In the world of accessibility, Cynthia D. Waddell, JD, is a nationally
and internationally recognized expert in the field of electronic and
information technology as well as employment and construction. A stakeholder
in the accessibility effort, Cynthia Waddell was born with a bi-lateral
hearing loss and is a member of the deaf/hard of hearing community.
Through her work as the former Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
Compliance Officer for the City of San Jose, CA, and through her service
in Federal, State, and County appointments, she has served as a tireless
advocate for the entire community of people with disabilities.
During the past decade, Cynthia Waddell has worked as an ADA consultant
for university and government entities and has lectured at various universities,
presented at international conferences, received numerous awards, served
on several boards and published a number of papers on law and policy
for information technology. Her seminal paper, "The Growing Digital
Divide in Access for People with Disabilities: Overcoming Barriers to
Participation," was commissioned by the US government and has been
translated and cited by foreign governments, universities, disability
organizations and entities around the world.
As the author of the first accessible web design standard for US local
government, Cynthia Waddell's accessibility efforts in the international
arena have included participation on the Portuguese International Accessibility
Board; an effort that led to Portugal's adoption of the Portuguese Accessibility
Guidelines for web sites. In addition, she participated several years
in the "Boosting the UK Digital Economy- A Virtual Think Tank"
event and at the invitation of the Japan Executive Committee of The
Internet Society, presented at the "Global Everyone Access"
INET2000 in Yokohama, Japan, and currently participates in the European
Union "Design for All" initiative. In order to dedicate all
of her time to promoting accessibility on a national level, Cynthia
Waddell co-founded ACE and is a Principal Consultant and Accessibility
Subject Matter Expert.
As a key member of the ACE team, Cynthia Waddell combines her expertise
in disability legislation and technology to provide education and professional
consulting services for access to electronic and information technology
for persons with disabilities. She was the subject of a feature story
"Enabling Technology" in the February 2001 issue of Government
Technology Magazine. In addition, as one of the world's leading experts,
she was the sole US speaker at the 2001 "Design for All European
Day of Disabled People" at the invitation of the European Commission
and the European Disability Forum. Recently in the US, the National
Council on Disability cited her influential paper "Applying the
ADA to the Internet" in their impact report The Accessible Future.
Cynthia Waddell is a member of the National Task Forces on Disability
and Technology. She also serves on the National Committee for Information
Technology Standards (NCITS) V2 IT Access Interfaces Technical Committee.
Current appointments include Chair of the Santa Clara County Advisory
Commission for People with Disabilities and Vice-Chair of the State
of California Building Code Access Committee. She assisted the Santa
Clara County Registrar of Voters in the accessibility evaluation of
the Registrar of Voter's website, County voting equipment and the drafting
of voter accessibility information for voter ballot information materials.
She is an active participant on the World Wide Web Consortium Web Accessibility
Initiative Interest Group, The Internet Society, and the National Association
of State Chief Information Officer (NASCIO) workgroup on accessibility.
Cynthia Waddell holds a Juris Doctorate from Santa Clara University
School of Law where she was designated a Public Interest Disability
Rights Scholar and Dan Bradley Fellow at the Employment Law Center in
San Francisco, CA. In addition, she was a Rotary International Foundation
Fellow at Exeter University, England, as well as an USC-Cambridge University
Scholar at Cambridge University, England. She received her B.A., Cum
Laude, from the University of Southern California.