ABX Speakers

Sheila Dillon

Chief & Director, Department of Neighborhood Development City of Boston

Sheila DillonSheila Dillon has been Chief of Housing and Director of the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND), the agency which manages Boston's housing and neighborhood development programs. She was previously Director of the Rental Assistance Bureau at the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and previously held housing-related positions at the City of Boston, including Deputy Director of Housing at DND, where she oversaw both affordable housing development and homeless programs. Prior to her tenure with the City of Boston, Dillon was Director of Real Estate Development at the Massachusetts Housing Partnership Fund and Director of Housing Development at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation.

Julie Fleck MRTPI, OBE

Project Lead, Built Environment Professional Education Project

Julie FleckAs Principal Access Adviser at the Greater London Authority she developed the London Plan policies on inclusive design. She contributed to the development of the Olympic Delivery Authority's award winning Inclusive Design Strategy and Standards. Initiatives she oversaw, such as the physical access improvements along the south bank of the River Thames, helped to create an accessible experience for visitors to London in 2012. Julie is currently on loan to the Government's Legacy Unit to lead the Built Environment Professional Education Project. Julie is a member of the Royal Town Planning Institute and was awarded the OBE in 2004.

Valerie Fletcher

Executive Director, Institute for Human Centered Design

Fletcher has been Executive Director since 1998 of the Institute for Human Centered Design (IHCD), an international education and design non-profit organization. IHCD's mission is to advance the role of design in expanding opportunity and enhancing experience for people of all ages and abilities through excellence in design. She is a Special Advisor to Singapore and France, the Open Society Institute and the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs. Fletcher has a master degree in ethics and public policy from Harvard University. She is a Councilor for the International Association for Universal Design in Japan. She co-chairs the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts.

Rama Gheerawo

Director, Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design

Rama GheerawoRama Gheerawo is the new Director of the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design and the RCA Reader in Inclusive Design, with a global reputation in people-centred design. With nearly two decades in the design industry, his interest is in socially inclusive design. He leads the Centre's Age & Ability Research Lab which creates design that improves the lives of people of all ages and abilities. He is in demand as a keynote speaker internationally and writes, curates exhibitions and runs workshops for audiences that range from students to business executives to civil servants. Knowledge transfer to business is central to his work, building on a track record of over 150 collaborative projects with the Centre involving organisations such as GOV.UK, Samsung and Toyota. Rama has published widely in both academic and trade press. He has guest edited a number of journals, appeared on juries and advisory boards representing design. He is a Fellow of both the Royal College of Art and the Royal Society of Arts.

Margaret Hickish

Access Consultant, Design 4 Inclusion

Margaret HickishFormer Accessibility Manager at the Olympic Delivery Authority Access and currently Inclusion Manager, Network Rail. Margaret, a civil engineer who became a wheelchair user in 1997, has more than 20 years experience of advising and specifying on access and inclusion for disabled people to the building industry. Her projects include the Scottish Parliament, Liverpool Museum, the Unicorn Theatre, Emirates Stadium and Giant's Causeway Visitor Centre. She is working at Network Rail as the Access and Inclusion Manager. Margaret is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal College of Art and a member of the National Register of Access Consultants.

Gina Hilberry AIA LEED AP CCS

Senior Consulting Architect, Cohen Hillberry Architects

Ms. Hilberry is president and principal architect of Cohen Hilberry Architects, an Adjunct Lecturer at Washington University in St. Louis and consulting architect to the Institute for Human Centered Design. She has been providing architectural services related to historic preservation, renovation, conversion, new construction and accessibility since beginning her professional career in the early 1980s. Her completed projects include public improvements, neighborhood master plans, recreational facilities, single and multi-family projects, and renovation of churches, schools, hotels and offices. Her emphasis has been on accessibility, sustainability and affordability to both developers and long term building users and owners. Her practice includes accessibility evaluations, compliance plans, and consulting services to fellow professionals, attorneys and owner's representatives. In addition to her practice, Ms Hilberry regularly teaches and lectures on design and regulatory issues pertaining to universal design and accessibility in public spaces and building projects. Her commitments outside her firm and students have included working with the Federal Access Board on the Public Rights-of-Way Access Advisory Committee (PROWAAC) and with the International Code Council on the ANSI A117 Standards where she co-chairs the current committee; 2008 Edition Development Committee. She is a certified ICC Accessibility Inspector/Plans Examiner and a LEED accredited professional.

