Brief Biography (~200 words)
Abdul Waheed Khan
Mr. Abdul Waheed Khan presently occupies the post of Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris. His full biography can be found at: Biography of Mr Abdul Waheed Khan Phd.
Becky Gibsonis a Senior Technical Staff Member in IBM'sEmerging Internet Technologies Group. Her focus is on Web Accessibility and making the Web usable for all. She is the Accessibility Lead for theDojo Open Source Toolkit and is implementing the W3C Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) specification within the Dojo core widget set. Becky has contributed to the W3C through work on WCAG 2 as well as the ARIA specifications.
Becky has over twenty years of development experience and has worked on various versions of Lotus Notes as well as Lotus 1-2-3. Resume
Ben Caldwell, Web Accessibility Specialist at the Trace Center, has been working primarily on WCAG 2.0 in recent years and is now shifting focus to the Raising the Floor Initiative.
University of British Columbia
The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
General bio is at http://www.mellon.org/about_foundation/staff/program-area-staff/christophermackie. My program has a strong interest in ensuring that accessibility issues do not hinder adoption of open source projects in the Foundation's non-profit constituencies, including higher education, libraries, museums, performing arts organizations, and conservation organizations.
I'm the technical lead for the Fluid Project at the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre. The Fluid Project works with open source communities to address the often-neglected values of usability and accessibility in their products. Currently, I help the Fluid community build inclusive Open Web architectures for cultural institutions and higher education using the Infusion framework. I've been involved in accessibility work for over a decade.
Dawn is part of the Centre for the Development of Open Technologies (CDOT) at Seneca College. She will represent the work of CDOT with Mozilla, Red Hat - Fedora, SUN Open Officeand IBM -Eclipse. Her own interests are focused on accessibility and usability for resuable learning activities and accessibility for use of technology with the elderly.
University of Manitoba
Research In Motion
Greg Fields is the Accessibility Product Manager at Research In Motion (RIM), and responsible for ensuring BlackBerry products can be accessed and operated by customers with disabilities (see BlackBerry Accessibility microsite for more). Greg spends most of his days creating new requirements for accessibility features, driving features through to commercial release, providing pre and post sales support to carrier and end user customers, collaborating with research organizations, working with advocacy organizations, reviewing applicable legislation and more. Beyond what can be done by RIM, Greg's interests include improving the availability and applicability of third party access solutions for mobile phones from commercial and open source third party partners. Greg has spent more than 10 years in the Telecommunications and Embedded Communications industry with RIM, QNX Software Systems and Nortel Networks, studied Psychology at the University of Ottawa, is a Certified Usability Analyst, is a proud father of a teenage son, and soon-to-be doting husband.
ATRC (ATutor, AChecker)
Greg Gay has been with the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto since 1996, and has played a variety of roles in managing accessibility related projects. He leads the ATutor project, which has developed an open source Learning Management System, the first to conform with international accessibility standards. He also leads the AChecker project, which has created an open source Web accessibility evaluation tool that allows Web developers and Web content authors to assess the accessibility of the information they post to the Web. Greg also runs the ATRC Websavvy services, which provide accessibility evalaution and design services, as well as being involved in a variety of activities associated with the development W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines.
Professor of Ind & Biomed Engr and direct the Trace R&D Center at the U of Wisconsin-Madison. Worked in the field of technology and disability for just under 40 years. Started out in Augmentative Communication (a term from my chapter in 1975); first portable user programmable communication aid and first 'portable' text to speech synthesizer. Moved to computer access in 1979: access features from Trace Center (StickyKeys, MouseKeys, etc) are built into MAC, Windows, Linux, X-Windows. Xdis access features in Amtrak Ticketing machines, ATMs, Voting machines, WWII Memorial, and Automated Postal Systems across the US. Lots of work in standards and guidelines: wrote the first computer access guidelines in 1985, consumer products guidelines in 1992, and first Web Access Guidelines after www2 in 1994 Co-chair the WCAG working group. Latest effort is 'Raising the Floor'
Director of Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (Tekri) at Athabasca University.
NV Access Inc
Jan Richards is a User Interface Design Lead at the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre (ATRC) where he manages ÆGIS (Ontario) (a project that is developing several key pieces of open source accessibility infrastructure) and the Web-Based Teaching Tool (a web-based early screening and intervention website for teachers). He has also been involved with the development of the W3C-WAI Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines (ATAG) and the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines (UAAG). Jan has also contributed to the development of SignLinking (a technique for creating sign language-based web content).
