THE PEOPLE ACCESS TEAM
Sarah White – Director of Accessibility Education and Consulting
Sarah’s areas of expertise include adult education and the interpretation of legislation. She has worked in the field of accessibility legislation for the past 10 years. In previous roles, Sarah developed a wide variety of accessibility-related training sessions and provided innovative organizational solutions. As a subject matter expert, Sarah provides information and insight on accessibility for various media, associations, and business groups. The Human Rights Legal Support Centre has acknowledged Sarah White as an expert witness to testify on matters concerning accessibility before the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario.
Sarah is both an author and a speaker on accessibility. She holds a Bachelor of Social Science, and a Diploma in Adult Education, is an ISO Lead Auditor, and a Certified Municipal Manager.
As a person with low vision, Dorothy understands how living with a disability on a daily basis impacts one’s life and how important it is to have a positive attitude. She has been an accessibility advocate for over twenty years, working for greater accessibility for people with all types of disabilities. On several occasions Dorothy presented submissions, on behalf of people with disabilities, to provincial Ministers and Members of Provincial Parliament, as well as to Charles Beer.
Dorothy has extensive knowledge about accessible formats, accessible information, and adaptive technology. She has experience testing web sites and power point presentations for accessibility with screen reading and magnification software. She developed national accessible library service guidelines and resources for the Initiative for Equitable Library Access, Library and Archives Canada. Dorothy has intimate knowledge of the challenges involved in achieving equitable library access across Canada. Dorothy has been involved in policy development and accessible customer service training for a number of churches. She has designed specific materials to help make church facilities and services more accessible to everyone.
Dorothy has served on a number of Boards and Accessibility Advisory Committees, including the Sault/Algoma CNIB Advisory and District Boards, Sault Ste. Marie Accessibility Advisory Committee, the Municipal Accessibility Project Team for the Association of Municipal Managers, Clerks, and Treasurers of Ontario (AMCTO) and the Elections Ontario Accessibility Advisory Committee.
Marcia O’Connor – Manager, Building Accessibility Program
Marcia joined People Access to steer and manage the Accessibility Audit Program which combines her expertise in the built environment with the new Accessibility Standards.
Marcia is a senior business consultant with more than 25 years of experience working with public and private sector organizations, Her areas of specialty include facilities space planning, real estate management, strategic planning, implementation planning, and coordination of facility evaluations and building reviews. Marcia is also a seasoned project manager, having successfully and effectively led multi-disciplined teams to meet desired deliverables for a number of portfolio reviews.
Marcia is a member of the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and Canadian Management Consultants (CMC). Marcia currently provides program expertise and coordinates the Facility Management Certificate Program, offered for the last twelve years at the University of Toronto, and the Evidence-Based Facility Management program offered at the University of Toronto in partnership with the Centre for Maintenance Optimization and Reliability Engineering.
Russ Gahan – Vice President, Operations
Russ joined Excellence Canada, when it was still the National Quality Institute, in March 2008. He is the lead on special projects and manages strategic alliances and partnerships. His entrepreneurial experience in small and medium business provides a knowledgeable approach for Excellence Canada in developing products and services for that sector.
Russ holds a BSc from the University of Toronto and has worked in corporate finance, business administration, and marketing for over 30 years, most recently as Vice-President and CFO of Tele-Find Technologies Corp. He led the development and financing of a proprietary medical data storage and retrieval system, permitting an individual to take control of their own medical history and retrieve it instantly when needed by an emergency care-giver in a crisis.
Russ is committed to helping Canada’s large and small workplaces become the healthiest and most productive in the world. He is the lead manager of the People Access division and is an active proponent of accessibility, not only for the benefit of people with disabilities, but for the future health of Canadian organizations and society.