day accounting activities, assisted with processing weekly large-scale in-house payroll, and became overly familiar with the United States Coast Guard Vessel Maintenance and Repair Contracting (IDIC) system.
A Native of Berkeley and a Science Fiction enthusiast, Cara has managed overall convention operations for multiple fan-run conventions for over 20 years. They are a voracious reader, a talented story teller, and, to WID’s ever grateful staff, an accomplished baker.
Loretta Herrington, Managing Director of External Affairs & International Development
Loretta is Managing Director, External Affairs & International Development. She develops working relationships with external stakeholders such as non-government organizations (NGOs), Congressional representatives and staff, and federal government agencies engaged in domestic and global disability employment and human rights. Loretta analyzes emerging legislation, policies and positions of relevance to people with disabilities and their families.
She is responsible for WID’s International Partnerships, Policy and Practices. In this role, she promotes WID’s strategic goal of connecting the global DPO network to new skills and tools to work towards full inclusion in civil society and independent living for people with disabilities worldwide.
From 2011 to 2016, Loretta was the Director of WID’s Add Us In program, supported by a grant from the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment (ODEP).
Loretta enjoys riding her Harley Davidson motorcycle, reading, and traveling.
Marsha Saxton, Ph.D., Director of Research
Marsha is WID’s Director of Research and lecturer in Disability Studies at the UC, Berkeley. Marsha loves teaching and training, having presented workshops and classes in a dozen countries.
She has been interviewed on 60 Minutes and Talk of the Nation and served on the boards of Our Bodies, Ourselves Collective; the Council for Responsible Genetics; and the Ethics Working Group of the Human Genome Initiative. She has published three books, several films, and over one hundred articles and book chapters about disability rights, personal assistance, women’s health, nutrition, employment, violence prevention, genetic screening, disaster preparedness and climate crisis impact on the disability community. She likes the slogans, “Nothing about us without us,” and “Power to people with disabilities!” She tells her students, “The Disability Rights Movement is one of the most successful movements for human rights in the history of the world – although we still have a ways to go.”
Katherine Zigmont, Director of Operations
Kat is the Director of Operations at WID. Working with WID’s management team, Kat recommends and coordinates activities aimed toward translating strategic opportunities into support for critical issues affecting accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. She is also responsible for the smooth and effective operation of WID’s internal functions, including managing HR, IT, and Marketing. Additionally, Kat works closely as a mentor to WID’s international fellows and manages WID events and fundraisers.
Kat received her B.S. in Political Science and B.A. in Anthropology from Florida State University. While working in Azerbaijan as a Peace Corps Volunteer, she gained experience in NGO development, community building and grant writing. As a person born with a neurological disability, Kat is committed to eliminating stigma of hidden disabilities. Until her curiosity kills her, she plans on endlessly traveling to remote destinations, immersing herself in local cultures and taking photos of #StreetArt.
Nicholas Love, Employment and Disability Benefit Initiatives (EDBI) Training and Communication Manager
As the EDBI Training and Communication Manager, Nicholas works on developing, promoting, and training programs that further employment for people with disabilities, including Disability Benefits 101 (DB101) and CareerACCESS. He has worked in supportive employment in the disability community for fifteen years.
He previously worked at a Center for Independence managing several statewide projects related to promoting employment and financial self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. He is a Certified Work Incentive Coordinator and a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner.
Nicholas’s passion is education on diversity and equality. He has been speaking on and fighting for disability issues and gender and sexual minorities for 25 years nationally. He also likes to combine knowledge and entertainment to change cultural perceptions. In 2010, he was awarded the Martin Luther King: Living the Dream Award. In 2013, he was acknowledged as one of the 100 Trans making a difference in America.
Currently, Nicholas is studying Mind-Body Transformational Psychology with a focus on spiritual studies.
Heather Duncan, Executive Assistant and Board Liaison
Heather is the Executive Assistant and Board Liaison at WID. She provides support to the WID Board of Directors and Executive Director, ensuring things run in a smooth and seamless manner to support WID’s ability to carry out its mission. With her 10+ years of experience in the legal and corporate fields, she combines her dynamic organizational skills and administrative background with ongoing creativity. Heather has a passion for justice and the non-profit world that was fostered by incredible mentors and her time as a legal intern for the South Carolina ACLU.