Jess Mitchell is the Project manager for Fluid (http://fluidproject.org/), (Fluid Engage, Decapod, etc.) a distributed community-source project, working closely with open source projects, museums and cultural institutions. Jess works with a large team of distributed Fluid team members to produce accessible, high performance, clean and nimble front-ends using new technologies for the web and beyond. Jess has worked on a number of large, complex distributed projects, bridging gaps and fostering innovation. Those projects have ranged from building the Ghana Internet Exchange Point to serving as co-Project Manager on the Duke Digital Initiative (iPod project +), and co-teaching an open source project course with 4th year students at Duke University.
University of British Columbia
I am the Director, Strategy in the Information Technology department at the University of British Columbia . At UBC, I'm responsible for working collabouratively with campus stakeholders to develop creative IT strategies that anticipate and reflect broad campus needs. Beyond UBC, I'm a frequent participant in a number of external group such as the Canadian Access Federation , the Middleware Architecture Committee for Education , and as a board member of Jasig . My interest in accessibility culminated in participating as a board member of the Fluid community source project.
I direct the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre, a research and development centre that focuses on the inclusive design of emerging information and communication technology and leads or participates in a large number of open and community source software projects including Fluid, Fluid Engage, Decapod, CulturAll, ATutor, CapScribe, GOK, AEGIS, Raising the Floor and others. I chair the W3C WAI Authoring Tool Accessibility Guidelines working group and am the project editor of a number of ISO accessibility standards. I work with several jursidictions on accessibility legislation.
SUN Microsystems, OpenOffice.org
I lead the OpenOffice.org community project and also represent the Project on the Oasis ODF Adoption TC and the OIC TC, as well as in other related ODF endeavours. I am also striving to position accessibility issues and more broadly inclusive design considerations at the centre of both any design and promotion of OOo and related technologies.
University of California, Berkeley
I am the Director for Educational Technologies at UC Berkeley and oversee the Educational Technology Services department. We serve the UC Berkeley campus community by providing services and online tools which supports them in their teaching, learning and collaborative endeavors and are committed to the pursuit of innovative educational technology projects in areas that can expand our ability to improve the teaching and learning experience at Berkeley and around the world. We have been active participants in the Fluid Project , Sakai Project , and now are leading the Opencast Project -- all open source, community developed products out of higher ed. It is imperitive that these projects produce easy to use and accessible tools.
University of British Columbia
Natasha works as an Educational Technology Manager in the office of External Programs and Learning Technologies at UBC. She worked on a web accessibility project (2005-2007) funded by BCCampus, redesigning online courses to be more accessible to students with various disabilities. For this project, Natasha and her team got a BC Innovation award in 2007. They published a chapter on accessibility in Education for Digital World and gave numerous workshops and presentations about their work locally and internationally. Natasha is always interested in improving student learning experience. Bio and more about her work .
University of British Columbia
I am a member of the Strategy Group in the Information Technology department at the University of British Columbia. I have been involved with a number of Open Source initiatives including Jasig, Kuali Student, and Fluid. My present focus is Identity and Identity Management.
The Linux Foundation
Pete has worked in the field of accessibility software development for most of his career. Most recent work includes:
- Development of the IAccessible2 accessibility interface standard. Facilitated the parallel development of the specification, the applications, and the assistive technologies. This enabled IBM to make IBM Lotus Symphony (ODF documents) accessible on Windows. The implementation in Firefox made WAI-ARIA possible.
- Enhanced the state of the art of accessibility on Linux, implementing portions of the Linux Screen Reader.
- Provided project management for IBM Java Self Voicing Development Kit.
- Led the architecture and development team for IBM Home Page Reader 3.0.
- Acted as either team lead or developer of various versions of IBM's SpeechViewer, a speach therapy product.
- Created the architecture and then designed and developed a prototype telephone based communications system for users who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Led development teams for two versions of IBM THINKable, a product for cognitive therapists.
