Meet Our Team

WID Staff

Ashley Inkumsah, Marketing & Communications Specialist

Ashley Inkumsah, Marketing & Communications SpecialistAshley is WID’s Marketing & Communications Specialist. Ashley develops, implements and tracks marketing programs such as organizational email, social media, digital campaigns and events. She writes, proofreads and edits content across programs and organization wide.

Ashley is a New York City native who relocated to Buffalo, NY in 2013 to attend college. She received her B.A. in English and Journalism from the University at Buffalo (UB) in 2017. While serving as the Senior News Editor at UB’s newspaper The Spectrum, Ashley wrote a wealth of articles focusing on social justice and interviewed many political figures including the 82nd United States Attorney General Eric Holder.

Following her work at The Spectrum, Ashley continued to advocate for marginalized individuals, including people with disabilities, those living in poverty and women through storytelling, service and digital content creation. Ashley is committed to providing disenfranchised individuals with a platform to move the needle forward in social justice.

Outside of WID, Ashley is an avid vegetarian who loves eating foods from different cultures. She also loves animals, music and cruelty-free fashion.

Caradwen BraskatAccounting & Contracts Manager

Caradwen Braskat, headshotCara 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.

Dawn Skaggs, Emergency, Disaster, and Climate Resilience Specialist
Headshot image of Dawn Skaggs, WID’s Emergency, Disaster and Climate Resilience Specialist. She is a White woman with shoulder length sandy blonde hair wearing a gray blazer and smilingDawn Skaggs is WID’s Emergency, Disaster and Climate Resilience Specialist. She is a national and international subject matter expert, consultant and speaker on the creation of disability and whole community inclusive emergency planning, preparedness, response and recovery for universal physical, programmatic and communication access. She has provided training and presentations at hundreds of events for local, national, and international audiences, including radio, television, and University platforms. Her written publications include over a dozen articles on inclusive whole community emergency management to include the Review of Disability Studies Journal and the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Dawn’s experience includes the University of Hawaii, Center on Disability Studies faculty and adjunct with Texas A&M; Incident Management Command and General Staff for multiple extended complex responses; and Director for multiple traditional and technology-based systems change programs. With over 25 years’ experience she is a passionate ambassador for of all people to engage in their own sustainable future.

Dawn draws much of her world view from her diverse life experiences and enjoys reading, nurturing plants and animals and repurposing everything.

Dustin Snowadzky, Technology Specialist

Dustin WID Headshot

Dustin is WID’s Technology Specialist, joining the organization in 2020. He conducts user experience analysis and remediation for websites, digital media, and physical media accessibility. He also manages WID’s audiovisual services for onsite and remote Conference Accessibility services.

Dustin has served as Technical Expert for the development of critical pre-disaster training and post-disaster after-action reports on the impact of natural disasters on people with disabilities. This includes National Council on Disability, Preserving Our Freedom: Ending Institutionalization of People with Disabilities During and After Disasters,  Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies, Getting It Wrong: An Indictment with a Blueprint for Getting It Right Disability Rights, Obligations and Responsibilities Before, During and After Disasters  and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the PacificDisability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction- A Whole Community ActionHe played a significant role in building the technical resources for coordinating disaster response during all the recent catastrophic events, beginning with hurricane Harvey in 2017.

In his free time, Dustin produces music and develops video and board games with a focus on accessibility and inclusion. He is the proud dad of two kittens, Beans and Cheese, who provide hours of entertainment with their adorable antics.

Heather Duncan, Strategy Manager, and Board Liaison

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Heather is the Strategy Manager 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. Heather also manages the development, implementation, and updates to WIDs strategic plan and coordinates all agency grant writing and proposal submissions. 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 SchallehnProjects Coordinator II
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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.

Katherine Zigmont, Senior Director of Operations and Deputy Director
Kat Zigmont, headshotKat is the Senior Director of Operations and Deputy Director at WID. Working with WID’s leadership 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 the 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.

Marcie RothExecutive Director and Chief Executive Officer

Marcie Roth smiling. Marcie is a white woman with light brown hair, wearing red glasses. 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.

Marsha Saxton, Ph.D.Director of Research
Marsha Saxton, headshotMarsha 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.”

Melissa Marshal, Policy Advisor

 

Moya ShpuntoffMarketing & Communications SpecialistMoya, a white femme with a shaved head smiling. They are wearing bright pink lipstick, pink glasses, and earrings with pink feather puffs with a sleeveless black shirt.

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.

