Steve Taylor - Founder.
Steve has been in the payments industry since 1998 and created the first big automotive e-commerce platform in (Dot-Boom-One) in 1999 and licensed his proprietary online cart technology to Reynolds and Reynolds of Dayton, OH in 2002 ongoing. It led to BMW, Nissan, Toyota and others MFG’s leading to major automotive dealerships nationally using his proprietary e-commerce payments and shopping cart technologies.
In 2004 Steve partnered with eFunds at their request (now FIS) in creating and launching the first ever wide-spread wireless mobile POS readers working with Cell-tower networks, ATT, T-Mobile, others and Verifone for farmers markets (where it started) which is what everything for the most part is now (wireless).
In 2008, (Dot-Boom-Two) he created a Classifieds listings platform which became the internet’s most popular classified ads software having over 20 million users globally and helped the major to small news industry bring their newspapers online.
He has now created the world’s first truly self-serve-assistive (Dismount D2P) POS card and PIN patented mounting technology that is changing POS checkouts for attended, self-checkouts, SSTM’s and unattended and provides consulting for Governments and companies globally. A Major VA supporter and a son of a KIA U.S. Marine.
John Wodatch - Advisor
John Wodatch is a disability rights attorney, with over 50 years specializing in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He served for 42 years in the Federal government, where he authored the government’s comprehensive disability rights regulations. George H.W. Bush appointed John to create and lead the Department of Justice’s office (ADA.Gov) DOJ/CRD in charge of enforcing the ADA.
He is one of the drafters of the Americans with Disabilities Act., serving as a member of the White House negotiating team and as the Department of Justice’s chief technical expert during the writing and passage of the ADA. He was also part of the U.S. delegation to the United Nations that helped develop the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
He was the chief author of the Department of Justice 1991 ADA regulations, created the DOJs initial ADA technical assistance programs, and assembled the Department’s ADA enforcement staff. From 1990 until 2011 he served as the Director and Section Chief overseeing all interpretation, technical assistance, and enforcement of the ADA at the Department of Justice. John was responsible for the first major revision of the Department’s ADA regulations, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. He is also the chief author of the first Federal regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
In 2010 he was honored with the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for exceptional achievement in his career. He received a B.A. from Trinity College, an M.P.A. from Harvard University, and a J.D. from the Georgetown University Law School.
Our USIDC Team
Janet E. Lord
Janet Lord is an International Human Rights Attorney and is a lawyer at Harvard University, Harvard Law School, Senior Research Fellow, BA (Kenyon); LLB, LLM (Edinburgh); LLM (George Washington) and has worked on disability rights advocacy for 15 years. She participated in the drafting of the CRPD, written extensively on disability rights issues, and worked with disabled peoples’ organizations (DPOs) around the world. She served as the Board Chair of Amnesty International USA and teaches international disability rights at American University.
William M. Abrams is the former President of the Trickle Up Program, in New York. Prior to Trickle Up, Mr. Abrams served as President of New York Times Television, which produced current affairs documentaries for cable and public television, and spent twelve years at Capital Cities/ABC Inc., including five as Vice President of Business Development for ABC News. He began his career as a reporter and editor for The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Abrams has master’s degrees in journalism and business from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s degree from Tufts University. He has represented Trickle Up at numerous conferences, including the Clinton Global Initiative, the Global Philanthropy Forum, Opportunity Collaboration, Microfinance USA, University of Pennsylvania Annual Microfinance Conference and “Oxfid” (Oxford University International Development Forum).
Eric is the founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International (DRI), a human rights advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and full inclusion in society of children and adults with disabilities worldwide. For 25 years, DRI has been a pioneer in documenting and exposing abuses, bringing media attention to the concerns of people confined to institutions, training disability activists, bringing test case litigation in international courts, and educating international donors and development organizations.
Dr. Abby Akande
Dr. Abby Akande is an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Services at The Pennsylvania State University – Abington College. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and prior to entering academia, she worked in the fields of vocational rehabilitation and behavioral health across four states. She has taught students at the bachelor’s and master’s levels who aspire to a variety of careers within the rehabilitation and disability services disciplines. Dr. Akande’s research focuses on the implications of disability and culture in the realms of employment, education, and health regarding women in developing countries and immigrants in the United States. Furthermore, her research and service endeavors seek to highlight needs and interventions through international partnerships and policy development and implementation.