SUN Microsystems, AEGIS
Peter Korn is a Principal Engineer & Accessibility Architect at Sun, and is also the Technical Manager of the AEGIS project. He has over 15 years' experience in the field of accessibility – as a designer of assistive technologies, as a developer of architectures and APIs for accessibility, and as a creator of accessibility standards. With Willie Walker, he developed the Java Accessibility API and implemented it on the Java/Swing toolkit. He also was the initial developer of the Java Access Bridge for Windows which exposes Java platform accessibility to Assistive Technologies in Windows. With Bill Haneman and members of the GNOME community, he helped create the GNOME accessibility framework. He co-chairs the OASIS OpenDocument Accessibility Standards Subcommittee, and was Sun's representative to the U.S. Telecommunications and Electronic and Information Technology Advisory Committee, which is developing a set of recommendations for the update to the U.S. Section 508 and Section 255 accessibility regulations. He is presently consumed by the AEGIS project, which is developing a suite of open source accessibility solutions for the open desktop, Web 2.0, and mobile environments with a particular focus on the entire "Accessibility Value Delivery Chain" including the developer tools used to create accessible software. Blog at: http://blogs.sun.com/korn
Rich Schwerdtfeger is an IBM Distinguished Engineer, the Software Group Accessibility Strategist and Architect, and a Master Inventor. His responsibilities include overall accessibility architecture and strategy for IBM Software Group. Richard participates in numerous W3C standards efforts including HTML, WAI Protocols and Formats, Ubiquitous Web, and previously the User Agent Accessibility Guidelines. Richard chairs the W3C WAI-ARIA accessibility effort for Web 2.0 applications as well as OASIS and IMS GLC Access for All accessibility standards efforts. Richard joined IBM at the Watson Research Center in 1993 where he helped design and develop IBM Screen Reader/2. He, later, led numerous accessibility efforts at IBM, including: the collaboration with Sun on Java accessibility where he co-architected the Java Accessibility API and the IBM Self Voicing Kit for Java; the Web Accessibility Gateway for seniors; the IAccessible2 strategy; and the Linux accessibility strategy. Rich is leading an effort in the Open Ajax Alliance to develop an open source rules libary and best practices to boost tools vendors to properly support WCAG 2 and WAI-ARIA. His focus is on an open, personalized web experience for all users and and is working to ensure the Web has this capability throuth his work on WAI-ARIA, HTML 5, and Acces For All integration with the ubiquitus web
Pursuing an MA in Higher Education at OISE/University of Toronto, researching a large government-funded OER project in China. Also co-founder of Peer2Peer University, whose launch will be announced during OpenEd09. Particularly interested in multilingual computing and issues of language and equity. Blog at http://reganmian.net/blog
University of British Columbia
Sharon Hu is an Instructional Designer for External Programs and Learning Technologies at the University of British Columbia. With a background in multimedia development that focuses on incorporating visuals into the curriculum, Sharon is interested in learning about accessibility and ways to adapt online courses to meet its standards.
University of Toronto
I am a member of the Faculty of Information at the University of Toronto where I teach an Inclusive Design Laboratory course and do research on various aspects of and issues with "openness" with respect to information. I enjoy collaborating with Jutta and the ATRC, and many of my students end up working in the ATRC.
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Walter Bender is the founder and executive director of Sugar Labs, whose mission is to produce, distribute, and support the use of the Sugar learning platform. Sugar Labs is a support base and gathering place for the community of educators and developers to create, extend, and teach with the Sugar learning platform.
Bender is past-president for software and content development of One Laptop per Child, a not-for-profit association that developed the first netbook computer which are being used by more than one-million children worldwide. Before taking his leave of absence from MIT, Bender was executive director of the MIT Media Laboratory and holder of the Alexander W. Dreyfoos Chair.
SUN Microsystems, GNOME
Willie currently leads the GNOME accessibility project and the Orca screen reader project. Prior to joining Sun, Willie worked for Digital Equipment Corporation from 1988-1997 on the X Window System and Motif. His work on X/Motif included the Remote Access Protocol (RAP), which is one of the first API-based approaches to accessibiltiy, and the XKB keyboard extension, which includes the AccessX functionality. While at Digital, Willie also helped found DACX, the Disability Action Committee for X. Since joining Sun in 1997, Willie worked on the Java/Swing toolkit, including the design and implementation of the Java Accessibility API. Willie also led the open source efforts for FreeTTS (a speech synthesis engine) and Sphinx-4 (a speech recognition engine). Willie has also been involved in creating several standards for the accessibility industry.