2012 Speaker and Roundtable Biographies
Enid Ablowitz has been the associate director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities since its inception in 2001. She previously worked with the founding donors, Bill and Claudia Coleman, in her capacity as assistant dean for advancement at the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. Ablowitz began her career at the university in 1989 and headed the team that raised over $100 million for the college before facilitating the gift that launched the Institute.
A graduate of Boston University, Ablowitz is also a certified fund raising executive (CFRE) and a certified specialist in planned giving (CSPG). She is the author of Making Money Matter: 8 Steps to Thoughtful Giving, and writes a monthly column on philanthropy in the Business Plus section of Boulder's newspaper, the Daily Camera. She has conducted workshops on resource development for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), for Imagine! Colorado, and for numerous non-profit groups. Prior to moving to Colorado, she was a successful entrepreneur and business leader in New York.
David B. Arciniegas, MD is the Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky chair in brain injury medicine, executive director of the Beth K. and Stuart C. Yudofsky division of neuropsychiatry, professor in the Menninger Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Baylor College of Medicine, and is senior scientist and medical director for brain injury research at The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research (TIRR) at Memorial Hermann. His clinical and research activities focus on the evaluation and rehabilitation of persons with traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and posttraumatic neuropsychiatric disturbances. His work is supported by multiple federal agencies and philanthropic organizations. He has authored over 100 articles and 27 book chapters for professional and lay audiences, and edited 4 books. He is associate editor for the Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences and serves on many journal editorial boards, including Brain Injury and the Neurotrauma Letter. He has served as a program analyst and subject matter expert for the Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center of the United States Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, and is a scientific reviewer for multiple federal and private grant-making agencies in the U.S. and abroad. Arciniegas is the current president of the International Brain Injury Association, a member of the executive committee of the International Neuropsychiatric Association, and on the advisory committee of the American Neuropsychiatric Association. He is a frequent lecturer at local, national, and international scientific meetings, and an active participant in governmental and non-governmental organizations working to improve systems of care for persons with TBI.
Rodney Bell is the principal at ASSET Consulting (Adopting/Applying Systems, Software, and Engineering Technology). The mission of his practice is to advance the effective use of emerging technology in service of social needs. Bell currently specializes in technologies for long-term care and people with disabilities. Clientele includes university institutes, technology vendors, service providers, trade associations, and government agencies. He helps organizations research, develop and market, adopt and use, or foster and govern new technology. Bell presents at conferences and has helped state associations plan and host a technology showcase about emerging technology for people with disabilities. He writes for publications such as NADSP Frontline Initiative and ANCOR Links. Bell was previously employed for 18 years in the computing and electronics industry. He has a BA in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin and is a member of the IEEE Computer Society and Association of Computing Machinery.
Bruce D. Benson became president of the University of Colorado (CU) in March 2008. Since taking the helm of his alma mater, Benson has enhanced CU's standing as one of the nation's leading teaching and research universities. During his tenure, CU's research funding has reached record levels, supporting the university's research strengths in biotechnology, health care, renewable and sustainable energy, and aerospace engineering, among others. He has led efforts to promote cross-campus collaboration that have resulted in cooperative academic programs and research initiatives, most notably CU's Biofrontiers Institute, led by Nobel Laureate Tom Cech.
CU has seen its four best fundraising years under his leadership. Benson and his wife, Marcy, chair CU's $1.5 billion Creating Futures fundraising campaign, which was publicly announced in April 2011. The campaign has raised $1.05 billion to date to support scholarships, academic enhancements (endowed faculty positions, programs), research projects and capital improvements across CU's campuses.
Benson has guided efforts to successfully institute operational efficiencies, cut bureaucracy and improve business practices at the university. CU has secured legislation in the past three sessions of the Colorado General Assembly that has allowed it to save millions annually in areas such as procurement, insurance and construction. He has also established public-private partnerships to make the university more entrepreneurial and meet the needs of businesses in Colorado and across the country.
Before becoming CU's president, Benson had already made his mark in business, politics, philanthropy, education and civic endeavors. He founded Benson Mineral Group in 1965 and was the Republican nominee for Colorado governor in 1994. Benson has received many honors recognizing his leadership, but two are particularly notable: in 2004 CU granted him an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, and in February 2009 he was named to the Colorado Business Hall of Fame.