Heather received her B.A. in Political Science from the University of South Carolina and J.D. from the Charleston School of Law. When Heather is not working, she is hiking or having impromptu dance parties with her family.
Josephine Schallehn, Projects Coordinator II
Josephine joined WID in 2008 and currently works as a Projects Coordinator II who supports the publications, development, administrative, and finance departments in various capacities. As part of her tasks, she has participated in the planning, development, and coordination of WID’s annual fundraiser. She has also fact checked, style and web edited content for many different projects, including Sticks and Stones and EQUITY.
Josephine is committed to increasing communication, information, and education access for persons with disabilities. As a hard-of-hearing person, she is dedicated to raising awareness about hearing loss and has been a guest speaker at graduate-level classes to share her experience of living with progressive hearing loss. She has also been actively involved with the San Francisco chapter of the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).
Josephine received her B.A. and her M.A., both in English, from Sonoma State University in California. Her research work, “Narratives of Individuals with a Post-Lingual, Post-Vocational Hearing Loss: A Discourse Analysis,” was published in 2004.
Moya Shpuntoff, Marketing & Communications Specialist
Moya is WID’s Marketing & Communications Specialist, and has been working at WID since 2018.
Moya develops written, graphic, and video content for online, print, and social media, with an emphasis on designing for accessibility. They are also responsible for video production, marketing campaigns, and analysis of marketing and communications efforts.
They received their BFA in Fine Art with a minor in Modern Dance from Washington University in St. Louis, where they began to develop their craft as a sculptor and performance artist. Post-graduation, Moya went on to work in art museums, art-based STEM education, and video production while furthering their art practice.
Moya loves to bring their creative & professional talents as a queer, disabled artist and advocate to work towards lasting systems change. In their free time, they enjoy dancing, making, and all things pink.
Jessica Jimenez, Project Coordinator
Jessica is from Southern California. She currently works as the Projects Coordinator for WID. She previously worked as the Systems Change Advocate at the Disability Community Resource Center in West LA.
She has a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.
She began her work as a YO! Member from YO! Disabled and Proud. From there, she became the Diversity Committee Chair and Women’s Caucus co-chair for the National Council on Independent Living; she is also one of the co-founders and advocacy chairs for the National Coalition of Latinx with Disabilities.
She has been on several panels including at the 2017 Women’s Convention in Detroit and the 2018 United States of Women Summit. In 2018 she was awarded NCIL’s Diana Viets Award, an award that is dedicated and committed to improving the lives of young people with disabilities. Jessica is a huge advocate for disability rights, women’s rights, the environment, and young people.
Alabama, Chief Weltschmerz Eliminator
Alabama, WID’s Chief Weltschmerz Eliminator, has been working at WID since mid-2015, following her release from the kennel for the criminally adorable. Virtually every morning, she greets team members with a big bark and a tug toy in her mouth. She is a fierce tug’o’war enthusiast, often leaving opponents with sore arms and existential ennui. When she is not prancing about with her ridiculously fluffy tail arched above her, she can be found ravishing a bone and occasionally biting holes in people’s sweaters—the cashmere ones, mostly, because they taste the best.
Henning is WID’s Happiness Specialist and has been working at WID since March 2018. Virtually every morning, she visits each of her colleagues’ work spaces to check-in on how they are doing. She loves socializing at dog parks and exploring new neighborhoods. Most of all, she is a serious foodie and will always try a new treat! When she is not playing fetch or napping, she can be found training to be a therapy dog. She takes this work very seriously and would like to specialize in children’s wellness. Henning looks forward to having a long career, traveling with her family, and making humans smile.
Our Board Leadership
Kevin was previously the Director of Human Relations (HR) Operations at Motorola Solutions, Inc., the previous Government and Public Safety division of Motorola, Inc. Kevin has over 8 years of HR experience and 12 years of Diversity and Inclusion experience. As Director of HR Operations from 2006-2017, he focused on program and project management of large scale global projects, including mergers and acquisitions, as well as diversity leadership.
