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Advisory board

E-Government for All? encourages participation from as many stakeholders as possible. A key component of this strategy is our transnational and cross-disciplinary group of advisors, which draws from academia, research, think tanks, business/industry, nonprofit organizations, and advocacy groups.

United States

Deborah Buck
Executive Director, Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs

Deborah Buck has over 25 years of experience in the disability field. She is currently executive director of the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs (ATAP), the national member association of the state Assistive Technology Act Programs. Prior to joining ATAP, Ms. Buck was the director of state IT accessibility for the Information Technology Technical Assistance and Training Center, where she provided technical assistance regarding accessible IT policies, standards, and initiatives to state governments, AT programs, businesses, and advocates. Before working on the national level, Deborah directed the New York State Assistive Technology Program for 10 years, where she was involved in public and private sector activities related to assistive technology, information technology, and telecommunications accessibility. Later, she became the accessibility program manager at the NYS Office for Technology where she was responsible for information technology accessibility policy and program development. At that office, she conducted a study to identify and record policies and laws regarding IT accessibility adopted by state governments. Ms. Buck holds an M.S. in rehabilitation counseling from the University at Albany, NY and a B.A. in sociology from Bishop's University, QC, Canada.

Mary Lester
Executive Director, Alliance for Technology Access

Mary Lester is the executive director of the Alliance for Technology Access (ATA), the national network of grassroots organizations, companies, and individuals enhancing the lives of people with disabilities through technology. Ms. Lester's knowledge of assistive technology and creating networks is based on 20 years in the field and a great deal of personal experience. She helped found the Alliance for Technology Access and edited ATA's Computer Resources for People with Disabilities, now in its fourth edition. Ms. Lester has served on boards of directors and advisory panels for many organizations and projects, including the Community Technology Centers' Network; the Independent Living Network; CompassPoint Nonprofit Services; the policy council of the California Association of Nonprofits; the American Institutes of Research's Center for Implementing Technology in Education; the Diaz Award committee of the Disability Funders' Network; and SBC's Disability Advisory Group.

Debra Ruh
President and CEO, TecAccess

Debra Ruh has more than 25 years of professional experience implementing and creating technology, compliance, policy, quality assurance, training, and e-learning solutions for government agencies and organizations all over the world. Ms. Ruh is a leader in the E&IT accessibility and Section 508 compliance arenas. She is the founder and president of TecAccess, a company that provides Section 508 compliance and accessibility solutions to corporations, government agencies, and educational institutions. For these efforts, Ms. Ruh and her company have received numerous international awards such as the 2005 New Freedom Initiative award from the U.S. president; the 2005 Virginia Minority Small Business Person of the Year award from the Small Business Administration; the 2005 Career Award from Lighthouse International for hiring people with vision impairments; the National Association of Women Business Owners Rising Star award; and the 2006 Leadership Award by Women in Technology. Ms. Ruh has been asked to speak on Section 508 compliance and IT accessibility Issues all over the world, including a recent request to present before the European Union. In addition, she has spoken before the U.S. government Section 508 coordinators on several occasions about accessibility testing and assessment. Ms. Ruh has authored many articles for national publications and is a major supporter of the rights of persons with disabilities.

Cynthia Waddell, J.D.
Executive Director, International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet (ICDRI)

Cynthia D. Waddell is the executive director of the International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet, an internationally recognized public policy center working to equalize opportunities for people with disabilities. Combining her expertise in disability legislation and technology, she provides professional consulting services for government and private sector clients. A frequent writer and speaker, Ms. Waddel is co-author of the books Constructing Accessible Websites and Web Accessibility: Web Standards and Regulatory Compliance. The free Cynthia Says (TM) web accessibility tool and portal was named after her and endorsed by the American Council of the Blind. Named to the "Top 25 Women on the Web" by Webgrrls International in 1998, she received the first Government Technology magazine award in 2004 for leadership in accessibility technology and pioneering advocacy and education. Cynthia Waddell holds a J.D. from Santa Clara University; served as a Rotary International Foundation fellow at Exeter University, England; and was a USC-Cambridge University scholar at Cambridge University, England. She received her B.A. cum laude from the University of Southern California.

Kate Williams, Ph.D.
Research Investigator, School of Information, University of Michigan

Kate Williams earned her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan School of Information and is now an assistant professor at Dominican University's Graduate School of Library and Information Science in Chicago, Illinois. She studies community institutions, including libraries, as they move into the digital age. Her research focuses on the relationship between social networks, social capital, and the use of information and communications technology, particularly in low-income communities. Publications are available at www-personal.umich.edu/~katewill.

