Leah Brochu is the accessible publishing coordinator for the National Network for Equitable Library Service, where she helps to improve the state of equitable reading in Canada. From organizing the Accessible Publishing Summit, to coordinating logistics for a variety of projects, while facilitating website maintenance and social media. Leah is passionate about using her skills and experience to work toward a more accessible and inclusive future.
Laura Ciporen, CPACC, senior digital product developer (accessibility/inclusive content design), McGraw Hill. Laura has been working across higher ed disciplines at McGraw-Hill since 2009 and in charge of accessibility and inclusive design for content starting in 2015. She has been putting her masters degree in educational communication and technology to good use making sure that McGraw Hill’s online course materials are a great learning experience for all students, no matter how they perceive or interact with the content. The accessibility challenge she is most proud of thus far is a large set of highly complex and visual astronomy interactives.
Rachel Comerford is the senior director of content standards and accessibility at Macmillan Learning where she spearheads cross-functional efforts to ensure customer satisfaction and access for all. Recent projects include the implementation of a company-wide accessibility training initiative, accessibility authoring and quality assurance guidelines, and a new customer outreach and response plan. She has over a decade of experience in the print and digital publishing world. Prior to coming to Macmillan as an editor, she held a variety of editorial and sales positions at WW Norton and Pearson.
Michael Daly is director of operations for SUNY OER Services, a shared service organization working with SUNY campuses, faculty, and students to drive large-scale adoption of OER as a strategy for increasing student success and empowering faculty pedagogy. In his role, he also facilitates active participation and engagement with SUNY's external partners in OER, including rpk GROUP, as campuses develop OER sustainability plans that reflect local values and cultures. Prior to joining SUNY OER Services, he spent ten years as instruction/public services librarian at Fulton-Montgomery Community College, where he developed and led a robust campus-wide OER program.
Dr. Gunderson is the coordinator of the Accessible IT Group in the Division of Disability Resources and Education Services (DRES) at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, Illinois. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in industrial engineering with an emphasis in human factors. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from UW-Madison in electrical and computer engineering. He is responsible for helping the campus understand the accessibility issues of its online administrative and instructional resources and works with campus IT professionals and instructors to improve accessibility.
He is also the past chair of the W3C User Agent Working Group and currently a participant in the W3C WAI ARIA working group and is particularly interested in the development of authoring practices and implementation testing. He leads the development group working on open source web accessibility evaluation tools including the AInspector Sidebar add-on for Firefox browser, Functional Accessibility Evaluator (FAE) 2.0 and Accessibility Bookmarklets. He is the primary software developer of the open source OpenAjax Accessibility Evaluation library used in AInspector Sidebar and FAE 2.0 to evaluate web content for W3C Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level A and AA requirements.
Michael is the director of content partnerships at Benetech. In this role he works directly with publishers, conversion houses, technology platforms, and educational institutions to help them understand and implement processes that allow fully born accessible content to get from authors all the way through the EPUB ecosystem to the end reader.
One of the founders of VitalSource Technologies, Inc., Rick Johnson manages the strategic direction of the fast-growing platform, guiding the architecture and implementation of its clients and systems. He is a frequent speaker on electronic textbooks, their integration into an institutional environment, and how the accessibility needs of individual students can best be accommodated in their delivery. He has served on multiple committees addressing the needs around delivering accessible content to students and currently serves on the board of directors for IMS Global. He is the co-inventor of three domestic and international patents dealing with electronic books and their distribution. Prior to VitalSource, Rick spent more than twelve years with Apple Computer, Inc. as a senior national consulting engineer.
George Kerscher Ph.D.
George Kerscher began his IT innovations in 1987 and coined the term "print disabled." George is dedicated to developing technologies that make information not only accessible, but also fully functional in the hands of persons who are blind or who have a print disability. He believes properly designed digitally published materials and web pages can make information accessible to all people. George is an advocate for semantically-rich content which can be used effectively by everybody.
As chief innovations officer of the DAISY Consortium, senior advisor, global literacy to Benetech, and member of publishing groups in the W3C, Kerscher is a recognized international leader in document access. In addition, Kerscher chairs the DAISY/NISO Standards Committee, chairs the Steering Council of the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI), and also serves on the Advisory Board of the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
Anika Ledlow is assistant course product manager for Lumen Learning, a teaching and learning company dedicated to providing affordable and high-quality course material with online homework and personalized feedback to help students study more effectively. In her role, she manages the accessibility review and remediation process for Lumen course content, targeting common WCAG 2.0 issues, and leveraging open licenses to improve Lumen content usability and accessibility.