Before that, Kevin worked as a Global Resources Manager for Motorola, Inc. where he managed, designed, developed, validated, and implemented global diversity strategies and initiatives. He also served as a Manager of Human Resources for Motorola, Inc. where he managed government compliance initiatives, developed position statement responses for government agencies, performed investigations, managed database and reporting systems, facilitated compliance training, coached managers and senior leadership, and managed community outreach initiatives.
He has served on the Board of Directors for the United States Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the Telluride Adaptive Sports Program (TASP), in addition to serving on the World Institute on Disability’s Board. He has also served as the president of a diversity business council, leading a variety of business and community initiatives.
Kevin was a former member of the U.S. Paralympics Alpine Ski Team. He has his M.A. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from California State University, Sacramento.
Eli serves as the Executive Director of Marin Center for Independent Living (MCIL). He has over a decade of experience working in disability services and advocacy. During his leadership at MCIL, the small grassroots organization has grown to an annual budget of approximately $900,000 with 11 staff serving over 800 individuals with disabilities each year. In 2013, MCIL was recognized as a California Center of Excellence by its peers.
Eli also serves as the co-creator of QuickMatch.org, an innovative web application that blends the high tech capacity of an online personal care registry with the high touch services of local non-profit community-based organizations. QuickMatch.org was recently featured as a model for homecare innovation at the National Home and Community Based Services Conference in Washington, D.C.
Eli translates his personal experience as an individual with a disability into his professional roles. He currently serves as Chair of the California State Independent Living Council, Chief Financial Officer of the Mission San Rafael Rotary Foundation, and board member of the California Foundation for Independent Living.
Eli lives in the Bay Area with his wife, Christina, and their two children. They are a multi-generational disabled and proud family.
Debra Ruh, Secretary; CEO, Ruh Global Communications
Debra was in the banking industry for over 25 years. She became an entrepreneur in 2001 because of her unshakable faith in the power of human potential and her love for her daughter Sara, born with Down syndrome. She created TecAccess, an I.C.T. accessibility firm where the majority of employees had disabilities.
Convinced that “the real disability is being unable to see human potential,” she went on to create Ruh Global Communications in 2013 after merging TecAccess (by then a multi-million-dollar firm) with SSB Bart Group in 2011. Ruh Global Communications is a marketing and strategy firm that focuses on global disability inclusion and digital marketing, among other things.
Debra is also the Co-Founder of AXSChat, a Twitter chat about accessibility and disability inclusion and the number one TweetChat in the world, with over a billion tweets.
She is a global market influencer on social media. Her social media handle is @debraruh with over 300,000+ followers on all mediums. She was named “Top 5% of Social Media Influencers” and “Top 0.1% of people talking about Disability Inclusion and Accessibility” by KLOUT.
She is also a blogger for The Huffington Post, the host of the “Human Potential at Work” Podcast on iTunes, and the author of two books, Uncovering Hidden Human Capital and Finding Your Voice by Using Social Media.
Sheridan is an executive coach and the principal of Purpose At Work. She has partnered for over 20 years with leaders and teams to create more effective and integrated organizations. She has designed, developed, and delivered numerous Leadership Development Programs for clients, using a blended-approach of experiential classroom training, individual coaching, and action-learning.
Sheridan offers coaching in: leading with authenticity and presence, purpose-oriented career management and renewal, accessing one’s personal power to deepen learning and capacity for action, leveraging energy and vitality, and building connections and relationships. Her clients come from Fortune 500 companies, federal government agencies, and nonprofit organizations.
She holds an M.A. in Education and Human Development with a specialization in Organizational Behavior from George Washington University and a B.A. in Economics and Business from DePauw University. She completed Coaching for Personal and Professional Mastery, a coaching certification program, and the Graduate Coaching Program offered by Newfield Network; she is also a certified Somatic Coach as a graduate of the Strozzi Institute. She is a Core Individuation practitioner and a member, faculty, and coach with the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science. She is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) with the International Coach Federation.
