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AUCD - Plenary B: Driving Change Through Data and Technology at the Federal Level and Beyond

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Tuesday, November 17, 2015 8:45 AM - 10:15 AM

Location: Grand Ballroom North/Central

Session Description

To open this session, Dr. Lakin will interview Dr. Patil about the Obama Administration's approach to using data science and big data to influence policy. How can we use data science to inform and drive changes in policy for children and adults with disabilities, and what are the limitations of this kind of an approach? Toward the end of the chat, AUCD's advocacy specialist Liz Weintraub will join Drs. Lakin and Patil and ask questions in a "Tuesdays with Liz" format.

The second half of the session will feature a panel of leaders responding to questions about leveraging technology and universal design to improve access and participation for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Featured Presenter(s)

Larry Goldberg: Director of Accessible Media, Yahoo

photo: Larry

Larry Goldberg is Director of Accessible Media at Yahoo. In this role, he is responsible for assuring that Yahoo's many media offerings are as accessible as possible to people with disabilities, starting with closed captioning of thousands of videos hosted on our mobile apps and web sites. Yahoo produces dozens of original programs - all of which are captioned - and provides captions for thousands of partner videos, including content from the New York Times, CNBC, Hollywood movie trailers, the Discovery networks and more.

Mr. Goldberg joined Yahoo in June of 2014, having previously worked at WGBH Boston where he founded and directed its National Center for Accessible Media (NCAM). NCAM focused on research and development, public policy initiatives and strategic partnerships for global impact on inclusive media and technology. Mr. Goldberg was directly involved in such ground-breaking legislation as the TV Decoder Circuitry Act, The Telecommunications Act of 1996 and the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. He led efforts to create standards adopted by media organizations and the FCC to implement legislated mandates for accessible technology.

Before starting NCAM, Mr. Goldberg directed WGBH's Media Access Group and its Caption Center and Descriptive Video Service. He holds a patent for "Rear Window," a theatrical movie captioning system, and developed the market for captioning in movie theaters.


K. Charlie Lakin, PhD (moderator)

photo: Charlie Lakin 

K. Charlie Lakin, PhD, is the former Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education. Dr. Lakin has more than 40 years of experience in services to individuals with disabilities as a teacher, researcher, consultant and advocate, including serving as Director of the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota (UCEDD). In his career Dr. Lakin has directed dozens of research and training projects and has authored or coauthored more than 300 publications based on that work. He has consulted frequently with state, federal and international agencies in matters of policy, research and evaluation. 

Among recognitions for his work are appointments by President Clinton to the President's Committee on Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities' Dybwad Humanitarian Award, the Distinguished Research Award of The Arc of the United States, the Distinguished Service Award of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities, and the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Community Service Award. 


Mat McCollough, MPA: Executive Director, District of Columbia Developmental Disabilities Council

photo: Mat

Mathew McCollough is currently the Executive Director of the District of Columbia Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) which promotes independence and equal opportunity for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Prior to assuming the current position as the DDC Executive Director, he served as the Communications Manager for the DC Office of Disability Rights, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance office for the District Government. He is recognized for his communication and training expertise in the areas of education, diversity and sensitivity, cultural competency, and disability issues to a broad spectrum of audiences - students, advocates, parents, managers, community leaders, and other stakeholders.

In 2011, Mr. McCollough was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. Access Board, an independent federal agency devoted to establishing accessibility standards that promote the full integration and participation of people with disabilities Previously, he served as a grants manager and trainer with the Association of University Centers on Disabilities and for the National Service Inclusion Project - a training and technical assistance provider that advocates on the behalf of individuals with disabilities to fully participate in service and civic-minded programs within their communities.


David O'Hara, PhD: Co-UCEDD Director and Interim President and CEO of the Westchester Institute for Human Development

photo: David

David O'Hara is currently the interim President and CEO of the Westchester Institute for Human Development (WIHD) in Valhalla, New York. WIHD is one of the 67 University Centers of Excellence in Disabilities Education, Research and Service that exist across the United States. WIHD is somewhat unique among the UCEDD network in being one of only two independent non-profit centers with an affiliation with New York Medical College.