Peter Blanck, PhD, JD, is university professor at Syracuse University, the highest faculty rank granted at the university. Blanck is chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute (BBI), a university-wide institute working on the inclusion of persons with disabilities around the globe. He is chairman of the Global Universal Design Commission (GUDC), a founding member of Raising the Floor (RtF) U.S., and honorary professor at the Centre for Disability Law and Policy, the National University of Ireland, Galway.
Blanck received a JD from Stanford University, where he was president of the Stanford Law Review, and a PhD from Harvard University. He is a former member of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities and senior fellow of the Annenberg Washington Program. His recent books include: Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy (with Hill, Siegal and Waterstone, in 2009); Race, Ethnicity and Disability: Veterans and Benefits in Post-Civil War America (with Logue, in 2010); Are People with Disabilities Sidelined or Mainstreamed? Economic, Political, and Social Inclusion (with Schur & Kruse, 2013); Legal Rights of Persons with Disabilities: An Analysis of Federal Law (with Goldstein & Myhill, 2013).
Cathy Bodine, PhD, began her career in assistive technology in 1985. She joined the faculty of the University of Colorado Denver, Anschutz Medical Campus in 1996. Today, she is internationally recognized for her leadership in the field of assistive technology and vigorously pursues her passions for new product design, research, service to families and persons with disabilities, and the professional assistive technology community at large through her leadership of Assistive Technology Partners.
Bodine has served as the principal investigator (PI) for a number of pre-service professional preparation grants, as well as the Colorado Assistive Technology Act. In addition, she has served as the PI for several research and development projects leading to new designs in AT devices. She also led a U.S. Department of Education funded field initiated development project utilizing the international classification of functioning to measure assistive technology outcomes. She is the principal investigator for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Advancing Cognitive Technologies (RERC-ACT). Bodine serves on numerous national and international boards and is a frequent author and lecturer.
David Braddock, PhD, is associate vice president of the University of Colorado (CU) System and executive director of the University System's Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. He holds the endowed Coleman-Turner chair in cognitive disability and is professor of psychiatry at the University's School of Medicine. He was previously at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) for 22 years and is professor emeritus there. Braddock was founding head of the UIC's academic Department of Disability and Human Development. At UIC he was instrumental in establishing several innovative programs including the nation's first PhD program in disability studies, the Illinois University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities Project, the CDC-funded National Center on Physical Activity and Disability (now at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama), the Disability and Business Technical Assistance Center on the implementation of the ADA, and centers in assistive technology and aging. Prior to UIC, he held positions in Washington, D.C. in the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare's Secretary's Committee on Mental Retardation and the Council for Exceptional Children.
His publications focus on long-term care, health promotion and disease prevention and public finance. He has presented in 48 states, seven foreign countries and testified in 15 state legislatures. His research has influenced mental disability legislation, litigation and appropriations decisions in the states and nationally.
Justin Brockie is the chief operating officer for Therap. He oversees the design and direction of Therap's applications as well as the implementation of the system with individuals, families, providers, counties, and states across the country. Brockie and his family have been providing supports to people with disabilities in their home for more than 20 years. Before becoming therapeutic foster parents, they provided respite care for children and adults, supporting people with a wide range of medical, physical, psychiatric and health needs. As a parent, foster parent, and educational surrogate parent, Brockie has interacted with social work, educational, and health systems and seen firsthand the direct benefits of communication based around real data.
Diane Nelson Bryen
Diane Nelson Bryen, PhD, has been professor of special education since 1973 and was executive director of Pennsylvania's University Center for Excellence from 1992 until her retirement in 2008. Her contributions to improving the quality of life and equal access for people with disabilities have been widely recognized. For the past 14 years, she has been a partner in the AAC-RERC, has authored an App for Emergency Communication, and is collaborating with the Wireless RERC in developing an App so that people with limited or no functional speech can disclose that they have been a victim of violence. Bryen has done work in Israel, South Africa, India, Australia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. Most recently, she was a member of a panel that presented on Article 13: Access to Justice at the United Nations 5th Conference of Member States of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
William (Bill) T. Coleman III is the founder and president of the Coleman Colorado Foundation which supports the University of Colorado Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. Coleman is a partner with Alsop Louie Partners, an early stage Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and also CEO and chairman, Resilient Network Systems. He is currently a member of the board of directors of iControl Networks Inc., Framehawk Inc., and Business Executives for National Security, as well as Resilient Network Systems.
