SPEAKERS’ BIOGRAPHIES

Name Biography
Abbass ABBASS Adv. Abbass Abbass is the founder and director of Al-Manarah (Lighthouse) Association, Abbass is a social entrepreneur with a vision to change the world for persons with disabilities in the Arab community, and in other communities as well. Abbass has had a visual disability since birth. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in law, and a second master’s in Business Management, specializing in Nonprofit Management. In 2009, he was selected as the first Ashoka Innovator for the Public Fellow in Israel.
Jake ABMA Jake Abma is Accessibility Lead for ING Netherlands. For the last five years he has set up a raft of initiatives to make sure products and services are accessible to people with the widest range of capabilities. Having a background in visual design, user experience and as a front-end developer he now is the product owner of a dedicated accessibility team where Co-Creating, Training and Productizing Inclusive Design are the core activities. Besides being a passionate promoter of accessibility both inside and outside the Bank, Jake is also a UN CRPD Ambassador and active participant in the WCAG Working Group (AG WG) at the W3C.
Shadi ABOU-ZAHRA Shadi Abou-Zahra works with the W3C Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) as the Accessibility Strategy and Technology Specialist. He coordinates accessibility priorities in the W3C Strategy team, as well as international promotion, coordination, and harmonization of web accessibility standards. Shadi also maintains WAI liaisons with key stakeholders including disability, research, and standards organizations, as well as coordinates WAI outreach in Europe, accessibility evaluation techniques, and European-funded projects on accessibility.
Ola ABU ALHAIB Ola Abu Alghaib is head of influencing, impact and learning at Leonard Cheshire Disability, based in London.
Ola is a disabled person and has almost two decades of experience in the field of disability, development, and inclusive social policies in LMICs.
Her responsibilities have encompassed policy analysis, program design, management and evaluation, formulation of advocacy strategies, capacity development, extensive use of qualitative methods, and research with the World Bank, UN agencies (WHO, ILO, UNESCO), NGOs (including disability organisations) and INGOs.
She has been a member of advisory bodies to support governments in social policy reform. Recently Ola was involved in providing technical expertise around effective reforms towards inclusive social protection policies.
She is completing her PhD on social protection and disability in LMICs.
Monica ACKERMANN Monica has a career long passion for creating accessible digital spaces and for the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce. She works with the Disability Rights Promotion International AWARE project to improve labour-market participation of people with disabilities in India, Nepal and Bangladesh. She is an engineer with a Masters in Critical Disability Studies where she explored the intersection of workplace accommodation and accessible technology infrastructures on employment outcomes for persons with disabilities. She is a board member of ARCH Disability Law Legal Aid clinic and a member of the Accessibility for Ontarian’s with Disabilities Act Employment Standards Development Committee. Monica currently works at Scotiabank, Canada promoting accessible and inclusive digital design in her role as the Digital Accessibility Lead.
David ADI David Adi, Make-Sense Founder & CEO
Serial entrepreneur with proven track record:
Founder of SourceIT (acquired), Co-Founder of AppSource and Former CEO adMingle Israel
Lejla AGIC Lejla graduated with a degree in psychology in 2004 from the University of Sarajevo. Since the beginning of 2005, she has been employed at the Zenica City Museum as a museum educator. Lejla has been actively involved in the project of accessibility of the museum since 2006-7, sponsored by Cultural Heritage without Borders (CHwB), and she has also been an active member of the Balkan Museum Access Group since its establishment. Lejla designed and implemented a lot of creative and educational workshops for children (Through play to yourself, Detective in the museum, From sheep to carpet, Stories from the past), accompanying publications, tactile replicas for permanent exhibitions, and legends in Braille.
Omair AHMAD Mr. Omair Ahmad is a graduate of The University of the South – Sewanee, with a Bachelors of Arts in Economics. He has previously worked at SNL Financial, a financial analytics company headquartered in Virginia, on their global expansion initiatives. Since March 2013, Omair Ahmad has served as the Director of NOWPDP and is responsible for the overall management of the organization, strengthening and increasing the impact of its projects, which promote access to education and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities, and creating an inclusive Pakistan.
Anna ALISJAHBANA Anna Alisjahbana was a Pediatrician and Neonatologist at a Teaching Hospital in Bandung in the early 70’s. At the time only 20% of infants were born in health facilities, in rural and underserved areas home birth was the norm. Her concern was “How’s the babies’ quality of life after survival?”, knowing how low birth weight, birth complication, and poor parenting are related to developmental delay/ disability. Thus, Anna established Suryakanti Foundation – Center for Development of Child Potentials in 1984, serving children with developmental delay/ disability. Late 2000’s, her concept of Early Childhood Development Center was adopted nationwide.
Nadja AL-MASRI-GUTTERNIG Nadja Al-Masri-Gutternig studied art history and education with a special emphasis on inclusive art and cultural mediation. She is now active in this field and works at the Salzburg Museum, where she drives the development of new approaches in making cultural institutions more accessible. She has published a book on barrier free communication in this field and has used her research to make the Salzburg Museum a place which appeals and can be used by able and disabled alike. Additionally, she teaches in a special education school for adolescents with behavioural problems. She is also a trained goldsmith.
Salem A. ALSHAFIEI Dr. Alshafiei is currently an independent senior urban planning advisor and adjunct professor of urban planning at the Master of Urban Planning Program, American University of Sharjah. He obtained his Ph.D. in Urban Planning from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom in 2007. Has over 24 years of professional urban planning, design and development experience within the local governments of Dubai and Abu Dhabi. His specific areas of expertise and research interest include transportation planning and policy, sustainable and livable communities, transit-oriented- development, inclusive cities, universal design and urban planning and development governance systems.
Mukhtar ALSHIBANI Alshibani is President of AlModon Engineering Consultancy and the Immediate Past President of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technology and Environments (GAATES). He is a GAATES Member of Board of Directors and Member of Council of trustees. Alshibani is also part of Experts on Universal Design and Universal Accessibility and Member of the ISO TC59/SC16.
Mervette AL-SHIHABI Mervette M. Al-Shihabi, works for Zain Jordan, currently assuming the position of a Sr. Manager-Strategy & Project Management Office at the marketing department, planning the management of the release of new products. Previously, Mervette served as the Senior Manager , Business Planning at the CEO Office of Zain Jordan. Mervetter has also been appointed for the Merger Integration Project between operators in different countries to lead and mobilize the launch of all the strategic initiatives between the countries where the operators operate in. Additionally, Mervette assumed the position of the International Roaming Business Development Manager at Zain Jordan during which she was able to streamline the division towards increased profits and sustained improvements. She is currently listed in the inaugural Dubai Based CommsMEA Power-List one of the ‘Top 50 Influential Female Telecom Executives’ across the region, ranked 26.
Ivor AMBROSE Ivor studied Environmental Psychology in the UK and for over 30 years he has worked on accessibility in the areas of building research and design, new technologies, policy and – since 2001 – Accessible Tourism and destination management. His current work includes consultancy, training and project management for EU and international programmes and clients in the tourism industry. He is one of the founders of ENAT, the European Network for Accessible Tourism, a non-profit association, registered in Brussels in 2008, which was born out of an EU funded project on “mainstreaming disability in the tourism sector”. As ENAT Managing Director, together with the Board of Directors, he coordinates the network’s European and global partnerships and projects, and manages Pantou.org – The Accessible Tourism Directory. He has a driving ambition to make tourism accessible for everyone, everywhere.
Natalia AMELINA Professional activity of Mrs. Natalia Amelina, Ph.D., is connected with studying, analyses and development of training materials and recommendations on various trends of ICT use in educational process, including adaptation and use of ICT for people with disabilities, ICT in preschool and primary school education, ICT for skills development, ICT for TVET, etc. She has experience of more than 20 years in pedagogics. Mrs. Amelina is an author of more than 30 publications in the field of education.
Working in the UNESCO Institute for information technologies in education for more than 15 years, Mrs. Amelina participated in the international projects and being the expert and the coauthor of training materials; she took part and organized many international and national conferences, carried out a large number of meetings and the training seminars on promoting ICT in education.
Neha ARORA Neha Arora, is the founder of Planet Abled, which provides accessible travel solutions for people with disabilities.
Neha worked with companies like Nokia & Adobe before taking the plunge to start Planet Abled.
Born to parents with disabilities she experienced challenges in travelling.
One such experience, became the tipping point for her to leave her career and start the inclusive travel journey based on Universal Design
Neha is a graduate of Nasdaq Entrepreneurial centre MMI program and recipient of India Inclusion Summit fellowship for her work at Planet Abled.
Neha also conducts workshops in corporate and various forums for amalgamation of people with disabilities in mainstream via travel and delivers sessions on Social Entrepreneurship at various universities.
Carmen ARROYO DE SANDE Carmen Arroyo de Sande joined the European Association of service Providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) in 2014 where she leads the Development, Research & Innovation team. Prior to this, she worked for the European Foundation Centre (EFC), the European Network of Regional and Local Health Authorities (EUREGHA), the Association of European Border Regions (AEBR) and the EU Office of the Regional Government of Extremadura. Her fields of expertise are EU Policies and Law, EU Funding, Regional and Local issues, Employment, Social Affairs & Equality, Health, Human Rights, Disability and Philanthropy. She holds a Master’s Degree in European Law and a Postgraduate Specialization in New Marketing Trends for Social Economy Enterprises. She is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy.
Karin ASTEGGER Karin Astegger is responsible for Quality Management and Research & Development at Lebenshilfe Salzburg/Austria, a service provider for persons with learning disabilities. She is the chair of the Independent Monitoring Committee for the implementation of the UN-CRPD in Salzburg, and board member of EASPD (European Association of Service Providers for persons with Disability). She took up her Masters and PhD in psychology, and is henceforth licensed as psychotherapist, clinical and health psychologist. She held a research and teaching position at the University of Salzburg, and worked as psychotherapist. She has been working in social services since 1997.
David BANES David Banes is Director of his company David Banes Access and Inclusion Services and was formerly CEO, at Mada, Qatar Assistive Technology Centre addressing all aspects of access and inclusion through technology. He currently is working across the Middle and Far East Europe and into Africa with a focus upon building access infrastructure from policy to practice.
Recent projects include the development of a response to disruptive innovation in the access industry, identifying solutions to meeting the needs of refugees with a disability, and building a business case for public investment in assistive technology, whilst supporting entrepreneurs to bring products and services to market.
Mary BARTOLOMUCCI Mary joined the Accessibility Directorate in 2015.   The Directorate supports the vision of an accessible Ontario by 2025 under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 by developing, implementing and enforcing accessibility standards that apply to over 400,000 broader public sector, non-profit and private sector organizations. Mary previously held executive positions at Ontario Government’s ministries, as Director of Policy in the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure, and as Director, Corporate and Business Operations in the Ontario Heritage Trust.
Daniela BAS Ms. Bas, Italian, is a political scientist who graduated Magna Cum Laude with a major in International Politics. She is also a certified Business / Life Coach and journalist. Ms Bas had previous experience as a young professional in the United Nations from 1986 to 1995 before moving onto work in her native Italy from 1996-2011. Her wide range of experience includes, inter alias, CEO in the private sector, adviser for the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and adviser for the Presidency of the Council of Ministers on human rights and social affairs. Designated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy, she was a member of the Board of Directors of the European Union Agency of Fundamental Rights; Special Adviser to the Vice President of the European Commission (On. Frattini). At the European Union, she was representative on the topic “Tourism for All” on behalf of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy.
Amanda BASI Amanda Basi is the Manager of Accessibility Certification at the Rick Hansen Foundation in Canada. Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility CertificationTM (RHFAC) is a LEED-style rating system that measures the accessibility of commercial, institutional, and multi-unit residential facilities. She joined the Foundation in 2016 as Manager of the Access4All Canada 150 Signature Initiative, working with 55 communities across Canada to implement accessibility improvement projects in celebration of Canada’s 150th birthday.
For over 10 years, Amanda has led high-level programs and events in philanthropy, finance, and energy. She has worked extensively in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America. She currently resides in Vancouver, Canada.
Ogulcan BASKAN Ogulcan was born in Istanbul and studied Industrial Engineering. While he was studying he started working as a volunteer at YGA. YGA is an international non-profit, non-governmental organization founded in Turkey in 2000. It aims to cultivate double winged youth – meaning both socially conscious and competent. Considerate of the problems of society they live in, YGA students develop international projects that can offer solutions. He led YGA’s field projects and organized science sessions with more than 200 blind, orphan and Syrian children. He has been managing YGA’s awarded My Dream Companion mobile application since 2016 and developing blind technologies with YGA volunteer teams.
Magnus BERGLUND Magnus Berglund is the Accessibility Director at Scandic Hotels. Scandic Hotels is the largest hotel operator in the Nordic region with over 230 hotels and 45,000 hotel rooms in seven countries. Since Magnus Berglund took on his role at Scandic in 2003, he has created a unique accessibility program for the hotel chain which has put Scandic in a world-leading position, offering great hotel experiences for everyone. Scandic has received numerous awards both in Sweden and internationally for its successful accessibility work, and Magnus has become an internationally known ambassador within the area of accessibility.
