Presenters

Bree Callahan, ADA/Section 504 Coordinator, University of Washington (Keynote Speaker)

breecallahanheadshot2019.jpgBree Callahan is the ADA/Section 504 Coordinator for the University of Washington. In that role, she provides leadership, coordination, and oversight to advance the University’s mission, vision and strategic priorities relating to accessibility. Previously, Bree served as the Director of Disability Resources for Students at the UW for seven years. In this role, she oversaw an office that facilitated the accommodation process and partnered annually with 3000+ students with disabilities, 3200 faculty/academic staff, and 15 academic colleges and professional schools. Overall Bree has eighteen years’ experience in higher education at both two-year and four-year institutions in Washington State. She has served on two WA State Legislative Task Force’s examining barriers in place for students with disabilities transitioning and/or transferring to Washington State higher education institutions. Bree has had the opportunity to serve regionally as President of Washington Association on Post-Secondary Education and Disability (WAPED) as well as nationally, as the Chair of the Association on Higher Education and Disability’s (AHEAD) Standing Committee on Technology.

Kelly Bennett, Manager of Social Media and Marketing Strategy, University Communications and Marketing, Miami University

kellybennettsm.jpgKelly Bennett scored her dream job right out of college when she accepted a position to launch the social media strategy at her alma mater in 2011. Building Miami University’s social media from the ground up, she has found great success by staying on top of trends in an ever-changing digital world. Kelly has spoken at numerous national conferences as a thought leader in higher education and her work has been recognized by multiple organizations including Huffington Post, Mashable, and CASE.

Stephanie Dawson, Associate Director, Miller Center for Student Disability Services, Miami University

Stephanie DawsonStephanie D. Dawson, MSW, LSW, LCDCIII is the Associate Director of the Miller Center for Student Disability Services at Miami University and a University of Cincinnati Alumna. Her passion is mobilizing teams to innovate accessibility practices and advance inclusion for people with disabilities. In her current role, she leads the daily operations of an experienced team of disability services professionals and cross-collaborates with university departments to drive institutional commitment to accessibility. Stephanie’s expertise includes leveraging technology to streamline access to accommodations, faculty support & education, institutionalizing accessibility best practices and supporting organizations in reimagining service delivery through a social justice lens.

Laura Fathauer, Web Content Accessibility Specialist, Miami University

Laura FathauerLaura Fathauer is the Web Content Accessibility Specialist at Miami University. She previously worked as the Web Accessibility Coordinator at Ohio University, and in the Digital Accessibility Center at The Ohio State University. She is currently working on her dissertation in the history of higher education through OSU.

Krista Greear, Accessibility Consultant, Blackboard

krista greearAn enthusiastic, data-driven individual, Krista is passionate about inclusivity. With over 11 years of experience, Krista’s focus is to accelerate digital content, with expertise in document and video accessibility. She is excited about improving the experience for all users, students, and clients by working with stakeholders to make changes at an organizational level. Krista has directly supported 60+ institutions in strategizing around improved inclusion through the implementation of Blackboard Ally.

Since 2018, Krista has served as the Vice President of ATHEN, a professional association, and network accessibility and technology. Leveraging her Master of Education in Educational Technology from Boise State University (2018), Krista is interested in the intersection of accessibility, and instructional design. Her professional connections include AHEAD and Toastmasters.

Cindy Hurley, Alternate Format Production Supervisor, Miami University

Cindy HurleyCindy Hurley has served as the Alternative Format Production, Supervisor in the AccessMU Center at Miami University since 2009. She supervised the IT Services Print Center for 25 years before IT formed a partnership with Student Disability Services and acquiring the responsibilities for producing alt format of student textbooks.

Devva Kasnitz, Adjunct Professor at CUNY School of Professional Studies

devvakasnitzsm.jpgDevva Kasnitz was trained as a cultural geographer at Clark University and then as an anthropologist at The University of Michigan. Devva Kasnitz did postdoctoral work at Northwestern and at the University of California, San Francisco in urban and medical anthropology. She has worked in the area of disability studies for the last 30 years while still maintaining an interest in ethnicity and immigration. She was on the founding board of the Society for Disability Studies, the Anthropology and Disability Research Interest Group, and has mentored a generation of disability studies scholars in the US, Australia, and Guatemala. Devva lives in Northern California surrounded by her family and by spinning wheels and baskets full of yarn and wool waiting to become yarn.  Please check back.

Nick Laes, Accessible Technology Specialist, Miami University

Nick LaesNick Laes has served as the Accessible Technology Specialist at Miami University since 2018. His role is to facilitate the accessible testing process, engage with vendors, and to provide means of alternative equal access. Nick is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies. Prior career emphasis includes procurement and IT asset management.

Autumn Meade, Accessible Technology Coordinator, Miami University

Autumn MeadeAutumn studied Applied Sociology and Family, Gender, & Society at Miami University Regional Campuses. She received her degree in 2011. Autumn worked as a student employee and she grew an excitement for higher education while completing her degree at Miami. Following graduation, she worked as the office coordinator for the English & Foreign Languages Department at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia. However, Autumn has a passion for Miami University and knew she wanted to come back. She fulfilled this goal and returned to Miami in 2014 as the Technical Support & Accessibility Specialist for the Regional E-Campus department. She joined the AccessMU team as the Accessible Technology Coordinator in December of 2017. Autumn is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies. In her free time, Autumn loves to spend time with her nieces and nephew. She also enjoys cooking, movies, and traveling.

Dave Schleppenbach, Consultant, Coactive

Dave SchleppenbachDave Schleppenbach is an Accessibility Industry expert with over 20 years' experience working with and developing assistive technology, Dave began his career through partnership with Purdue University by founding the VISIONS Lab in 1995, which developed cutting-edge STEM teaching tools for visually impaired college students and innovative media production processes. In 2000, Dave founded GH, LLC to provide services for the print disabled – including visually impaired, learning disabled, and mobility impaired users. As CEO, he led GH for almost two decades, driving software development, hardware design, large-scale braille and tactile graphics production, and strong advocacy ties to disabilities organizations as well as industry and government entities.

With an extensive academic background in physical chemistry, mathematics, and special education, Dave has a comprehensive understanding of technology and business development and the unique challenges companies face when it comes to creating accessible materials and assistive technologies.

Dave has also founded several other high-tech companies in the early stages of growth, including Tactile Engineering LLC, a company focused on hardware devices for the blind. Further, Dave has served as a mentor, advisor, consultant, and fundraiser for numerous other high-tech startups in the Assistive Technology, Biotech, Gaming, and Entertainment market spaces.

Dave has published numerous academic and technical articles in various fields including science, math, technology, engineering, and education, and regularly appears as an invited speaker at conferences, universities, and similar venues. Dave also holds numerous patents for inventions spanning multiple fields and disciplines.

Hope Sweeney, Accommodations Coordinator, Miller Center for Student Disability Services, Miami University

Hope SweeneyHope has over 25 years of experience in working with students and adults with disabilities. She has worked in non-profit and state government settings and specializes in working with persons with blindness, visual impairment, and mental health diagnosis. In Miami’s SDS office, Hope works directly with students and faculty to ensure smooth application of accommodations in and out of the classroom and coordinates all pre term conferences for students who are blind or visually impaired. Hope is also the Senior Department Lean Leader for the Division of Student Life and a Ph.D. student in the Leadership, Culture, and Curriculum program.

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.