Keynote Speakers

Featuring Richard Ellenson:

Session Title:  OMG. The future happened yesterday!

Session Description:

Technology is moving at a speed we can barely fathom. It’s all around us – from cars that drive themselves to nanotechnology that drives medical breakthroughs to computer aided design in sneakers which let basketball players drive to the hoop faster and higher than ever before. Think of it: the iPhone was introduced in 2007. The iPad in 2010. And today, we can’t even envision what life felt like before we had those products and other similar ones.  So what’s that got to do with disabilities and the things that are possible for us?  Everything.........

Richard Ellenson brings 
enormous vision and energy to his position as CEO of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation. In his first two years,
he has greatly expanded CPF’s range of work as well as its profile.  He has spearheaded a multisite initiative to transform basic healthcare for women with disabilities, created a partnership with the NYC School System to build innovative frameworks for inclusion, collaborated with Microsoft to enhance access to gaming for people with disabilities, and is teaming with many of the country’s top institutions to develop CPF’s Virtual CP Center. He has also brought increased attention to the needs of people with CP and disabilities throughFoundation’s celebrity-studded “Just Say Hi” media campaign.  Prior to joining CPF, Richard was founder and CEO of two assistive technology companies (Panther and Blink Twice) which helped transform and reimagine the field of assistive technology. Said Alan Brightman, Founder of Apple Computer’s Worldwide
Disability Solutions Group, “The mass market mentality Richard brought to this field was unprecedented in the history of assistive technology.“

Richard is the father of a 19-year-old son who has Cerebral Palsy. He has worked tirelessly to create awareness about people with disabilities 
and to share stories about their spirited and resilient lives. He and his son have been featured as ABC World News People of the Year, in a New York Times Sunday Magazine cover story, and as a feature segment on ESPN’s E: 60.  Prior to this work, Richard was an advertising executive who created memorable campaigns for brands such as American Express and Remy Martin, and who penned the classic line, “It’s Not TV. It’s HBO.”  Richard has been honored with the Visionary Leadership Award from Resources for Children with Special Needs, as Caregiver of the Year by United Cerebral Palsy of NYC, and by many other organizations within the world of disabilities. He lectures extensively and has given many keynotes, including ones at the American, Australian, and European Academies of Cerebral Palsy. He has served on the Advisory Council of the NIH’s National Institute on Deafness and Communication Disorders and on the boards of the Center on Disabilities at California State University at Northridge, the United States Society for Alternative and Augmentative Communication, and the Assistive Technology Industry Association.
He has also been the recipient of two NIH grants. Richard currently sits on the NIH’s National Advisory Board on Medical Rehabilitation Research.
Richard is a graduate of Cornell and holds an MBA from The Wharton School. He lives in New York City with his wife Lora, Director of Gynecologic Pathology at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Cornell, and with his two very special children, Thomas and Taite.

Featuring Alice Brouhard:

Session Title:  Transformed with Technology…exploring the possibilities for self-directed lives!!

Session Description:

An iPad with two apps, an Amazon Echo Dot and colored electrical tape…...what do they have in common?   They are the necessary tools to create a self-directed life!  The creative use of technology can transform the lives of those living with significant cognitive challenges and allow those supporting them to focus on person centered planning and self-determination.  In this presentation Alice will share her amazing family story and how technology revolutionized their lives.    

Biography:  Alice Brouhard RN is a champion of the use of technology, especially tablet technology, to support people with memory and cognitive challenges.  She has worked tirelessly to set up a system that allows her daughter who sustained a serious TBI to live independently despite significant disabilities. 

Alice sits on the Colorado Assistive Technology Coalition through the University School of Medicine.  She is a founding member of Colorado based “Families at the Forefront of Technology” and serves on the steering committee for their annual conference.  Alice speaks frequently at state and national conferences on the use of high tech and low tech options to promote self-determination and self-sufficiency.  Recently she spoke at a TEDx event and her impactful message is now being spread in an online format as well. 

Alice has developed and teaches classes at Colorado Mountain College on the use of iPad and iPhones to decrease the fear factor for those just starting out with tech!!  She is especially proud of the partnering she did with Trinity Services in 2015 to “educate Apple” on some of the needs facing those with cognitive disabilities.  This education of Apple was through a successful petition - “Kara’s Own Voice.”  This petition led to Apple making needed changes to its operating system to better support those with memory challenges!

Alice, and her husband and daughter live in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. They are recipients of  the Garfield County, Colorado Humanitarian Service award   - “Inspiring Hope.”

*Additional keynote speakers will be featured as the conference event nears!