Ryerson School for Disability Studies
Catherine Frazee is an Officer of the Order of Canada and professor emerita at Ryerson University in the School of Disability Studies. Her work has involved extensive community dialogue, contributions as an expert witness, strategic advice to national disability organizations, public debates and panel discussions, senate and parliamentary committee submissions, and the publication of essays. In 2015, she served on a panel appointed by the federal government that conducted public consultations and expert interviews on euthanasia and assisted suicide. Since then, Catherine is one of the co-authors of the Vulnerable Persons Standard, a detailed proposal of safeguards to ensure that medically assisted death would not jeopardize the lives of vulnerable people. Catherine received honorary doctorates from the University of New Brunswick in 2002, Dalhousie University in 2009, McMaster University in 2015 and Carleton University in 2018.
Futurpreneur Canada & Code for Canada
Charles is a strategist, designer and entrepreneur, and he has held both corporate executive and community non-profit board roles. He is the Chief Experience Officer at Futurpreneur Canada, a national non-profit that provides financing, mentoring and support tools for aspiring young entrepreneurs. He co-founded and is Board Chair of Code for Canada, the country’s leading civic-tech organization that brings design and technology together for the public good. Charles has led transformational digital change through building teams and delivering on strategic initiatives in global roles with MaRS Discovery District, Thomson Reuters, Critical Mass and IBI Group. He is a board member of Jane’s Walk and Open City Network, and is the vice-chair of Waterfront Toronto’s Digital Strategy Advisory Panel.
University of Colorado Boulder
Clayton Lewis is Co-Director for Technology at the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities and Professor of Computer Science and Fellow of the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado Boulder. He has previously served as technology advisor to the director of the National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education. Clayton is known for his research on evaluation methods in user interface design. Two methods he has contributed to, the thinking aloud method and the cognitive walkthrough, are in regular use in software development organizations around the world. He has also contributed to cognitive assistive technology, programming language design, educational technology, and cognitive theory in causal attribution and learning. Clayton has been honoured by appointment to the ACM SIGCHI Academy, the SIGCHI Social Impact Award, and the Strache Leadership Award (CSUN Assistive Technology Conference).
Inclusive Design Research Centre
Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University. Jutta established the IDRC in 1993 as the nexus of a growing global community that proactively works to ensure that our digitally transformed and globally connected society is designed inclusively. She also heads the Inclusive Design Institute, a multi-university regional centre of expertise. Jutta founded an innovative graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University. She leads international multi-partner research networks that have created broadly implemented innovations that support digital equity. She has played a leading role in developing accessibility legislation, standards and specifications internationally (including W3C WAI ATAG, IMS AccessForAll, ISO 24751, and AODA Information and Communication). She serves on many advisory bodies globally to provide expertise in equitable policy design. Jutta’s work has been attributed as the impetus for the corporate adoption of more inclusive practices in large enterprise companies such as Microsoft and Adobe.
Michael Bach has undertaken over 30 years of research and development in Canada and internationally on ways to advance the full inclusion and human rights of persons with disabilities. His research and publications cover disability theory, policy and practice in a range of areas, including education, employment, and funding and delivery of community-based services. His particular area of expertise is in the legal capacity of people with intellectual disabilities. Michael has a PhD in Sociology and Equity Studies from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at the University of Toronto, where his dissertation focused on developing a more inclusive theory of personhood on which to challenge the usual equation between intellectual disability and legal incapacity. As an Open Society Foundations Fellow, he continued his international comparative research on the right to legal capacity for people with significant intellectual and cognitive disabilities. Michael is also an Adjunct Professor in Disability Studies at Ryerson University.