She captured her coaching approach in an article in 2011 called “Creating Possibilities and Pathways: Coaching Leaders through Change.”
Our Board Members
Zachary Bastian; Manager, Public Policy, & Strategic Alliances, Verizon
Zachary Bastian is Manager of Strategic Alliances and Public Policy for Verizon, focusing on organizations addressing disability. Zachary serves on the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee, representing Verizon in a multi-stakeholder process, implementing accessibility mandates within telecommunications. He’s passionate on how technology can enhance personal autonomy, allowing people with disabilities to live where and how they choose. Zachary graduated from George Washington University Law School in 2012.
Tali is Wells Fargo’s Chief Information Officer for IT Management. Throughout her 12 years with Wells Fargo, she has served in a number of technology leadership capacities across Innovation, Enterprise Contact Centers, Small Business Payroll, Enterprise Database Management, and Risk Management. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Tali held Technology and Product Management leadership roles for multiple Bay Area startups.
Tali has a bachelor’s degree in English from Tufts University and studied classical vocal performance at the New England Conservatory. Prior to joining WID’s board, she served as President of the Board of Directors for the Computer Technologies Program in Berkeley and served on the Board of Directors for the Randall Museum in San Francisco. Tali is an avid reader and mountain biker wholives in the Bay Area with her husband, two daughters, two cats and a dog, and a bearded dragon named Rey.
Bryanna Evans; Manager of External Affairs, CTIA
CTIA represents the U.S. wireless communications industry. In her role, Bryanna manages CTIA’s accessibility initiative, Access Wireless, acting as a key convener between industry and leaders in the accessibility community. Her focus is on facilitating dynamic conversations on policy, and working to reinforce the wireless industry’s commitment to the key goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act—equality of opportunity, full participation, and independent living.
Bryanna also helps run the day-to-day operations of CTIA’s grassroots project which is a community of wireless consumers, businesses, and community leaders from around the country, supporting reasonable pro-consumer wireless policies. In this role she executes and supports state and national level grassroots campaigns, involving social media content and advertising, website management, and email outreach. Before joining CTIA, Bryanna gained experience in telecommunications working with organizations such as Nokia and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).
Malcom Glenn; Public Policy Manager, Uber
Malcom Glenn is Head of Global Policy for Accessibility and Underserved Communities at Uber Technologies in Washington, DC, where he leads Uber’s global efforts to make the current and future platform more accessible for historically marginalized groups. He spearheads Uber’s work to improve outcomes for people with disabilities, low-income families, communities of color, rural residents, seniors, and returning citizens, among many other groups facing barriers to transportation or work.
Prior to joining Uber, Malcom was an executive communications manager at Google, where he developed strategic communications for two of Google’s chief financial officers and their leadership teams. Before joining Google, he was the national director of communications at the American Federation for Children, an advocacy organization focused on expanding educational options for children from low-income families, and previously worked on issue campaigns at the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner.
Malcom received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard College, where he was the president of The Harvard Crimson.
Darlene is an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Public Interest Law Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Darlene’s fellowship is sponsored by Greenberg Traurig. As a fellow, Darlene works to improve secondary transition services for students with disabilities ages fourteen to twenty-one in the Philadelphia region.
While Darlene was born with Cerebral Palsy and has used a mobility device to ambulate her entire life, she did not become a disability advocate until college. In college, Darlene founded and served as the President of a student organization called the Coalition for Disability Awareness (CFDA). The mission of the organization was to increase disability awareness throughout the campus community and make the campus more accessible.
Darlene had several internships focused on disability rights during law school. After her first year, Darlene interned at WID where she worked on multiple projects, including a paper on emergency preparedness and persons with disabilities. The paper served as the basis for a presentation Darlene gave at the 3rd Annual Central Pennsylvania Public Health Day Symposium in 2016. Darlene also interned at the Disability Rights Section of the Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
In her free time, Darlene enjoys reading and spending time with her niece.
