Workshop Participants (January)

Participants in the January Accessible Election Design Workshop:

Robert Adams – Bernadillo County, New Mexico

Robert Adams is the Deputy County Clerk for Bernalillo County, New Mexico. He was appointed by County Clerk Maggie Toulouse Oliver in January, 2007. Mr. Adams oversees the Bureau of Elections and is responsible for implementing the vision and policies of Clerk Toulouse Oliver which includes the strongest commitment to transparent, accessible, accurate and verifiable elections.   Prior to his current position, he served as deputy chief information officer at the New Mexico Human Services Department for four years, a position appointed by Governor Bill Richardson. He has managed and worked for political campaigns at the local, state and federal levels. Mr. Adams is a lifelong New Mexico resident, born and raised in Farmington. He attended New Mexico State University where he received a degree in Government. Website:

Debbie Cook – University of Washington, Center on Technology and Disability Studies

Debbie Cook is passionate about access to information and related technologies. She served on the Access Board TEITAC for refresh of Section 508 & 255 and chaired the Closed Product working group. She has a background in vocational rehabilitation and assistive technology service delivery.  She is active in state HAVA implementation. Website:

Nicholas Coudsy – Everyone Counts

Nick Coudsy has worked in the elections field for 16 years.  His career in elections began at the county level, where he worked at the Los Angeles County Registrar’s Office for ten years and moved onto Contra Costa County in Northern California.  From there he began working on the vendor side, working for three years with Diebold/Premier, and then the last two years at Everyone Counts.  Coudsy has developed training programs in accessibility for everything from punch cards to Touchscreens, and now his goal is to make sure that online ballot delivery systems are as accessible as can be – including testing and incorporating all types of Assistive Technology.


McDermot Coutts – Unisyn Voting Solutions

McDermot Coutts has been the Chief Architect for Unisyn Voting Solutions since 2003.  He is responsible for the overall design and architecture of the VVSG 1.0 certified OpenElect product line. Unisyn is constantly looking towards integrating latest technology into its voting system with an eye towards making it universally accessible and easy to use.

Drew Davies – Oxide Design Co.

Drew Davies is the founder and design director of Oxide Design Co., a communications and information design firm established in 2001.  Drew serves on the national board of directors of AIGA, the professional association for design. He also serves as the design director for AIGA’s Design for Democracy (DFD) program. Drew joined the DFD team in the summer of 2006, taking on the challenge of implementing a ballot redesign pilot test in Nebraska for that November’s general election. He has been involved ever since, and was on the core design and research team that developed the U.S. Election Assistance Commission’s “Effective Designs for the Administration of Federal Elections” document. Drew is actively involved in implementing best practices for ballot design on a nationwide basis. Website:

Don DeFord – Oregon Secretary of State

Don DeFord has two years experience with HAVA accessibility compliance for the state of Oregon.  He has ten plus years experience in federal regulatory compliance, including accessibility and path of travel.  He also has ten years experience training medical staff in the handling and care of medically fragile patients.  Mr. DeFord is technologically geeky by nature and interest, with a degree in applied telecommunications. Website:

Katarina Echt – Emory University

Dr. Echt is an Assistant Professor in Emory University’s Department of Medicine, Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology.  She serves as the Atlanta Site Director for Education of the Birmingham-Atlanta VA Geriatric Research, Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) and as a Health Research Scientist and Assistant Director for Outreach and Education in the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center of Excellence at the Atlanta VA Medical Center.  Her research program is focused on the identification of sensory, cognitive and psychosocial determinants of older adults’ losses in health self-management capacities — including health literacy, medication management, and treatment decision-making– to enable the specification of targeted rehabilitation interventions that accommodate and/or compensate for self-management challenges to foster health, independence and quality of life in aging.