Vashkar BHATTACHARJEE Vashkar Bhattacharjee is a person with visual impairment. He worked as the National Consultant for Accessibility in the Access to Information (a2i) Programme of the Prime Minister’s Office in Bangladesh. He is also serving to looking after the disability portfolio of Young Power in Social Action (YPSA), a sustainable development organization. He is the focal person for DAISY, (Digital Accessible Information System), Accessible Books consortium, Federation of DPO’s Sitakund in Bangladesh and the 2nd Vice President of GAATES. He has completed Duskin leadership training from Japan and completed his Masters degree from university of Chittagong. He can be reached at vashkar79@hotmail.com
Jose Luis BORAU Jose Luis Borau is Head of Built Environment Accessibility Department at Fundación ONCE.
He earned his degree in Architecture from Polytechnic University of Madrid.
His 20 years of experience working in different accessibility fields within Fundación ONCE and its corporate group has spanned through different stages.
He has been consultant for different public and private entities in the implementation of actions in urban, architectural and natural areas. He has also been a member of different European standards committees as well as coordinator and speaker in several conferences and seminars on Accessibility (heritage sites, protected natural areas, Design for All,…).
He worked on several accessibility and Smart Human City projects (Colombia, Ecuador Qatar, etc.), and in a multitude of projects on accessibility in urban planning, building, transport, tourism, Smart Human City, and social policies among others. He is also an author of different publications on different accessibility to different areas .
Yonat BURLIN Yonat Burlin, CEO, joined the GalaPrompter team at its launch two years ago and is deeply committed to the company’s mission to make the performing arts accessible to everyone. Prior to this, Yonat held managerial positions in marketing organizations both in the US and Israel including her work at Oscar4B, where she managed the largest and highly regarded international high-tech DLD Tel Aviv Innovation Festival. Throughout Yonat’s career, she has worked with innovative companies and harnessed her leadership roles to ensure accessibility for each and every individual. This is what inspires Yonat to do everything possible so everyone will have the magic experience of being able to enjoy performing arts in their respective communities. Yonat holds an LL.B. degree from the Academic Center in Kiryat Ono.
Tom BUTCHER Tom Butcher has worked with the Zero Project since its very early days. Based in New York, as US Representative of the Zero Project, Tom helps extend its reach internationally. Originally from England, Tom has spent much of his career working in the world of banking, investment, and finance, the last 26 of them in New York City.
Ana Maria CARRILLO Ana María Carrillo has a BA in international relations from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México and a Masters in Diplomatic Studies from the Instituto Matías Romero. She was a member of the Mexican Foreign Service from 1999 to 2011. In 2011 she decided to move to the private sector and founded Perspectiva Integral a consulting company. In 2014 she partnered with Monica Duhem and established HearColors, a Mexican startup specialized in web accessibility. In HearColors, Ana is Director of Operations and is in charge of all the Education and Social impact strategies of the startup.
Caroline CASEY Caroline, an award-winning social entrepreneur, is both an adventurer and a business woman. Subject of the National Geographic Documentary Elephant Vision, Ashoka Fellow, Eisenhower Fellow, Counsellor for One Young World, Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, TED speaker, past advisor for the Clinton Global Initiative and unwavering campaigner, Caroline’s passion and ambition for leading a life without limits and labels is truly contagious.
Since taking a life changing decision at 28 to leave her successful career as a management consultant and travel across India on an elephant, Caroline has been committed to building a global movement on inclusive business to build an equal society for the 1 billion people in the world with a disability.
Caroline has set up a new company, Binc, whose mission is to collaborate with some of the world’s leading organisations to achieve business inclusion.
Francesca CESA BIANCHI Francesca Cesa Bianchi oversees G3ict’s cooperation programs and institutional relations with the United Nations and other international agencies, advocacy organizations, governments, and academia since the organization’s inception in 2006. Francesca has previously served as a freelance writer for CNN, as well as an accredited election observer for the Carter Center’s Americas Program. A native of Milan, Italy, she holds master’s degrees in political science and communication/media studies from the Universitá degli Studi of Milan and Georgia State University, respectively.
Ka Yiu CHENG Ka Yiu graduated from The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2004, majoring in systems engineering and engineering management. After graduation, Ka Yiu joined the Centre for Sign Linguistics and Deaf Studies as an assistant computer officer, and is responsible for developing the Asian SignBank for documenting Asian sign language data. Ka Yiu is also an instructor on the Asia-Pacific Sign Linguistics Research and Training Programme (APSL), teaching basic computer skills and desktop publishing skills to Deaf adults from different Asian countries.
Young-jin CHOI Young-jin joined Phineo’s impact investing practice in 2015. As a seasoned impact investing advisor and expert, he is currently leading the development of an early stage impact investing fund for start-ups that use technology for social good. Prior to his transition into the world of venture philanthropy and social finance, Young-jin executed numerous early stage venture deals as an investment manager at 3M’s corporate venture capital unit and worked in a variety of industries and regions as a strategy consultant at Monitor Group (now Monitor Deloitte). Young-jin holds master’s degrees in Mechanical Engineering (RWTH Aachen), International Business Studies (University of Maastricht) and Politics, Philosophy and Economics (LMU Munich).
Alex CHRISTOPOULOS Alex leads Lumos’ programmes, research, advocacy and training and technical support in Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining Lumos, he was responsible for designing and leading a range of complex programmes to help meet the needs of children in a number of countries.
Alex led the UK Government’s Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre’s (CEOP) preventative education activities and training. He has developed a number of initiatives in the philanthropic sector, working with civil society organisations in over 20 countries, helping support children, families and their communities.
Gabi COHEN Gabi has a BSc in Computer Engineering, with 25 years of work experience in global High-Tec companies as software developer & manager and as Director of Customer Support & IT. In 2013 Gabi has made a career change and has joined Migdal-Or to manage its transitional employment center. In 2015, he was nominated as Director of Migdal-Or call center. Since then he has developed the service for improved accessibility of digital media for the blind & visually impaired people.
Or COHEN Or Cohen serves as the Director of Business Development and Marketing at Step-Hear LTD. Prior to Step-Hear, Or served for 6 years as head of the Training Department at Access Israel NGO, the leading organization in Israel in all the matter of accessibility and integration of people with disabilities. As part of his job, he was in charge of all the operation of providing an accessible service across hundreds of organizations in the country. In addition, Or was one of the founders of the Israeli MUN (Models United Nations) project. Or holds a BA in Political Science from Max Stern College and an MA in Diplomacy and international relations from Tel-Aviv University.
Regina COHEN The Architect, researcher on accessibility, Regina Cohen coordinates the Pro-access group at UFRJ. Has been a Visiting Assistant Professor on the Disability Studies Center of Syracuse University Sept/Dec 2014 in (FULBRIGHT/CAPES). Cohen is master on Urbanism (2000) and Doctor on Psychosociology of Communities and Social Echology (2006), both from UFRJ. Post-doctor in Architecture (scholarship from FAPERJ) with the theme “Accessibility of Persons with Disability in Museums”.
Nowadays, she is working with Assistive Technology in the “Virtual Accessibility Guide of the City of Rio de Janeiro” (CNPq – 2015-2018). Worked in the Project “Accessibility and Universal Design in the Brazilian World Cup 2014” (2013-2014), in the Accessibility Manual of the Organizing Committee of the Paralympic Games – RIO 2016 and also for Conference of Development and Sustainability RIO+20.
Received the international award for the “Best architecture teaching methodology (2003-2004)”. Cohen has many papers, works and books published in the field of “accessibility for persons with disability.
Gerald CRADDOCK Dr Craddock heads up the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design, a statutory body established by the Irish Government in 2007. He is an expert evaluator for the European Commission’s research and innovation programme Horizon 2020. He is past president of AAATE. He has published widely in peer reviewed journals as well as continuing as a visiting lecturer at the University College Dublin. His qualifications are Electronic Engineering degree, a Postgraduate Diploma in Social and Vocational Rehabilitation Management, and a PhD in Disability Studies.
Jason DA SILVA Jason is an Emmy award winning filmmaker and spokesperson for the disability community, and founder of the non-profit AXS Lab. He has completed 4 short films and two feature films. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005 and began a 7-year journey of making When I Walk. Jason has an MFA in Media from Emily Carr University. Jason continues to give voice to those on the periphery of society through his work.
Alessandro DALLA PIETA Alessandro Dalla Pietà the speaker and Enrico Graifenherg present in the room, we are the originators of the project Gondolas4all both we do the profession of the gondolier with many years of experience in public service with gondola, both married and I have two figliviviamo in Venice and we love our job, for this reason 5 years ago the idea was born to realize what today is Gondolas4all, we are two simple Italian citizens who believe in the power of ideas and that it is enough for each one of us to make a little effort to make this planet more inclusive it is accessible.
Noelle DALY Co-founder of Mobility Mojo, an award winning social enterprise focusing on accessible tourism.
Co-founder of spinal injuries Ireland in 1993, twenty years’ experience working with people with disabilities and their families. Worked closely with many disability and age related organisations in Ireland and abroad over the past 20 years.
Specialising in accessible travel for over ten years, building resources and contacts globally.
Publications: Title; ‘Guide to Living with Spinal Cord Injury’ 264 page manual. Published in 2007 and sponsored by Bank of Scotland and the HSE.
Awards: Winner of numerous awards including Irish Responsible Tourism Award (silver), Enterprise Ireland, Social Entrepreneurs and KBC Bright Ideas 2017.
Speaker for accessible tourism in the media and many public events.
Carmine D’ANTUONO Carmine D’Antuono is committed to bringing LVE System technology across Europe and the world as an export specialist. JKJ and the Italian Association of Blind People believe in inclusion and in the possibility to improve visually impaired people’s life in everyday tasks.
Anna DARLING Anna sits on Lumos’ Advocacy and Campaigns team, galvanising public support and influencing policy makers to help end the institutionalisation of children by 2050.
Previously, Anna led the policy and communications team at a UK education charity and spent five years working with organisations that help street-connected children in the UK and in South Africa. Anna has a BA in Global politics from the University of Glasgow and a MA in International Child Studies from King’s College London.
Alireza DARVISHY Alireza Darvishy is a professor at the Zurich University of
Applied Sciences in Switzerland, where he serves as the head of the ICT
Accessibility Lab.
In 2016, the importance of his work was acknowledged with UNESCO’s prestigious Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons
with Disabilities, presented by His Majesty Sheikh Mubarak Jaber Al Ahmad Al Sabah in Paris.
Lasanthi DASKON ATTANAYAKE Lasanthi is an Attorney-at-Law who is currently working as the National Disability and Programme Advisor at the Colombo office of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES). She is awaiting her Masters Degree in Human Rights from the University of Colombo. Lasanthi is a Visiting Lecturer and Research Supervisor at the Department of Disability Studies, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, which is the only Disability Studies faulty in Sri Lanka. Lasanthi, with her late husband, Senarath Attanayake, was committed to disability advocacy, rights promotion and support for persons with disabilities throughout the past 15 years. Her work, some of which have been co-authored, have been published in several research and other journals of professional organisations in Sri Lanka and in other countries.
Betteke DE GAAY FORTMAN Since its inception in 2007, Betteke de Gaay Fortman is the director of Karuna Foundation. Together with the founder René aan de Stegge and the leaders of Karuna Nepal Deepak Sapkota and Yogendra Giri, she forms the core team in building a new organisation, and developing the vision and model. She has successfully led the process from pilot to an evidence-based model which is now in full scaling-up phase. Under her leadership the organisation in Nepal has grown into a strong local entrepreneurial organisation with sustainability and exit, self-reliance and empowerment of the poorest of the poor as core values. She has been working in International Development the last 20 years. Before she was an entrepreneur. She is a board member of the Plastic Soup Foundation and the Dutch Coalition for Disability and Development.
Brian DHANIRAM Brian Dhaniram graduated from Binghamton University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Sociology. At Binghamton, he was President and Chief Editor of the University’s literary publication. As an educator, he ran his own home-school program, creating and implementing a full-year high-school curriculum. Within entertainment, he has produced comedy sketches, short films, and live shows around New York City. In 2016, Brian began his work as an activist as one of the founding members of Mission Flint, an activist organization dedicated to delivering and distributing clean water to residents of Flint, Michigan amidst the Flint water crisis.
Lorenzo DI CIACCIO After 4 years working as IT consultant for IT and pharmaceutical Industry, Lorenzo quit his job to found Pedius a phone service for deaf and hard of hearing people. In 2013 Pedius won the GSVC Italy, and became a Social enterprise. Since the public release in November 2013, Pedius helped more than 18.000 users to make their first phone call. Beside Pedius, Lorenzo is also active as speaker for social entrepreneurship at TEDx and lecturer in business ethics
Holger DIETERICH Holger is the co-founder of Wheelmap.org, a global map to find and mark wheelchair accessible places. He also launched the service Accessibility.Cloud which helps accessibility apps share data.