Kiran Kaja; Technical Program Manager, Google
Kiran Kaja is a Technical Program Manager in the Google Assistant team. He works on accessibility and ensures that Assistant-based products and features are useful to everyone including users with disabilities. At Adobe Part he was part of Corporate Accessibility team, based out of the UK and responsible for Accessibility policy and standardization activities in Europe. During his time at the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) he worked on accessibility of newer mainstream technology, influencing policy and practice to make digital technologies accessible to blind and partially sighted people, was a mobile device accessibility specialist, and Project Manager for AEGIS Project. He also worked on accessibility of SAPGUI/Web Dympro based applications, maintaining JAWS scripts for SAPGUI, evaluating and designing accessible user interfaces for SAP applications, researching industry standard accessibility specifications (MSAA, IA2, UIAutomation, ARIA), and accessibility Testing. Kiran has a BA in Business Administration from Pondicherry University.
Kamilah Martin-Proctor; Chair, DC Commission on Persons with Disabilities
Kamilah is a life-long resident and fourth generation Washingtonian. She received a B.A. in Political Science and M.A. in Organizational and Cultural Communication from Howard University. Founder of the Martin Multiple Sclerosis Alliance Foundation (MMSAF).
Mrs. Martin-Proctor served as Vice-Chair on President Barack Obama‘s National Council on Disability, worked as the Program Assistant for the Charles B. Range lnternational Affairs Program at Howard University, a founding member of the District of Columbia’s Neighborhood Services Initiative. She also worked as a Staff Assistant and Legislative Correspondent for Congresswoman Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) and as Executive Assistant to Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ). A frequent commentator and Keynote Speaker most recently at the British-American Project in Ireland, Inland Empire Disabilities Collaborative Expo in Ontario, CA, and Panel Host – Disability Images in Comics for Washington, DC Annual Awesome Con.
Susan Mazrui; Director of Public Policy, AT&T
Susan Mazrui began work Communications in 1994 at Pacific Bell. In 1998, she moved to the wireless field, where she developed corporate strategies for state and federal legal and regulatory compliance. Under her leadership, Cingular Wireless became the first national carrier to offer “talking” cellphones. At AT&T, Mazrui was instrumental in establishing the Corporate Accessibility Technology Office, which has assessed over 50,000 AT&T products and services. She was the architect and active in the development of AT&T’s Accessibility and Inclusion Initiative.
Mazrui has served several terms on the Federal Advisory Committees, is on the boards of the U.S. International Council on Disability, the World Institute on Disability and is a member of the Disability Equality Index advisory committee. Mazrui was named a Summit on Leading Diversity Corporate Fellow and inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame in 2008. In 2013, she was recognized as Employee of the Year by Careers and the disABLED, and in 2014 by AT&T as a Champion of Diversity. In 2016, she received the Digital Accessibility Leadership Award from G3ict and the Stephen Garff Marriott Award from American Foundation for the Blind. She currently lives in Seattle and enjoys Dragon Boating and performing stand up comedy.
Julie previously served as the Director of Human Resources and Facilities and LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired, based in San Francisco. Her first position at LightHouse in 2001, was briefly that of Job Developer – before returning to her HR roots where she remained until 2017.
In the years leading up to joining the nonprofit community, her titles ranged from HR Manager to Director of Operations, as she surfed the dotcom wave until it largely went bust. The experience was invaluable, though, exposing her to a variety of personalities, processes and duties. Her scope of responsibility broadened during that time, as well, leading to many facets of management since, including staff, facilities, information technology, budgeting, programs, vendor relationships, insurance, payroll, contracts, finance, policy and procedure development, report generation, Board presentations, HIPAA compliance, safety, and audit processes. Along the way she’s picked up two senior certifications from the HR Certification Institute and Society for Human Resource Management.
A native San Franciscan, Julie has witnessed those living in the Bay Area make real progress in many areas, including the integration of persons with disabilities into the larger community. She considers it her my privilege to continually support that progress in whatever ways she can.
Neil is Head of Accessibility & Inclusion at Atos where his role is to help make the world a better place by delivering better technology for Atos’s customers and staff, embedding inclusive practice into the Business As Usual Processes of organizations with thousands of employees and turnovers numbering in billions.
