Professor, Zurich University of Applied Sciences
Alireza Darvishy is a professor at the Zurich University of Applied Sciences, where he serves as the head of the ICT Accessibility Lab. The ICT Accessibility Lab was established in 2006, and serves as an international national competence center on ICT accessibility in Switzerland.
Prof. Darvishy earned his PhD in computer science in Zurich. He has been committed to accessibility for over 20 years, and has initiated and carried out many research projects in the area of accessibility. He continues to serve as a leader in his field, and cooperates with different organizations such as UNESCO, WHO, ICCHP, and G3ICT. He has also developed many accessibility projects in the private sector in Switzerland, including the introduction of talking ATMs in 2008, accessible online banking, accessible bank branches, and disability awareness training.
Alireza Darvishy promotes barrier-free access at many public appearances. In 2016, the importance of his work was acknowledged with UNESCO's prestigious Emir Jaber Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities. In 2018, he was additionally presented with the Viscardi Award in New York City for his outstanding work. His latest book, "Delivering Together for Inclusive Development Digital Access to Information and Knowledge for Persons with Disabilities," was published by UNESCO in 2019.
Artur MarcinkowskiPresident, The Visible Foundation
Chairman of the Visible Foundation Council. Member of the Monitoring Committee of the Digital Poland Operational Program, a member of the Program Council of the Broad Agreement for Digital Skills, a member of the Accessibility Council at the Ministry of Investment and Development and a member of the Accessibility Plus Committee at the Ministry of Health.
Leader of the Group on the accessibility of digital resources operating of the Broad Agreement on Digital Skills. Leader of the AccessTech Working Group operating at the Ministry of Investment and Development. Head of a project introducing ten new market qualifications in the field of accessibility as part of the Integrated Qualifications System.
Board Member, Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technologies in Europe (AAATE)
Professor in Computer Sciences at Université Paris 8-Vincennes-Saint-Denis, Dominique Archambault is leading the team THIM (Technologies, Disabilities, Interactions, Multimodalities), part of CHArt laboratory (EA 4004, Human and Artificial Cognition), where he is conducting researches on non-visual human-computer interaction and accessibility to complex documents. The domains of application of his research works are multimodal access to mathematical expressions, allowing collaborative works between sighted an non sighted persons and accessibility to multimedia games.
Pr Archambault got his PHD in Computer Sciences in 1995. As an Associate Professor, he carried out work at University of Le Havre and, since 1997, at Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6 where he became full professor by the end of 2010 and joined the THIM lab, and the Master "Technology and Handicap".
From 2012 to 2016, he was designed by the President of University Paris 8 as Chargé de Mission Handicap (Policy Manager), with the role of defining the policies of the University in terms of Handicap (especially about providing support and help to students with disabilities at the university, but also staff) and the charge of piloting the support center for students with disabilities.
He was elected at the board of AAATE (Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technologies in Europe – http://aaate.net) in 2013 and he is Associate Editor of the Scientific Journal “Technology and Disability” since September 2015.
Pr Archambault has about a hundred publications including papers in international journals and conferences.
Head of Access Services, SWISS TXT (and EBU EASEG WG Chair)
After studies in marketing Gion Linder worked as a consultant for different new media projects in the eighties and nineties. He worked as a content-manager for a publisher, as a product-manager for a cable-company and as a project-manager for a mobile carrier. In 2007 joined SWISS TXT, a company of the national public broadcaster, where he strongly increased the number of services for television and third-party entities in all national languages. Meanwhile he is a member of the management board. Gion Linder is also chairman of the Eurovision Access Services Experts Group.
Director for Projects, Marketing & International Relations, Aġenzija Sapport
Joseph Cini is the Director for Projects, Marketing & International Relations. His experience within the social welfare sector started as Group Financial Controller with the Foundation for Social Welfare Services (FSWS), where he was responsible for all the financial reporting, budgeting and projections of FSWS including Aġenzija Appoġġ, Aġenzija Sedqa and Aġenzija Sapport. Following the demerger of Aġenzija Sapport from FSWS, Joseph was appointed CEO of Aġenzija Sapport, which post he took over as from the 13th October 2016, an office he held for three years. During his tenure as CEO of Sapport, Joseph was involved in the restructuring of various Agency departments and development of new services, including the introduction of new units such as Research Department, Quality Assurance, Projects, and International Relations sections and overseeing the implementation of budget measures and electoral manifesto proposals pertaining to the disability sector.
Joe also brings with him almost 30 years of private sector experience, having worked first as Chief Accountant with a renowned furniture manufacturing firm and later as Financial Controller with a reputable car importer and after-sales service group.
By profession, Joseph is a fully-qualified warranted Accountant. He is a fellow member of the Malta Institute of Accountants, and a fellow member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a global professional accounting body. Joseph also holds a Diploma in Business Management from the University of Malta.
President, European Union of the Deaf (EUD)
Mark Wheatley has operated as the Executive Director of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD) since 2007. Under his leadership, EUD has grown to be a more visible organisation, both in terms of its external (social) media coverage and its internal member communication. He is co-author of the EUD book “Sign Language Legislation in the European Union” (2012). Wheatley is the former Managing Director of Red Lizard Ltd, a Deaf-led media design company. He has been a member of the World Federation of the Deaf (WFD) Expert Group on Human Rights. Furthermore, he was involved as an expert in the World Health Organisation and World Bank 2012 World Report on Disability to ensure that sign language users were adequately included both in terms of terminology and accuracy of information. He also contributed to various academic publications on the topic of sign language and technological development as an enabler of deaf rights.
Director, Zero Project, Essl Foundation
After graduating from the Vienna University of Economics, Michael Fembek (born 1961) joined GEWINN, an Austrian business magazine, serving between 2000 and 2007 as editor-in-chief.
In 2009 he initiated “Sinnstifter”, a project by Austrian philanthropists, and launched the annual Austrian CSR-Guide on corporate responsibility. In 2010 he joined the Essl Foundation as Programme Manager and – until 2014 - the bauMax group as its Head of Social Affairs.
Since 2011 he is the Director of the Zero Project, a project of the Essl Foundation, and organizes the annual Zero Project Conference in the UN Headquarters in Vienna.
In 2014, he co-initiated the Verband für Gemeinnütziges Stiften, the Austrian philanthropic association, where he serves as Vice President. In 2015, he became the Chair of the Thematic Group on Disabilities within the European Foundation Centre (EFC), in 2016 he co-initiated the Haus der Philanthropie in Vienna, and in 2019 he co-initiated the Sinnnbildungsstiftung, a foundation focusing on innovations in education, and now serves as a board member.