Currently one of Dr. O'Hara's major interests is in how smart technologies and software applications can be used to promote independence and self-direction among people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In 2014 Dr. O'Hara was chosen as one of only 12 new Health Information Technology (HIT) fellows by the Office of the National Coordinator on HIT at the US Department of Health and Human Services because of his work on making HIT accessible to people with cognitive disabilities. Currently he is working closely with the Rix Research Center in the UK on the design and use of personal multi-media driven web pages - WIKIs - to promote greater self-determination and choice in person-centered planning for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Dr. O'Hara is a former member of the AUCD Board of Directors and has been co-Chair of the AUCD International Committee for the past 30 years.


DJ Patil, Chief Data Scientist of the United States Office of Science and Technology Policy

DJ Patil 

Dr. DJ Patil joined the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in February 2015, when he was named by the White House as Chief Data Scientist and Deputy Chief Technology Officer for Data Policy. DJ advises on policies and practices to maintain U.S. leadership in technology and innovation, fosters partnerships to maximize the Nation's return on its investment in data, and helps to attract and retain the best minds in data science to serve the public.

Since joining OSTP, DJ has collaborated with colleagues across government, including the Chief Information Officer and the U.S. Digital Service as part of the Administration's commitment to open data and data science. He is leading data science efforts related to the Precision Medicine Initiative, which focuses on utilizing advances in data and health care to provide clinicians with new tools, knowledge, and therapies to select which treatments will work best for which patients, while protecting patient privacy.

DJ joins the White House following an incredible career as a data scientist - a term he helped coin - in the public and private sectors, and in academia. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Product at RelateIQ, which was acquired by Salesforce. DJ also previously held positions at LinkedIn, Greylock Partners, and eBay Inc, where he oversaw initiatives at eBay, PayPal, and Skype.

Prior to his work in the private sector, DJ was an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellow for the Department of Defense, where he directed new efforts to bridge computational and social sciences in fields like social network analysis to help anticipate emerging threats to the United States.

As a doctoral student and faculty member at the University of Maryland, DJ used open datasets published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to make major improvements in numerical weather forecasting. He holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of California, San Diego, and a PhD in applied mathematics from the University of Maryland College Park. DJ has also authored a number of influential articles and books explaining the important current and potential applications of data science. In 2014, the World Economic Forum named DJ as a Young Global Leader.


Shea Tanis, PhD: Associate Director, Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado (Moderator)

photo: Shea Tanis

Emily Shea Tanis, PhD, is the Associate Director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado. Among other duties, she serves as the research coordinator for the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities Project of National Significance funded by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, which investigates the determinants of public spending for Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services in the United States. She is also a research assistant on a National Institutes of Health sponsored cross-disability study examining public spending for disability in the United States. Dr. Tanis has been a co-author of The State of the States in Developmental Disabilities Monograph since 2011. She is also co-PI of an Office of Special Education funded Steppingstones of Technology Innovation for Children with Disabilities, a subcontract from the University of South Dakota developing a cognitively accessible online curriculum for students with significant disabilities to self-direct their own employment outcomes in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

Dr. Tanis is the sibling of a man with significant disabilities and serves as the out-going-chair of the Sibling Leadership Network, a national advocacy network with over 3,400 members that supports siblings of people with disabilities. She has published peer-reviewed articles on the definition of intellectual disability, the construct of self-determination, assistive technology, and employment strategies for young women with intellectual disability.


Liz Weintraub: Host of "Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All" and AUCD Advocacy Specialist (Moderator)

Liz Weintraub 

Liz Weintraub has a long history of leadership in self advocacy, and has held many board and advisory positions at state and national organizations. In addition to her part-time position with AUCD, Liz also works for the Council on Quality & Leadership (CQL) and consults for National Children's Center in Washington, DC. Her work with both of these organizations focuses on improving quality of life for people with disabilities.

Liz is the immediate past chair of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. Liz a faculty member of The National Leadership Consortium on Developmental Disabilities at the University of Delaware and is the President of the Board of Directors for Shared Support Maryland, a progressive provider organization.