Nicholas LoveDigital Systems & Tools Director

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Nicholas Love is the Director of Digital Systems and Tools at WID. Nicholas is a national speaker and advocate for diversity and social justice with nearly two decades of experience in competitive integrated employment. In his career he has created and managed several programs/projects that serve people with disabilities, including a state-wide WIPA (benefits) program, an Employment Network, and numerous demonstration projects to improve employment outcomes and economic wellbeing for people with disabilities. He is a Certified Community Work Incentive Coordinator and a Certified Psychiatric Rehabilitation Practitioner with a degree in Holistic Healthcare with a concentration in Mind Body Transformational Psychology. As WID’s Director of Digital Systems and Tools, Nicholas focuses on the utilization of digital systems and tools that drive and respond policies that direct system-change and the full community integration for people with disabilities.

Nicholas’s passion is education on diversity and equality. He has been speaking on and fighting for disability issues and gender and sexual minorities nationally for over 25 years. He 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 honored as one of the 100 Trans making a difference in America.

Reggie Johnson, Senior Director of Marketing and Communicationsjohnson2820alt

Reggie is the Senior Director of Marketing and Communications at WID. Reggie is part of the leadership team and is responsible for overseeing the development of the marketing and communications strategy, messaging, and identifying and leveraging the most effective communications channels to help extend WID’s presence and positive impact within the US and across the globe. Prior to joining WID, Reggie held several marketing and communications leadership positions with The Coca-Cola Company, Blue Cross and Blue Shield, ADP, as well as with several small entrepreneurial firms. Reggie received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from Duke University. Reggie also loves to travel as he has traveled throughout parts of Asia, Europe, Cuba, and the US.

Henning, Happiness Specialist
A white and brown dog with a stick

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 Foster, Chair; Human Resources Professional
Kevin Foster, headshot

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 Gelardin, Vice Chair; Executive Director, Marin Center for Independent Living (MCIL)Eli Gelardin, headshot

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; CEO and Founder, Ruh Global IMPACT

Debra Ruh main photo August 2019

Debra Ruh is a Global Disability Inclusion Strategist, Market Influencer, internationally recognized keynote speaker, published author, branding expert, successful entrepreneur, and an exceptional mother. Debra is host of a popular program: Human Potential at Work (Audience in 92 countries and 113 Regions).  

She is also an author of three books, Inclusion Branding (available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Voice via Audible), Tapping into Hidden Human Capital and Finding Your Voice Using Social Media. https://tiny.cc/DebraRuh or www.RuhGlobal.com.

Debra consults with Multi-National and National Corporations and the United Nations. Debra is now internationally renowned global keynote speakers and travels the world inspiring and advocating for governments and corporations to include people with disabilities.

Debra Ruh is an active public figure who was invited to address the United Nations General Assembly at the Conference of State Parties 9th session (COSP9) by the President’s office of the UN on May 13, 2016.  In 2018, Debra was selected to support the United Nations (UN), International Labor Organization´s (ILO), Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN). Additionally, in 2018 the U.S. The State Department selected Debra Ruh as a global speaker and ambassador for the United States when visiting foreign nations and speaking on inclusion and disability. Selected as a Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2018. Selected as an Ambassador in 2019 and 2020 for The Valuable 500, Purple Light Up, and Business Disability Forum.

Proud to serve on the board of directors and board officer for World Institute on Disabilities (WID) – 2018 to Present. Board of Advisors for AI in Women and Ethics. Debra is a recognized global influencer, frequently interviewed by various media outlets and she has gathered a significant presence on many social media platforms, with over 400,000+ followers across all mediums. Co-founder of the award winning #AXSChat one of the world’s largest tweet chats with over 8 billion+ tweets. 

Sheridan Gates, MED, PCC, Treasurer; Executive Coach, Purpose At Work
Sheridan Gates, headshot

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
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Zachary Bastian leads strategy in disability, consumer, and senior organizations for Verizon. In 2019, he received the Consumer Technology Association’s Technology and Standards Achievement Award, recognizing his leadership developing a standard for audio-based indoor navigation systems serving people who are blind or low vision. Zachary serves on the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee, and numerous non-profit advisory boards. He’s passionate on how technology can enhance personal autonomy, allowing people with disabilities to live where and how they choose. Zachary holds a BA from the University of Texas, and a JD from George Washington University Law School.

Joyce Bender; Founder and CEO of Bender Consulting Services & Bender Leadership AcademyJoyce Bender, a white woman with curly dark blonde hair, white eyeglasses and a gray blazer and blue blouse.

Joyce Bender is the Founder and CEO of Bender Consulting Services, Inc and the Bender Leadership Academy, located in Pittsburgh, PA. Her focus for both organizations is employment for people with disabilities. As a woman living with epilepsy and hard of hearing, she dedicated her life to a crusade for youth and adults gaining the dream of competitive employment. She works tirelessly to break down the barriers and stigma that exist for people with disabilities.

Joyce is renowned for her passion of employment and equality for people with disabilities. She is often requested to speak internationally by the US State Department and has been overseas discussing employment and disability rights at the Embassies in Panama, Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Kazakhstan. She has also been invited to present on a virtual basis by embassies in Tunisia and Libya.

