Dr. Therese Willkomm Presents at White House Summit

November 18, 2016

Therese Willkomm with Maria Town at White House

Dr. Therese Willkomm with Maria Town, Associate Director for the Office of Public Engagement, the White House

On Monday, November 7, 2016, Dr. Therese Willkomm presented at the White House Disability and Inclusive Technology Summit hosted by the White House and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).   

Dr. Willkomm served as a panelist during a discussion on “Promoting Innovation in Assistive Technology & Prosthetics.” Shea Tanis, Associate Director of Research at Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities at the University of Colorado, moderated the panel. Other panelists included Dr. Cathy Bodine, Associate Director and Executive Director in the Department of Bioengineering and Department of Pediatrics at the University of Colorado and Alexis Kashar, Board Chair at the National Association of the Deaf. 

Dr. Willkomm and others shared current trends in assistive technology such as 3D printing and the Maker Movement as a whole. They also discussed pitfalls and challenges of ensuring quality and safety for those involved. Dr. Willkomm shared how her use of recycled election signs in assistive technology projects led to some valuable partnerships with local institutions and businesses.  

Dr. Therese Willkomm Presents at White House Summit
Shea Tanis, Moderator. Dr. Cathy Bodine, Dr. Therese Willkomm, and Alexis Kashar.

Therese Willkomm, Ph.D., ATP, directs the NH Statewide Assistive Technology (ATinNH) Program with the Institute on Disability; is a clinical associate professor in the University of New Hampshire Department of Occupational Therapy; and coordinates the graduate certificate in AT and the Disability Studies minor. Known internationally as “The MacGyver of Assistive Technology” and more recently as an expert in iPad modifications and apps for individuals with disabilities, Dr. Willkomm has provided AT services for over 30 years, authoring 22 publications. 

The White House Disability & Inclusive Technology Summit brought disability advocates, technology industry representatives, and Federal officials together to examine approaches to ensure that the Internet of Things is accessible and that inclusive design is central to tech development. The White House posted video from the event.