Previously Coleman was founder, chairman, and CEO of Cassatt, Inc. an enterprise cloud software company. In 1995, he founded BEA Systems, Inc. for which he developed the vision and business plan, recruited the two other principals, and raised the Series A funding from Warburg Pincus. Coleman was chairman and CEO of the company from its founding through September 2001 during which BEA became the fastest software company ever to reach a billion dollars in annual revenue.
Prior to BEA, Coleman held various management positions at Sun Microsystems, Inc. Before his work at Sun, he co-founded and was vice president of engineering at Dest Systems. Prior to that, he was the director of product development at VisiCorp where among other things he oversaw publishing of the first spreadsheet, VisiCalc. At GTE Sylvania he was general manager of the high frequency systems group. Coleman began his career in the U.S. Air Force as chief of satellite operations in the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force supporting the National Reconnaissance Organization. He has a bachelor's degree in computer science from the U.S. Air Force Academy and master degrees in computer science and computer engineering from Stanford University. He also has an honorary doctorate from the University of Colorado. Both Ernst & Young and the Robert H. and Beverly A. Deming Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Colorado named Coleman their 2001 Entrepreneur of the Year, and Business Week named him one of 2001's ebiz 25 top executives.
Founding donor of the University of Colorado's Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, Claudia Coleman began her technology career when she joined Hewlett-Packard (HP) in 1971, initially in an administrative position. Her career grew rapidly as HP rose to prominence in the emerging computer industry and she was promoted to district manager, responsible for helping build HP's sales channel for printers and computer peripherals. Her sales career was highlighted by her selection to HP's prestigious President's Club in 1986. Before leaving HP in 1992, Coleman was promoted to Americas Peripherals Marketing Center manager in the company's multibillion-dollar Computer Peripherals organization.
For most of the past decade, Coleman's energy has been focused on various volunteer, charitable, and philanthropic activities, including the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities. She is secretary of the Coleman Colorado Foundation board and chair of the El Camino Hospital foundation board of directors. In 2001, she was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Colorado. She is a past member of the President's Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities where she served as chairperson of the Assistive Technology subcommittee.
Chris Collins is executive director of Alliance, a private nonprofit professional association whose members include community centered boards and service provider organizations. Alliance members provide services and supports to individuals with developmental disabilities throughout Colorado. Alliance is dedicated to strengthening community services and supports by collaboratively advancing innovative practices and policies.
Prior to taking her current position at Alliance, Collins was executive director of Horizons, one of 20 community centered boards in Colorado. She earned her BA and MA degrees at Springfield College in Springfield, Massachusetts. Collins served on the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) and was co-chair of the ANCOR State Association Executives Council. She has over 40 years of experience in Colorado's community based system.
Al Cook, PhD, is professor of speech pathology and audiology in the faculty of rehabilitation medicine at the University of Alberta. Previously he served as dean of the faculty of rehabilitation medicine, chair of the Health Sciences Council and associate dean, research, in the faculty of extension. Cook has worked with interdisciplinary teams to develop assistive devices and to assess the effectiveness of technology being used by persons with disabilities. He received his BS in electrical engineering from the University of Colorado and both a masters and a doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Wyoming. Cook co-authored Cook and Hussey's Assistive Technologies: Principles and Practice, 3rd edition, and Essentials of Assistive Technologies, both published by Elsevier in 2008 and 2012, respectively. He has co-edited three other textbooks and has written numerous chapters in rehabilitation and biomedical engineering texts, monographs, peer reviewed papers, and conference proceedings. He is currently writing about the lives of his sister (born in 1936) and son (born in 1968) both with severe intellectual disabilities. His current research is focused on the use of robotics to assess and develop cognitive and linguistic skills in young children who have severe disabilities. Cook is a member of the Seniors Advisory Council of Alberta, Canada and is past-president and a fellow of RESNA. He is a registered professional electrical engineer in California.
Daniel K. Davies has been actively involved in research and development of technology for individuals with intellectual and cognitive disabilities for over 20 years. He has directed over 70 research projects focused on technology and cognitive disabilities funded by the U.S. Department of Education, National Institutes of Health, DARPA and the Kennedy Foundation. In addition to being founder and president of AbleLink Technologies, Inc., he has held a research appointment with the University of Kansas's Beach Center on Disability since 2001. Prior to starting AbleLink he worked as a human factors scientist in the aerospace industry and also as a counselor/case manager serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities at an adult service agency.
