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Making Accessible Transportation Modern & Cool

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To the millions of travelers with special needs getting from one place to another has been an issue due to inaccessible routes or lack of information about the routes they intend to take. Research in accessible transportation has gained new momentum in recent years as a result of some US Department of Transportation (USDOT) research activities. FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) and Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) programs are exploring advancements in Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and other technologies to improve accessible transportation for people with vision impairment and other disabilities. This session will bring different experts, technologists and perspectives from the USDOT, academia and private sector, and look for ways to collaboratively work to further this research. 2/3 speakers will be added at a later time.




Mohammed Yousuf is a research engineer in FHWA's Office of Operations Research and Development and works on enabling technology solutions for intelligent transportation systems. He is leading the new Accessible Transportation Technology Research Initiative (ATTRI) which will focus on improving mobility of travelers with disabilities using Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) and technology. He is also involved in research on assistive technology for pedestrians with vision impairments and other disabilities under FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research Program. As a member of the White House GeoAccess Challenge Team, Yousuf worked on the report, Data-Enabled Travel: How Geo-Data Can Support Inclusive Transportation, Tourism, and Navigation through Communities. He is a member of the Interagency Committee of Disability Research (ICDR) and TBR ABE60, the committee on accessible transportation and mobility. Prior to joining FHWA, he worked at General Motors and Chrysler Corporation in vehicle product design/development, telematics and infotainment, and advanced service diagnostics. He has a B.S. in electronics and communication engineering and a M.S. in computer engineering.

Bill Curtis-Davidson Accessible Transportation Solutions & Business Dev Lead IBM

Bill Curtis-Davidson is a Business Development & Solutions Leader in the IBM Human Ability & Accessibility Center, where he is responsible for developing new accessibility services and technologies and integrating them into IBM multi-industry solutions. An expert in both W3C WCAG and U.S. Section 508 Standards, Bill is a seasoned consultant who leverages over 15 years of experience in developing harmonized ICT accessibility standards and applying them in the development of innovative ICT solutions that are broadly usable. Bill has almost 20 years of multi-channel design and development experience, and has developed an array of solutions in areas such as: ICT accessibility governance, education, accessible workplace tools and accessible transportation. Previously, Bill was a Research Scientist/Adjunct Professor in the Georgia Tech Center for Assistive Technology & Environmental Access, where he taught graduate students, and was involved in many federal and state government sponsored research projects related to assistive technologies, universal design and literacy/special education. Bill serves on a variety of non-profit/university committees including the ACM Distinguished Speakers Program Committee and the Georgia Tech HCI Degree Program Industry Advisory Board. He is a sought-after speaker and advocate in the area of accessible transportation, serving as editor of the "Report on Data-Enabled Travel".

James Pol Team Leader for Program Mgmt & Evaluation in the USDOT ITS Joint Program Office US Department of Transportation

James Pol is the Team Leader for Program Management and Evaluation in the USDOT ITS Joint Program Office. James oversees the independent evaluation of all ITS research conducted by the U.S. Department of Transportation to ensure the greatest validity in costs and benefits information on ITS for stakeholders worldwide. James also is responsible for applying rigorous program management practices to align the Federal ITS program with other Federal research programs. James has a bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a master’s in Computer Systems Management from the University of Maryland, and he is a registered professional engineer in Delaware. James is also a certified Project Management Professional from the Project Management Institute.

Kamiar Kordari Senior Research Engineer TRX Systems

Kamiar Kordari is the lead research engineer and principal investigator at TRX Systems, Inc., and is focused on building indoor location technologies for enterprise and consumer mobile applications. TRX Systems products deliver real-time 3D location for people in environments without reliable GPS coverage. TRX Systems is backed up by Motorola Ventures and has partnered with Motorola, Honeywell, and Boeing to take its innovative solution to the marketplace. TRX has been awarded with the 2012 Tibbets Award and the 2009 Global Security Challenge award. Kamiar manages and leads research, development, and commercialization for an FHWA Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) funded program to improve accessible navigation and transportation for people with vision impairment and for an NSF funded program to build and maintain a global database of indoor maps. Kamiar has a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Maryland.