Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Logan Herald Journal 'USU employee appointed by Obama to national board'

Read about UATP's program director's appointment by President Obama to the U.S. Access Board in an article in today's Herald Journal newspaper:

Dec. 5, 2012
By Kevin Opsahl

An employee at Utah State University's Center for Persons with Disabilities has been appointed by President Barack Obama to a top federal government board charged with writing technical standards for policies for disabled persons.
Sachin Dev Pavithran, the program director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at the center, was appointed to the U.S. Access Board on Tuesday, according to the board’s website.

Read the rest of the story here.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Utah Assistive Technology Program director appointed to Access Board by Pres. Obama

More key administration posts were announced by the Obama Presidency Friday. Among them was Cache Valley resident Sachin Pavithran. 
The appointment makes him a member of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, also known as the U.S. Access Board, which is in charge of writing technical standards for various policies relating to people with disabilities. The board consists of 13 appointed members who work in conjunction with the staff of the board in drafting standards.
Sachin Pavithran (center), a Utah State University
grad, will serve on the U.S. Access Board.
Pavithran said, "These are the kinds of things I've been working towards, but I didn't think it was going to happen this quick - I was surprised when I got the call."
Seven months ago, Pavithran received a call from the White House after being highly-recommended for a position on the board. Since then, he has undergone multiple and various background checks to verify Pavithran "as a person" rather than his qualifications - something he's not lacking in.

Pavithran with his former
guide dog, Barstowe.
The Utah State University graduate serves on the Committee of the National Federation of the Blind, the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs National Board and is also currently the director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at the Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) at USU.  

"I'm really excited. I know I'm going to learn a lot about policy," Pavithran said.
Some of the key issues the board will be dealing with include web accessibility, education, ADA issues, and policy that impacts people with disabilities.

One issue he hopes to especially contribute to is accessibility for the blind. Pavithran, who is blind, has 12 years of experience in accessible websites and training others in assistive technology.

While the position will require Pavithran to spend time in Washington D.C., he will continue to pursue his Ph.D at USU in disability disciplines with a focus on rehabilitation, while working at the CPD.
"I know it's going to be a lot of work. This is not something I just sit back and listen," Pavithran said. "There are a lot of expectations from me and I hope to live up to them and learn and contribute."

In January, he will be sworn in to the position, which is not dependent on the term of the president. Rather, it is an ongoing appointment.

For more information about this story, contact UATP's Public Relations Specialist, Storee Powell, at or 435-797-7412.