Oliver DREHMANN Oliver Drehmann is an entrepreneur with background in Banking and Computer Science. As CTO and COO he played an major role at SAF AG/Switzerland, a successful start-up that experienced an IPO and acquisition by SAP AG/Germany. Since 2007 he is involved in different ventures and founded Antarus S.A. which provides mobile phone solutions for the blind and visual impaired. Oliver studied in Germany and U.K. and graduated at HTWG/Konstanz.
Rene DUCHON Rene Duchon is Head of SmartBanking at Bank Austria, a virtual bank branch that offers a new, modern and unprecedented support service for banking transactions via VideoTelefonie. He has a long-standing experience of 20 years in banking, the last ten years in senior positions. Under his responsibility Bank Austria established SmartBanking in sign language, a personal and simple way for hearing impaired customers to interact with their bank advisors via video to handle their banking business and to seek advice in sign language.
Monica DUHEM Monica Duhem is the founder and CEO of HearColors, a Mexican organization aimed to foster digital inclusion by educating in the creation of accessible digital content for people with disabilities, including the development of accessible websites. The project focuses on the creation of capacities for developers, designers and content creators on how to develop and design digital information accessible to all. In Mexico she was appointed as an adviser by the Federal Telecommunications Institute in the elaboration of the Telecommunications Operators Accessibility Guidelines. Monica has also led accessibility projects in organizations such as the Mexican Supreme Court, several telecommunication operators and one of the Mexican biggest digital media representatives, among others.
Amena EL-SAIE Amena El-Saie is the Co-founder and CEO for Helm Egypt, a position she held since Helm was founded in 2014. In addition to promoting social inclusion for Persons with Disabilities in Egypt, Helm builds partnerships with different stakeholders to break down barriers towards the full participation of Egyptians with disabilities. Amena is certified by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency in Barrier-free Environments in Japan. She was awarded the Total Start-Upper of the Year for Helm in 2016. Ramez was also selected as one of Egypt’s top social entrepreneurs by RISE Egypt, USA and he joined RISE’s two-year fellowship class in which he gained intimate access to global networks and partnerships.
Krisztina EMRICH Krisztina Emrich is the Co-Founder and UK Representative of MagikMe Inclusive Play, responsible for the business development and UK sales. Her belief in social justice and active citizenship led her among the founders of MagikMe and her fundraising experiences have given a successful launch to the initiative. Before founding MagikMe, Krisztina provided assistance to the European operation of the US Agency for International Development. Prior to that she acquired fundraising, office management and social work experiences while working for the Menedek Association for Migrants.
Rene ESPINOZA Espinoza is the Founder and CEO of Lazarillo a startup that wants to help create accessible and intelligent spaces through technologies. Espinoza is a 27 years Electrical Engineer from the Universidad de Chile, specialized in electronics, mobile technologies, machine learning and assistive technologies. He has work in previous startups in the fields of mobile apps and health devices. Espinoza was selected as a representant of Chile as one of the Young Leaders of the America Initiative 2017 (YLAI) sponsored by the US department of State.
Martin ESSL Martin Essl is an entrepreneur who is also well known for his dedication to social responsibility.
In 2007, together with his wife Gerda, Mr. Essl established the Essl Foundation both to support social innovation and social entrepreneurs and to help dismantle the barriers faced by persons with disabilities everywhere.
The main initiative of the Essl Foundation is the Zero Project. The project researches Innovative Practices and Policies worldwide in the fields of education, employment, accessibility and independent living/political participation as they relate to persons with disabilities. The project organizes the Zero Project Conference in Vienna each year, publishes the annual Zero Project Report and hosts the Zero Project Website.
In addition, Mr. Essl has started to implement innovations in Austria and devotes more than half of his entrepreneurial time to developing lighthouse projects to implement the UN CRPD in Austria, with a focus on accessibility and the employment of persons with disabilities.
Michael FEMBEK After graduating from the Vienna University of Economics, Michael Fembek (born 1961) joined GEWINN, an Austrian business magazine, serving between 2000 and 2007 as editor-in-chief. In 2009 he initiated “Sinnstifter”, a project by Austrian philanthropists, and launched the annual Austrian CSR-Yearbook.
In 2010 he joined the Essl Foundation as Programme Manager and – until 2014 – the bauMax group as its Head of Social Affairs. Since 2011 he is the Director of the Zero Project, a project of the Essl Foundation, and organizes the annual Zero Project Conference in the UN Headquarters in Vienna.
In 2014, he co-initiated the Verband für Gemeinnütziges Stiften, the Austrian philanthropic association, where he serves as Vice President. In 2015, he became the Chair of the Thematic Group on Disabilities within the European Foundation Centre (EFC), and in 2016 he co-initiated the Haus der Philanthropie in Vienna, and became Member of the Board of GAATES, the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments.
Matthias FENKART Matthias Fenkart is authorized signatory (COO, CTO), course and resource management and quality control manager at equalizent. He is responsible for quality management, project development, personnel management, and standardization of documents, processes and planning training programs. He has extensive experience as trainer, consultant and as a counsellor. Mr Fenkart is also an expert in communications and accessibility, including public relations. Voluntary work at the „Forum for Usher Syndrom, Hearing and Sight Impairment and Deafblindness“ as well as at the Austrian Deaf Studies are his current activities.
Casilda Sabín FERNÁNDEZ Casilda Sabín Fernández is the Chief Director of Plena inclusión Asturias, an organization which belongs to Plena inclusión España, the most representative organization of people with intellectual disabilities in the country. She has been involved in this field her whole life. Personally, through the care and support of her brother with intellectual disabilities, and professionally, with the development and control of practices and programs focused in the improvement of the quality of life of people with intellectual disabilities as well as their families.
Kristine FRANCE ZUNIGA Kristine France Z.| Architect specialist, PhD(c), AENOR certified in universal accessibility. Since 14 years working as an expert architect with the team of Corporacion Ciudad Accesible. Author of “study bicycle network” Chile(2000), co-author of 1st manual of accessibility of Latinamerica “City for all”(2003), advisory expert for 1st “Accessibility Handbook for People with Disabilities in Wild Protected Areas”(2005), co-author of illustrated policy of National Universal Accessibility Standard. She has participated in government commissions for universal accessibility-related laws and national universal accessibility standard for Ministry of Housing, National Congress, National Standardization Institute and National Statistics Institute. Winner of “Safes Playgrounds for unsecured areas”(1998), winner of Walk 21 Visionary Jury Prize with “An accessible Urban Plan”(2015).
Walburga FRÖHLICH Walburga Fröhlich is CEO of the social enterprise „atempo“. atempo supports disabled people to live self-determined in society. One service of atempo is the brand “capito” within they translate complicated information in easy to read style and provide trainings for easy comprehensible information. They do this together with social franchise partners all over Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Walburga initiated the project TopEasy in cooperation with the Austrian Press Agency APA.
Sonia GARCIA FRAILE CAMARA Sonia works at the Department of Culture and Leisure within the Universal Accessibility and Innovation Directorate of Fundación ONCE. She has a degree in Economics from Carlos III University of Madrid and completed a postgraduate course in Universal Accessibility and Design for All at La Salle University. Sonia has developed most of her professional career in Fundación ONCE. Before occupying her current position as an accessibility technician she worked in other positions for a period of four years. Her current responsibilities include development and execution of different projects in areas such as accessible tourism, accessible leisure activities and culture, Design for All, education and specific awareness-raising activities.
Juan Carlos GARCÍA LÓPEZ Juan Carlos García López attained his Law degree at the University of Oviedo. He has been a senior-judge in Asturias (Spain) since 1995. Currently, he is the Representative for Asturias on disability matters of the Spanish Council of Judiciary and has developed activity as a collaborating professor in the School of Legal Practice of the Principality of Asturias as well as in the School of Legal Practice “Luis Pérez Ávila” of Ourense. He regularly collaborates in training activities with the Oviedo Bar Association and has been a speaker in several congresses and conferences. He has worked closely with the non-profit Association Plena Inclusión Asturias in order to promote the project “Easy to read” for judgments in disability matters.
George Anthony GIANNOUMIS Anthony is an assistant professor of universal design at the Department of Computer Science at Oslo Metropolitan University. His research focuses on technology law, policy and practice, and is currently researching the implementation of policies aimed at ensuring equal access to technology for everyone. His research interests include universal design, international governance, sustainable development, social regulation, and standardization.
Amanda GIBBERD Amanda Gibberd is director of universal design in public transport in the Department of Transport. She monitors the implementation of accessible public transport systems. Universal access is conceptualised through the ‘Travel Chain.’ Amanda came to South Africa in 2000 from the UK. Formerly an occupational therapist, she studied universal access at the Architectural Association. She worked for the Centre for Accessible Environments, then the University of Reading. Amanda was headhunted to assist with implementing the Accessible Public Transport as the 2010 FIFATM World Cup legacy. Partnerships with government departments, professional experts and the disability sector create a platform for implementation.
Lea GIES Lea Gies works for the Stiftung Alsterdorf foundation as a project manager in Hamburg at the project Q8. Prior to her studies of nursing and health care management she worked as a speech therapist and volunteered, among other things, in the Federal Association for Speech and Language Therapy (Bundesverband für Logopädie e.V.).
Katherine GUERNSEY A public international lawyer, Ms. Guernsey has dedicated her career to the field of human rights, with particular focus on disability inclusive diplomacy and development. She was extensively involved in negotiation of the CRPD, providing counsel to both governmental and non-governmental delegations. She has numerous publications associated with the treaty and international disability law and policy, including several co-authored World Bank publications. From 2010-2017, she served as Senior Policy Adviser to the Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State, promoting disability inclusive diplomacy as a priority in U.S. foreign policy. She is a board member of the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (USICD).
Kevin HAGER Kevin serves as the Managing Director of Understood, the leading online resource for the parents of the 1 in 5 children with learning and attention issues. Understood, created in partnership with 15 non-profits, launched in October 2014 and has already served more than 20 million users with over 3,000 pieces of expert-vetted content, several state of the art tools, daily access to live experts, and an active community. Understood was the winner of the 2015 Webby Award for best Family/Parenting site. Kevin also serves as the Vice President and Chief Digital Officer of the National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD). Kevin is a member of the national advisory board for SXSWEdu and serves as Vice President of the board of directors for the Dramatists Guild Fund.
Monika HAIDER Mag. a Monika Haider (monika.haider@equalizent.com) is co-founder and managing director of equalizent Ausbildung und BeratungGmbH, an adult education institute focusing on deafness, hearing loss, sign language and diversity management.
Her work focuses on the development and support of training and consulting projects.
She studied at the University of Vienna, headed the Austrian Integration Office from 1992-2000, whose task was to enable children with disabilities access to the mainstream school system.
She has worked as a lecturer at the University of Vienna and Innsbruck and leads numerous research and networking projects in the field of disability for the Ministry of Social Affairs.
As an author she has written numerous articles, among others in “Barrierefreies Wien”, Falter Verlag 2011 and under her direction the Diversity Ball is held annually.
Martin HAIDVOGL Martin Haidvogl, the Chief Executive Director of the City of Graz, is responsible for its administrative management. With a population of about 290.000 inhabitants Graz is the second largest City in Austria and the capital of the federal state of Styria.
After graduating in law at the University of Graz he started working at the administration of the City of Graz in 1993. He has since served in a variety of different roles, ranging from manager of a parliamentary party, lawyer in the director`s department to organizational development manager for the administration`s change process.
In 2001 he was appointed Chief Executive Director for the city management. Today he is responsible for all internal affairs of its 30 departments, more than 3.500 employees and its budget of over 1, 13 Billion Euros per year. This includes managing ongoing programs and services to improve efficiency and efficacy and ensuring executive, governance and legal security for the city administration.
Yishai HATZIR Yishai Hatzir serves as the Marketing Manager at Step-Hear LTD. Prior to Step-Hear, Yishai served for 7 years as head of the R&D at Sabra-Fence, a Start-Up of smart security for fences and buildings. As part of his job, he was in charge of all the development, operation and customer services. In addition, Yishai was served many years at the IDF at R&D departments. Yishai holds a BA in Biotechnologies from BGU University.
Orna HAVIV-TAMIR Haviv-Tamir, holding a Master’s degree in Organizational psychology, is currently the Director of the municipality accessibility index, a shared initiative of the Ruderman and Arison foundations to raise awareness of rights for people with disabilities in Israel. Haviv-Tamir is also the Advisor to the ministry of labor on the employment of persons with disabilities and women. Previously, Haviv-Tamir was an organizational consultant of large companies in the business sector.
Paula HEARN Paula Hearn is the Project Coordinator for Disability Rights Promotion International. She holds a Master’s degree in Critical Disability Studies from York University, and a Bachelor’s degree in International Development from the University of Guelph (Canada).   Paula has over 8 years of combined experience working in the disability and international development fields.
Christine HEMPHILL Christine Hemphill is the co-Founder and Managing Director of Open Inclusion. Open is a London based agency that works with organisations to improve the inclusion of customers and employees with access needs and catalyse awareness and innovations that improve the experience for all. She leads a team including user researchers, digital, customer service and workplace access consultants and accessibility trainers aligned to role types.  She has a diverse background that includes making and improving products and services in digital, physical and customer service environments across a range of industries. Her energies are focused on providing a fairer and more enjoyable environment for all, including those with disabilities.
