GVEST 2019

Focus on Success

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Ed Summers

2018- 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.

Patty Obrzut

2018 - Featured Presenter

Assistant Director - Penrickton Center for Blind Children

Patricia Obrzut is the Assistant Director of Penrickton Center for Blind Children, a private, non-profit organization serving blind, multi-special needs children ages 1-12 years. Located in Taylor, Michigan, Penrickton Center offers residential, daycare, and consultative programs at no charge to families. Ms. Obrzut has Master's and Bachelor's Degrees in Occupational Therapy and received the permission of Dr. Lilli Nielsen in 2002 to perform Active Learning educational trainings. Ms. Obrzut has been using Active Learning strategies, equipment and techniques since 1992.

Sandra Lewis

2018 - 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.

Diane Brauner

2018 - 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.