ITU

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Biographies

Biographies

Zahra Shadi Abou-Zahra, W3C Web Accessibility Initiative, Austria
“Web Accessibility Now”

Shadi Abou-Zahra coordinates WAI outreach in Europe, and accessibility evaluation techniques. He is the Activity Lead of the WAI International Program Office, which includes groups that are responsible for education and outreach, coordination with research, general discussion on Web accessibility, coordination with the WAI Technical Activity, and WAI liaisons with other organizations including standards organizations and disability groups. Shadi chairs the W3C Evaluation and Repair Tools Working Group (ERT WG), is a staff person of the WAI Ageing Education and Harmonisation (WAI-AGE) project, and participates in the W3C Education and Outreach Working Group (EOWG). Shadi previously worked with the United Nations and other international organizations providing Web design and development. He holds a masters degree in computer science from the Technical University of Vienna, Austria.

MAJOR Peter Major, DCAD, Switzerland

Peter Major has been working at the Radiocommunication Bureau (BR) of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) for 23 years. He was the focal point of the BR for internet governance. Presently he is vice-chairman of the UN Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). He has chaired the CSTD Working Group on Improvements to the IGF. He is co-coordinator of the Dynamic Coalition on Accessibility and Disability (DCAD) and was involved as panelist in workshops organized by DCAD and the ITU in IGF-s in Hyderabad, Sharm el Sheik, Vilnius and Nairobi. He actively participated in the preparation of these events attending the Open Consultations and working with Multi-stakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) members in shaping the programs of the IGFs. He has been nominated as member of the MAG in 2012.

Peter is vice-chairman of the Radiocommunication Advisory Group of the ITU and he is chairman of the Correspondence Group on BR Information Systems.

Jorge Plano, ISOC, Argentina

Jorge Plano was born in Argentina and lives there. He is graduated in Information Systems and consultant in ICT. He created and directs the "Centro de Tecnologias para la Accesibilidad y la Vida Independiente - CETAVI" (Center of Technologies for Accessibility and Independent Life) at the Universidad Tecnologica Nacional in Argentina where he teaches accessibility and assistive technology with credits for the information engineering degree since 2005. He serves in the Board of the Argentina Chapter of Internet Society (ISOC-AR) and he is adviser at CABASE (ISP Argentine Association). Jorge is involved in ICT policies since the 80s, in the early 90s he was Director of IT policies at the Secretariat for Science and Technology of Argentina. Participated in the elaboration of projects of Laws for the accessibility of government Web sites, the last one is now in the Committees of the Senate. He was involved in Internet governance policies in ICANN since start up and participated in the creation of LACNIC (Latin American and Caribbean Internet Addresses Registry).

He is organizing events on Web Accessibility in Argentina since more than ten years and has been making presentations on ICT policies and on accessibility in many forums (domestic and international).

Arun Mehta, Bidirectional Access Promotion Society, India

I am 58, an electrical engineer from IIT Delhi, with a Masters in Computer Sciences from SUNY Stony Brook, and a Dr.-Ing from Ruhr University, Bochum, Germany. From 1987 to 2011, I was Managing Director of Indata Com Private Limited, a small software development, training and consulting company in the areas of industrial automation, process control, quality control and networking. I was the President of the Indian section of Amnesty International from 1989 to 1991. My introduction to technology for persons with severe disabilities was at the hands of Professor Stephen Hawking, for whose use, in case the decades-old access technology he uses becomes irreperable, I wrote eLocutor, software that allows a severely motor and speech impaired person to type and speak by pressing a single button. Since then, I volunteered for two years at the National Association for the Blind in New Delhi, teaching visually impaired students computer programming. For over 5 years now, I have conducted free technology and communication workshops with persons with cognitive disabilities and their caregivers.in Dehradun, Bangalore and Kerala. During this time, I was a professor and computer engineering department chairperson at the Jai Prakash Mukand Lal Institute of Technology (JMIT), in rural Haryana. For the last two years, I have been President of the Bidirectional Access Promotion Society (bapsi.org). Here, we provide training in cloud programming to computer students, with whose help I developed Skid (skid.org.in) a free platform on which you can customize solutions to learning problems of children with cognitive disabilities. Together with Anmol Anand, I co-developed PocketSMS, the first in Bapsi's Vibration series of communication solutions for persons who are both deaf and blind.