Klaus HÖCKNER Klaus Höckner, born 1966 in Austria, married (2 daughters), is a member of the board of the Austrian Association Supporting the Blind and Visually Impaired (Hilfsgemeinschaft der Blinden und Sehschwachen Österreichs) based in Vienna. Having more than 4400 members, the Hilfsgemeinschaft is the leading organisation representing and helping visually impaired persons in Austria. Klaus annually organises, within the framework of the organisation Accessible Media, the A-Day, an event where more than 250 persons of the german-speaking community working with accessibility meet together. Klaus has been working for more than 14 years in the field of accessibility, especially with regards to ICT and standardisation. He is also a member of various working groups as well as participating in many conferences and projects in this context on an European (i.e. in the European Disability Forum EDF) and inter/national level.
Hannes HOFER Hannes sees himself as businessman who works for the government. In the past 17 years he operated in various appointments related to the ministry of finance in Austria. 5 years in the cabinet of the minister responsible for the federal budget, 9 years managing director of the federal public procurement agency, strategic portfolio-management in the ministry of finance and since almost 3 years managing director of the tobacco monopoly agency. Before that he worked in the finance department of Pepsi Cola and Magna Europe.
Hubert HUBER Hubert Huber is a trainer in journalism. His main emphasis lies on different approaches to journalism in order to encourage cooperation in society based on self-reliance. He is in charge of the inclusive editorial training at the Austrian daily newspaper KURIER. There he was working as a managing editor until the end of 2014. He has been a lecturer at different academic institutions and holds a master’s degree in mass communications and political sciences.
Rodrigo HÜBNER MENDES Rodrigo Hübner Mendes is the Founder and the CEO of the Rodrigo Mendes Institute, a non-profit organization whose mission is to guarantee that every child with disability has access to quality education. The institute develops research and teacher training programs in several countries aiming to transform the public education systems into environments that respect and value human diversity. Hübner Mendes is a Young Global Leader (World Economic Forum) and a fellow of Ashoka. He has received numerous awards and has been working as a consultant for UNESCO and for The Government of Angola. In 2017, Rodrigo became the first person to drive a race car with the mind.
Johurul ISLAM JEWEL Johurul Islam is working for CSF Global as a Senior Program Manager and is also Assistant Registrar & faculty member of University of South Asia, Bangladesh. He has lengthly experience on program/project planning, designing and implementation on health and disability issues in Bangladesh and globally. Currently, he is looking into several projects in Bangladesh, Indonesia and Nepal.
Fernando Roberto JACOME GAVILANEZ Mr. Jácome contributes with the Global Network on Disability Inclusive and Accessible Urban Development (DIAUD) and is the former coordinator of Foreign Affairs at the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing of the Republic of Ecuador.
In the field of disabilities, he is the former Director of Foreign Affairs of the Technical Secretariat for the Inclusive Management on Disabilities of the Vice-presidency of the Republic of Ecuador (SETEDIS). Under this role, he directed the processes of regionalization and internationalization of the Ecuadorian comprehensive model of attention of Persons with Disabilities. Nowadays he advices the Government of Ecuador into the negotiation process of the national and regional implementation plan of the new Urban Agenda and collaborates as an advisor for national and regional organizations in the field of Disabilities.
Roger JENSEN Roger Jensen, born in 1958, has been the senior advisor in Public Health, County Governor of Telemark, since 1995. His backgroud is in in physical education, physiotherapy and public health. As the county govenor, he focuses on possibilities for physical activity in peoples everyday life.
Joseph JONES Joseph Jones is Executive Director of The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement, an organization located at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, dedicated to non-partisan research, learning and outreach to promote understanding of the policy issues to which Senator Tom Harkin devoted his career. Joseph serves on the city council for the City of Windsor Heights, Iowa. He has an extensive background in public service at the state, federal and international levels. Joseph graduated from the United States Military Academy Preparatory School and earned his BBA in economics from Loyola University New Orleans. He earned a Master of Public Administration degree in public policy and a Certificate in Non-Profit Leadership and Administration from Drake University.
Jean JUDES Jean Judes is the Executive Director of Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS), Israel’s leading non-profit organization furthering the rights, opportunities and services for people with disabilities in all sectors of society, impacting on some half a million people annually. As a 37-year-old social start-up in the field of disabilities, BIS’s expertise is in scaling up its impactful solutions – developed, researched and validated on-site – enabling the organization to promote systemic change in the quality of life of people with disabilities in Israel and overseas. Jean has a Masters in Social Work, Planning and Management from the Bar Ilan University, and has been working in the field of disabilities for the past 20 years.
Toshiya KAKIUCHI Toshiya is the founder and president of Mirairo Inc., a consulting company specialized in universal design covering three areas: removal of environmental barriers, improving awareness on diversity and ensuring access to information. Based on the corporate vision that experiences of facing barriers can be transformed into value, persons with disabilities, including Toshiya himself, are engaged in Mirairo’s work to provide inputs from diverse perspectives. He also represents the Universal Manners Association and serves as an advisor to the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games Organizing Committee.
Dimitri KANEVSKY Dimitri Kanevsky started his career at Google working on speech recognition algorithms for a YouTube speech recognition system and prior to joining Google, Dimitri was a Research staff member in the Speech and Language Algorithms Department at Watson Research Center at IBM. Prior to IBM, he worked at a number of centers for higher mathematics, including the Weizmann Institute of Science, Max Planck Institute in Germany and the Institute for Advanced Studies in Princeton. He currently holds 274 US patents and MIT Technology Review recognized Dimitri conversational biometrics based security patent as one of five most influential patents for 2003. In 2012 Dimitri was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to advance access to science, technology, engineering, and math.
Shilpi KAPOOR Shilpi Kapoor, founder of BarrierBreak Solutions and 247 Accessible Documents believes passionately that technology can be the game changer for inclusion. She is motivated to ensuring that as the organization scales, it impacts the lives of disabled people globally and has developed NewzHook inclusive news app and website. She has been named as one of The Most Powerful Women in Business 2017 by leading business magazine Business Today. Shilpi is also the OpenAir Advisory Chair, Knowbility and recipient of “NCPEDP – Shell Helen Keller Award 2008” – Non-disabled role model supporter of increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Masahito KAWAMORI Masahito KAWAMORI is currently the Rapporteur of Question 26 “Accessibility to multimedia systems and services” in the Study Group 16, which is the lead Study Group for Multimedia of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), the United Nations agency for Information and Communication Technology.
He leads the standardization of the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) area for accessible services for persons with disabilities. He worked along with Wayfindr to standardize H.921 “Audio-based network navigation system for persons with vision impairment”, world’s first International standard for indoor navigation for visually impaired persons.
Hiroshi KAWAMURA Hiroshi Kawamura is a founder, Past President and current Board Member of the DAISY Consortium and the Global Chair of ICTA/Rehabilitation International.
He has served the library community since 1970 including as Chair of the Section of Libraries for the Blind/IFLA. He helped to implement DAISY throughout Japan in 1998-2002. As part of the DAISY for All Project, funded by the Nippon Foundation, he successfully transferred DAISY technology to Thailand, India and Bangladesh. He served as the disability focal point for United Nations WSIS (2003 and 2005) as well as the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Sendai (2015). Currently he works for information accessibility standards implementation in developing countries in collaboration with the Japan International Cooperation Agency.
Tiernan KENNY Tiernan is the Head of Communications, Public Affairs, and Standards at Wayfindr. Before joining Wayfindr, Tiernan spent several years in Brussels working in public affairs, mainly on technology policy, including standards in the areas of cloud computing and cybersecurity. He has also worked on policy development for the UK’s largest business advocacy organisation.
Gail KENT Gail Kent is one of the most senior British officials in the European Commission in Luxembourg. She is Director of Data in one of the largest Directorate Generals (DG CONNECT – Communications Networks, Content & Technology) and was throughout 2016 the acting Deputy Director General. She studied at Cranfield University – Cranfield School of Management (MBA) and at the University College London (BSc Econ). Her current responsibilities include both policy and programme management in the fields of Data Economy, promoting cultural heritage and removing digital barriers.
Abdul KHALIQ ZAZAI Abdul Khaliq Zazai, born in 1970, is the founder and president of the Accessibility Organization for Afghan Disabled (AOAD). From 1997 to 2001, Zazai worked for the Comprehensive Disabled Afgan Program (CDAP/UNOPS) in Peshawar and Islamabad, Pakistan. From 2002 to 2003, he participated in the Duskin Leadership training in Japan, a program for persons with disability in the Asia Pacific. His experiences in the field of disability development are in the following areas: (1) Physical accessibility design for all, (2) Employability for persons with disabilities through skills development vocational training, and (3) Disability rights awareness with community and parents inclusion.
Murteza KHAN Murteza is the Co-Chairman of the Executive Committee of Bangladesh Business & Disability Network, which is a network of employers formed in collaboration with disability organizations, NGOs and development partners, with a purpose of creating a more disability inclusive workforce in Bangladesh. He is also a Project Director at A.K.Khan Foundation through which he established A.K.Khan-CRP Chittagong Centre, which provides rehabilitative therapy services, orthosis, prosthesis, vocational training and job placements for people with disabilities in Chittagong, Bangladesh.
Jennifer KIETZKE Jennifer Kietzke is an Area Sales Manager at OrCams, focused on North and East Germany. Previously, she worked in Sales at Tchibo and at a Tchibo startup company. Prior to that she was Team Lead in Trade Marketing on the agency side for the Audi AG, worked in film marketing at Disney and in online marketing at a British agency for experience vouchers. She has a wide range of experience in marketing, communication and sales.
Joanna KINBERGER Joanna Kinberger currently works as EU Project Manager at equalizent Schulungs- und Beratungs GmbH in Vienna, Austria. equalizent is a company with many years of expertise in the fields of Deafness, Sign Language and Diversity Management, offering courses and counselling in German and Austrian sign language for people who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing and hearing.
Prior to her current position, Joanna worked as Project Officer for Inclusion at Diakonie / Brot für die Welt from 2010 until 2017. She was responsible for development projects in Eastern Europe and the West Balkan region focussing on the inclusion of people with disabilities, as well as the inclusion of people from minority groups such as Roma.
Stephen M. KING Stephen M. King has led three of the largest federal disability initiatives in the United States and currently serves as the Director of the Office of Accessibility & Accommodations at the Department of State, where he is responsible for providing leadership to a team of professionals who develop and execute policies, procedures, and programs that ensure the Department’s compliance with federal disability laws and regulations. His portfolio includes the recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities, as well as the accessibility of Department facilities, transportation, equipment, computer applications, websites, and media products.
Daniel KISH Daniel Kish has been blind since he was 1 year old. He has 2 Masters, and is the first totally blind, certified orientation and mobility specialist. He has drawn from many disciplines to pioneer a new approach which he believes helps more blind people of any age and circumstance reach greater freedom more quickly and easily. He has authored many articles and has published his textbook on Echolocation and FlashSonar. He is an Ashoka Fellow, and has spoken in many forums including TED and Poptech.
Yifat KLEIN Yifat Klein, social worker, attained her bachelor’s degree in Community Work and her master’s degree in Rehabilitation. Yifat currently works for JDC-Israel as a Program Manager in the field of children and youth with disabilities. Over the years, Yifat has gathered field experience in various positions developing social opportunities for children, youth and adults with a range of disabilities. In JDC, her work focuses toward the integration of youth with disabilities in Israeli society through the development of programs that allow children with disabilities to take part in universal activities.
Siri KOCH-LARSEN Senior advisor in The Department of primary health and social affairs, the City of Oslo. Main focus areas are supporting employees and discrimination in labour market and rights for people with disabilities. Was leading the project Trainee Programme for Persons with Disabilities which now is a permanent recruitmentprogramme. The main objective of the programme is to increase the proportion of disabled people employed by the City of Oslo.
Educated social worker and within social science. Broad background from clinical work, projects and planning in health and caregiving services.
Rotraut KRALL Rotraut Krall attained her doctoral degree in 1984 in History of Art and History at the University of Vienna, Austria. She has been working in the department for education in the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien since then. Starting 2010, Krall has been responsible for inclusive art education with the focus on people with visual impairment. Additionally, Krall has been taking on numerous study trips in inland and abroad for the Association of the Friends of the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria and other cultural associations lectureship in Art History for adult education.
Roland KRPATA Krpata is a Project Manager at Wiener Linien, a teacher at the Technical University of Vienna and winner of several national and international awards in design (MUSIP, Design4All etc.). Since 1991 he has participated on several working groups at the Austrian Standard Institute and worked on the lay out of the visual orientation system and creation of the tactile orientation system of the Wiener Linien. He has also been involved in planning of barrier-free station buildings including retrofitting programs for elevators and implementation of tactile guiding tiles for blind users in all stations. Since 1997 Krpata has been project manager for several research projects (Junction Flow, POPTIS, RAVE, MofA, ways4all, navcom, ways4me, aim4it) and is a member of an expert group on the EU-MEDIATE-Project.