James McCormick is a critical and forward-thinking professional who enjoys identifying opportunities and solutions to overcome existing challenges. He is passionate about making the world a better place, including equal rights and opportunities for everyone. James graduated with a double major in accounting and finance from James Madison University. He is a CPA and also has experience with forecasting and budgeting.
Carolyn Osolink served as the chief counsel for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) with responsibility for judicial nominations and all civil rights issues. She was his key staff person for the Civil Rights Restoration Act, the Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, for which Carolyn was the senior Senate staff negotiator with the House of Representatives and the George H.W. Bush Administration. Carolyn was also the government relations partner at the law firm Mayer Brown, LLP, where she counseled businesses on the requirements of federal disability rights laws. Carolyn provided outside pro bono counsel to USICD during the campaign for U.S. ratification of CRPD in 2012. As a long-time board member, Chair, and now Chair Emeritus of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Education Fund, Carolyn has worked to make sure the organization includes disability issues in all its initiatives.
Mr. Michael Brogioli is the current Executive Director of TASH. Mr. Brogioli has served as the Executive Director of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America since 2013; Prior to joining RESNA, Brogioli served as Executive Director and CEO of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), the first Vice President for Policy and Government Relations at Special Olympics International, and the Executive Director of the Autism Coalition for Research and Education. Michael holds a Master of Public Policy from Duke University, where he was a Jacob Javits Fellow and a Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations from the University of Notre Dame.
Susan Parker has more than 30 years of executive experience gained through appointments by state governors, U.S. presidents, local and international boards of directors to better help people with disabilities worldwide. The former Secretary-General of RI (1993-1998), Parker’s experiences as a New England ski racer and instructor pointed her toward a career in disability advocacy, which included assisting disabled soldiers from armed conflicts in Vietnam, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. In the early 1990s, Parker served as the Disability Commissioner of the U.S. Social Security Administration, opening up disability benefits to 465,000 U.S. children. From 2002-2011, she joined in the U.S. Department of Labor as the Disability Policy Director and helped create the national Disability Unemployment Statistic. Prior to the federal level, Parker held top leadership posts in two state governments: the State of Maine, Commissioner, Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation; and the State of New Hampshire, Executive Director of the Developmental Disabilities Council. From 1998 to 2001, Parker was the Senior Policy Officer, Disability at the International Labour Organization in Geneva. She holds the Master of Social Work and Master of Social Planning degrees from Boston College School of Social Work and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Dr. Patricia Morrissey
Dr. Morrissey is the former Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities within the Administration for Family and Children in the US Department on Health and Human Services. She is also the former Director of the Center on Disabilities Studies in the University of Hawaii at Manoa College of Education.
Candace Cable has competed in 9 Paralympic Games, 4 Summer and 5 Winter Games from 1980 to 2006 in 3 sports, wheelchair racing, alpine and Nordic ski racing, winning 12 Paralympic medals, 8 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze. Winner of 84 marathons including 6 Boston Marathon titles, she is the current Paralympic skiing athlete representative to the USOC athlete advisory council. Candace is a writer, webcast host, and visual media creator.
Jerry McCloskey is a graduate of Marquette University and serves as a Board member of Independence First, Milwaukee, WI, executive and advocacy committees. He is one of the State of Wisconsin representatives working with USICD on the quest for ratification of the CRPD and is a polio survivor.
Kirt Toombs is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Oregon Center of Independent Living (EOCIL) and began his employment in January 2000. Kirt is an alumnus of the University of San Francisco (USF), where he was awarded a Master of Management and Disability Services degree. Kirt has also studied at the University of Ireland-Galway, Department of International Disability Law & Policy, through its summer program. Kirt has extensive educational and professional experience in program design, implementation, and evaluation. Since 1986, Kirt has been a fierce advocate of the Independent Living Movement, participating at both the practitioner and researcher levels. Kirt has over two decades of public administration experience, all of them in the service of the cross-disability community.