Our thought-provoking group of speakers will share their unique perspectives, insights, and ideas. Prepare to be inspired! Register now and be a part of this event that is sure to give you new outlook on universal design and assistive technology.
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Barry Berman has devoted his career to building the long-term care community in Chelsea and surrounding areas by developing innovative models of care. He has been the CEO of the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home/Chelsea Jewish Foundation for 34 years, since completing his master degree rehabilitation administration.
Mr. Berman began his tenure in Chelsea by expanding and rebuilding the Chelsea Jewish Nursing Home in 1983. In collaboration with his colleagues, he then built the Cohen-Florence-Levine Estates, Massachusetts’ first mixed-income assisted living which opened in 1996. The team then developed the Florence and Chafetz Home for Specialized Care (2002), a more enhanced assisted living targeted to those with dementia and other compromising conditions.
The Leonard Florence Center for Living, a Green House® model nursing home and the first urban one in the nation, opened in February 2010. The Leonard Florence Center provides skilled nursing care in a home environment to the elderly and those with medical and physical disabilities. Two of the Green House homes at the Leonard Florence Center serve those with ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) and multiple sclerosis, the first such residences in the nation.
Mr. Berman is on the Board of Directors of the Chelsea Soldier’s Home. In the past he has served on the Massachusetts Governor’s Council of Assisted Living, and the Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Assisted Living Facilities Association, the Massachusetts Aging Services Association, and the ALS Association Massachusetts Chapter.
Secretary Greg Bialecki oversees the Commonwealth’s business development, housing & community development and consumer affairs & business regulations agencies.As the Governor’s chief economic development and housing advisor and cabinet member, Secretary Bialecki is responsible for helping achieve the Governor’s top priorities, including strengthening and accelerating our economic recovery by supporting job creation in every region of the state.
Throughout the Governor’s second term, Secretary Bialecki’s agenda will focus on supporting and expanding the Commonwealth’s nation-leading innovation economy; helping small businesses grow by improving their access to capital and advice and by addressing their rising health care costs; and providing the housing opportunities that help build thriving, sustainable communities.
Before joining the Patrick-Murray Administration, Secretary Bialecki enjoyed a twenty-year career as a real estate development and environmental lawyer at the law firms of Hill & Barlow and DLA Piper Rudnick, where his work focused on the major urban redevelopment projects in the Greater Boston area.
Secretary of Health and Human Services, Dr. JudyAnn Bigby, oversees 17 state agencies and serves in the Cabinet of Governor Deval Patrick. Her broad range of experience — as a primary care physician, professor, researcher and health policy expert — gives her unique insights into how the state can best serve the people of the Commonwealth. Some of the program areas she oversees include health care including the state’s Medicaid program; child welfare; public health; disabilities; veterans affairs; and elder affairs. Since her appointment, Secretary Bigby has successfully implemented many aspects of Massachusetts’ highly successful health care reform law. The state has adopted its first Olmstead Plan to address the long term needs of elders and persons with disabilities in community settings and she championed the creation of the Office of the Child Advocate to improve the state’s child welfare system.
Dr. Bigby holds a B.A. from Wellesley College and an M.D. from Harvard Medical School. She lives in Jamaica Plain.
Cheri Blauwet is the Chief Resident of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, a teaching affiliate of Harvard medical School. Additionally, she is a former Paralympic athlete in the sport of wheelchair racing, competing for the United States Team in three Paralypmic Games (Sydney '00, Athens '04, Beijing '08) and bringing home a total of seven Paralympic medals. She is also a two-time winner of both the Boston and New York City Marathons, and has been nominated for the ESPY Award, the Laureus World Sports Award, and Women's Sports Foundation Athlete of the Year.
She remains a member of the International Paralympic Committee Medical Comission, and has published extensively on the power of sport to promote both well-being and disability rights for individuals with mobility impairment. In 2004, she was a winner of the American Association of People with Disabilities Paul Hearne Award, given annually to three emerging leaders nation-wide for their potential to change the face of the disability movement. Cheri sees her role as a physician as an intuitive extension of her prior career as an athlete, and plans a career with focus on health policy, disability, and physical activity.
