Symposium on Consumer Protections for People with Disabilities

When: Wednesday, July 23 | 9:00 a.m. – 1 pm
Where: 201 SVC: Capitol Visitor Center
What: Expert panel discussions on issues facing Americans living with disabilities

Panel 1: Factoring of Structured Settlements

Shelby Boxenbaum
Legislative Aid to Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA)

Shelby Boxenbaum currently serves as Legislative Counsel for Rep. Matt Cartwright of Pennsylvania.  In that capacity she handles judiciary and consumer protection issues, specifically relating to structured settlements.  She holds a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University and a J.D. from the University of Michigan.  Prior to her work on the Hill Shelby spent two years practicing law, first as a fellow at the ACLU of Colorado and then as an associate at Winston & Strawn in New York City.

Martin Jacobson
Vice President and General Counsel, Creative Capital

Martin Jacobson, Vice President and General Counsel, is a licensed attorney in New York and New Jersey with extensive trial experience in both the state and federal courts. Prior to going into the private practice of law in 1976, he did defense work with the New York City Corporation Counsel’s Office. Subsequently, Marty was a partner in a Wall Street area law firm in New York City. Marty is a renowned lecturer on structured settlements and periodic judgments and regularly presents seminars to the bench, bar association groups, law firms, casualty companies and self-insured’s. Marty negotiates structured settlements for Creative Capital’s clients and is an expert on the subject of periodic judgments.

Mark Perriello
President and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities

Mark Perriello is the President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the nation’s largest disability rights organization. Perriello, who has had a visual disability since childhood and ADHD, has a proven track record of increasing organizational standing with decision makers through creative and high-impact grassroots and grass-tops programs across America. As a political strategist, he oversaw highly successful efforts to elect candidates to office at the federal, state, and local level.

Before joining AAPD, Perriello served as the White House Liaison at the U.S. Department of the Interior and worked as the White House Priority Placement Director, where he was instrumental in placing diverse candidates in jobs in the administration. Due in large part to his work, the Obama Administration is one of the most diverse in U.S. history. Prior to that, Perriello served in leadership roles at the Human Rights Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, and Leadership Institute.

Keynote: The Honorable James Sensenbrenner, Jr.
Please read full biography here
Keynote hosted by: Joyce A. Bender

Joyce A. Bender is the founder and CEO of Bender Consulting Services, Inc., a firm that recruits and hires people with disabilities in the public and private sectors, who are trained in the information technology, engineering, finance/accounting, human resources, and general business areas. Joyce is the immediate past-chair of the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities and the former chair of the national Epilepsy Foundation board of directors. Joyce is a member of the 2013 Geneva College Advancement Board. She is a board member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Western and Central Pennsylvania, Variety the Children’s Charity of Pittsburgh, and Volunteers of America of Pennsylvania. Additionally, Joyce is on the Board of Advisors for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund and is a member of the Board of Trustees of Carlow University. She is the host of “Disability Matters with Joyce Bender”, a radio show on, and speaks across the United States and Canada.

Panel 2: Technology and Disabilities
Moderated by John Breyault, NCL Vice President for Public Policy on Telecommunications and Fraud

John joined the National Consumers League in September 2008. John’s focus at NCL is on advocating for stronger consumer protections before Congress and federal agencies on issues related to telecommunications, fraud, technology, and other consumer concerns. In addition, John manages NCL’s Fraud Center and coordinates the Alliance Against Fraud coalition. John is also Research Director for the Telecommunications Research and Action Center (TRAC), a project of NCL. In his role with TRAC, John advocates on behalf of residential consumers of wireline, wireless, VoIP, and other IP-enabled communications services.

Susan Diegelman
Director, Public Affairs, AT&T

Susan brings 20 years of professional experience to AT&T Public Affairs. A veteran of the enterprise software and hosting industries, Susan is well-versed in marketing communications and market strategy in the IT and Telecom industries. Having Joined AT&T’s Public Affairs team in June 2013, she works closely with stakeholders in the seniors and disability communities as well as the education and energy industries.

Susan formerly served as the Director of the Strategic Messaging at AT&T Business Solutions. Previous to that, she held the position of Marketing Director for AT&T’s GEM and Wholesale marketing team. In these roles Susan worked across corporate resources to establish public relations and marketing programs.  Susan lead the teams responsible for development of thought leadership content, content merchandizing strategies, segment advertising and collateral and managed a robust events program at the regional and national levels.