Aequum Global Access
Pina D’Intino is an internationally recognized accessibility speaker, strategy and integration specialist, and entrepreneur. For 19 years, she has helped businesses achieve inclusion through diversity, accessibility and leadership. She has helped many large organizations, including financial service providers and global consulting companies, implement accessibility best practices, providing strategic direction and overseeing the development of accessibility roadmaps, plans and projects. Pina is engaged with different provincial and federal departments, leading their accessibility efforts, and as an advisor on several internal communities of practices. Pina is the owner of Aequum Global Access, the founder and past co-chair of the Canadian Financial Institute on Assistive Technologies (CFIAT), a past board member of the G3ict’s International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP), an honorary member of the Job Opportunity Information Network (JOIN), co-chair of Financial Services for G3ict, and advisor on several provincial regulatory bodies and federal projects. Pina has an MDes in Inclusive Design from OCAD University and has received awards and recognition for her work, including the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Sara Basson works as Accessibility Evangelist at Google, with the goal of making the experience of Googlers more accessible and usable through advocacy around accessibility and enhancements to technologies and education. In previous roles, she worked at IBM Research on speech technology, accessibility and education transformation. Sara serves on the Board of Directors for the Lexington School for the Deaf and was on the Executive Board of Directors of the Applied Voice Input Output Society (AVIOS). Sara has a PhD in Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences from the Graduate Center at the City University of New York. She also has an honorary doctorate from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in recognition of her extensive activities using speech technologies to enhance accessibility in the educational arena.
Shari Trewin is an accessibility researcher who has made contributions to many areas of inclusive information and communication technology, including AI fairness, accessibility tools for developers, tools that enable users to customize the appearance and access mechanisms for web pages, access to virtual worlds, abstract user interface models for accessibility, novel access features for input devices, and self-adaptive input devices. She also holds 20 patents for accessibility technology. Shari manages the IBM Accessibility Leadership Team, chairs the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing (SIGACCESS), is a Distinguished Scientist of the ACM and a member of ACM’s Diversity and Inclusion Council. She has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence from the University of Edinburgh.
Shea Tanis is the Director for Policy and Advocacy at the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado. She is nationally recognized for her expertise in applied cognitive technology supports, cognitive accessibility, and advancing the rights of people with cognitive disabilities to technology and information access. Shea is also on the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, where she has investigated a variety of subjects, including the definition of intellectual disability and the measurement of adaptive behaviour and support need. She is the PI for the State of the States in Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Longitudinal Data Project of National Significance and a co-author of its monograph since 2011. She is past chair of the National Sibling Leadership Network and co-founder of their Colorado chapter, Rocky Mountain Sibs. Shea has a PhD in Special Education from the University of Kansas.
Victor Santiago Pineda
Victor Santiago Pineda is a serial social impact entrepreneur, globally recognized human rights expert, highly sought after speaker and adviser, and leading scholar on inclusive and accessible smart cities. He is a two-time presidential appointee and is founder and president of World Enabled (formerly the Pineda Foundation) and the film production company Windmills & Giants. Victor is a senior fellow at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, a past president of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), and head of the Inclusive Cities Lab, a collaboration between UC Berkeley and World Enabled. He also supported the drafting of local and national regulatory frameworks, such as the Dubai Disability Strategy, and helped negotiate international agreements, such as the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Victor has a PhD in Urban Planning from the Luskin School for Public Affairs at UCLA.
Centre for Independent Living Toronto
Wendy Porch is the Executive Director of the Centre for Independent Living Toronto and has been working in the field of accessibility, disability, human rights and education for more than 20 years. She began her career at ARCH Disability Law Centre before moving to the Adaptive Technology Resource Centre at the University of Toronto, where she led several initiatives related to education, accessibility and technology. In 2005, she was a Research Fellow in Accessibility in Educational Media at the Open University. Before joining CILT, Wendy was Manager of Episodic Disability Initiatives at Realize, a national organization that supports people living with HIV and/or other episodic disabilities. She has worked with the Body Image Project at Women’s College Hospital on mental health initiatives for women living with disabilities and facial differences, and she is a member of the City of Toronto’s Accessibility Advisory Committee and the Disability Justice Network of Ontario’s Advisory Committee. She has an MEd in Counselling Psychology from the University of Toronto. Wendy is a proud mom to her son Jasper and works to raise awareness of the needs of parents with disabilities.
Treasury Board Secretariat Canada
Yazmine Laroche is Canada’s first Deputy Minister of Public Service Accessibility. In this role, she is responsible for overseeing the efforts of the Canadian public service to meet the requirements of the Accessible Canada Act. A career public servant with extensive experience, she has served in a variety of leadership roles in many different federal departments and agencies. She most recently served as the Associate Deputy Minister, Transport and Infrastructure. Yazmine is proud to be the Deputy Minister Champion for Federal Employees with Disabilities and the Deputy Minister Champion for her alma mater, Carleton University, from where she received an honorary doctorate in 2019. She is also a board member and the past chair of Muscular Dystrophy Canada. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of her charitable work and her efforts on behalf of people with disabilities.