He created the Atos Centre of Competence encompassing Accessibility, Inclusive Design and Assistive Technology Services. This team services multiple accounts and delivers best practice, support, and consultancy for the organization.
Neil delivers strategy and services working with a wide range of clients internally and externally helping them to develop policies, processes, and technology solutions to meet the needs of their staff and customers. These clients include: BBC, Department of Health, Ministry of Justice, Insolvency Service, and NHS.
He is the Atos representative on the Business Disability Forum Technology Task Force. Neil is also an invited expert and contributor to the W3C Cognitive Accessibility Taskforce and member of the Atos Scientific Community. He is the Co-Founder of AXSChat, Europe’s largest twitter chat with a focus on Accessibility & Inclusion.
Previously, he worked at Iansyst, one of the largest providers of Integrated Assistive Technology Solutions in the UK.
Michael is a Senior Manager at T-Mobile, who focuses on accessibility and regulatory compliance for company programs, products and services. Having worked in the wireless industry for over 20 years, Michael has developed an expertise in analyzing new technologies for the purpose of ensuring regulatory compliance in key areas.
Michael now supports T-Mobile’s Accessibility Programs, partnering with manufacturers to include accessibility features and ensure customers have access to the latest technologies. Michael also supports the development of informational tools related to the company’s Accessibility Programs and has been an active participant in T-Mobile’s consumer outreach efforts. In addition to these responsibilities, Michael is involved in the T-Mobile Disability and Inclusion Council and currently serves as the Vice Chair of the D&I Council’s Access for Disability Networks.
A graduate of the University of Washington, Michael resides in Bellevue, Washington with his family.
Brian is a Senior Global Policy Counsel at ACT | The App Association, where he works on a diversity of legal and policy issues impacting mobile app development companies, including disability access, intellectual property (patent, trademark, copyright, and trade secrets), privacy, cybersecurity, and connected health. He often speaks publicly at conferences and in the media on challenges and opportunities to the small business app developer community.
Previous to joining ACT, Brian worked for over five years at the Telecommunications Industry Association, a trade association representing telecommunications equipment manufacturers and vendors that is also an American National Standards Institute-accredited standards developer. He has also spent time with the Federal Communications Commission, the District of Columbia Public Service Commission, and the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions.
Brian lives in Silver Spring, MD with his wife Rebecca, son Daniel, and dog Zeke.
Rachel is an attorney at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP in D.C. Her practice spans a variety of policy, regulatory, and compliance matters for communications and technology companies. She has experience representing clients in rule-making, waiver, and enforcement proceedings before several federal agencies including the FCC, NTIA, FTC, FAA, DoD, DOE, and GSA. She advises media companies, carriers, and manufacturers on FCC regulations including accessibility, hearing aid compatibility, equipment authorization, and marketing requirements. Rachel was a recent panelist at a Federal Communications Bar Association Continuing Legal Education event on video accessibility. She also assists clients incorporate unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) into their operations and works with WBK’s trademark team to clear trademarks and prosecute trademark applications.
Frances West; IT Executive
Frances is a sought-after authority on the topic of global ICT accessibility. She has been invited to testify in front of the U.S. Senate on the need to pass the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and has delivered keynote remarks at events hosted by the UN’s Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communications Technologies.
A leader in engaging government and private sectors in accessibility technology solutions and discussions, Frances initiated the Accessible Financial Services Forum in the U.S., France, and China so that business practices and technology innovation can be shared. She has received numerous awards, including the first John D. Kemp Award by the US Business Leadership Network.
Born in Taiwan, Frances attended the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Washington Lee University in Virginia and graduated with a marketing degree from the University of Kentucky. In 2011, she received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She currently resides in Newton, Massachusetts.
Yves Veulliet, Global Disability Inclusion Leader, IBM
Yves Veulliet is a leader in disability inclusion internationally. Currently the Global Disability & Inclusion leader for IBM since 2014, Yves has worked for IBM in a range of positions, including international and diversity leadership roles since originally joining the company as an administrative assistant in 1992. As Global Disability & Inclusion Leader, Yves facilitates the inclusion of employees with disabilities to improve IBM’s existing programs as well as identifying existing inhibitors to a successful work experience.
