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  President Obama Appoints New Members to the U.S. Access Board

May 24, 2011


Mathew McCollough


Mathew McCollough, M.P.A.




Deborah A. Ryan


Deborah A. Ryan

President Barack Obama has appointed Mathew McCollough, M.P.A. of Washington, D.C. and Deborah A. Ryan of Boston to the U.S. Access Board.

McCollough is executive director of the District of Columbia (DC) Developmental Disabilities Council which promotes independence and equal opportunity for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He previously served as communications manager for the DC Office of Disability Rights where he coordinated and publicized District government efforts to improve accessibility and compliance with laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act. Before joining the DC government, McCollough was employed by the Association of University Centers on Disabilities as a grants manager and contracted by the U.S. Department of Justice as an information specialist.

Ryan is head of Deborah A. Ryan & Associates, an accessibility consulting firm that specializes in compliance with design requirements issued under Massachusetts law and federal laws such as the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act. As a consultant, she is active in accessibility surveys, plan reviews, technical assistance, training, and guidance on complaint resolution. Before creating her firm in 2002, Ryan served for over 25 years at the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB), including 15 years as its executive director. The MAAB develops and enforces state requirements for accessible buildings and facilities. Ryan previously served on the U.S. Access Board's Public Right-of-Way Access Advisory Committee.

The new appointees succeed Board members James R. ("J.R.") Harding II, Ed.D., of Tallahassee, Florida and John C. Wyvill of Lincoln, Nebraska.

The U.S. Access Board is an independent Federal agency that provides leadership in accessible design under the ADA and other laws. Its governing Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. The Board is comprised of 13 members from the public appointed by the President and representatives from 12 Federal departments.