Debra Ruh

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Debra Ruh
Debra Ruh - 2.png
Born 1958 (age 59–60)
Pensacola, Florida
Nationality American
Occupation Businesswoman, advocate, writer, speaker
Years active 1994-present
Organization TecAccess, LLC, Ruh Global Communications, AXSChat

Debra Ruh (born 1958) is an American business woman and advocate for the rights of persons with disabilities. She founded TecAccess, which provides solutions designed for information technology accessibility for people with disabilities and for Section 508 compliance.

Ruh is Chair of the United Nations's G3ict EmployAbility Task Force that supports information and communication assistive technologies and has assessed 104 countries regarding the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.[1]

Career[edit]

Early career[edit]

In 1994, Ruh was hired by SunTrust Mortgage, now Crestar Bank, and worked into 1998 as vice president of training, development and quality control.[2][3] Beginning in 1998, she worked as a banking consultant until 2001, and was at Market Street Mortgage in Tampa, Florida as vice president and distance-learning dean until 2000. She started Strategic Performance Solutions and was its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from 1999 to 2001.[2][4]

TecAccess[edit]

In 2001, Ruh founded TecAccess,[2][5] a firm that designs online learning tools and websites for people with disabilities.[6][7] It was one of the recipients of the United States Department of Labor's New Freedom Initiative Award.[8][a] That year, Ruh received the "Rising Star" award from the National Association of Women Business Owners.[2][b]

Other activities[edit]

In 2013, Ruh started Ruh Global Communications,[10] which focuses on strategic communications and digital marketing. The firm develops solutions for people with disabilities and helps governments implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD).[11][12]

Ruh co-founded a social media venture - AXSChat (access chat) with Neil Milliken and Antonio Santos.[13][14] It is a social media site about providing access and inclusion to those with accessibility needs..[15] It was an event partner for the Paralympic Games in 2016.[16] Ruh was coauthor of the article Helping Veterans with Disabilities Transition to Employment" with Paul Spicer and Kathleen Vaughan in a 2009 issue of Journal of Postsecondary Education and Disability.[17]

In 2016, she wrote a book, Tapping into Hidden Human Capital: How Leading Global Companies Improve their Bottom Line by Employing Persons with Disabilities.[18] As of 2016, her white paper, "Information Technology Accessibility: Yes We Can!" and her brochure "Making the World of Technology Accessible" are on the White House website. They are two of about fifty posted documents in the Open Government Initiative.[19][20]

Personal life[edit]

Ruh was born December 18, 1958, in Pensacola, Florida. She is married to Edward Ruh and has a son and a daughter.[2] Edward, who worked in an IT department of a bank, joined TecAccess in 2006 and worked there for one year. He returned to TecAccess in 2008 and managed relationships with clients. Their working relationship featured in The Wall Street Journal article, "Married to the Job (And Each Other)" in 2011.[21]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ In 2005, she was on a "Disability News and Views" radio program with the Dr. Roy Grizzard, the assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. They discussed employment issues for the disabled and adaptive technology.[9]
  2. ^ She was also the recipient of an award for Social Responsibility from the American-China Foundation in 2005.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "9th session of the Conference of States Parties to the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)". United Nations. June 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Debra Ruh of TecAccess". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Richmond, Virginia. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Lenders Scramble for Talent to Handle Refi Rush". American Banker. November 2, 1998. Retrieved December 3, 2016 – via HighBeam Research. 
  4. ^ Hise, Phaedra (September 15, 2008). "Why disabled techies rock". CNN Money. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  5. ^ "Virginia Web Firm Plans to Help Make Sites Accessible to the Disabled". Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News. August 27, 2001. Retrieved December 3, 2016 – via HighBeam Research. 
  6. ^ Rayasam, Ranuka (November 6, 2006). "How Hiring the Disabled Means Good Business". U.S. News & World Report. Archived from the original on January 13, 2010. Retrieved July 20, 2010. 
  7. ^ "Company Overview of TecAccess LLC". Bloomberg. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  8. ^ "Secretary of Labor Announces Seven Recipients Of the Secretary's New Freedom Initiative Awards". Department of Labor. October 2005. Archived from the original on January 16, 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Events for the Disabled". The Buffalo News. Buffalo, NY. July 10, 2005 – via HighBeam Research. 
  10. ^ "NBDC Co-Sponsors Georgetown's Conference". Viscardi Center. December 31, 2013. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  11. ^ "October Is National Disability Employment Awareness Month". National Disability Institute. October 3, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  12. ^ "Corporate Capabilities". Ruh Global Communications. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  13. ^ "The Team". AXSChat. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  14. ^ "14 quotes that celebrate a more accessible world". Chicago Tribune. May 26, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  15. ^ "Tweet chats". Symplur. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  16. ^ "Nielsen shares key research on the power of the Paralympic brand". Paralympic.org. September 14, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  17. ^ Griffin, Kimberly A.; Gilbert, Claire K. (January 2015). "Better Transitions for Troops: An Application of Schlossberg's Transition Framework to Analyses of Barriers and Institutional Support Structures for Student Veterans". The Journal of Higher Education. 86 (1): 71–97. Retrieved December 2, 2016. 
  18. ^ "October Is National Disability Employment Awareness Month". National Disability Institute. October 3, 2016. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  19. ^ "Making the World of Technology Accessible" (PDF). White House. 2009. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 5, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Open Government Initiative: Your Ideas". White House. Archived from the original on February 9, 2010. Retrieved December 3, 2016. 
  21. ^ Debaise, Colleen; Needleman, Sarah E.; Maltby, Emily (February 14, 2011). "Married to the Job (And Each Other)". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved December 3, 2016.