Klaus LACHWITZ Klaus Lachwitz, lawyer by profession, currently is the Secretary General of the International Disability Alliance, President of Inclusion International, London, and Member of the Board of the European Disability Forum (EDF), Brussels, Belgium, representing the German Disability Forum. In his role within the International Disabilitiy Alliance, together with colleagues, Lachwitz published the following: “Human Rights and Intellectual Disability: A Guide to International Human Rights Instruments for Persons with Intellectual Disability” and “Die UN – Behindertenrechtskonvention in der Praxis”. Prior to the positions he currently has, Lachwitz has been a member of the following in Belgium: Human Rights Committee of the European Disability Forum (EDF), Board of Inclusion Europe, and the Council of The International League of Societies for Persons with Mental Handicap.
Ewoud LAGRING Experienced product manager on accessible tourism and cycling culture in Flanders. Proudly working on an accessible and cycling friendly Flanders for every visitor by giving advice and information to both the tourism industry and tourists.
Sylvana LAKKIS Sylvana Lakkis has been active with LPHU since 1986. Currently, she has been the acting President of LPHU and Chairperson of the Regional Arab bureau of Disabled People’s International and has used her renowned expertise to further implement campaigns and projects dealing with inclusive policies. She has provided consultations to the Ministries of Education, Information, Labor, Social Affairs, Public Works and Transportation, Finance and has been recently appointed as a consultant for The Minister of Social Affairs on disability issues related to inclusion and disability rights.
Sophie LANCTOT Executive Director of Société Logique for nearly 30 years, Sophie Lanctôt holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Planning and a graduate degree in Business Administration. Specialized in universal design, she is particularly interested in architecture and urban planning through project support, guides to good universal practices, training and as a lecturer. Sophie Lanctôt collaborates with a number of Canadian advisory committees on universal accessibility, while contributing to the improvement of the quality of life of all citizens. She promotes representation and partnership initiatives where universal design is the result of the attention given specifically to the user and his needs.
Christopher M. LEE Christopher M. Lee, Ph.D., is CEO of The CML Group and an international expert in accessibility field.  He is an author and public speaker on learning disabilities and assistive technology.  He has received and served as principal investigator on numerous research grants and contracts.  Christopher serves on the Global Leadership Counsel of the International Association of Accessible Professionals (IAAP).
Jenny LINDSTRÖM BEIJAR Founder of Our Normal, a digital community for families with children with disabilities, and special abilities. Jenny is a mother of two young girls (5 and 3 years old), of whom the oldest daughter was born with Down syndrome. As a new parent she started to look for ways to meet other families with similar experiences. She turned to Facebook groups and family events where she soon realized that her family wasn’t the only one looking for ways to expand their social networks and getting new family connections. This experience made her start the initiative Our Normal together with other parents. They created a digital platform (www.ournormal.org/en) where families can connect more easily on a one-to-one basis, give and get peer-to-peer support and open new doors to new connections.
Shelly LONDON Shelly London, Poses Family Foundation president, is a retired senior corporate executive, past Harvard fellow, NYU adjunct professor and social entrepreneur. She worked at AT&T, largely in marketing/communication, most recently as SVP, and served on American Standard Companies’ top leadership team reporting to chairman/CEO Fred Poses. She led creation of various award-winning social initiatives, such as an ethics game Quandary and Understood.org, a comprehensive digital resource for parents of children with learning & attention issues developed with 14 other nonprofits.
Malcolm MACLACHLAN Malcolm “Mac” MacLachlan is Professor of Psychology and Social Inclusion at Maynooth University, Ireland.
He has worked as an academic, clinician, organisational consultant and policy adviser in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America; with government, civil society, corporates and United Nations agencies.
Mac is the Research & Innovation Lead for WHO’s Global Collaboration on Assistive Technology (GATE) programme; and   Knowledge Management Lead for the United Nations’ Partnership for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNPRPD).
Ramez MAHER Ramez Maher is the Co-founder and Managing Director of Helm Egypt, established in 2014 with the aim of promoting the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in Egypt through employability and accessibility. Ramez is certified by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency in a program focused on barrier-free environments for accessibility. In 2016, he was also awarded the Startupper of the Year by Total. Ramez was also selected as one of Egypt’s top social entrepreneurs by RISE Egypt, USA and he joined RISE’s two-year fellowship class in which he gained intimate access to global networks and partnerships.
Melissa MALZKUHN Melissa Malzkuhn is a storyteller, digital strategist, and creative director fascinated by languages, digital and interactive technologies, that creates new knowledge. She directs the development of research-based products, including award-winning bilingual storybook apps designed for early language acquisition for Deaf children. As Founder and Creative Director of Motion Light Lab, Melissa Malzkuhn leads projects intersecting creative literature and digital technology to create immersive learning experiences. She leads the VL2 Storybook Creator program that provides training and development of bilingual storybook apps in multiple languages. Melissa Malzkuhn received her MFA in Visual Narrative from the School of Visual Arts, and her MA in Deaf Studies from Gallaudet University. Melissa is a founder of Ink & Salt LLC, a creative production and digital publishing company, and one of the lead developers of The ASL App, an app that teaches conversational American Sign Language.
Khibi MANANA Ms Khibi Manana is employed by the National Department of Transport, as Chief Director: Public Transport Network Development. She is responsible for the implementation of Integrated Public Transport Network (IPTNs) projects in 13 municipalities, all funded through the Public Transport Network Grant. Ms Manana holds a Master of Philosophy in Transport Studies from the University of Cape Town and a variety of other under and post-graduate degrees. She has authored and co-authored numerous published articles, research reports and papers. She holds various leadership positions and serves on many Department of Transport structures.
Ofer MANDELBERG Ofer Mandelberg, Make-Sense VP Marketing & Sales
Proven track record in successfully leading marketing strategy and sales operation in big organizations and start-ups
Expert in digital marketing & growth hacking
Johanna MANG Johanna Mang is working for LIGHT FOR THE WORLD, presently working in 16 partner countries, with the focus on eye health, inclusive education and livelihood. Johanna is responsible for advocacy and donor relations in German speaking countries. Johanna’s work is geared towards development programs which contribute to a world in which persons with disabilities in developing countries have a decent life, equally participate in society and have access to their rights.
Antonio-Luis MARTINEZ-PUJALTE Doctor in Law by the University of Valencia and Professor for Legal and Political Philosophy at Miguel Hernández University of Elche. For the last 10 years Martinez-Pujalte has devoted his major research to Disability Law and Policies, with several books and articles in this field. Since December 2015, he is Director of the Research Unit on Disability and Employment at Miguel Hernández University, which has been distinguished by Zero Project as Innovative Practice 2017.
Matthew MCCANN Matthew McCann has a Masters in Computer Science (Software Engineering) and has astrong domain knowledge having Cerebral Palsy. Using his first hand experiences about the lack of accessibility information available, Matthew built the first Access Earth prototype in 2014 while studying at Maynooth University. After graduating top of his class in 2015, he set up Access Earth Limited determined to tackle this global problem.
Charlotte MCCLAIN-NHLAPO Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo is the Global Disability Advisor for the World Bank Group. Her work at the Bank focuses on disability inclusive development under its twin goals to end poverty and promote shared prosperity. As Disability Advisor, she supports operational teams across the institution to ensure that Bank policies, programs and projects are disability inclusive. Her responsibilities include: leading the production of analytical products; analyzing and articulating Bank policy on disability and development. In 2011 as a well-respected human rights lawyer in disability and child rights advocate, she was appointed by President Obama to lead USAID’s work on disability inclusive development, from developing policies and country strategies to technical assistance for program implementation.
Iain MCKINNON Iain is co-founder and Director of Inclusive Design for the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) and the Inclusive Design lead for London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) responsible for Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. A member of the UK’s National Register of Access Consultants (NRAC), Iain has experience providing inclusive design advice on a vast range of projects; from complex masterplans, new and existing buildings, products right through to the operational aspects of venues and live events; often forging creative and innovative solutions.
Having spent his entire career to date in this area, part of Iain’s work with the GDI Hub is to help change the way all designers including; architects, urban, product, service, digital, fashion, graphic designers view and approach design for people. Iain is a strong advocate for embracing and mainstreaming the needs of disabled people and older people to help deliver far richer end results that ultimately benefit all of us throughout our lives.
Liam MCMUNN Liam McMunn is the Environmental, Health and Safety Manager and Access Officer for the Central Bank of Ireland. With over 20 years’ experience in risk and change management, his latest achievements include helping to deliver the banks new headquarters building, in North Wall Quay, Dublin. This building has already won a national award for universal design.
Jürgen MENZE Jürgen Menze is a Disability Inclusion Officer at the International Labour Organization (ILO). He provides advice to ILO’s constituents and partners as well as to its staff on how to promote the rights of persons with disabilities in the world of work. As part of this, he supports the ILO Global Business and Disability Network, a unique employers-led worldwide network of multinational companies, national employers’ organizations, business networks and disabled people’s organizations.
Marius MEWS Dr. Marius Mews joined PIKSL in 2016 where he works as consultant for business modeling and research. Prior to this he was involved in a project for a consulting firm in Berlin which aligned on the consultation of integration companies. He held a substitute junior professorship for Business Management with focus on Social Investment at the University of Hamburg. There he also obtained his doctoral degree during his research at the chair for Management of Public, Private and Nonprofit-Organizations. Dr. Mews also holds a diploma in Business Management with the main compartments in banking and logistics.
Ricki MEYER Ricki Meyer is a disability rights attorney with expertise in special education law and policy. She has experience working at the state, federal, and international levels of government, including the Office of International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State. Ricki earned her B.S. from Northwestern University, Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and J.D. from the Boston University School of Law.
Linda MIESEN The French design agency Tactile Studio offers museums a creative inclusive approach to cultural mediation. Linda joined the team in 2016, after completing a Master in Art History and having collected several work experiences in museums and art galleries in New York, Paris and Berlin. At Tactile Studio, she is the first contact for a museum that wants to become more accessible, with more or less concrete ideas. Her personal interest and also a doctoral research project focuses on relief images of visual art: The possibilities of universal design to deliver an aesthetic experience of art.
Klaus MIESENBERGER Klaus Miesenberger, Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU), Austria
Head of Institute Integriert Studieren (http://www.jku.at/iis). R&D and teaching in Computer Science: Assistive Technology, Accessibility, Design for All, Usability. Founder/CEO of JKU’s Centre for Students with Disabilities. More than 200 peer-reviewed publications and 90 R&D grants.
Chair ICCHP (Int. Conference on Computers Helping People with Special Needs, www.icchp.org). Founder/chair ICC (Summer school for disabled university beginners, www.icc-camp.info). Founder/chair Regional Competence Centre IT for People with disabilities (KI-I, www.ki-i.at). Founder/chair BookAccess (Accessible teaching/learning materials, www.bookaccess.at). Past-President and secretariat of AAATE (www.aaate.net). Active member www.ocg.at, www.ifip.org, www.acm.org, www.uniability.org.
Michael MILLIGAN In his capacity as Secretary General of the Mobile & Wireless Forum (MWF), Mr Milligan is responsible for the co-ordination of the MWF’s global activities in the fields of research support, standards development, regulatory affairs and communications.
Neil MILLIKEN Neil Milliken is Head of Accessibility & Inclusion at Atos His role is to help make the world a better place by delivering better technology for customers and staff, embedding inclusive practice into the processes of organisations with thousands of employees and turnovers of billions.
Neil delivers strategy and services working with a wide range of clients helping them to develop policies, processes and technology solutions to meet the needs of their staff and customers.
He is the Atos representative on the Business Disability Forum Technology Task Force
Neil is also an invited expert for the W3C Cognitive Accessibility Taskforce & member of the Atos Scientific Community.
He is co-founder of AXSChat Europe’s largest twitter chat with a focus on Accessibility & Inclusion.
Hector MINTO Hector Minto leads on the topic of accessibility for Microsoft in Europe, where he engages with customers, the Microsoft workforce and other stakeholders to showcase inclusive design, product accessibility, the inclusive hiring program and innovation from Microsoft Research.
Additionally, Hector has worked on UK government focus groups and inquiries for AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) and AT (Assistive Technology), and led projects on gesture technology, eye-tracking, home automation and telecare.
A critical function within Hector’s role is to learn from Microsoft customers how to adapt to the changing needs of the diverse population we support, providing feedback directly to our product and service delivery teams. He is a regular contributor to accessibility events promoting inclusion and the huge opportunity it presents to society and its organisations.
Raul MONTIEL Raúl Montiel is the Executive Director of Foundation Saraki. As a founder member, he has been involved in the development of the early high impact projects, and continues to be involved today. His previous experiences as head of private sector companies working along with the government, allowed him to assume a great part of the responsibilities of the administrative management. Also he was able to serve as the conection between the board of directors and the different managements of the foundation.
Mohammed MUHIT Prof. Muhit has vast experience in health and disability sector in Bangladesh and globally. He has also17 years teaching experience in London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and University of South Asia, Bangladesh. Prof. Muhit has taught on international eye health and disability courses in Netherlands, Germany, UK, USA, Australia and India. He is also visiting faculty of University of London. Currently he is developing his research interest into more broadly on disabilities in children.
