Keynote and Noted Speakers


Beginnings, The Power of Art, the Power of Us

Fiona Moola

Photo: Fiona J. Moola

Dr. Fiona Moola is a Scientist at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. Currently, Dr.


Ashley Rhae Oliver

Photo: Ashley Rhae Oliver

Ashley Rhae Oliver, Esq. is an attorney and an activist, currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Accessibility in Eastern Kentucky University.

Bruce Duncan

Photo: Bruce Duncan

Bruce Duncan is Managing Director of the Terasem Movement Foundation Inc., where he is also the Principle Investigator of the LifeNaut Project exploring cyber-consciousness through human mind uploading of robots.

Advocacy, Policies & Research: Moving Forward

Stephen Shore

Photo: Stephen Shore
Diagnosed with "Atypical Development and strong autistic tendencies" and "too sick" for outpatient treatment Dr. Shore was recommended for institutionalization. Nonverbal until four, and with much support from his parents, teachers, wife, and others, Stephen is now a professor at Adelphi University where his research focuses on matching best practice to the needs of people with autism.

Breaking Stigma: Your Brain on Empathy, Relationship

Emile Bruneau

Photo: Dr. Emile Bruneau
Dr. Emile Bruneau is a social and cognitive scientist who heads the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously he was a research affiliate with the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT.

Breaking Stigma: Your Brain on Empathy

James R. Doty

Photo: James Doty
James R. Doty, M.D., FACS, FICS is a Clinical Professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), a part of the Stanford Institute of Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart published by Penguin Random House in 2016.

The Power of Art, the Power of Us

Tom di Maria

Photo: Tom di Maria
Tom di Maria has served as Director of Creative Growth Art Center since 2000. He has developed partnerships with museums, galleries and international design companies to help bring Creative Growth's artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world. He speaks around the world about the Center’s major artists and their relationship to both Outsider Art and contemporary culture. Prior to his current position, he served as Assistant Director of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley.


Disability Studies: Cultivating Critical Narrative Consciousnesses

Kim E. Nielsen

Photo: Kim Nielsen

Dr. Kim E. Nielsen is a scholar of disability, gender, and history in the Disability Studies Program at the University of Toledo.

Technologies for All

Frank DeRuyter

Photo: Frank DeRuyter
Frank DeRuyter, PhD is Professor at Duke University Medical Center and Principal Investigator of the LiveWell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for ICT Access. His work is focused on promoting ICT access to emerging technologies for all people regardless of ability.

Kat Holmes

Photo: Kat Holmes
Kat Holmes is the Director of Inclusive Design at Microsoft, where she is recognized for her thought leadership in reexamining disability and diversity as a source of innovation. Holmes was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business for 2017. At Microsoft, she leads a team of designers, strategists and researchers to improve the inclusivity of products such as Windows, Cortana, Xbox and Office.

Dr. David Luxton

Photo: David Luxton

Dr. David Luxton’s research and writing are focused in the areas of technology-based psychological treatments, telehealth and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) applications in mental health care.

Learn, Lifespan

K-12 Education for All, Youth Reach

Raphael Travis

Photo: Raphael Travis
Raphael Travis’s research, practice and consultancy work emphasizes positive youth development over the life-course, resilience, and civic engagement. He also investigates music, especially Hip-Hop culture, as a source of health and well-being in people's lives. Dr. Travis is an Associate Professor and BSW Program Director at Texas State University in the School of Social Work.


Educational Justice and Reform

Matthew Wappett

Photo: Mathew Wappett

Matthew Wappett is the Executive Director of the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities (UCEDD), with an affiliate appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the USU College of Education and Huma

Michael B. Salzman

Photo: Michael B. Salzman
Michael B. Salzman is a professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a licensed psychologist and has published in the areas of cross-cultural psychology, cultural psychology, intercultural conflict, intercultural sensitivity training, multicultural counseling and cultural trauma and recovery among indigenous peoples and the effects of globalization on culture and anxiety.


Living Well

Jessica Fechtor

Photo: Jessica Fechtor
Jessica Fechtor is an author, blogger and PhD candidate in Jewish Literature at Harvard University, where she has received numerous awards for her research and teaching. Her bestselling memoir Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home won the 2015 Living Now Book Award and drew critical acclaim from The Wall Street Journal, and The Forward, among other outlets.

Amy Coleman

Photo: Amy Coleman
Amy Coleman, MD is CEO and Founder of Wellsmart and is author of the book, “Discovering Your Own Doctor Within.” Coleman has taken care of people in all sorts of places: on airplanes, boats, and battlefields, in the wilderness, schools and in homes. She’s helped people receive care in countries where there was no formal system for access to primary care doctors.