Edison Lopez Jr. currently lives in Chicago and works as a specialist at Apple Store. With Latino parents and three deaf siblings, his background is rich with cultural diversity. Tapping into this experience lends to successful community collaborations resulting in several volunteer opportunities and leadership roles. In 2015, Edison achieved a Deaf Interpreter license in the state of Illinois. He is the current owner of Zepol Interpreting Services, LLC.
Keidra Chaney is a writer and communications professional focused on reproductive justice, disability justice, accessibility, and equity/inclusion. Her two-decade career includes experience in independent magazine publishing, non-profit digital strategy, and social media training. She is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP).
Sandy Tiania has over 20 years of accounting experience. Sandy is quite active in the hard of hearing community and serves as the co-coordinator of the Deaf Urban Professional (Duppies) Group. Sandy has a passion for civic engagement in literary, arts, philanthropy, and technology.
Jason Lehmann aims to be an ambassador between people on the Autism spectrum and Neurotypical. Currently working as quality assurance analyst at Aspiritech, Jason is pursuing a career in technology and is interested in refining development processes.
Attorney Anthony (“Tony”) M. Abou Ezzi is the Founder of Ezzi Law, a premier law firm in the heart of downtown Chicago that provides legal services in the area of Estate Planning (Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Special Needs Trusts). He represents families in Probate court in cases of Adult Guardianship, Disability Law, and when a loved one passes. Tony founded Ezzi Law in 2014 after being selected by the Chicago Bar Association’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project.
Ather Sharif is a PhD Student studying Human-Computer Interaction at University of Washington, and a Software Engineer at Comcast’s Core Application Platforms Team. Ather is passionate about researching accessibility and developing tools to make the web a more accessible place. Ather is a recent graduate of Saint Joseph’s University with a M.S. in Computer Science and earned his B.S. in Software Engineering from the GIK Institute of Science and Technology in Pakistan.
Liz Davis is a User Experience Designer with a passion for making technology accessible. She currently works at SPR Consulting and will graduate in 2019 with a Master’s in Human Computer Interaction from DePaul University. She gives talks, workshops and consultations about the accessibility of technology.
Andre Johnson is the Founder and CEO of LiveEquipd. LiveEquipd is a Chicago-based, health tech platform headquartered in the 1871 incubator space. The platform empowers people with paralysis-related disabilities and other needs to find the products, assistive technology, and innovations they need. Andre is an electronics engineering professional and earned a B.S. from DeVry University. Andre Johnson was a 2018 Fellow of Advancing Leadership. He also holds the role of Client Success at Kaizen Health, a fast-rising startup solving SDOH (Social Determinants of Health) issues via transportation.
Peter Berg coordinates and provides technical assistance, and trains on various aspects of the ADA at Great Lakes ADA Center. Peter serves as a member of the Illinois Attorney General’s Illinois Accessibility Code Task Force. Peter chaired the Mayor’s Advisory Commission on Disability for the City of Naperville and the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Persons with Disabilities. Peter is a graduate of North Central College.
For the past thirty years, Jack Catlin has been involved in creating environments for all people including people with disabilities. Currently, Jack is one of two technical trainers for the US Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program. Jack co-chaired the committee that developed Chicago’s first comprehensive accessibility code as part of the revisions to the Chicago Building Code. In 1994, Jack was appointed to the U.S. Access Board by President Clinton. He served on the Executive Committee of the Chicago Community Trust, Co-Chairs it’s Disabilities Fund Advisory Board, and is a current board member of the Metropolitan Planning Council. Jack graduated from the University of Illinois School of Architecture.
Kareem Dale grew up in Chicago and received his BA, JD, and MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He currently serves as Director and Senior Counsel with Discover Financial Services. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as a Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, the highest ranking position on disability ever to be created by a President. At the White House, he also led outreach and engagement to the legal community, including coordinating outreach for nomination of two U.S. Supreme Court Justices and numerous federal appellate and district court judges. Before joining the Obama administration, he was the Managing Partner of The Dale Law Group, and a litigation attorney at Winston & Strawn.
Kareem was a 2017 Leadership Greater Chicago Fellow, a past president of Black Ensemble Theater, a Steering Committee member of ADA 25 Chicago, and a member of the Access Living Board of Directors. He was recently appointed by Governor Pritzker to the University of Illinois Board of Trustees.
Patrick Corrigan is a Distinguished Professor of Psychology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Previously, Patrick was a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Chicago where he directed its Center on Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Patrick’s research examines psychiatric disability and the impact of stigma on recovery and rehabilitation. Patrick has written more than 400 peer-reviewed articles and is an editor emeritus of the American Journal of Psychiatric Rehabilitation. Patrick is an editor for a new journal published by the American Psychological Association, Stigma and Health, and is the author of fifteen books. Patrick received a Psy.D. from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology.
As Director of Civic Engagement at SPR, Pat Maher manages non-profit relationships within the tech sector. Pat supports the success of historically overlooked and discounted segments of the workforce – including professionals and aspiring candidates with disabilities, girls and young women, and younger candidates who lack social capital in the continually evolving technology industry. SPR’s strategic focus is supporting students through early-in-career (EIC) professionals to have the greatest impact.
Mark Williams develops and manages foundation and government grants at United Way of Metro Chicago. Mark has served the nonprofit and disability communities for many years and was a member of both the Statewide Independent Living Council of Illinois and the Illinois ADA Project Steering Committee. Mark earned his B.A. in American Studies from Lake Forest College and M.S. in Human Services Administration from Spertus College. He currently serves on the Boards of Directors at Blind Service Association, and Mental Health Association of Greater Chicago.
Michele Lee is a diversity leader at Aon and founder of the Empowering Abilities Employee Resource Group. Michele is passionate about disability employment, universal access, and accessible transportation. Michele represents Aon on the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab’s Business Advisory Board. Michele earned a B.A. from the University of Arizona.
At Discover, Chaitanya Manchanda is the founder and co-chair of the Discover’s employer resource group, “Accentuating Discover Abilities.” Chaitanya is actively involved in spreading awareness, advocating for disability rights and representing the Deaf/Hard Of Hearing (HOH) Community. Chaitanya was an Executive Committee Member of the Hearing Loss Association of America in Chicago Lincoln Park for two years. Chaitanya earned a B.S. from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada.
Kevin Knabe has served on the Executive Advisory Board for NARDA PWI and was twice selected for a US delegation in China, South Korea, and Russia as part of the Citizen Ambassador Program. Kevin serves on the Chicago Hearing Society’s Board of Advisors and is a Mentor Deaf Tech at Harper College. Kevin is a graduate of Marquette University.
Bill Bogdan is responsible for the coordination, development, and implementation of programs and services for persons with disabilities for the Illinois Secretary of State’s Office. In 2010, Bill was appointed by the Governor of Illinois to Chair the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities. In addition, Bill serves on the Illinois Elevator Safety Advisory Board, the Illinois State Library Talking Books and Braille Service Advisory Council, the Board of Directors for the Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois and the Diveheart Foundation. Bill graduated with honors from DePaul University, and is active in many sport and recreational programs offered through Adaptive Adventures and the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab Adaptive Sports & Fitness Program.
Stephanie Anderson brings commitment and drive to ensure that all Vaughn High School students have opportunities to engage within the community. Prior roles include Diverse Learner Supporter at Chicago Public Schools and an Intervention Specialist/School Psychologist for Northern Suburban Special Education District. Stephanie founded Friends of Vaughan. Stephanie earned a B.A. from Western Michigan University and an M.A. from Concordia University.