Prof. Muhit awarded by APAO (Distinguished Service Award 2007), OSB (M. A. Matin Gold Medal 2008) and Australian Government (Australian Leadership Fellowship Award 2013).
Around 50 scientific papers published in international journal and 80 abstract presented in international conferences and seminars through Prof. Muhit’s research findings.
Mohammed MUHIT Prof. Muhit has a vast experience in health and disability sector in Bangladesh and globally. In addition to that, Prof. Muhit has gained 7 years of teaching experience in London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and University of South Asia, Bangladesh. Prof. Muhit has taught on international eye health and disability courses in Netherlands, Germany, UK, USA, Australia and India. He is also visiting the faculty of University of London. Currently he is developing his research interest into more broadly on disabilities in children.
Prof. Muhit has been awarded by APAO (Distinguished Service Award 2007), OSB (M. A. Matin Gold Medal 2008) and Australian Government (Australian Leadership Fellowship Award 2013).
Around 50 scientific papers published in international journal and 80 abstract presented in international conferences and seminars through Prof. Muhit’s research findings.
Apollo MUKASA Mukasa Apollo, being the only disabled person from the family of 12, gave him the determination to work hard and study in order to make a positive contribution to the society especially on the lives of PWDs. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Makerere University (Uganda) and a Masters in International Development and Social Change from Clark University (USA). While working with Uganda National Action on Physical Disability(UNAPD), Mukasa led the process of developing the first ever Accessibility Standards in East Africa, which were launched by the government of Uganda in 2010 as a national document. Currently, Mukasa is the Executive Director of UNAPD, and working together with the Ministry of Works and Transport and other relevant stakeholders in the process of developing the regulations for the Building Control Act.
Pooja MUKUL Dr. Pooja Mukul, a Rehabilitation Medicine Physician, is Director of Jaipur Foot Organization, the largest NGO in the world, working for people with locomotor disabilities. She designs high performance, user- centric, affordable artificial limbs. The “Polycentric Jaipur Knee” developed in collaboration with Stanford University featured in the Time Magazine as one of the 50 best inventions of the world for 2009. She received the Indo-US Science & Technology Forum (2013), Wellcome Trust (2014) award for Affordable Healthcare & is a GES 2016 Fellow. She is spear heading humanitarian initiatives that provide artificial limbs in war torn nations across the developing world.
Yousef MUTAWE Yousef Mutawe, Chief Operating Officer. Yousef leads the improvement of the operations within Zain Jordan as well as the long-term technology vision of the company including network improvements and the designed allocations of its resources. Yousef served as the CTO, where he managed all the engineering and technical development efforts, focused on systems processes, including network maintenance programs. Throughout his telecom career, Yousef has served in numerous positions, including Manager-Core Network, where he led his team to superior performance in switching and VAS. His incorporation of network optimization practices and deployment of multi-technology resulted in cost reductions and superior coverage never before experienced. Yousef’s breakthrough work to support the network record-setting achievements is noteworthy.
Yael NEEMAN As the head of service and patient experience at Assuta Medical Centers, Yael strives to be a leader in the human experience by honoring our patients, and caregivers. Yael is investing in relationship-centered care, and creating meaningful experiences for all. She has gained over fourteen years of senior management experience in large organizations. Alongside that, Yael takes full responsibility for service policies and customer relations strategies within all customer interfaces, successfully increasing customer loyalty, growth and business success.
Ilsa NELWAN Ilsa Nelwan worked for West Java Province Family Health Program when she was involved in Suryakanti Child Development Chart in 1996. Ilsa helped Suryakanti Foundation spread the chart throughout West Java in 2000. Later Ilsa served as advisor for WHO Health System South East Asia Regional Office and Indonesian Health Policy Network. Ilsa believes that Suryakanti Child Development Toolkit is useful for improving parenting skill and thus preventing disability due to caring and raring pattern in community.
Nurit NEUSTADT-NOY Nurit Neustadt-Noy has been involved in the field of Education and Rehabilitation of Blind and visually Impaired persons in a few areas and developed a number of expertise during the years. Neustadt-Noy graduated in Social Work in 1966 and trained as a Orientation and Mobility specialist (O&M), or as it is titled at Boston College where she graduated as a Peripatologist in 1972. In 1988 she earned her Ph.D. in Public Health Administration. Based in Israel, Neustadt-Noy offers services to blindness service organizations on a national and international scale. Furthermore, she is involved in direct service provision, teaching and training, consultation and taking part on board activities with a few national and international organizations. Neustadt-Noy published over 50 articles, wrote chapter in books and edited books on education and rehabilitation of visual impairment and blindness.
Jessica NGUYEN Writer and coder Jessica Nguyen has worked with Jason DaSilva at AXS Lab to manage and improve the technical elements in creating and managing AXS Lab’s software, products, and team.
Yetnebersh NIGUSSIE Yetnebersh is a 35-year old Ethiopian lawyer and works for the international disability and development organisation Light for the World. She is an advocate for the rights enshrined in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRDP). Losing her eye sight at the age of five, she was raised in rural Ethiopia only escaping early marriage due to the existing belief in her community that her blindness would not make her a suitable wife. Her mother insisted that she get an education instead. At school she learned what inclusion really means. Overcoming social and institutional barriers, she graduated from Addis Ababa University as one of the first three female blind law students in Ethiopia. Prior to working at Light for the World, she co-founded the Ethiopian Centre for Disability and Development (ECDD), with its overall strategy to make mainstream services such as education, health or livelihood inclusive to persons with disabilities.
Yuriko ODA Yuriko Oda was diagnosed with distal myopathy/GNE Myopathy in 2002. She is the president of an NPO corporation called PADM (Patients Association for Distal Myopathies), an executive committee member of TREAT – NMD Alliance and the 2016 Youth Leader Award laureate. Yuriko Oda owns a YouTube channel called “Wheelchair Walker“ through which she shares information about the wheelchair-accessibility of the places she visits. Additionally, she created an application called “WheeLog”, through which, from the perspective of a wheelchair user, she selects and shares relevant information, while also modifying the application functions and participating in public relations activities. Her publications include the book “Since I am not alone, I am OK.”, a DVD “Walker – The way of me” and others.
Amela ODOBASIC Amela Odobasic heads the Public Affairs Division of Communications Regulatory Agency of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2001. Since September 2014, Amela is actively participating in the work of ITU-D Study Group Question 7/1 on „Access to telecommunications/ICT Services by persons with disabilities and with specific needs” as one of the co-rapporteurs. Furthermore, she has been nominated a Vice-Chair of SG1 for the mandate 2018-2021. Nationally and regionally, she devises and implements advocacy campaigns and training on ICT accessibility. She believes that by joining forces in creating the accessible ICT ecosystem, the stakeholders can ensure digital and social inclusion not only for persons with disabilities but all citizens
Katy O’REILLY Katy has worked in the disability services sector for over ten years, most recently joining Open Doors Organization (ODO) as the Program Coordinator in 2015. Prior to joining ODO, she worked directly with individuals with disabilities as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist where she coordinated community integration programs to enhance independence and social skills while in a community setting.
Since joining ODO, Katy has worked closely with businesses in the aviation and transportation industries to enhance their services for individuals with disabilities through employee training and consultation on accessible design and regulatory compliance.
Bastienne PALIZ VON HOESSLIN Senior consultant in the fields of public – private partnerships and value chain development with small producer associations. Bastienne holds a Masters Degree in Sustainable Resource Management from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and has worked for different private and public organizations, such as the German Technical Organisation (GIZ), Belgian Development Agency (CBT), Corporation for Export and Investment Promotion (CORPEI), among others. Bastienne is also a private entrepeneur being a Co-founder of Ecuador´s only wheelchair accessible Amazon Lodge “Huasquila” and the accessible travel agency “Southamerica For All”, which offers accessible tours in Ecuador (including the Galapagos Islands), Peru and Argentina. Bastienne is also Vicepresident of Foundation “AM-EN” which offers integral rehabilitation based on hipotherapy for children with mental and physical disabilities.
Manfred PALLINGER Pallinger is Head of Division IV at the Austrian Federal Ministry of Social Affairs and has held a leading position in the Ministry since 1988. He has responsibilities for long-term care, disability issues and social compensation law. Pallinger is co-author of publications in long-term care and disability issues and holds a Masters in Law.
Ron PAUSTIAN Ron Paustian was born in 1977. At the age of 20 years, he fell ill with a mental illness and has since been considered a person with a disability. Despite his disability, Ron Paustian wanted to attend a concert in 2009. Due to missing of information, he founded the first music magazine on Disability and Metal worldwide and in 2015 he established “Inklusion Muss Laut Sein”, a Buddy Service for people with disabilities. Currently there are 1500 people working as volunteers for “Inklusion Muss Laut Sein”, and in 2017 they gathered over 500 accompaniments.
Michael PERRY Michael Perry is the Executive Vice President of Progressive AE, a full-service architectural firm with offices in Grand Rapids MI, and Charlotte NC. Michael served as the Principal Architect on the Mary Free Bed YMCA, the first building to be certified by the Global Universal Design Commission for its implementation of Universal Design standards. The new facility, which has experienced exceptional member growth and national recognition, allows people of all abilities the opportunity to participate in health and wellness activities. Through Michael’s leadership, Progressive AE has become a leader in the application of Universal Design in built environments. He continues to speak and write about Universal Design and currently serves on the Board of the Global Universal Design Commission.
Linda PERRY Presenter Linda Perry is the Executive Director of Vela Microboard Association of Canada – ‘Vela’. During her 45+ year career she has worked in a variety of college settings and leadership capacities with and for people with physical and developmental challenges. Over 28 years of Linda’s life work have been spent with Vela.   During this time she as assisted with the creation of over 1,200 Microboards in British Columbia, as well as consulting on projects in other parts of Canada, the United States, Australia, the U.K. and Ireland. A Microboard is defined as, ”… a small – Micro – group of committed family and friends who join with the person to create a small non-governmental organization – board. Together they assist the individual to plan his/her life using a person-centered philosophy and ensuring self-direction is honored.”
Maureen PIGGOT Maureen Piggot is the President of Inclusion Europe and Treasurer of the European Disability Forum.
She has been involved with organisations of and for people with intellectual disability at national and international level since the early 1970’s.
Maureen has gained vast experience of advocacy in different contexts, for different groups and in many areas of life.
Throughout her time as Director of Mencap Northern Ireland, Maureen was responsible for developing and managing a range of services for children, young people, adults and families.
From 1990 to 2014, as Director of Mencap, she led advocacy campaigns on deinstitutionalisation, the right to vote, equality of health care, the recognition of Hate Crime amongst others.
In 2008 Maureen was awarded an Order of the British for her advocacy work.
Victor PINEDA Dr. Victor Pineda is an urban planner, social entrepreneur, speaker and globally recognized human rights advocate. He is also an adjunct professor and consultant on policy, planning and development. Dr. Pineda’s work focuses on urban resilience, inclusion and sustainability. He founded the Pineda Foundation / World Enabled, a global non-profit that promotes the rights of people with disabilities. He was recently appointed by President Obama to serve on the US Access Board. Dr. Pineda holds a PhD in Urban Planning from UCLA.
Marco PIZZIO Marco Pizzio is Head of Social & Accessible Tourism at AISM (Property Management, MICE, Tour Operating, Projects Management, www.aism.it; www.europewithoutbarriers.eu), and member of the Board of Directors of ENAT (European Network for Accessible Tourism, www.accessibletourism.org). He holds degrees from the University of Turin in Business Administration, University of Genoa in Political Science and a Master in “Design and Management of Tourism Destinations”. He worked as Product Manager at Omnitel (now Vodafone Italy), started his own business in the United States (San Diego and New York) as “Freedom Tour” and worked at American Express Italy as Director of the Travel Service Network.
Inmaculada PLACENCIA PORRERO Inmaculada Placencia Porrero is a Senior Expert in Disability and Inclusion at Directorate-General Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion at the European Commission. Her unit is responsible for the coordination of European policies for persons with disabilities. She works on European disability policies including the European Disability Strategy 2010-2020, and the EU implementation of the UNCRPD. Inmaculada holds a degree in Physics and Computer Science and worked in research and development before joining The European Commission in 1991. She has worked on research programmes addressing accessibility as well as assistive technologies and was Deputy Head of Unit for various disability-related units in the Commission. Her work in the “e-Inclusion” unit of the Directorate-General for Information Society and Media addressed accessibility policy. While at the Directorate-General for Justice she contributed to disability-related antidiscrimination legislation. She was responsible for the Task Force for the preparation of the European Accessibility Act and remains responsible since its adoption in 2015.
Karl PLETSCHKO Karl was born in Klagenfurt (Carintia), the southern part of Austria. He has a Master´s degree in Business Economics from the Vienna University of Economics, Telematics and e-Business Management from Danube University of Krems and an Executive MBA in strategic leadership from Alaska Pacific University. Before founding MOPIUS, Karl worked for several years in the telecommunication and digitalization business industries for companies like Nokia, A1, Telekom Austria and others.   Karl loves technology and is passionate about making great things happen, things that matter to people and improve their everyday lives.