Theodore Landsmark PhD

Member, Boston Redevelopment Authority Board

Ted LandsmarkTed Landsmark is Mayor Martin J. Walsh's first appointment to the Board of Directors. During his seventeen year tenure as President and CEO of the Boston Architectural College, Dr. Landsmark helped to grow the school from a center into an internationally recognized institution. In August 2014, Ted was named President Emeritus of the college. He brings with him to the board a wealth of expertise in architecture, urban design, civic leadership, and architectural and construction law. A graduate of Yale with a Ph.D. from Boston University, Ted has established himself as an innovative leader with a passion for public service. He has traveled the world extensively to study cities - from London and Paris to Istanbul and Tokyo - and facilitated planning sessions in New York, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Ted has served as a trustee or board member for several organizations, including the American Architectural Foundation, Historic New England and Historic Boston, and the Boston Museum of Fine Arts. He was also president of the National Architectural Accrediting Board.

Janice Majewski

Advisor, Inclusive Culture and Development, IHCD

Ms. Majewski joined IHCD in January of 2014. She was an Accessibility Specialist in the Disability Rights Section, Civil Rights Division, U.S. Department of Justice from May 2001 to January 2014. She worked as a team member with Section lawyers and architects to research and evaluate the accessibility of museum facilities, exhibitions, and programs. She also worked as a member of Section litigation teams addressing issues of accessible technology. Prior to her work with the USDOJ, Ms. Majewski worked for the Smithsonian Institution from 1978 until 2001. Beginning as Coordinator for Special Education in the Institution's Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, she later became the Office's Director of Outreach Programs and then founded the Institution-wide Accessibility Program. She led the team that wrote the first comprehensive set of U.S. museum exhibition accessibility guidelines, the Smithsonian Guidelines for Accessible Exhibition Design, the most recommended guidance document in the field. Ms. Majewski earned a Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College and a Master of Education of the Deaf at Smith College.

Iain McKinnon, MEng, NRAC

Senior Inclusive Design Manager at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

In his duties as Senior Inclusive Design Manager, Mr. McKinnon, provides the client side lead on all aspects of accessibility and inclusive design. Ultimately, ensuring that everything delivered on and around the Park, from buildings to live events, is accessible for all users.

Manisha Patel BA Arch DipArch Arb

Director, PRP Architects

Manisha has extensive experience in all forms of UK housing including social led, regeneration, mixed tenure, mixed use, sustainable communities and design for ethnically diverse communities, refurbishment and sheltered accommodation schemes. She also has extensive experience in preparing framework and outline masterplans, working for the HCA and others in delivering development proposals to market and in advising on procurement. For over 50 years PRP has challenged current theory and practice in the design of housing and communities. Central to our approach is a deep understanding of 'home and place': how people live individually, in groups and in communities.

Jason Schupbach

Director of Design Programs, Visual Arts Division Team Leader, National Endowment for the Arts

Jason SchupbachJason Schupbach became director of Design at the National Endowment for the Arts in May 2010. In this position, he manages the NEA's grantmaking for design and the NEA's design initiatives, such as the Mayors' Institute on City Design as well Our Town, which provides funding in recognition of the role that the arts can play in economic revitalization and in creating livable, sustainable communities. Prior to coming to the NEA, Schupbach held the first-in-the-nation position of creative economy industry director for the Massachusetts Office of Business Development where his accomplishments included coordinating the growth of new industry cluster groups, such as the Design Industry Group of Massachusetts (DIGMA), and launching a Design Excellence initiative, an effort to improve procurement processes in Massachusetts in order to build more sustainable and longer-lasting buildings and communities, and increase the number of designers being offered contracts. From 2004 to 2008, Schupbach was director of ArtistLink, where among other duties he managed a statewide artist space development technical assistance initiative that resulted in the creation of more than 60 projects in 20 communities for a total of 350 units of live/work spaces and more than 500,000 square feet of artist space. In addition, he managed the first ever artist housing predevelopment grant program, giving out $50,000 in awards.

Polly Welch RA

Senior Project Manager, Office of Planning, Design and Construction Division of Capital Asset Management & Maintenance

Polly WelchPolly Welch has been advocating for inclusive design for thirty-five years as a practicing architect, an educator, a consultant to public and private organizations on user responsive design, and a public administrator. She currently manages the Commonwealth's model statewide initiative on accessibility and universal design for the Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance which includes the Commonwealth's higher education portfolio. For ten years she was a professor of architecture at the University of Oregon, where she taught courses in research, programming and the social context of design and developed techniques for integrating Universal Design into design teaching. Ms. Welch graduated from Bennington College and the Harvard Graduate School of Design.