2017 Presenters

Janet Peters, Project Coordinator, Great Lakes ADA Center, University of Illinois Chicago

Janet Peters wearing a blue shirtJanet Peters is the Project Coordinator of Accessible and Assistive Technology with the Great Lakes ADA Center, which offers technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act in the great lakes region. Janet has 20 years of experience promoting technology for people with disabilities. She has worked extensively with business entities, state and local governments, and educational institutions to further opportunities for individuals with disabilities through assistive and accessible technology. She is the creator and director of Punch-In a self-directed employment resource for young adults with disabilities. Janet also directs the Quality Indicators for Assistive Technology in Post Secondary (QIAT-PS) project which provides tools and training for students and campuses to improve assistive technology service delivery. In collaboration with the Pacific ADA Center, she manages the Accessible Technology Webinar Series, which offers high-quality presentations from nationally recognized speakers to raise awareness and expertise in accessible technology. Janet has her certification in assistive technology from California State University – Northridge and an academic background in computer science and a Masters of Education in Learning Technologies from the University of Minnesota.

Matt Baillargeon, Level Access

Matt Baillargeon wearing a blue and white checkered shirtMatt Baillargeon has been with Level Access for over eight years and has over 11 years of experience in the digital accessibility industry. He has held many roles within the space, including Accessibility Consultant, Application Engineer, and Product Manager. This breadth of experience contributes to a sound understanding of clients’ digital accessibility needs across a wide range of industries including Education, Financial Services, Retail, Federal Government, and more. By applying this experience, Matt enjoys strategizing with clients to determine the most effective solutions Level Access can offer to meet their current and future digital accessibility needs.

Dan Darkow, Accommodation Coordinator, Miami University

Dan Darkow wearing a blue shirt and a blue and grey tieDan Darkow is a recent graduate of Miami University's Student Affairs in Higher Education master's program. He currently works as an Accommodation Coordinator in the Office of Student Disability Services at Miami University and advises the Students with Disabilities Advisory Council. In addition, Dan adjuncts for the Disability Studies program where he teaches Introduction to Disability Studies for undergraduate students.

Stephanie Dawson, Associate Director, Student Disability Services, Miami University

Stephanie Dawson wearing a black shirtStephanie Dawson, MSW, LSW is an Associate Director of Student Disability Services at Miami University. Over the last ten years, she has served both Miami's Regional and Oxford campuses providing disability services. As a University Cincinnati Alumna, Stephanie employs her Clinical Social Work expertise to address complex student needs. A passion for accessible technology attracted her to the disability services field during a graduate placement. In her current role, she works to build partnerships that enhance student access to digital spaces and streamlines the process of using accommodations.

Rachael Edenbaum, Level Access

Rachael Edenbaum wearing a black shirtRachael Edenbaum brings more than seven years of Account Management experience, two+ of those years supporting customers in the Education space. Rachael joined Level Access almost two years ago, and in that time, she has worked with countless Education customers in the K12, Higher-education, and Educational Technology space to jumpstart their accessibility efforts whether they are being proactive or in a litigation situation.

Ted Gies, Elsevier

Ted Gies wearing a light blue shirtTed Gies leads the web accessibility initiative at Elsevier and parent company RELX. He co-authored the company accessibility policies and developed several learning tools on disability and assistive technology. Ted is fascinated by easy-to-use barrier-free information in the STEM field. Current projects include Learning Management Systems, MathML, and screen reader-friendly SVG. Ted draws from 18 years in user experience, where he led the design and user studies in fields such as Geology, Health Sciences, and Academic and Corporate Research. Ted collaborates with many leading universities on accessibility including UIUC, UC Berkeley, and is an active member of the W3C Community Group AccessLearn. Ted holds a Master’s degree in Human-Computer Interaction and is a Department of Homeland Security 508 Trusted Tester. In addition, he has a patent award on a file naming system user interface.

Mitchell Jones, Assistive Technology Specialist, University of Cincinnati

Mitchell Jones wearing a black sweaterMitchell Jones, MS is the Assistive Technology Specialist in Accessibility Resources at the University of Cincinnati (UC). He has previous experience as a clinical mental health counselor and currently works directly with students to address technology barriers. Mitchell also works as an accessibility expert with the Accessibility Network at UC, serving in areas of web/software compliance, change management (awareness and development), and generally advocating for greater access and equity on campus. Mitchell received his bachelor’s degree in fine art, with a concentration in music therapy and a minor in psychology, a master’s degree from Wright State University in clinical mental health counseling, and is currently a doctoral candidate in counselor education and supervision at UC.