Mark Emery, the CEO of Imagine! since 2008, has over 30 years of experience supporting people who have a disability. Emery has spoken at national conferences on issues related to intellectual disabilities, including the use of technology to more effectively support people with disabilities. He believes that maintaining Imagine!'s commitment to quality services demands continuous improvement through research, evaluation, feedback and practice. Imagine! is dedicated to staying on the leading edge of new technologies that increase the ability to provide opportunities for people with cognitive disabilities to thrive, as well as augment the effectiveness of support staff and provide cost savings for Imagine! and other service providers. Imagine! also partners with leading academic organizations to continue to research new and innovative ways to better serve recipients of service. Emery holds a BS degree in mathematics education and a MA degree in special education administration.
David A. Ervin is the executive director of The Resource Exchange, a Colorado-based nonprofit serving children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) around the Pikes Peak Region. He has extensive professional experience in the intellectual and developmental disabilities industry, having worked in and/or consulted to organizations in the U.S. and abroad. In addition to his role with The Resource Exchange, Ervin is also president of Alliance Colorado, an association of more than 30 organizations that support individuals with IDD, and is a Governor's appointee to the Colorado State Board of Human Services. He is heavily engaged in legislative advocacy and public policy work at the local, state and federal levels, both in issues of IDD and business. In 2011, Ervin was named the Profiles in Leadership award recipient by the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce "for his extraordinary leadership in creating a healthy business climate in the Pikes Peak Region."
Robert Fletcher, DSW, ACSW, FAAIDD, NADD-CC, is the founder and CEO of The National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD). He is the author/editor of several books and articles covering mental health aspects in persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), and is chief editor of the Diagnostic Manual -- Intellectual Disability (DM-ID). His interests include clinical, programmatic, as well as policy issues concerning individuals who have a dual diagnosis (IDD/MI). Fletcher has a breadth of experience in providing clinical services, program development, and leadership in inter-systems collaboration.
Marty Ford, JD, is the director of the public policy office for The Arc of the United States. She has 28 years of experience in federal public policy affecting people with disabilities, particularly in issues related to Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability, and long-term care services and supports (including Medicaid). She served three years as chairperson of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of over 110 national organizations, and continues as its immediate past chairperson. Ford is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and serves on its board of directors. She is vice-chair of the board of directors of Advance CLASS and serves on the board of the Long Term Quality Alliance. A member of the American Bar Association, she has served on its Commission on Law and Aging and currently serves as disability liaison to the commission. She received a JD from the George Washington University National Law Center, an MS from Pratt Institute, and a BA from the University of Virginia.
Tamar Heller, PhD, is professor and head of the Department of Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) and director of its University Center of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities for the state of Illinois. She also directs the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Aging with Developmental Disabilities: Lifespan Health and Function, the Institute's Family Clinics, and the TAP autism training program. She has active projects on self-directed supports, family support and health promotion interventions for individuals with disabilities. Heller has written nearly 200 publications and presented numerous papers at major conferences focused on disability through the life course with a special emphasis on bridging aging and disability. She has written or co-edited five books and has edited special issues of Technology and Disability, American Journal on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, Journal of Policy and Practice in Intellectual Disabilities, and Family Relations.
Heller is past president of the board of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. In 2005 she was Senator Obama's delegate to the White House Conference on Aging. As a co-founder of the national Sibling Leadership Network, she is a member of its executive board. Her awards include the 2009 Autism Ally for Public Policy Award of The Arc/The Autism Program of Illinois; the 2008 Lifetime Research Achievement Award, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities, Special Interest Group on Aging and Intellectual Disabilities; the 2009 Community Partner Award of Community Support Services, and the 2010 Outstanding Researcher Award in the UIC College of Applied Health Sciences.
Michael R. Lardiere, LCSW, is currently the vice president, Health Information Technology and Strategic Development, National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare (the National Council). Lardiere has over 30 years of health care experience in inpatient, outpatient, and managed care settings and was behavioral health administrator for one of the largest FQHCs in the nation. He has extensive experience in implementing electronic health record and other health information technology and integrating behavioral health and primary care. His managed care experience includes senior positions in clinical and provider relations areas and he was responsible for provider contracting, profiling, and quality for over 20,000 clinicians and 5,000 facilities in the Northeast.