She serves as the Vice-Chair of the American Association of People with Disabilities, as a Trustee for The Bazelon Center on Mental Health Law, the National Advisory Group for NTID, Homeless Children Education Fund, Variety the Children’s Charity, Civic Light Opera, Disability Rights of PA, and is Chair of the Epilepsy Association of Western and Central PA.

Joyce’s podcast, Disability Matters with Joyce Bender on voiceamerica.com, has aired for 17 years, and is heard around the world. Featured speakers have included CEOs, Senators, authors, and disability rights leaders like, Marcie Roth.

Joyce graduated from Geneva College with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and an undergraduate degree in secondary education.

Tali Bray; Chief Information Officer for IT Management, Wells FargoTali Bray, headshot

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 who lives in the Bay Area with her husband, two daughters, two cats and a dog, and a bearded dragon named Rey.

Bryanna Evans; Grassroots and Strategic Initiatives Director, ACLI
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Bryanna manages grassroots programs strategic initiatives for the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI). In her role, Bryanna oversees ACLI’s community initiative, Protecting Every Future, which gives consumers, advocates, and leaders a platform to support access to financial protection for all Americans. Bryanna focuses on facilitating dynamic conversations on policy and works to reinforce the life insurance industry’s commitment to the key goals of the Americans with Disabilities Act—equality of opportunity, full participation, and independent living.

Before joining ACLI, Bryanna was Program Manager for CTIA where she managed CTIA’s accessibility initiative, Access Wireless, helping convene the wireless industry and leaders in the accessibility community. She also gained experience in telecommunications working with organizations such as Nokia and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

Malcom Glenn; Director of Public Affairs at Better.com

Malcom Glenn, headshot

Malcom Glenn is a writer, speaker, organizational consultant, and public policy and communications specialist.

Malcom is the Director of Public Affairs at Better.com, a platform that makes homeownership easier and more accessible. He’s also a Senior Fellow at The Center for Workforce Inclusion and a Fellow for the Future of Land and Housing program at New America. He was previously the Head of Global Policy for Accessibility and Underserved Communities at Uber Technologies, where he led Uber’s efforts to make the platform more accessible for historically marginalized groups.

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, and he previously managed issue campaigns at the polling firm Greenberg Quinlan Rosner. He’s currently a member of the Council on Criminal Justice, and a board member for the Consumer Technology Association Foundation. Malcom received a bachelor’s degree in history from Harvard College, where he was the president of The Harvard Crimson.

You can learn more about Malcom at www.malcomglenn.com.

Darlene Hemerka; Equal Justice Works Fellow, the Public Interest Law CenterDarlene Hemerka, headshot

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.

Alieu Jaiteh; Teacher & Social Entrepreneur
Jaiteh Alieu, a Black man wearing a white shirt with black stripes.

Mr. Jaiteh has over ten years of experience working with blind and partially sighted people in the Gambia. He is the founder of Start Now www.startnowgambia.org with the mission to train and empower blind and partially sighted high school graduates, youth and adults with computer skills and rehabilitation techniques as a preparation for higher education and employment.

He also works as a teacher at the School for the Blind, where he teaches keyboarding to blind children. Mr. Jaiteh acquired leadership training on project management from Kantharoi in India, as well as blind technique skills from Louisiana Centre for the Blind in the United States.

Mr. Jaiteh is a US Government exchange fellow and has participated under the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders class of 2015. During his fellowship, Mr. Jaiteh studied Civic Leadership at Arizona State University and a Professional Development Experience at World Institute on Disability.

Jaiteh was the former president of the International Visitors Leadership Program Alumni Association of the Gambia, a body comprised of US Government exchange Alumni including Mandela Washington Fellows and YALI RLC fellows.

He is currently a board member of the Gambia Federation of the Disables an umbrella organization representing persons with disability in the Gambia. Jaiteh holds Advance Diploma in Peace and Conflict Studies from Management Development Institute and Higher Teacher’s Certificate from the Gambia College specializing in General Science and Agricultural Science.
Jaiteh is among 2018 volunteer award recipients by UN Volunteers and National Volunteers Network from Gambia. Mr. Jaiteh is one of three recipients of the 2019 Holman Prize for Blind Ambition awarded by Lighthouse for the Blind in San Francisco California.

Carmen Daniels Jones; Vice President – Community and Vendor Engagement, UnitedHealthcare 

2016_PROF HeadshotA business leader, visionary, and advocate, Carmen Daniels Jones recently became the Vice President – Community and Vendor Engagement for UnitedHealthcare.  She leads the company’s Hiring of All Abilities program, leads a team that manages community engagement with NGOs, provides expertise for business development, and opens opportunities for small businesses to become vendors of the company.