Daniella Levy-Pinto is an expert in accessibility, including digital technology as well as livable spaces. She has been a user of assistive technologies for more than twenty-five years in her different roles in academic and professional settings. As the coordinator for accessibility testing with the National Network for Equitable Library Service (NNELS), Daniella leads a team of testers who assess the accessibility of EPUB files and reading apps to access content through public libraries across Canada. She also provides advice to prevent or eliminate accessibility barriers.
Richard is chief executive of the DAISY Consortium, the global organization whose mission is to develop standards and solutions for accessible publishing and reading. He is chair of the Right to Read Alliance in the United Kingdom, a founding member of the Publishers Association Accessibility Action Group, serves on the board of the Accessible Books Consortium (an initiative of the United Nations agency WIPO) and is a director of the regional blind association in the county where he lives. Richard’s brother, James, has a severe learning disability, and his son, Jim, has dyslexia. In these various capacities, he frequently interacts with regulators, publishers, technology companies, special libraries, and many people with disabilities who want to read books and other publications for their work, study, or pleasure.
When teaching in a college more than thirty years ago Richard encountered his first blind student, which began a career in what we now refer to as accessible technology. He has worked with charities in London and rural counties, for national and international organizations, working with young, old, and very old people, with visual, physical, dual sensory, and cognitive disabilities. For over twenty years Richard worked at RNIB, where he led the work to improve access to reading for people with sight loss. During this time, he led the development of a national database of accessible textbooks, now known as RNIB Bookshare. He also focused on the accessibility of ebooks, working with many of the world’s leading companies to build accessibility into mainstream products, to achieve the same book, at the same time, in the same place.
Mark A. Riccobono
President, National Federation of the Blind
Mark Riccobono was diagnosed with glaucoma and aniridia at age five. Nonetheless, he attended public schools, graduating with honors. Mark earned a degree in business administration; and, after graduation, became the director of the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired. Later, he took a position with the National Federation of the Blind and earned a master’s degree in educational studies. While serving as the executive director of the NFB Jernigan Institute, Mark navigated a car equipped with nonvisual technology at the Daytona International Speedway. At its 2014 convention, the National Federation of the Blind elected Mark as its president. He has been re-elected by the membership in each biennial election since then. Mark and his wife, Melissa, have three children, Austin, Oriana, and Elizabeth.
Ben Schroeter is a product manager for accessibility at Pearson and has been involved in educational publishing for thirty five years. He has managed print production and composition for Pearson and Cengage, and managed title metadata and content ingestion for digital textbooks at CourseSmart and VitalSource. Ben has been an advocate for accessibility in digital courseware for the past decade, participating in a number of IDPF and W3C working groups and grant initiatives including the Student E-rent Pilot Project (STEPP) and the Center for Accessible Materials Innovation (CAMI), and is a contributor to the BISG Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing. Ben has a degree in English and German literature from Stanford University and lives in California.
Tzviya Siegman is Wiley’s information standards principal. Tzviya serves as Wiley’s liaison to industry standards groups. She currently works in Wiley’s Architecture Strategy Group, joining her interests in content structure, standards, accessibility, and data. Tzviya co-chairs the W3C Publishing Steering Committee and serves on the W3C Advisory Board, helping to make the web and publishing better friends.
Volker Sorge has studied mathematics, computer science, and philosophy at the University of Würzburg, University of Texas at Austin, and University Saarbrücken. He holds a research masters in mathematics and a PhD in computer science (computational logic). Volker Sorge is professor in document analysis and accessibility at the School of Computer Science, University of Birmingham, UK. He leads the Scientific Document Analysis Group whose research primarily focuses on mathematical document analysis, diagram recognition and handwriting recognition.
For many years Volker has worked on math accessibility. As a visiting scientist at Google, he integrated mathematics support into the ChromeVox screen reader. As a member of the MathJax consortium he has worked on formula accessibility on the web. Most recently, in collaboration with the PreTeXt group, the NFB, and the American Institute of Mathematics he contributed to the automatic transcription of LaTeX textbooks into tactile Braille books.
Volker also manages Progressive Accessibility Solutions (progressiveaccess.com), a start-up company that is focusing on exploiting pattern recognition and image analysis technology for automatically making STEM diagrams accessible for use in teaching and science.