Throughout my academic career, I have contributed to equal opportunity via my service activities. As Chair of Equity and Access for the Graduate and Professional Student Assembly (GAPSA) at the University of Pennsylvania, I created a digital app for tracking the emergence of barriers to access on college and university campuses.
After sharing that app with global audiences through my TEDx talk, “Paralympics as Possibility: The Past, Present, and Future of Access,” I received invitations to act as a consultant for the Japanese government, Olympic and Paralympic Committees, and UN on inclusive education, accessible transit, and emergency response.
My consultancy allowed me to help coordinate the access-making activities of architects, engineers, educators, policymakers, and other interested parties at multiple interlocking scales: local, national, international, transnational, and otherwise. By working with practitioners in numerous fields to foster inclusion for disabled individuals, I became acutely aware of the importance of multidisciplinary exchange for creating accessible ecosystems.
My awareness led me to convene pedagogy workshops at colleges in the United States and Japan on ways to translate personal and professional expertise into tools for building an equitable society.