Brad Fain – Georgia Tech Research Institute

Dr. Fain has over nineteen years of experience in human performance research and leads the human factors program and human systems integration efforts for both military and industrial customers at GTRI.  He is experienced in military and civilian system human factors analysis, anthropometric analysis, design, and human performance testing and evaluation.  He currently leads the technical portion of the Military Heroes voting project and serves as the technical director AVTI.  Dr. Fain established the Accessibility Evaluation Facility (AEF) at Georgia Tech and has pioneered evaluation techniques designed to measure accessibility and usability of products and services for people with disabilities.  He also directs the Center for Consumer Product Research and Testing at GTRI, which researches the needs, aspirations, and abilities of children, older consumers, and consumers with disabilities.  In addition, the center works with product and packaging design companies to produce product and packaging solutions that are easier for everybody to use.

Nancy Frishberg – MSB Associates

Nancy Frishberg began registering California voters at age 7, with her father, a politically active citizen. She participated in the 2004 efforts to assure a fair election by canvassing precincts to build voter interest and awareness, and being a non-partisan witness at the polls on election day.  Her first career, in academia, focused on linguistics with special attention to sign languages of deaf people. She authored the primary reference text, Interpreting: An Introduction, for training sign language interpreters, still in print after 25 years. The national certification written examination for interpreters is based on this text.  Since then, Frishberg has combined her expertise in language and human cognition with a longstanding interest in digital technology, working at IBM, Apple, Sun Microsystems and several consulting firms on behalf of clients in education, health and wellness, digital media and most recently financial services. Website:

Thad Hall – University of Utah

Dr. Thad Hall is associate professor of political science at the University of Utah.  His research focuses on election administration and policy development in legislatures.  He has published more than 20 research articles and book chapters and has authored or coauthored five books: Point, Click, and Vote: The Future of Internet Voting, Election Fraud: Detecting and Deterring Electoral Manipulation, Electronic Elections: The Perils and Promise of Digital Democracy, and Abortion Politics in Congress: Strategic Incrementalism and Policy Change.  His research has been supported by numerous agencies and foundations, including the Pew Charitable Trusts, Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and Federal Voting Assistance Program.  He has testified before the EAC and the US Senate Judiciary Committee.  Hall has conducted many studies of election topics, including Internet voting, electronic voting, election auditing, public and poll worker attitudes toward the voting process, and observational studies of election administration in the United States and abroad.

Christopher Hart – Institute of Human Centered Design / N.E. ADA

Despite being in his 30s, Chris brings a breadth of universal design knowledge as well as deep understanding of ADA requirements.  Since joining IHCD in 2000, he has worked and traveled extensively, primarily focused on urban & transportation projects.  He has led or been part of many ADA Transition Plan surveys for state and local entities.  Chris is the treasurer of the MA Disability Law Center, and in 2011 was appointed to the US Access Board by President Obama. Website:

Steve Jacobs – IDEAL Group, Inc. / Apps4Android, Inc.

Steve Jacobs has been in the computer industry for 36 years. Steve is President of IDEAL Group, Inc. and CEO of Apps4Android, Inc., one of six IDEAL Group companies. IDEAL Group is a 2002 spin-off from IDEAL at NCR Corporation where Steve served as President until his retirement in 2002 after 25 years of service. Apps4Android, established in January, 2009, has become the world’s largest developer of open source Android-based accessibility applications with 3.5 million installations in 132 countries. Previous to NCR’s spin-off from AT&T, Steve served as Chairman of AT&T Project Freedom. In 1993 Steve’s group pioneered the use of interactive video technology for sign-language communications over telephone lines. This technology is now referred to as Video Relay Services (VRS). Steve has testified before Congress on two occasions, both focusing on the accessibility of Information and Communications Technology. More: Websites: and

Mark Johnson – Shepherd Center

Mark Johnson has been using a wheelchair for 40 years.  For the past 24 years, he has been the Director of Advocacy for Atlanta’s Shepherd Center, a private, not-for-profit hospital specializing in medical treatment, research and rehabilitation for people with spinal cord injury and brain injury.  His duties there include identifying and researching disability issues, educating staff and community on those issues, and serving as liaison with national groups dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Johnson has an extensive background in independent living in North Carolina, where he established one of the first Independent Living Centers in the U.S., and in Colorado, where he was the Statewide Independent Living Coordinator.  He was also a founder of ADAPT. Website:

Sharon Laskowski – NIST

Sharon Laskowski, PhD, is a computer scientist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and manager of the Visualization and Usability Group, which performs research on evaluation methods, metrics, and standards for usability and human-computer interaction.  NIST voting research activities include considering human factors in the design and application of voting systems, including assistive technologies for individuals with disabilities and varying levels of literacy, as well as security, hardware and software requirements. Since 2002, Sharon has been leading the effort at NIST to develop the usability, accessibility, and privacy standards and test methods for voting systems in the United States and works closely with the U.S. Election Assistance Commission and their Technical Guidelines Development Committee as described per the Help America Vote Act. She is collaborating with top researchers across the U.S. to further develop and refine these requirements and associated test methods. Website:

Jared Marcotte – New Organizing Institute

Jared Marcotte is the lead software engineer for the Voting Information Project, a project of the New Organizing Institute (NOI), which enables states to more easily disseminate election-based information to the development community thereby allowing improved engagement by the electorate. Before working at NOI, he developed enterprise-grade sites for Six Apart and worked at IBM creating software to assist in their manufacturing processes. In his spare time, he rants about politics, usability, technology, education and banal minutia on Twitter. Website:

Lester Marks – Lighthouse International

Lester Marks is the Director of Government Affairs at Lighthouse International.  In this role, he advocates for public policy that will benefit people with vision loss.  He has lead efforts to increase Medicare reimbursement for vision rehabilitation services, increase the accessibility of voting booths, and worked to improve the safety of streets for people with a visual impairment.  Lester serves as Lighthouse’s liaison between elected officials on the federal, state and local levels.   Prior to this role, Lester was the Deputy Chief-of-Staff for a New York City Council Member, where he directed the office’s legislative and communication agenda, and worked on senior, education, and building safety issues.   He has a master’s degree in Public Administration from Pace University and a bachelor’s degree in Communications from Manhattan College.

Vincent Martin – Georgia Tech and Atlanta VA

Vincent Martin has been a practicing rehabilitation engineer for the past twenty years and his most recent full-time job was as a rehabilitation research engineer/scientist for the US Veterans Administration Center of Excellence for Aging Veterans with Vision Loss.  While there, he worked on several wayfinding studies.  Presently, he is at Georgia Tech., working towards his PhD in Human Computer Interaction.  He is conducting research in the School of Psychology on making the interfaces for statistical calculating packages and their output accessible to screen reading programs.  This will be his fourth degree, and it is in conjunction with multiple undergraduate degrees in Engineering and a Psychology degree with an emphasis in Engineering Psychology.  Vince Martin is also a U.S. Paralympian in track and field, and competed in the years 1996, 2000, and 2004

Greg McGrew – Assistive Technology Partners

Greg McGrew is a rehabilitation engineer (Masters degree) by training.  He currently runs a product test lab focusing mainly on usability testing of products used by people with cognitive disabilities.  He has worked primarily in rehabilitation engineer service provision both as practitioner and program director over the past 20 years.  He has worked in state agencies for people with disabilities, an acute care rehabilitation hospital, and in a university-based program providing rehabilitation engineering evaluations and engaging in research activities focusing on assistive technology for people with cognitive disabilities.

Lee Page – Paralyzed Veterans of America

Mr. Page joined the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) in 1990. In his role Mr. Page works to ensure the rights of people with disabilities by advocating for the removal of attitudinal and regulatory barriers, through interaction with the Congress, the Administration, Federal Agencies, other disability organizations, private business and the general public.   His areas of expertise include health care: Medicare, Medicaid, and Long Term Care, Civil and Disability rights: compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Voting rights: National Voter Registration Act, Help America Vote Act and other laws that govern the right to vote.  Mr. Page has testified before the U.S. Congress (Senate and House), Election Assistance Commission (EAC), and the Architectural Transportation Compliance Board (ACCESS Board). Mr. Page has represented PVA in numerous Board (BOD) positions, speaking engagements, and consulted with numerous government and private entities to further the rights of people with disabilities.