She is also the Founder/President of the Solutions Marketing Group and has helped companies and government agencies build deeper, profitable brand relationships with the nation’s 61 million people with disabilities. With over twenty years of strategic consulting experience, Carmen is a leading expert on the dynamics and nuances of disability-focused branding and marketing; employment, and customer service.

Carmen’s expertise has been featured on CNN, the New York Times, Black Enterprise, Glamour, New Mobility, and Essence Magazine. She regularly connects with audiences through her workshops, trainings, and keynotes.  Carmen is a graduate of Hampton University, with a B.S. in Marketing. During her junior year, she sustained a spinal cord injury and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Carmen and her teenage daughter live in the Atlanta area.

Kiran Kaja; Technical Program Manager, Google
Headshot of Kiran Kaja

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.

Lorrell D. Kilpatrick; Disability Rights Advocate, Everybody Counts Inc

Photo of Lorrell Kilpatrick, a Black woman with black glasses, red lipstick and locked hair.Lorrell D. Kilpatrick works as a disability rights advocate for Everybody Counts Inc. independent living centers in Northwest Indiana. She is also an adjunct professor of record for the departments of Sociology and Anthropology and Minority Studies at Indiana University Northwest.

Lorrell is passionately involved in social justice activism in her area. She feels that accessible inclusion and the active upholding of racial and gender-based egalitarianism will secure a true quality of life for everyone.

 

Kamilah Martin-Proctor; Chair, DC Commission on Persons with Disabilities
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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 currently serves as Chair, to the Washington, DC Commission On Persons With Disabilities. An accessibility advocate with twenty (20) plus years’ experience specializing, in workforce development, unconscious bias, education inclusion  and federal leadership.  

She served as Vice-Chair on President Barack Obama‘s National Council on Disability, worked as the Program Assistant for the  State Department’s Charles B. Range international Affairs Program at Howard University. She also worked as a Staff Assistant 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 Howard University – 2020 International Conference on Stigma and 2020 The Invalid Corps Q&A Info – Community Stories Film Festival 

Susan Mazrui; Director of Public Policy, AT&T
Headshot of Susan Mazrui

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 E. McCarthy, SPHR—CA, SHRM-SCP; Human Resources ProfessionalJulie McCarthy, headshot

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 Milliken; Head of Accessibility & Digital Inclusion, Atos
Neil Milliken, headshot

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 Palmer; Inclusion Accessibility Professional 
Michael Palmer, headshot

Having worked in the software and 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 also supports the development of informational tools related to a company’s Accessibility Programs. 

 

 

Miquel Quinones; User Experience Research Manager, Google

IMG_3199Miguel Quinones is currently a User Experience Research Manager at Google, helping to define the future of Google design.

Before that, he worked for TracFone Wireless as the Director of UX Research and Accessibility where he managed all initiatives related to user research, accessibility compliance, and outreach. Miguel was responsible for driving the user experience (UX), design, and content innovations strengthening the usability and accessibility of websites, handsets, mobile applications, and other products and marketing materials strengthening the customer journey for both mainstream and underserved consumers area, focused on the entire product portfolio. During his time at TracFone, Miguel received the Disability Leadership award from WID in 2018 for spearheading better inclusion for people with disabilities. In 2020, TracFone was named as one of the DEI 2020 best places to work for disability inclusion.

Brian Scarpelli; Senior Policy Counsel, ACT | The App Association
Brian Scarpelli, headshot

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 Maryland with his wife Rebecca, son Daniel, and daughter Allison.

Rachel Wolkowitz; Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP
Rachel Wolkowitz, headshot

Rachel is a Partner at Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP in D.C. Her law 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, FrancisWestCo

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Frances is an IT executive well-known globally for her work in accessibility, emerging market, and industry solutions. She was IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer and worked to establish IT accessibility standards, shape government policies, and develop human-centric technology and solutions. Frances also held numerous executive management positions in her 30+ years with IBM.

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 Diverse Ability Inclusion Leader, IBM

Photo of Yves Veulliet, a white man using a manual wheelchair. He is wearing a suit and tie.

Yves Veulliet is a leader in disability inclusion internationally. Currently the Global Diverse Ability Inclusion Leader for IBM since 2014, Yves has worked for IBM in various positions, including international and diversity leadership roles since initially 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 and identify existing inhibitors to a successful work experience.

An accomplished speaker, Yves gave a keynote address at the 5th World Disability and Rehabilitation Conference 2020 (WDRC 2020) in Sri Lanka. He hosted the International Labor Organisation’s Global Business & Disability Annual Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in 2019. 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

Judy Heumann smilingJudy 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

Joan Leon smilingJoan 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

Zona Roberts smiling and holding up a photo of Ed RobertsZona 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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