Past Events

NDEAM Webinar: Celebrating Accomplishments and Building an Inclusive Tomorrow

Increasing Access and Equity for individuals who are Blind and DeafBlind

Oct 4 - Oct 4, 2023


An African-American male wearing a gray sports jacket, with graying hair, and a big smile while proudly holding his white cane in front of tall buildings.

Event Summary

Our Annual NDEAM webinar on October 4th highlights a dynamic, innovative keynote speaker, success stories, and a panel discussion with three expert, cutting edge and renowned panelists, two of which have lived experiences with vision and/or hearing loss, followed by a Q&A. Last year’s event attracted nearly 400 attendees! Join us! ASL interpreting and captions will be available on Zoom.

Video Transcript

Event Details

When: Wednesday, October 4, 2023, 2-3:30pm EST

Cost: FREE

Credits: No credits

Accessibility Statement: Helen Keller Services (HKS) aims to be inclusive and accessible to all individuals. All HKS trainings include ASL and Spoken English interpretation, captions, audio descriptions and transcripts. We understand the importance of accommodating diverse needs and ensuring equal opportunities for learning. If you require alternative accommodations, please contact us at least two weeks prior to the training event at

Contact: If you have any questions or concerns, email Joseph Melillo, National Employment & Business Relations Specialist, for more information.

Keynote Speaker

Gary E. Horton
President of Vanward Consulting Services, LLC

An African-American male wearing a gray sports jacket, with graying hair, and a big smile while proudly holding his white cane in front of tall buildings.

Gary Horton’s career spans over forty years in the Information Technology space spanning several industry areas, including Automotive, Manufacturing, Logistics, Finance & Accounting, Health Care, and most recently Utilities and Oil and Gas.

In 1998, Mr. Horton was recognized by the Detroit business community for his innovative methodology for efficiently guiding companies through the Automotive Manufacturing Quality Improvement Certification process (ISO/QS 9000).

In 2017, Mr. Horton lost his vision and as a consequence of his transition from sighted to blind, observed an opportunity. Leveraging his previous professional experiences coupled with his status as a blind person, developed Lean In! an innovative Pre-Employment and Transition Program with the mission to encourage private sector companies to provide blind and low vision college students an opportunity to earn a paid internship.

Mr. Horton also proudly serves on the Board of the Peaces of Me Foundation, which pursues the mission to remove the stigma associated with all disabilities through public awareness and open dialogue.


Dr. Sara Coleman
Owner of SB Coleman Consulting, LLC

A headshot of a smiling middle aged white female with short curly brown hair wearing a black and white flowered dress against a grey background

Dr. Sara Coleman is the owner of SB Coleman Consulting LLC and is Deafblind with Usher Syndrome. Sara’s interest in science began with a chemistry set which led to a 32-year career in the high school science classroom. As a woman transitioning into blindness the next act began with blindness skills training (Cane Travel, Braille, Technology, Home Management, and Wood Shop) at the Iowa Department of the Blind and then further training in deafblindness skills (ASL, Vocational Support, Technology, and Haptics) at Helen Keller National Center in New York. Currently, Sara is working to promote broader participation in STEM for underrepresented populations, especially those with sensory disabilities in the areas of advocacy, accessibility, and equity. In 2017, she completed her doctorate and through her dissertation work “A Case Study on the Life Trajectories of Women with Sensory and Mobility Disabilities in STEM Careers” is now working to support individuals, especially during periods of educational transition, to accomplish success in their chosen field. Sara is currently serving on the STEM Equity Committee for the State of Iowa and is active in diversity, inclusion, and equity efforts in the disability community.

Joe Devon
Head of Accessibility, AI Futurist at Formula Monks

Joe Devon with arms folded, in a blazer, standing in front of a window and a plantJoe Devon, Head of Accessibility and AI Futurist at Formula Monks, is a technology entrepreneur and web accessibility advocate. He co-founded Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) and serves as the Chair of the GAAD Foundation, focusing on promoting digital accessibility and inclusive design. Joe explores artificial intelligence’s potential to revolutionize digital accessibility, developing AI solutions to enhance online experiences for people with disabilities.


Darryl Adams
Director of Accessibility with Intel

A middle-aged smiling white male with salt and pepper hair wearing a navy-blue collared shirt in front of a tree and bushes

Darryl Adams is the Director of Accessibility at Intel.  Darryl leads a team that works at the intersection of technology and human experience helping discover new ways for people with disabilities to work, interact, and thrive. Darryl’s mission is to transform the future of computing combining AI and accessibility innovation with Intel’s disability inclusion efforts to help make access to digital information and experiences more accessible for everyone.

Darryl has a degenerative eye condition called retinitis pigmentosa and he also experiences single-sided deafness. Framing his disabilities as assets, he brings his unique perspective with him to work each day where he aims to make Intel an exceptional place to work for employees with disabilities.


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