An accomplished speaker, Yves gave a keynote address at the International Disability Conference by the Australian Network on Disability in Melbourne, 2019, hosted the International Labor Organisation’s Global Business & Disability Annual Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, 2019, and is to be the Keynote Speaker of the 5th World Disability and Rehabilitation Conference 2020 (WDRC 2020) in Sri Lanka. Yves was awarded the 2019 Henry Viscardi Award from the National Business Disability Council, and authored a book, “Turning Point – The fall and rise” about his personal experiences with the consequences of acquiring a disability as a result of an accident, from psychological, societal, and professional standpoints.
Yves’ other positions include: Member of the Global Roundtable of DisabilityIN, Expert Panelist of the Global Diversity & Inclusion Benchmarks, International Associate with Business Disability International, and External collaborator for the Academic Years 2011 – 2020 at the University of Liege – Belgium.
Emeritus Board Members
Judy Heumann co-founded WID with Ed Roberts and Joan Leon in 1983, serving as co-director until 1993. Appointed by President Clinton, Judy served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education until 2001. From 2002-2006, she was the World Bank Advisor on Disability and Development, leading the World Bank’s work on disability. She worked to integrate disability into the bank’s dialogues with client countries, its country-based analytical work, and its efforts to improve policies, programs, and projects that took people with disabilities fully into consideration in developing countries. The Director of the Department of Disability Services for the District of Columbia from 2007-2010, she was appointed by President Obama as Special Advisor on Disability Rights for the U.S. State Department, responsible for leading the Obama Administration’s efforts to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote the rights of persons with disabilities internationally; coordinating an inter-agency process for the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; ensuring that foreign assistance incorporates persons with disabilities; leading disability human rights issues; ensuring that the needs of persons with disabilities are addressed in international situations; and conducting public diplomacy, including with civil society, on disability issues. After leaving that role in 2017, she spent two years as a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation.
Before WID, Heumann was Special Assistant to the California State Director of the Department of Rehabilitation. From 1975-1981, she served as Deputy Director of the Center for Independent Living in Berkeley, California, the first Independent Living Center in the United States.
Joan Leon co-founded WID with Judy Heumann and Ed Roberts in 1983. Her primary goal was to establish a research center that would be able to support the disability rights movement with data. As Co-Director from 1983-94, she had the primary responsibility for developing a strong and reliable base of support for WID’s programs from government, corporations, and donors. In 1994, she became Executive Vice President in charge of programs as well as fundraising. A year later, she became CEO. In 1997, she assumed the role of President and guided the transition of WID to new leadership.
After the death of Ed Roberts in 1995, she was part of a group of community leaders who worked to develop a suitable memorial to Roberts’s work and life. This effort resulted in a plan for the Ed Roberts Campus, a nonprofit corporation formed by 7 major disability organizations that shared a common history in the Independent Living Movement in California. First open in November 2010, Ed Roberts Campus now houses those 7 organizations and a handful more at one site in Berkeley, CA, sharing resources and expertise and to improve services to people with disabilities.
Zona Roberts, while most known for being the supportive mother of Ed Roberts, who would become known as the “father” of the disability rights movement, is a formidable advocate for disability healthcare, education, and assistive technology in her own right. Zona fiercely advocated for Ed’s right to return to high school using a phone to participate in classes from home, and to graduate without fulfilling physical education requirements. She was also instrumental in Ed’s battle with UC Berkeley to accommodate his iron lung in student housing. Zona began attending Berkeley herself at age 49 for a teaching certificate, graduating with her B.A. in 1969 and earning her certificate the following year. Zona worked for the Physically Disabled Students Program (PDSP) coordinating Personal Care Attendants for students, and was even offered the role of Director of the organization, but turned it down, feeling that the program should be led by a disabled person.
She went on to earn her Master’s degree before going to work for the Center for Independent Living, establishing the organization’s counseling department. When she left the CIL in 1982, she opened her own counseling practice, working with caretakers and family members of people with disabilities. Zona’s embodied passion for independent living has been instrumental in securing rights and resources for people with disabilities around the world.
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