Katharina Boser has a research background as a cognitive developmental psychologist in both autism research (at the Johns Hopkins University) and in language impairments in patients with aphasia, using computerized therapy techniques (Computerized Visual Communication System “C-Vic”) at the University of Maryland. She served as Chair/Co-Chair of the Innovative Technology for Autism (ITA) board for Autism Speaks from 2007-2011.
She also consults with Anthrotronix, a technology R&D and robotics company on a number of research projects on social robotics. She has been the president and grants manager of Individual Differences in Learning for several years, a non-profit whose mission is to facilitate better understanding of the needs of bright students with learning challenges in the community. As of fall 2011, she is the technology coordinator and special resource facilitator for Glenelg Country School's Lower division. She continues to lecture and provide workshops for schools on Universal Design for Learning and technology integration involving students with cognitive impairments and is co-editing a book with Brookes Publishers entitled "21st Century Learning Tools for Students with Autism and Related Disabilities."
Peter Cantisani has been involved in Assistive Technology for 30 years. First as a consumer, looking for solutions to provide increased access while attending university, and then while being employed by various companies and agencies providing Assistive Technology solutions to consumers and corporations.
Mr. Cantisani was the director of the Computer Evaluation Training & Education Center (CETEC) at Sensory Access Foundation from 1988 to 1992. Along with his duties as the director of the CETEC center he contributed regularly to Technology Update, a Sensory Access Foundation bimonthly publication dedicated to evaluating AssistiveTechnology for the Blind and Visually impaired. He then worked at Berkeley Systems, helping in the development of outSPOKEN for Windows, the first screen reader to provide access to the Graphical User Interface on any platform.
After that he worked as blind technology engineer for RL & Associates Inc., a small Bay Area network company where he worked till 2009. Since then he has consulted with various companies on accessibility compliance issues, including Oricle, Inkling, and Audible.
Mr. Cantisani has recently authored a book titled "Twenty-six Useful Apps For Blind iPHONE Users" published by National Braille Press.
Mr. Caputo has real estate development and asset management responsibilities for Clark Realty.Since joining Clark in 2000 he has been involved in the development and acquisition of approximately $750 million of real estate and the asset management of its $4.0 billion housing portfolio.
Prior to joining the Clark Realty team, Mr. Caputo was a Senior Vice President with a large Chicago-based real estate property management and development company where he was involved in development, acquisitions and property management operations.
Paul Cotnoir started at Becker College in 2002, and has served in various capacities including associate dean of the Centers for Learning and Career Advancement, dean of New Initiatives, and currently leads Becker College’s computer video game department as chair of design. He has over 27 years of experience in higher education, industry and the public sector, in the areas of automation, robotics, fiber optics, economic development, and manufacturing design. Dr. Cotnoir’s Ph.D. dissertation quantified the vibrational parameters of ambulance travel and correlated those accelerations to patient comfort and safety as well as to crew performance parameters. His current research interests include utilization of real world data to produce instructive computer simulations within a video game environment.
Sue Cusack, M.Ed. spends most of her personal and professional time working on issues related to universal design and community inclusion for individuals with disabilities. As a member of the faculty at Lesley University’s School of Education in the Technology in Education division, she teaches graduate courses related to the use of assistive technology, universal design, and pedagogies that support equity and access to learning within K-12 settings. Sue has integrated her commitment to inclusive practices into her work at Lesley through the Educational Technology Leadership Institute (ETLI), a collaborative project with Boston Public Schools to build a systemic and sustainable professional development model to increase the districts’ capacity to address the needs of English language learners.
Gururaj Deshpande is co-founder of Sycamore Networks, chairman of A123 Systems, progenitor of the Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation at MIT, and one of New England’s most prominent super angels. He is active not just in the U.S., but also in his native India. And his interests go far beyond making money, into nurturing ecosystems, improving health and education, and mentoring new generations of entrepreneurs. He has created a social entrepreneurship center in northern Karnataka, India. His foundation recently committed $5 million over the next five years to support the Merrimack Valley Sandbox, a new innovation Center at the University of Massachusetts Lowell that will work together with local colleges and nonprofits to boost entrepreneurship among students and professionals, and to develop local leadership through mentoring and seed funding programs.