Jon McPeters, Territory Director, texthelp

Jon McPeters wearing a striped shirtJon McPeters has 12+ years of experience in the educational technology and publishing industries. He has worked extensively with Google Apps, testing and accountability, digital curriculum, RTI, and assistive technology. Prior to his current role as Territory Director for texthelp, he was an Account Executive at Pearson and also worked at Discovery Education and Thinklink Learning. Jon is a Google Certified Educator Lvl. 2 and resides in Murfreesboro, TN with his wife, Larisa, and three boys, Noah, Jonah, and Judah.

Jason Piatt, Kent State University

Jason Piatt wearing a black suit with a white shirt and patterned tieJason Piatt currently serves as Electronic and Information Technology Manager for the Office of Student Accessibility Services. In this role, Piatt provides leadership and coordination for various digital accessibility initiatives and practices, including acting as a resource and advocate for the electronic and information technology (EIT) accessibility policy, collaborating with various units in the development of accessible online materials, and overseeing accessible technology. Jason possesses more than 13 years of experience in higher education, including consultation in online course design and development, delivery of numerous training and development sessions, extensive service for Quality Matters initiatives for Kent State, and was integral in creating processes to oversee state authorization compliance for Kent State Online programs.

Amit Shukla, Director, Miami University Center for Assistive Technology

Amit Shukla wearing a black suit with a white shirt and red tieMU CAT is a cross-disciplinary scholarly research center with a mission to identify and research socially relevant problems and develop engineering solutions for them to improve their quality of life. MU CAT engages students and faculty at Miami University across multiple divisions and conducts externally funded interdisciplinary research projects. MU CAT currently focuses on engineering solutions to assist and enhance the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. Undergraduate and graduate students work with faculty participants, on active, multidisciplinary research projects in the center. This talk will showcase the work performed at this center.

Mary Smith, Level Access

Mary Smith wearing a pink shirt and a dark blue jacketMary Smith leads the Virginia sales team, represents Level Access at national conferences, and develops liaisons with agencies, corporations, nonprofits, and national consumer groups. She was the founder of BART Group and the co-founder of Bartimaeus Group, which merged with SSB Technologies in 2005 to form SSB BART Group, now Level Access. For the past two decades, Mary has actively contributed to the development of the accessibility market space by serving on committees and participating in key industry organizations. Mary participated in the ATIA CODE groups and is passionate about being part of the formation of a professional society for accessibility professionals and a certification process to validate the profession. Over the years, she has taken part in focus groups and grant-funded projects exploring the best practices of companies with successful programs employing persons with disabilities.

Michael Southern, Director, Disability Services, University of Cincinnati

Michael Southern wearing a red Cincinnati t-shirt and hat standing the the University of Cincinnati Bearcat mascotMichael Southern is Director of Disability Services at the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, OH. He’s held this position since January 2011. Michael has worked with students with disabilities for over 20 years as a vocational rehabilitation counselor at the Kentucky Department of Vocational Rehabilitation and as Director of Disability Services at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, Kentucky. While in Bowling Green, Michael served as President and Vice President for the Mayor's Commission for Person with Disabilities, providing advocacy and resource to the community regarding the education and employment needs of people with disabilities in the community. Michael is often called on to share his expertise on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 to present strategies for students with disabilities transitioning from high school to post-secondary. Michaels' degrees are in Rehabilitation Counseling and Services and Therapeutic Program planning from Murray State University in Murray, Kentucky.

Matt Striet, Assistive Technology Specialist/Web Content Editor, Sinclair College

Matt StrietMatt Striet has 5 years of experience with Assistive Technology and Disability Services in higher education. His position as Assistive Technology Specialist/Web Content Editor at Sinclair College in Dayton, Ohio has shaped his role in assistive technology (A.T.). He has worked with various types of A.T. programs. He also specializes in website accessibility, online class accessibility, and testing programs & software. Matt has experience with assistive technology apps for Android and IOS, as well as with Google, Office 365, captioning software, and alternatively formatted textbooks. Additionally, Matt is in the process of obtaining his ATP Certification. He currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a graduate of Northern Kentucky University.

Matt Vitale, Media Accessibility Specialist, W.W Norton & Co.

Matt Vitale wearing a white checkered shirtMatt Vitale is Norton’s new Media Accessibility Specialist. With a Masters in Orientation and Mobility, Matt has extensive experience working with blind and low vision populations. He most recently worked as an accessibility specialist at MSF&W Consulting where he conducted accessibility audits and worked with clients to improve the accessibility of their products.