Erika PLEVNIK Mrs. Plevnik is project leader of ÖZIV ACCESS at the ÖZIV Federal Association, Interest Group for People with Disabilities. ÖZIV ACCESS provides consulting on accessibility of the built environment and structural accessibility. Furthermore in her lectures Mrs Plevnik raises awareness about equality of people with disabilities, inclusion and accessibility in economy, politics and society.
Marek PLURA Marek Plura was born on 18 of July 1970 in Raciborz. He is married with two children. Since birth he has been suffering from a progressive muscle dystrophy.
He graduated from WSFP „Ignatianum” in Kraków as well as from postgraduate studies in psychotherapy at Slask University in Katowice. In 2007 he was elected Member of the Polish parliament – Sejm where he chaired the disability subcommittee. In 2014 he was elected Member of the European Parliament, he seats in the EMPL Committee and in TRAN Committee. He is a Vice Chair of the European Parliaments Disability Intergroup.
Strong promoter of Silesian heritage. In 2012 he was awarded the Order of the Smile.
Birendra Raj POKHAREL Birendra Raj Pokharel (PhD) is founder chairperson of ADRAD and the former chairperson of NFDN. Active engagement in the International disability arena; past engagement in DPIAP (2004-2012), presently, focal person of ICEVI, DAISY consortium and local expert of Abilis Foundation for Nepal. Drafted anti-discriminative legislation in Nepal endorsed by the legislative parliament, 2017 and Inclusive Education Policy (2017) and led disability inclusive post disaster reform plan. Carried out Disability rights holistic monitoring-2012, adopted Accessible publishing platform, was recognised by Social service prize- 2012, ABC International Excellence Award (2016) as well as International Excellence award in Zero project conference, 2016.
Selma PRODANOVIC Selma Prodanovic is an internationally awarded entrepreneur, angel investor, and philanthropist. She is passionate about empowering people and creating the future. Named Startup-Grande-Dame by the media, she is famous for her influence and her ability to identify, create, and connect business potential.
Selma is founder of 1MillionStartups, the pioneering startup-visibility platform dedicated to globally promoting and supporting entrepreneurs towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and initiator of the Global Entrepreneurship Declaration.
Shanti RAGHAVAN Shanti Raghavan is the Founder and Managing Trustee of Enable India, a Non-Profit Organization established in 1999, working for economic independence and dignity of persons with disabilities. She started Enable India due to experiences with her brother, who started going blind at the age of 15. She has over 16 years of grassroots experiences, working across 11 disabilities. She is also an Ashoka Fellow, a social entrepreneur who has pioneered disability livelihood models, methodologies and frameworks and innovative workplace solutions. Enable India has opened up more than 272 jobs across 27 sectors where persons with disabilities are earning a starting salary from Rs. 66000 to 18 lakhs per annum, and their work has reached 359 locations in 28 states.
Deepak RAJ SAPKOTA Deepak Raj Sapkota is currently the Executive Director of Karuna Foundation in Nepal. Prior to his current role, he was the Country Director of Karuna Foundation INGO for eight years. He also served as a chairperson of the Association of INGO’s in Nepal during the year 2014-2015. He has also worked for Nepalese Children’s Organizations for eight years and was appointed to be the Executive Director for five years of the Central Child Welfare Board, a statutory body for child welfare in Nepal, by the Council of Ministers of Nepal. Mr. Sapkota’s experience and expertise lies in childhood disability prevention, community based rehabilitation, insurance, and inclusive development in a holistic and sustainable manner.
Stelio RAMOS Stelio Ramos, 32 years old, graduated in Anthropology in 2011 at Eduardo Mondlane University. Stelio has been working as Inclusion Officer in the LIGHT FOR THE WORLD Offices in Mozambique since 2015. His work is focused on ensuring that the vocational training center is inclusive for people with disabilities. In addition, his task is to provide technical support to improve the social and architectural accessibility of the Young Africa Vocational Training Center.
Bob RANSOM Founder, first Executive Director and presently Senior Advisor, Ethiopian Center for Disability and Development (ECDD), a local CSO promoting, facilitating and building organizational capacity for disability inclusive development – the inclusion of persons with disabilities and their families in mainstream service delivery and development programs in Ethiopia. Senior Program Advisor for the ECDD-USAID Inclusive Skills Training and Employment Program (ISTEP). Advisor to the African Disability Forum (ADF), the Pan African membership organization of national, sub-regional and continental organizations of persons with disabilities (DPOs). Previously Africa Regional Advisor on Vocational Rehabilitation, then Senior Disability Specialist with the International Labour Organization (ILO), 1986-2005.
Thierry REGENASS Thierry Regenass was born in Geneva, Switzerland, and has over 25 years of experience in international affairs, ranging from humanitarian and development issues to diplomacy and sport diplomacy. From 1989 to 1993 he was a delegate of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), for which he held different assignments in the field and at headquarters. In 1994 he joined the Swiss diplomatic service, with postings in Bangkok, Washington, DC, Nairobi, as well as at the Department of Foreign Affairs in Bern, where he served as Deputy Head of the division for Africa and the Middle East. In 2008 he was the diplomatic adviser to the Swiss President Mr. Pascal Couchepin. Thierry Regenass holds a Master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and from the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva. Thierry was appointed Executive Director of MoveAbility in January 2017.
Matthias REISINGER Matthias Reisinger is one of the co-founders of Impact Hub Vienna.
After graduating from the Vienna University of Economics and Business with a CEMS Master in International Management, Matthias was one of the co-founders of emersense, an organization whose goal was to provide a support network for ‘value creators’—individuals that strive to create a positive impact using innovative business ideas.
In 2010, Matthias Reisinger together with his co-founders opened Impact Hub Vienna, Austria’s Impact Community and Incubator. In addition to incubation and acceleration services, Impact Hub offers coworking space to a community of 500+ innovators. Impact Hub Vienna is member of the global Impact Network, with 100+ Impact Hubs and 16.000+ innovators worldwide
Donal RICE Dónal Rice is the senior design advisor on ICT for the Centre for Excellence in Universal Design at the National Disability Authority. He recently returned to the Centre from a secondment at the Irish Human Rights and Equality Commission.
He has worked on international policy development and education projects with the European Commission, and UN agencies such as UNESCO and the ITU.   Dónal has been an evaluator of FP6, FP7 and more recently Horizon 2020 projects.
Paul RICHARDS Paul is the director and founder of the UK charity Stay Up Late. He has also worked for Think Local Act Personal as their National Co-Production Advisor and has a background in developing creative ways for people to be able to shape their support services. He has also worked as a support worker and managed a group home for adults with profound and multiple learning disabilities, and is a passionate advocate for equal rights for people with learning disabilities.
Michal RIMON Michal Rimon, Adv is the CEO of Access Israel – Access Israel is the first and only non-profit organization in Israel dedicated to promoting accessibility and inclusion for the more than 18% of the population in Israel with all types of disabilities (1.6 million people) and another 11% of the population in Israel who are elderly.
Prior to joining Access Israel Michal was the spokesperson for Ambassadors Dore Gold and Dr. Yehuda Lankri at the Israeli Mission to the UN. She later worked as a lawyer for M-Systems and SanDisk.
In 2007 she started working at Access Israel as a General Counsel and later established the Education and Training Department in the organization.
In 2011 she became the CEO of Access Israel leading the organization in its activities in Israel and Abroad.
Marcia RIOUX Dr. Marcia Rioux is a legal scholar with extensive experience in community based participatory research in the areas of human rights, health and social justice, particularly around international disability rights. Dr. Rioux is a Distinguished Research Professor in the School of Health Policy and Management and teaches Critical Disability Studies, and Health Policy and Equity at York University in Toronto, Canada. She is the Director of Disability Rights Promotion International, a multi-year project to monitor disability rights nationally and internationally. She has provided leadership in developing and implementing disability rights, monitoring methodology, and disability rights based indicators. She has also been an advisor to Canadian federal and provincial commissions, parliamentary committees, and international NGO’s as well as United Nations agencies.
Marta RIPOLLES Marta Ripollés is currently, and for two years now, the Deputy Director of the Special Employment Center of the Prodis Foundation. Before that she worked as Production Manager of the Special Employment Center. She works hand in hand with people with intellectual disabilities with the target of improving the quality of life of workers with special needs. She has a degree in Law from the University of Alcalá de Henares of Madrid. She also holds the title of Lawyer of the Ecclesiastical Court. She has worked internationally organizing sports events. She is mother of three children; the eldest is Down Syndrome, so her motivation is professional but above all, personal.
Brendan ROACH Brendan Roach is Senior Disability Consultant at Business Disability Forum (UK). Brendan has over 10 years’ experience of supporting organisations on all aspects of improving disability confidence in the UK and internationally.
Birgit ROTHENBERG Dr. Birgit Rothenberg (1955) is an activist of the German independent living movement and member of “disability studies in Deutschland”. Working at Technical University of Dortmund she is responsible for the office disabilty and study.
She is engaged for a long time as a volunteer in the managing comitee of a local independent living organisation, MOBILE-Selbstbestimmtes Leben Behinderter e.V. This association MOBILE organizes Personal Assistance, offers an indepently working Counselling Service and supports persons with intellectual disabilities (some oft hem with children) to live in a flat of their own. For some years now MOBILE also works as a regional independent living center comissioned by the government of Nordrhein-Westfalia. For some years now MOBILE also supports a young local People-First-Group.
Henry Mejia ROYET Henry Mejia Royet is the Director of the National Federation of the Deaf of Colombia, the main organization for people with disabilities in Colombia. He gained experience in administration, public policy in disability, and in coaching groups in areas such as leadership, human rights, and construction of public policy in disability. He also serves as a trainer and lecturer on issues related to persons with disabilities at both a national and international level. In addition to that, he is the Director of the Regional Secretariat for South America of the World Federation of the Deaf. Meija Royet is cosidered to be an expert in socio-educational, legal, labor, and access to information and communication issues of people with disabilities.
Ann-Marit SAEBONES Ms Ann-Marit Sæbønes represents the city of Oslo. She is the leader of the Council for people with disabilities. Ann-Marit was the first appointed health and social ombudsman in Oslo, director of the Norwegian Directorate for Children, Youth and Family Affairs and has been and a former Mayor. She also has a lot of experience with the CRDP and UN.
Diana SAMARASAN Diana Samarasan is the Founding Executive Director of the Disability Rights Fund and the Disability Rights Advocacy Fund – which are collaborations between the global disability community and donors to resource the disability rights movement in Africa, Asia, Pacific and the Caribbean. Diana has over 25 years of experience in disability, international health, and human rights. Previously, Diana directed the Mental Disability Advocacy Center, a legal advocacy organization in Budapest, Hungary, which litigates abuses of rights of persons with disabilities in institutions. She also worked with the American Refugee Committee and Doctors of the World, addressing issues such as access of vulnerable populations to reproductive health services, tuberculosis control, and deinstitutionalization. A graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Diana has advanced degrees in Public Administration and Psychology. Diana is a member of the Steering Committees of Opportunity Collaboration.
Amelie SAUPE Amelie joined the Zero Project Team as researcher of Innovative Practices in 2013. In 2018 she was again responsible for the research on social indicators to measure the implementation of UN CRPD globally within the Zero Project. Previously Amelie worked for a global logistics company in Shanghai, China, and as Project Manager for a non-profit foundation in Switzerland. Amelie has experience within international affairs in different thematic areas and approaches. She received her degree in Political Sciences and Philosophy from Vienna University in 2006. Since 2014 Amelie is living in Tokyo, Japan, and is acting as representative of the Zero Project, building new partnerships, broadening the network within Asia Pacific region and identifying new opportunities.
Barbara SCHINNERL Barbara Schinnerl is currently working in the Caritas for people with disabilities in Leonding (Linz). She attained her Bachelor studies of science of education in Vienna, Austria. After working several years in the social field between France and Austria she took up her Masters degree in Lyon, France. The focus of her studies and of her working experiences in the past, as well as her actual working situation has always been the inclusion of people with disabilities.
Christian SCHOBER Dr Christian Schober is head of Competence Center for Nonprofit Organizations and Social Entrepreneurship at the WU Vienna (Vienna University of Economics and Business). During the last 15 years he has led numerous applied research projects in the field of impact measurement and evaluation of civil society organisations and social services. He cofounded the Austrian Social Impact User Group and was member of the Austrian NPO-Governance working group. Furthermore he is responsible for leadership trainings at a number of NPOs. His research interests lie in the areas of (Economic) Evaluation, Social Impact Measurement, Finance of NPOs and Governance of NPOs. Topics in the field of long term care and people with disabilities are in the focus of his work. He led several research projects with participation of people with disabilities.
Fredric SCHROEDER Dr. Schroeder is the President of the World Blind Union, an organization representing the needs of the estimated 253 million blind and partially sighted people around the globe.   Before expanding his work to the international stage, Dr. Schroeder had a long history of advocacy in the United States at the local, state and national levels.
In 1994, President Bill Clinton appointed Dr. Schroeder to serve as the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration—the federal agency that provides the majority of the funding for employment and independent living services for people with disabilities in the U.S. Today, Dr. Schroeder is a research professor with San Diego State University.