Jeff Kramer
Executive Director, Strategic Alliances and Public Policy, Verizon

Jeff Kramer coordinates public policy initiatives and directs national third party relationships with the senior, disability and consumer organizations for Verizon Communications.  Jeff is a graduate of the University of Virginia where he earned his B.A. in American Government and received his J.D. from George Mason University School of Law in Arlington, Virginia.   Jeff came to Verizon from AARP where he worked as their federal lobbyist on telecommunications issues for seven years.  Prior to that he spent nine years at the Edison Electric Institute taking on a variety of responsibilities within their government affairs office.

A recipient of numerous employee excellence awards, Jeff has also been recognized for his work on the Federal Rehabilition Services Council, the Federal Communications Commission Consumer Advisory Board and the Federal Communications Bar Association.  He also sits on the Boards of the American Association of People with Disabilities, Call for Action and National Hispanic Council on Aging. Professionally, he is most proud of his work to create the National Do Not Call Registry in 2003 and his prominent role in leading to the passage of the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act in 2010.

Andrew Phillips
Policy Counsel, National Association of the Deaf

Andrew Phillips is the Policy Counsel at the National Association of the Deaf. He is responsible for providing analysis, recommendations, and counsel to the NAD on policy issues affecting deaf and hard of hearing people across the United States. Phillips is heavily involved with the NAD’s work on federal legislation and the rulemaking processes within various federal agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission. After graduating from Gallaudet University, Andrew Phillips earned his law degree at U.C. Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco where he was a member of the Hastings Science and Technology Law Journal.

Paul Schroeder
Vice President of Programs and Policy, American Foundation for the Blind

Paul Schroeder oversees all of AFB’s national programmatic efforts in aging, education, employment, literacy, and technology, as well as AFB’s public policy and research agendas. Schroeder is intimately involved in AFB’s technology initiatives, including efforts to encourage the development of mainstream products and services that are accessible for people who are blind or have low vision.

Schroeder also collaborates with other organizations working on policy matters in the field of blindness and visual impairment. He is regularly called upon to provide input on a variety of issues to governmental agencies, private industry, and nonprofit organizations. His policy expertise and activities include the areas of telecommunications and technology policy, vocational rehabilitation, education, and public health. Schroeder is also the senior contributing editor for AccessWorld: Technology for Consumers with Visual Impairments, published by AFB Press.

Karen Peltz Strauss
Deputy Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission

Ms. Strauss has over 25 years experience working on telecommunications access for people with disabilities.  She is a co-founder of the Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology, or COAT, a coalition of over 290 national and regional organizations dedicated to ensuring disability access to emerging Internet-based and digital communications technologies in the 21st century.  Ms. Strauss most recently provided consulting services to non-profit consumer groups, educational research institutes, and relay service providers.  Previously, she served as legal counsel for Gallaudet University’s National Center for Law and Deafness, and the National Association of the Deaf.  Prior to that, she served as Deputy Bureau Chief of the former Consumer Information Bureau at the FCC.  In that capacity, she helped initiate its first Disability Rights Office and managed the Commission’s consumer and disability access programs and policies. Ms. Strauss holds a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and an LLM from the Georgetown University Law Center.

Thomas Wlodkowski
Vice President of Accessibility, Comcast Cable

Thomas Wlodkowski will develop a strategic plan focused on the usability of Comcast’s products and services by people with disabilities and pursue opportunities  to further enrich the customer experience for the disability community. He reports to Charlie Herrin, Senior Vice President, Product Design and Development, Comcast Cable. Mr. Wlodkowski joins Comcast from AOL, Inc. where he led accessibility for the past decade. Among his many accomplishments there, he oversaw the launch of AIM Relay, which allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled to place phone calls to their friends and family through telecommunication relay services.

Mr. Wlodkowski holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College. He currently sits on the Board of Trustees for the American Foundation for the Blind and is a member of the Loudoun County Disability Services Board. He previously served on the FCC Consumer Advisory Committee and the Board of Trustees for the National Braille Press. Mr. Wlodkowski will be relocating to the Philadelphia area with his wife and son.