Jill Piner – Rice University

Jill Piner is a doctoral student in the human factors psychology program at Rice University. She earned her BA in psychology from Rutgers University (New Brunswick) in 2008 and her MA in psychology from Rice University in 2011. Her research in the Computer-Human Interaction Lab focuses on the usability and accessibility of voting systems, specifically aimed at the unique challenges faced by visually disabled voters. Past research includes a usability analysis of non-electronic tactile ballots and a large-scale survey of blind voters, covering previous voting experiences, technological familiarity, and desired changes to existing voting systems. Website:

Noel Runyan – Personal Data Systems

With his degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Noel Runyan has been working in human factors engineering for over 38 years, primarily developing access technologies for helping persons with visual impairments to use computers and other electronic devices.  Since February 2009, he has been a member of the National Braille Press Center for Braille Innovation, working to promote development of low cost and full page braille display technologies.  For the last eight years, he has been seriously studying and testing the accessibility of electronic voting systems, and he was an expert witness in six court cases, wrote the “Improving Access to Voting” report, testified at the PFAW Forum on Election Systems, testified to the US House Administration Subcommittee on Election Reform, testified to the Texas State House Committee on Voting Systems, and led the access testing teams for the California Secretary of State’s Top-To-Bottom Reviews of voting machines.

Sharron Rush –

Sharron Rush is the co-founder and Executive Director of Knowbility, a nonprofit organization that has been a leader in IT accessibility since 1998.  She is the co-author (with the late Dr John Slatin) of Maximum Accessibility, a seminal text on web accessibility.  She introduced the topic of IT accessibility to the SXSW Interactive Media Conference in 2004 and has presented there and at many other international conference on the subject.  Sharron is an Invited Expert who serves on the Education and Outreach Working Group of the Web Accessibility Initiative and the eGovernment Interest Group at the W3C.  She loves to work collaboratively and recently served as one of the community catalysts on the issue of Accessibility for the National Dialogue to Improve Federal Websites. Website:

Alan Sherman – UMBC Cyber Defense Lab

Alan T. Sherman is associate professor of computer science and director of the Cyber Defense Lab in the Department of CSEE at UMBC.  A member of the Scantegrity voting system team, Sherman is interested in designing accessible end-to-end secure voting systems.   Sherman earned his PhD in computer science from MIT in 1987. Website:

Kathryn Summers – University of Baltimore

Kathryn teaches interaction design and user research for the graduate programs in interaction design at the University of Baltimore. Her research has focused on studying online information behaviors (reading, searching, navigating) of those with lower literacy skills with a focus on designing optimal online information and online interactions in order to support those behaviors.

Drew Tinney – Hart InterCivic

Drew Tinney has worked for Hart InterCivic for the last 6 years in multiple roles, both supporting and designing voting systems. Prior to Hart, he worked for the Travis County Elections Division in Austin and helped deploy and maintain the voting machines as well as train and support poll workers. Website:

Christian Vogler – Gallaudet University

Dr. Christian Vogler is the director of the Technology Access Program. He is a principal investigator within the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Telecommunications Access, with a particular focus on the accessibility of web conferencing and telecollaboration systems. In his role at the RERC, he is involved in bringing consumers and industry together on accessibility issues, as well as developing prototype technologies for improving the accessibility of such systems. Prior to joining TAP in 2011, Dr. Vogler worked on various research projects related to sign language recognition and facial expression recognition from video at the University of Pennsylvania; the Gallaudet Research Institute; UNICAMP in Campinas, Brazil; and the Institute for Language and Speech Processing in Athens, Greece. He also runs the DeafAcademics mailing list, a loose network of deaf and hard of hearing researchers all over the world. Website:

Jonathan Williams, Office of Cook County Clerk – Election Division

Jonathan Williams has worked in elections for 12 years.  In 2004, he was asked to bring together Cook County’s first accessibility advisory committee to advise the Clerk’s office on accessibility issues in advance of the purchase of new voting equipment with HAVA funds.  He organized a vendor fair that showcased accessible voting technology from all over the world.  He worked with local disability groups to affect the design of the Edge II Plus voting machine by Sequoia Voting Systems (now Dominion Voting Systems) that was designed specifically for the county.  Williams organizes and supervises bi-annual state mandated accessibility survey of polling places.  He has organized sensitivity trainings for our pollworkers.  He is the ongoing liaison to the community of persons with disabilities in the county.  He also looks into adaptive equipment to make polling places more accessible and has purchased numerous devices using HAVA funds to make these sites ADA compliant.