United Kingdom

David Banes
Director of Operations, AbilityNet

David Banes is director of operations for AbilityNet, the UK’s largest provider of independent information on all aspects of access to Information and communications technology. Prior to joining AbilityNet, he worked in special education as head of a specialist school for children with cerebral palsy. During this period he worked for the National Curriculum Council and as a lecturer at the Cambridge Institute of Education, publishing a series of books on early access to technology. .

During his career Mr. Banes has acted as an advisor to UNESCO, DfES, and European MEPs, and has taken an active role in transnational cooperation on accessibility in Europe. In 2005 he was elected chair of the Euro Accessibility Consortium, a consortium of 24 organisations with an interest in web accessibility and the future. .

Mr. Banes joined AbilityNet in 2000 as director of operations, overseeing the establishment of a national network of centres providing information and resources for people with disabilities. The centres and services include a free phone advice line, web-based resources, web and software accessibility services, assessments of need, consultancy for employers and the public sector, supply of solutions, and long-term support to individuals. AbilityNet works across the age and ability continuum, with clients ranging from age three to 97. Recent initiatives include the development of remote assessment capability, online training opportunities, accreditation of providers of services, and a network of partner centres across the UK and into Europe.

Leela Damodoran, Ph.D.
Professor of Participative Design & Change Management, Department of Information Science, Loughborough University

Leela Damodaran is professor of participative design and change management in the Information Science department at Loughborough University. She leads the Information, Technology, and Society Research group, conducting research on the human and social aspects of informatics within the new Research School of Informatics. Her expertise informs the formulation of policy and strategies to promote the adoption of digital technologies through participatory and inclusive design approaches in ICT development projects. Her influential report Analogue to Digital Switchover: Human Aspects of Adoption, proposing strategies for engaging citizens, promoting social inclusion, and enhancing public access to information, has been published at www.digitaltelevision.gov.uk. Current projects include research on the implementation of local eGovernment in the UK. Professor Damodaran has been a member of the Spectrum Management Advisory Group and the strategic advisory team of the EPSRC on the Infrastructure and Environment Programme. She chairs the Digital Technologies and Social Inclusion Consortium in partnership with the University of Dundee, and is also vice-chair of the British Computer Society Sociotechnical Group.

Simon Hills
Former Programme Manager, SustainIT

Simon Hills is head of SustainIT, a unit of the UK Centre for Economic and Environmental Development, an independent, entrepreneurial, charitable foundation based in Peterborough, UK. SustainIT explores the links between ICT and sustainable development, and specifically aims to promote uses of ICT that deliver tangible social, economic, and environmental benefits. This is achieved through research, education and engagement, policy development, guidance tools, practical demonstration, and the National eWell-Being Awards. Mr. Hills joined the centre in 2002 after completing an M.Sc. at the University of Bradford. Before that, he worked in the ICT sector as a technical analyst and project manager.

Mr. Hills has particular expertise and interest in the role that ICT can play in tackling social exclusion for disadvantaged groups, improving organisational efficiency, facilitating transport substitution, improving public services, informing more sustainable production and consumption, creating greater environmental efficiency, and building social networks.

David Sinclair
Senior Policy Manager, Help the Aged

David Sinclair is policy manager for social exclusion at Help the Aged. He manages the Social Inclusion policy team, which works on a wide variety of policy issues around the incomes of older people (e.g., council tax, pensions, poverty, fuel poverty) and the communities they live in (crime, housing, transport, local services for older people). He works on active ageing in relation to social exclusion (education, volunteering, and physical activity) and leads Help the Aged's work on digital exclusion, technology, and older people and digital TV switchover.

Mr. Sinclair is a member of a wide range of government and voluntary sector working groups; including the DCMS Digital TV Consumer Expert Group and Ministerial Steering Group; the National Coalition for Active Ageing; the Water Affordability Coalition; the Home Office Insurance Cover Working Group; NIACE's Older and Bolder Advisory Group and Financial Literacy and Older People Group; and the Treasury's Vulnerable Consumers Group. Mr. Sinclair joined Help the Aged from the Charity Finance Directors' Group, where he worked in a policy role. He has also worked for a disability organization and environmental organizations in policy and public affairs roles. Prior to that, Mr. Sinclair worked for an MP in the House of Commons, backbench committees (including the Parliamentary Environment Group, the all-party group on prostitution, and the Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group). In 2001, Mr. Sinclair spent a year as a VSO volunteer, acting as an NGO advisor and providing capacity-building support for two small charities based on the Black Sea Coast in Romania.

ICI: promoting inclusion for people with disabilities