Lardiere is engaged with community behavioral health organizations, Federally Qualified Community Health Centers (FQHCs), health center controlled networks, Primary Care Associations, the National Health Information Network and other health information systems to advance the field of health information technology and exchange. He is responsible for developing strategy and in assisting behavioral health centers across the nation in implementing various HIT strategies to improve quality care. In addition, as an experienced and licensed mental health professional, Lardiere not only provides consulting services in mental health and substance abuse but also in integrating these services with the medical fields. Lardiere is a board member of the National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC), a member of the CCHIT Behavioral Health Workgroup setting the EHR standards for behavioral health EHRs, and a member of the National Quality Forum (NQF) Behavioral Health Measures Subcommittee. He is an ONC Certified HIT clinician/practitioner consultant professional.
Clayton Lewis, PhD, is currently serving as a consultant on cloud computing at the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). He is on leave from his positions as professor of computer science, fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science, and scientist in residence at the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he has been based since 1984. He is well known for his research on evaluation methods in user interface design. Prior to joining the University of Colorado, Lewis was manager of human factors at IBM's Watson Research Center. He was named University of Colorado President's Teaching Scholar in 1989, a life-title signifying the University's highest award for teaching. He served as chair of the Computer Science Department from 1999 to 2003. He earned an AB in mathematics from Princeton University, an MS from MIT for interdisciplinary study in mathematics and linguistics, and a PhD from the University of Michigan in experimental psychology. He has been recognized for social impact and technical contributions by the ACM CHI community.
Margaret (Maggie) Nygren, EdD, is executive director and CEO of AAIDD (The American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities). She has held positions at the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), the Disabled and Elderly Health Programs Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in Baltimore, the Lieutenant Joseph P. Kennedy Institute in Washington, DC, and Kit Clark Senior Services in Boston.
O'Hara is chief operating officer of the Westchester Institute for Human Development and associate professor at the School for Health Sciences and Practice, New York Medical College. O'Hara has had a long standing interest in how the new smart technologies can enhance health care self-management and choice for individuals with cognitive disabilities. As part of a national initiative on self-determination, he recently edited a research to practice guide on Self-Determination in Health for People with Intellectual Disabilities. In partnership with AbleLink Technologies, O'Hara is part of a team developing accessible surveys for iPads that allow people with cognitive disabilities to report directly on such issues as their satisfaction with their health care or the extent of choices in their community living arrangements.
Renee L. Pietrangelo, PhD, is chief executive officer of the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR) in Alexandria, Virginia. Since the fall of 2001, she has played a key role in creating and implementing a national campaign, sponsored by ANCOR and endorsed by seven national disability organizations, to address workforce issues regarding recruiting and retention of direct support professionals who support people with disabilities. She has worked with numerous federal and state leaders in crafting initiatives to address workforce shortages. In 2004 she was awarded the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services distinguished Secretary's Highest Recognition Award.
Pietrangelo has over 30 years of experience as a nonprofit association executive, with established expertise in the areas of leadership competencies and development, and education and training. Her previous association executive positions were in the fields of medical technology and financial services. Pietrangelo has been integrally involved in quantitative and qualitative national research on leadership competencies. She earned her PhD in philosophy at Georgetown University, with an emphasis on ethics and human values.
William Pound has been the executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) since September 1987. He has been with the conference since its founding in 1975 and has been instrumental in the development of many of its innovative programs and services designed for legislators, legislative leaders, and legislative staff.
NCSL was created by the 50-state legislatures to represent their interest on the federal level and to develop greater interstate communication and cooperation. NCSL maintains a Washington, D.C. office, which represents state legislatures on state-federal issues, and a Denver, Colorado office that works on state issues and priorities. NCSL provides a wide range of services to legislatures, including direct project assistance, research information, and publications.
Pound has researched and written extensively on legislatures and the legislative process, and fiscal and public finance issues. He speaks to both national and international audiences on topics of state government fiscal conditions, public policy issues, and on the activities of state legislatures and federalism.