Daniel Castro – ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative

Daniel Castro is the project director and principal investigator of the Accessible Voting Technology Initiative, and a senior analyst at the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), a non-profit think tank in Washington, DC.  His research focuses on information policy, including issues such as data privacy, intellectual property, e-government, accessibility, and security. Before joining ITIF, Mr. Castro worked as an IT analyst at the Government Accountability Office (GAO) where he audited IT security and management controls at various government agencies. He has a B.S. in Foreign Service from Georgetown University and an M.S. in Information Security Technology and Management from Carnegie Mellon University. Website:

Karen Milchus –  Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access, Georgia Tech

Karen Milchus is a senior research engineer at Georgia Tech’s Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), where she has been working for the past seventeen years.  When not reminding people to make their travel arrangements for accessible voting technology workshops, she serves as the PI and Co-Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Workplace Accommodations (Work RERC).  She specializes in identifying and providing vocational and educational accommodations to adults and youth with disabilities, with a particular focus on computer-based solutions.  Ms. Milchus has provided assistive technology services for state vocational rehabilitation agencies in Georgia and Wisconsin.  She is also Vice-Chair of RESNA’s Special Interest Group (SIG) on Accommodations. Website:

Whitney Quesenbery – ITIF Accessible Voting Technology Initiative

Whitney works as a user experience researcher and plain language expert for organizations such as the National Cancer Institute, IEEE and the Open University. A founder of the Usability in Civic Life project, she leads projects for election officials and advocates to improve the usability of ballots and other election materials. She served on the EAC Technical Guidelines Development Committee, developing the VVSG 2005 and Version 1.1. She is a co-author of the Brennan Center Better Ballots report, and has worked on usability and design projects in Minnesota (absentee ballot instructions), New York (error messages), and training and ballot testing in several states. She also served on the Access Board’s advisory committee to refresh the “Section 508” accessibility regulations, as President of the Usability Professionals Association and on the board of the Center for Plain Language. She is the author of two books, Storytelling for User Experience and Global UX: Design and research in a connected world. Website:

Claudia Rébola, School of Industrial Design, Georgia Tech

Claudia Rébola is an Assistant Professor in the School of Industrial Design at Georgia Institute of Technology. She is director of the Design And Technologies for Healthy Aging (DATHA) and head of the D-Matters Studio Lab housed at the Center for Assistive Technologies and Environmental Access (CATEA). Her interests are in application areas tailored to healthy aging with an emphasis on humanizing technology by design, empowering users and celebrating the value of simplicity and tangibility in user-product interactions. Her focus is on interactive intergenerational design, communication technologies and aging with special emphasis on exercising inclusive design, tangible interfaces/physical computing, and participatory design methods.

Jon Sanford – Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA), Georgia Tech

Jon Sanford is an Associate Professor in the School of Industrial Design at Georgia Tech where he is the Director of the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA).  He is also a Research Architect at the Rehabilitation Research and Development Center at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Mr. Sanford has been actively involved in research, teaching and practice for over 25 years and is well-recognized for his expertise in universal design, accessible design and assistive technologies.  He was one of the authors of the Principles of Universal Design and teaches courses in both universal design and design for healthy aging in the community.  His research spans the design of products and spaces, such as housing, including the effectiveness of home modifications for aging in place; public facilities including seating is stadiums and theaters; and community settings where he has focused on environmental barriers to community mobility. Website: :

Visualization Facilitators – School of Industrial Design, Georgia Tech

  • Donald Burlock
  • Tina Lee
  • Eddie Licitra
  • Yilin Liu
  • Luke Mastrangelo
  • Duane Rollins
  • Amir Tayyebi Moghaddam
  • Basheer Tome

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