Lara SCHWELLER Lara Schweller is the Coordinator for Community and Access Programs at The Museum of Modern Art. The Museum of Modern Art’s Community and Access Programs are committed to making exceptional arts programming and the Museum’s collection accessible to all visitors. Lara works on accessibility across the Museum, collaborating with staff to ensure building and exhibition accessibility as well as staff training. Lara focuses on the Museum’s award-winning education programming for individuals with a range of disabilities. Lara also serves as the co-chair of the Museum Access Consortium (MAC), an association that works to strengthen best practices for access and inclusion throughout New York. Lara holds a PhD from The University of California, Irvine and a B.A. from Harvard University.
Susan SCOTT-PARKER Susan Scott-Parker OBE, is a creative thought leader on how to mobilise business leadership worldwide behind the economic and social inclusion of people with disabilities.
She is the Founder of Business Disability Forum (UK) and its Technology Taskforce; of business disability international and its Global Procurement Taskforce. Susan also sits on the steering group for the Global Action on Disability network.
In 2013 Susan ‘invented’ the concept and language of ‘Disability Confidence’ – in the knowledge that if we can change the way people talk about the world, we make it easier to change the world. She continues to connect leaders from her extensive multi-stakeholder network, enabling new conversations between business, persons with disabilities and public policy makers.
Dorji Tsering SHERPA Dorji Tsering Sherpa, born on April 2, 1955 in Namche Bazaar, Solukhumbu of Nepal. His education qualification is Intermediate in Science (I.Sc). Sherpa’s profession was in Travel, Trekking and Airlines operator since 1974-2010. Presently, he is founding Chairman of the SKY Memorial Foundation – Nepal (www.skymemorialfoundation.org). The organization is involved in education, health service and basic income generating works in the remote villages of Nepal. SKY is also involved in Inclusive Humanitarian Aid supporting the needs, accessibilities and empowering the physically disabled men and women.
Hironobu SHIBUYA Prior to assuming his current positions, he served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Save the Children Japan for seven years. Previously he worked in a number of international organizations, including, senior advisor to the Executive Director of UNICEF, special advisor at the Earth Summit in 1992, and in his earlier career with the United Nations, his appointments included, serving as the director of the UN Information Center and head of the New York Office of the UN University. In between his tenures at the UN, he helped establish the US-Japan Foundation where he was the first Executive Director, and also as the CEO of Dentsu Burson-Marsteller, a joint venture of the world’s leading communications agencies. His public services in the past include serving on the boards of Helen Keller International, Save the Children, the Earth Council、UN Secretary-General’s advisory committee on communications and the advisory board on Private Public Partnerships of JICA, among others.
Tracey SHIPMAN Tracey, a certified Project Management Professional, has taken part as an integral team member of some of the largest and most complicated infrastructure projects planned and implemented in Canada.
Joining GAATES in April of 2017, she applies her extensive knowledge of project and program management to lead the various teams in internal operations, programming, and project initiatives. Specific accomplishments of 2017 include the the recent launch of the International Certification of Accessibility Consultants – Built Form program and updating the Country Representative Program, including a Toolkit to standardize activities of the organization.
Martha STICKINGS Martha Stickings works as a researcher managing projects in the Equality Sector of the Agency’s Equality and Citizens’ Rights Department. Her areas of expertise with respect to the FRA’s work include: the rights of persons with disabilities, discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, non-discrimination, fundamental rights indicators and social research and analysis. Prior to joining the FRA, she held a number of research-related roles in international organisations and NGOs, notably in the areas of freedom from torture, community security and social cohesion, institutional fragility, gender and network-building. She studied politics and sociology and holds an MA in international studies, with a focus on the EU.
Irna SUSRIANTI After finishing her master degree in Economics and Finance in Germany, Irna Susrianti went back to her hometown with the intention of supporting local government to implement the effective development strategy. Currently she is working as an economic expert in Aceh. Her field of activities are focused on economic development and poverty reduction related to many aspects such as environment, rural and women empowerment and the fulfillment of the rights of persons with disabilities. She is in the position to propose development policy recommendations to the local decision makers.
Sue SWENSON Sue Swenson was deputy and acting assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitative services in the Obama administration. The $16billion dollar office funds the development of data across disability types and ages in all States in addition to the basic service programs it runs. Under her leadership, the office mapped reports of the denial of rights to disabled students by school district across the country. In its previous form, the report was submitted as machine-readable data tables, garnering less than 1,000 views. The maps attracted more than 4 million views. Her office also funded a $20million project in artificial intelligence (AI) under her leadership. Previous to this, she was appointed to run the administration on developmental disabilities in the Clinton administration, where outcome measures were a key focus. She is an advocate for building data sets that are geocoded so they can be crossed with other data; for funding AI so that it can improve empathy and understanding of the needs of people with disabilities; and for serious efforts to address the policy implications and ethics of such data projects. Swenson will become president of Inclusion International at their World Congress in 2018.
Syarifuddin SYARIFUDDIN Syarifuddin, born in 1968, has been blind and has experienced hearing disorders since birth. Due to his father being an ordinary farmer with many children, Syarifuddin was only able to complete primary school. As a massager, Syarifuddin met many important clients and was therefore able to gain knowledge and build relationships. Since then he has been active in Disabiled People’s Organizations. After the Tsunami Aceh in 2004, having experienced loss, Syarifuddin does anything to advocate and support people with disabilities, as well as shed light on the dangers of disasters, and how to avoid and recover from them.
Mark TRIEGLAFF Mark has a B.S. in Outdoor and Therapeutic Recreation and M.S. in Park and Recreation Administration; Mark holds a certification as a Professional Associate with The National Association of ADA Coordinators
For 18 years, Mark worked as the Access Coordinator for People with Disabilities at Brookfield Zoo. Mark also worked at LCM Architects as an Accessibility Specialist, working along side Jack Catlin, who was Chair of the Access Board during the development of the new 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines.
Mark has also presented at both state and national conferences. Beginning in 2018, Mark has presented at 5 International conferences on Universal Design and his papers have been published in the UK and Israel.
Katherina TURNAUER Turnauer is foundress and Chief Executive Officer of Vienna-based Katharina Turnauer Privatstiftung. She was Assistant to Bisoph Paul Ncilica SJ, for the opening of houses of Mother Teresa in the forum Easter Europe. Turnauer holds an MA in Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome and worked in client advisory at Christie’s in London and then as an Independent Art Advisor. In 2000 she moved into Asset Management, working at ILAG in Vienna before founding Katharina Turnauer Privatstiftung. Since 2010 Turnauer has been President of Sinnstifter, a collection of six Austrian foundations supporting social projects in Austria and since 2014 has been the vice president of Verband für gemeinnütziges Stiften, representing and networking non-profit actors.
Loic VAN CUTSEM Loïc studied International Business Management at UCL in Belgium and at the WU in Vienna. Before moving towards strategy and organizational consultancy, he started his career in marketing and finance in the telecom sector. His strong desire to combine his passion for social and environmental impact with his business background led him to becoming Director of Sustainability/CSR for the major Belgian telecom operator. As his passion for social entrepreneurship grew stronger, he co-created an accelerator for social enterprises embedded in a larger support ecosystem, called Oksigen. With Ashoka Austria/CEE, Loïc focuses mainly on developing the Impact Transfer Agency, that supports the transfer of proven social innovations into new geographies.
Monique VIEIRA Architect and Urbanist graduated from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ), an accessibility specialist and a member of the Accessibility Projects Group at UFRJ. (Pro-access group UFRJ) since 2005.
Its graduation project had as its theme the integration of the urban center of the City of Nova Iguaçu / RJ through the accessibility and the total elimination of urbanistic barriers.
Monique participated in the Group for the elaboration of the Accessibility Manual for the Organizing Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games – RIO 2016.
He has worked in several accessibility projects in Brazil, Casa Acessivel in Salvador, Villa Lobos Museum in Rio de Janeiro, mapping of accessible routes in the City of Rio de Janeiro, adaptation of residencies for low income people, etc.
Corinne K. VINOPOL Corinne K. Vinopol, Ph.D. is President of the Institute for Disabilities Research and Training, Inc. (IDRT). Under her leadership, the company was presented with a Tibbetts Award at the White House by the Small Business Administration for being a Model of Excellence in the Small Business Innovative Research program. Dr. Vinopol has been working in the field of deafness for over 45 years as a teacher, school administrator, college professor, training director, educational consultant, researcher, and special education process hearing officer. She has directed research and development projects for the United States Department of Education, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and most recently United States Aid for International Development (USAID) in Morocco.
Martin VOGELSANG Martin is the Germany Country Representative of the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA). He is currently also heading the German National Advisory Board on Impact Investing. The goal of this initiative is to create a viable ecosystem for Impact investing. Further, he spent several years in India setting up an incubator for start-up social enterprises. Martin is currently a managing partner of Social Synergy (http://sosynergy.org/) from Mumbai in India. The organization invests patient capital and on-the-ground technical advisory into its portfolio organizations, supporting them in developing and streamlining their business models and creating all-round social return. Before working in the impact space Martin had a long-standing career in the banking and strategic consulting business.
Claudia WERNECK As a writer, journalist and tireless defender of inclusion and accessibility, Werneck wrote fourteen books, sold 500,000 copies, and became the only author recommended simultaneously by UNESCO and UNICEF. Fifteen years ago she founded Escola de Gente – Comunicação em Inclusão, an NGO that working for public policies to become inclusive practices, especially for the population that has a disability and lives in poverty. She won over 50 acknowledgements, such as the Human Rights Prize and the Cultural Merit Order, both from the Presidency of the Republic Brazil.
Frances WEST Frances West is the founder of FrancesWestCo, a company providing strategic digital inclusion and accessibility technology advice to help institutions achieve innovation and market expansion. Her in-depth knowledge comes from being IBM’s first Chief Accessibility Officer and holding a variety of global sales, marketing, alliance management and research executive positions. She is also the Chair of the Strategy & Development Committee of G3ict, a UN affiliated organization focused on IT inclusion. Frances was born in Taiwan and attended universities in Hong Kong and the US.   She also holds an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
Graeme WHIPPY Graeme K Whippy is a disability consultant who helps organisations become excellent at employing disabled people, working with clients to take a ‘whole business’ approach to identifying and removing the barriers that disabled people face in recruitment and in the workplace. He’s an IT expert and was a pioneer in the corporate adoption of IT Accessibility in the mid 2000’s, and more recently was responsible for creating an award winning Workplace Adjustments process and encouraging employers to ‘democratise’ the provision of adjustments. In 2016 he became an independent consultant and is currently working mostly in the media/TV sector with clients including Channel 4 Television, Viacom International Media Networks, and ITV.
Roxana WIDMER-ILIESCU Roxana WIDMER-ILIESCU is Senior Programme Officer in charge of Digital Inclusion at International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Development Sector (ITU-D) where she works since 1998. She promotes Digital Inclusion of “persons with specific needs” that includes children and youth, women and girls, persons with disabilities and Indigenous People, to achieve an inclusive digital society, globally. Ms. Widmer leads activities and develop key resources that enable these groups with specific needs to leverage their social and economic development through knowledge, access to and use of ICTs. She also advises ITU Members to design policies and execute strategies for promoting and implementing ICT accessibly services and solutions for PWD in their respective countries.
Jan WULF-SCHNABEL Jan Wulf-Schnabel is Managing Director of the Institute for Inclusive Education (affiliated to Kiel University) and Member of the Board of the Drachensee Foundation. With a three-year qualification the Institute enables people with so-called intellectual disabilities to convey their own expertise in universities. As qualified educational specialists they work on the regular job market and teach competently about their daily lives with disabilities to students, teachers, professional and managerial staff. Through their work professionals learn to put Inclusion into practice.
Sharon YEHESKEL-ORON Sharon Yeheskel-Oron is the Global Professional Development Manager at Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel. She is responsible for developing international professional collaborations with the United Nations, international organizations, governments, municipalities, NGOs, and others. She identifies and develops opportunities to export Beit Issie Shapiro’s best practices, knowledge and models overseas in order to positively impact the lives of people with disabilities around the world. Sharon has a Masters in International Relations from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.
Boaz ZILBERMAN Boaz is the Co-founder and CEO of “Project Ray” – a company providing the first smartphone specially developed for use by blind and visually impaired people.
Before founding Ray, Boaz is a co-founder of “fring”, a company that pioneered VoIP solutions on mobile devices, where he was the Chief Architect responsible for product strategy and partners relations.
An industry veteran with over 25 years’ experience in high-tech businesses and VoIP technologies – Boaz’s expertise includes launching high-tech startup businesses from inception to market maturity, strategic and tactical creativity, business development, and marketing of telecom technologies.
Ronit ZUR Dr. Ronit Zur is a specialized Senior Social Worker, and Executive Director of the Service for Child Investigations and Special Investigations at the Ministry of Labour, Social Affairs and Social Services. The Service is responsible for investigations during given criminal processes of (1) children/minors until the age of fourteen and (2) people with intellectual-developmental disabilities. Dr. Zur’s doctoral dissertation was titled: “Sexually abused children on the stand: The relationships between testifying in the courtroom and psychological adjustment following the trial”.