Mary Kay Rizzolo
Mary Kay Rizzolo, PhD, is clinical associate professor in the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and associate director of its Institute on Disability and Human Development, the UCEDD for the state of Illinois. She has been a member of the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities Project research team for the past 14 years. Rizzolo has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters, and monographs on financial and programmatic trends in the states and the nation; state commitments for family support, supported living, and supported employment; and assistive technology for persons with cognitive disabilities. Before assuming her current position, Rizzolo served as a professional research assistant at the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities, as a policy analyst for the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities Project, and as a habilitation coordinator at a large ICF/DD in North Carolina, where she managed a residential unit for individuals with dual diagnosis.
Cyndi Rowland, PhD, is the associate director at the Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) at Utah State University. The CPD is part of the national network of University Centers of Excellence in Disability Research, Service, and Education. Cyndi's work and expertise is in accessible information communication technology (ICT). She directs WebAIM, as well as the National Center on Disability and Access to Education (NCDAE), both viewed as important resources in digital accessibility. Rowland engages in research, tool development, education, as well as policy and standards work throughout her projects at national and international levels. Her research interests include how to improve knowledge and practice in accessible web design as it applies to those with cognitive and learning disabilities.
Marcia Scherer, PhD, MPH, is president, Institute for Matching Person & Technology. She is also professor of physical medicine and rehabilitation, University of Rochester Medical Center and project director, Burton Blatt Institute, Syracuse University. She is a past member of the National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research, National Institutes of Health, and is editor of the journal Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology. Scherer is a fellow of the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine, the American Psychological Association, and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). Scherer authoredAssistive Technologies and Other Supports for People With Brain Impairment and Living in the State of Stuck: How Assistive Technology Impacts the Lives of People with Disabilities as well as authoring, editing, and/or co-editing seven other books. She has published over 60 articles in peer-reviewed journals and over 25 book chapters on disability and technology and has been cited more than 2000 times by others. She has been a keynote or invited speaker at scientific meetings both nationally and internationally. She has received multi-million dollars of federal funding from NIH, CDC and NIDRR as principal investigator or co-investigator.
Sue Swenson is deputy assistant secretary for the U.S. Department of Education Office on Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Swenson previously served as CEO of The Arc of the United States, as executive director of the Kennedy Foundation, and as U.S. commissioner for developmental disabilities in the Clinton administration. Swenson was educated in interdisciplinary humanities at the University of Chicago and holds an MBA from the University of Minnesota. She is the mother of an adult son who has complex disabilities. She once carried a placard at a state capitol disability rally that said, "I demand better data."
Michael (Mike) Wehmeyer, PhD, is professor of special education and director, Kansas University Center on Developmental Disabilities, and senior scientist, Beach Center on Disability at the University of Kansas. His research focuses on issues pertaining to self-determination, the conceptualization of intellectual disability, the design of support, education of students with severe disabilities, and technology use by people with cognitive disabilities. He is past-president and a fellow of the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, and a fellow of the American Psychological Association, Division on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
Greg Wellems' career began 25 years ago as a direct support professional. For the last 20 years he has worked as chief operating officer with Imagine!, in Lafayette, Colorado. Wellems has been involved in the development of many innovative programs designed to better meet the needs of persons with disabilities and has developed several software programs that are being used by human service providers across the nation. His current focus is on developing and incorporating technology to improve supports for individuals with cognitive disabilities. This focus has resulted in the development of the two SmartHomes in Colorado which serve as a model for the future of care for individuals with cognitive disabilities and related conditions. Wellems also works as a consultant, assisting organizations to implement assistive technology to improve the quality and efficacy of services. He serves as a member of the board of directors for the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR).
Ann Cameron Williams-Caldwell
Ann Cameron Williams-Caldwell, PhD, leads the Research and Innovations Department at The Arc of the United States, advancing mission and strategic objectives through vision work, designing and implementing innovative solutions for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Williams-Caldwell has a PhD in disability studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and is the mother of a young adult with Down syndrome.
Dustin Wright joined Rest Assured® in January 2006 as general manager. In this role, Wright works with residential providers, case managers, individuals with disabilities, seniors and families to tailor the Rest Assured® patented web-based Telecare system to meet each individual's needs. He oversees operations at the company's "state-of-the-art" network virtual support and response center and is responsible for marketing, sales and development.
Tony Yu is the director of web and information technology for the American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR). His responsibilities include administering ANCOR's websites, database, and technology infrastructure, as well as educating ANCOR's members on emerging technologies and innovative applications. Yu earned a BA in economics, with a minor in sociology, from Vanderbilt University.