GVEST 2019

Focus on Success

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Jennifer White

2019 - Special Guest Presenter

Chief Executive Officer - Able Opportunities, Inc.

Jennifer L. White has worked in the field of rehabilitation since her first paid job with the ARC of Bucks County, PA. After a career as a special education teacher, she opened Able Opportunities, Inc., a national consulting and local vocational rehabilitation company. She works with a broad range of people, specializing in vocational, education, and communication goals and programs for children and adults. She has worked as a researcher at the University of Washington to develop accommodation strategies and tools to increase integration for those with more severe disabilities, in Alaska designing vocational, residential and educational programs serving First Nation People and communities, and has developed and trained nationwide on non-linguistic communication strategies that promote self determination and autonomy. In 2006 she created the Work Independence Network (WIN) Program, a replicable business model for hiring and retaining employees with developmental disabilities in collaboration with Harrison Medical Center and Kitsap County DD.  Jennifer is known for innovative, business-minded strategies and for working in minority populations where issues of privilege and cultural respect are vital to long-term success. In 2014 she launched the Work Autonomy App, a person-centered accommodation tool.  As a technical assistance consultant and a Subject Matter Expert for the national Employment Firstproject, she works with state teams, schools, employers, families, counties, providers and agencies on Employer Engagement, Customized Employment, Innovative Technology Tools and Collaborative Design that lead to increased paid employment opportunities.  Jennifer brings contagious enthusiasm, functional tools and exceptional services molded by decades of experience and a genuine belief in the value of diversity.

Sandra Lewis

2019 - Keynote Speaker and Special Guest Presenter

Coordinator of the Visual Disabilities Program - Florida State University

Sandra Lewis, a Professor in the School of Teacher Education at Florida State University, currently is the Program Leader for the Visual Disabilities major. Dr. Lewis previously worked as an educator of individuals with visual impairments of all ages in a variety of educational, home, and community settings. Immediately before starting at FSU, she worked as a member of a team that conducted comprehensive assessments of students with visual impairments attending public schools in California, including students whose severe disabilities included visual impairment. Dr. Lewis is known for her publications and presentations that support quality services to meet the needs of adults and children with visual impairments and recently published a book on strategies for teaching the expanded core curriculum. She serves on numerous national, state, and local committees and was honored as the Mary K. Bauman award recipient—one of AER’s highest honors—in 2010. She is the director of a long-term state grant to support quality innovative services to students with low vision and has been awarded six OSEP-funded personnel preparation grants and several personnel preparation grants funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration.  She serves as the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Visual Impairment & Blindness.

Photo of Jennifer White
Photo of Ed Summers

Diane Brauner

2019 - Special Guest Presenter

Educational Accessibility Consultant - Perkins School for the Blind

Diane Brauner is an educational accessibility consultant working with Perkins School for the Blind to create and manage the Paths to Technology website. Diane continues to collaborate with SAS on a variety of accessibility projects including iPad accessibility trainings. Diane has 25 years experience as a COMS, working primarily with preschool and school-age students. She holds degrees in Rehabilitation, Elementary Education, Visual Impairments, Hearing Impairments, and Orientation and Mobility.

​She has been an orientation and mobility specialist for the Greater Northwest Harris County Co-op in Texas, the Governor Morehead Preschool in North Carolina, Orientation and Mobility Services in North Carolina, and is currently self-employed as a private contract orientation and mobility specialist. 

Photo of Sandra Lewis
Photo of Diane Brauner


Wednesday, October 16, 2019

  • 9:00 am - 10:00 am       Registration
  • 10:00 am - 11:00 am     Welcome & Keynote
  • 11:00 am - 12:00 pm     General Session
  • 12:00 am - 5:00 pm       Exhibit Hall Open
  • 1:15 pm - 5:00 pm         Concurrent Sessions
  • ​6:00 pm                         Evening Social

Thursday, October 17, 2019

  • 7:00 am - 8:00 am         Registration/Sign-In
  • 8:00 am - 5:00 pm         Exhibit Hall Open
  • ​8:00 am - 11:45 am       Concurrent Sessions
  • 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm     General Session
  • 1:30 pm - 5:15 pm         Concurrent Sessions

Friday, October 18, 2019

  • 7:30 am - 8:00 am         Sign-In
  • 8:00 am - 9:00 am         General Session
  • 9:15 am - 1:00 pm         Concurrent Sessions
  • ​1:00 pm                         Conference Closes

Ed Summers

2019 - Special Guest Presenter

Software Engineer & Accessibility Specialist - SAS

Ed Summers is a blind software engineer and an accessibility specialist. He has a B.S. in Computer Science and 25 years of professional experience as a software developer and a development manager. Ed’s personal mission is to enable people with disabilities to realize their full potential in the classroom and the 21st century knowledge economy. He fulfills that mission as a leader in the software industry and disability-related not-for-profit organizations.

Ed is Director of Accessibility at SAS, the market leader in business analytics software and services that is used at more than 80,000 sites around the world. The SAS accessibility team enables people of all abilities to access the power of analytics. Ed also serves on the Duke Eye Center Advisory Board and he is the Chair of the North Carolina State Board of Education Advisory Council for the Governor Morehead School for the Blind.