Thomas Webb, Director, Office of Disability Services, Wright State University

Thomas Webb wearing a blue shirt and yellow tieTom is the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator and Director of the Office of Disability Services at Wright State University. He comes to Ohio from the University of Delaware, where he served as their ADA/Section 504 Compliance Officer and as the Director of Disability Support Services. He has also held director positions at McDaniel College and Chesapeake College, both in Maryland, and taught classes in undergraduate and graduate programs on disability studies, special education and special education law. Tom served for two years in Washington, D.C., as a Kennedy Disability Policy Fellow, which included working with the 110th Congress on multiple policy issues related to education, labor, and disability. His efforts in that role included negotiating and drafting the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008. In 2009, he was appointed by the governor of Maryland as chair of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. Tom earned his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and master’s degree in Psychology from Washington College in Maryland and is a doctoral candidate in Education: Innovation and Leadership at Wilmington University in Delaware.

Amanda Weyant, Academic Services Coordinator, Kent State University at Stark

Amanda Weyant wearing glasses, a blue shirt and a black jacketAs the Director of Student Accessibility Services (SAS), Amanda Weyant sets strategic priorities for the department and provides leadership and supervision to SAS staff. As an advocate on behalf of students with disabilities, Amanda educates the University community about accessibility through service on a variety of committees and promotes social justice through the inclusion of people with disabilities in the educational environment. Amanda is the co-chair of the Kent State University Accessibility Committee and currently serves as the President-Elect of the Ohio Association of Higher Education and Disability. Amanda has a Master of Arts in Education in Higher Education Administration from The University of Akron and has worked in higher education for twelve years in both academic and disability support services roles.

Greg Williams, Independence Science and SeeWriteHear

Greg Williams wearing a black suit with red shirt and grey and white tieDr. Greg Williams received his Ph.D. in computational chemistry from the University of Cambridge and holds B.S. degrees in chemistry and mathematics from Indiana University. He is a former high school teacher with teaching experience in and outside of the sciences. Greg understands the accessibility issues in STEM courses from his experiences as a blind student pursuing a STEM career. He was a post-doctoral fellow with the Institute for Accessible Science at Purdue University. Since 2012 he has worked for Independence Science and currently also works with SeeWriteHear (formerly gh LLC). Greg has been part of projects that include accessible lab technology development, working with publishers to improve the accessibility of their online STEM curriculum, and consulting with high schools and universities on STEM accessibility.

Evan Yamanishi, Accessibility Lead and Co-Director of the Norton Lab, W.W. Norton & Co.

Evan Yamanishi wearing a grey shirtEvan Yamanishi is the Accessibility Lead at W. W. Norton & Company, and also directs the Norton Lab, where he creates experiments that envision the future of publishing. Evan spent the last two years as Norton’s first-ever Media Accessibility Specialist and previously worked in disability support at Lansing Community College in Michigan, where he also served on the MI-AHEAD board.

J. Andrew Zeisler, Director, Student Disability Services, Miami University

Andy Zeisler wearing a grey suit with a white shirt and blue tieJ. Andrew Zeisler (BFA '88, M.Ed. '00) is the Director of Student Disability Services (SDS) for Miami University's Oxford campus. In his 30th year of service to the University, Andrew has been involved with Miami's efforts toward enhancing inclusion and accessibility for over 3 decades. Currently, Andrew serves on the Accessible Technology Committee, the President's Council on Diversity and Inclusion, University Senate, and manages an amazing team of professional staff in SDS who serve almost 9% of Miami's student body. Andrew is a member of the Association of Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD), its Ohio affiliate group OH-AHEAD, and Chairs Miami's Annual Kate Welling Disability Awareness Lecture committee each spring. He has forged partnerships with local arts organizations such as Cincinnati's Clovernook Center for the Blind and St. Rita's School for the Deaf, as well as InsideOut Studio of Butler County, to enhance the cultural component of SDS. Feel free to visit 304 Shriver Center to enjoy work by local artists with disabilities. Additionally, Andrew is a former Co-President and currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the 1809 LGBT Alumni Association, and has endowed a scholarship for GLBTQ* students at Miami.

Kara Zirkle, Accessible Technology Specialist (MU)

Kara ZirkleMs. Zirkle has over 15 years of experience working with individuals with disabilities. Kara has worked in Government and Higher Education. She is currently working at Miami University building accessibility procurement and policy. Prior to this, she worked at George Mason University for 9 years working closely with Enterprise Architecture reviewing accessibility. She works to ensure that Section 508 and WCAG 2.0 compliance with electronic and information technology (E&IT) is accessible to faculty, staff, students, and the public both with and without disabilities.