Huntsman Alumni Magazine Spring 2013

Spring 2013

Accomplished Alum Sachin Pavithran Appointed to Federal Disabilities Board by President Obama

It’s not often one gets appointed by the President,” said Sachin Pavithran upon being appointed by President Obama as a member of the U.S. Access Board—officially the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board. “It is a big responsibility,” he said.

He was telephoned in April 2012 by the Office of Presidential Appointments, and then thoroughly vetted for seven months, before being officially appointed to a four-year term in December 2012.

A STELLAR AGGIE BACKGROUND

Sachin graduated from Utah State with degrees in Business Information Systems and Marketing, and a Master’s in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling. He was born in India, grew up in Dubai, and came to the U.S. when he was 17 to start college at Utah State.

And he is blind. But that has not slowed him down.

He has over 12 years of experience working in the disability field and with individuals with disabilities. He is currently Program Director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program (UATP), and Disability Policy Analyst for the highly regarded USU Center for Persons with Disabilities. He is also working on a Ph.D. in Disabilities Disciplines.

Starting in October 2000 he was a Training and Development Specialist on the innovative WebAIM Project (Accessibility in Mind), that developed WAVE, the Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool, a free service that has been used to evaluate the accessibility of millions of web pages.

HIS CHALLENGING NEW ASSIGNMENT

Sachin’s appointment to the U.S. Access Board will require time in Washington, D.C., and in Utah, helping develop and maintain design criteria for electronic and information technology and telecommunications equipment. The Board represents the public, particularly people with disabilities, and it acts as a coordinating body among Federal agencies.

Sachin has been named Chair of two Board committees, the Information and Communications Technologies Committee and the Self-Service Transaction Machines Committee. His technical skills include knowledge of many assistive technology tools, such as Screen Reading Software, Kurzweil 1000, Duxbury Systems, and Braille Note, as well as programming languages Visual C++, COBOL, S.Q.L, Visual Basic, and HTML.

INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE AND 5 LANGUAGES

Sachin also has worked internationally, in Egypt, Syria, the Philippines and Turkey, helping implement the requirements of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. His international work is supported by his ability to speak Hindi, Malaylam, Urdu, and Arabic