Smart Cities Summit

The National Federation of the Blind Smart Cities Summit is a one-day online event. The goal is to bring policymakers and technology developers together to collaborate and create accessible infrastructure for smart cities.

Developing smart cities that allow everyone to live, work, and play in their communities.

Dates and Location

Thursday, January 28, 2021
Noon to 8:00 p.m. ET
Online using the Zoom platform (Captions available on Zoom and through 1CapApp)

Who Should Attend

This event is designed for city planners, public service officials, technology developers, and interested citizens working to implement technologies and strategies to develop more accessible cities.


Thursday, January 28, 2021

Primary Zoom Room:

12:00 PM    Opening and Housekeeping

12:05 PM    Welcome: Mark Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind

12:30 PM    Keynote: State of Access to Smart Cities. Henry Claypool, Disability Policy Consultant

Concurrent Sessions:

1:00 PM    Ensuring Access Through Technology Procurement

  • The Stakeholder Difference. Sharon Maneki, Director of Legislation and Advocacy, NFB of Maryland
  • Accessibility Procurement Planning. Stephen Polacek, IT Accessibility Evaluator, Maryland Department of Disabilities

1:00 PM    Improving Public Transit Through Collaboration *Secondary Zoom Room

  • Jaime McKay, Transportation Planner, Maryland Transit Administration
  • Hindley Williams, Independent Living Specialist, The IMAGE Center of Maryland
  • Transit Apps Demonstration, Karl Belanger, Access Technology Specialist, National Federation of the Blind

2:00 PM    Break

2:30 PM    Nonvisual Access to Digital Public Services: Ensuring Accessible Public Information Through Training and Policy

  • Gina Winkler, Director of Product and Kara Tuckerman, Lead Product Designer, IKE Smart City at Orange Barrel Media
  • Drew Nicholson, President/Chief Operating Officer, Intellectual Technology, Inc.

2:30 PM    Accessible Elections, Lessons Learned for Successful Execution. *Secondary Zoom Room

  • Lou Ann Blake, Director of Research Programs, National Federation of the Blind
  • Voting Technology Demonstrations, Karl Belanger, Access Technology Specialist, National Federation of the Blind

3:30 PM    Break

4:00 PM    Accessible Pedestrian Spaces.

  • Peggy Martinez, Principal of Creative Inclusion, LLC (A consulting firm working to improve accessibility for people with disabilities in the areas of technology, wayfinding, transit, recreation, travel, and entertainment)

4:30 PM    Scanning, Mapping, COVID-19 Automated Contact Tracing and Navigating Indoor Spaces.

  • Mike May, GoodMaps, Chief Evangelist and Ruben Kazantsev, Co-Founder/CEO, IndoorAccess®

5:00 PM    Break

5:30 PM    Enhancing Mobility through Autonomous Vehicles.

  • Dr. Anne Marie Lewis, Senior Director of Technology, Innovation and Mobility Policy, Alliance for Automotive Innovation

5:50 PM    Researching Accessible Autonomous Vehicles.

  • Dr. Julian Brinkley, Assistant Professor of Human-Centered Computing at Clemson University

6:10 PM    Partnering with Stakeholders in the Design/Development of Technology and Policy

  • Ellie Casson, Head of Local Public Policy, Waymo
  • Kenny Montilla, Public Affairs Manager, Cruise

Announcement: NFB Blind Driver Challenge: Accelerating Accessibility in 2021

6:30 PM    Summit Sharing

8:00 PM    Adjourn

Zoom information for the policy and technology tracks will be provided to registered participants.


Registration is closed.

More Information 

Karl Belanger
Access Technology Specialist
National Federation of the Blind
[email protected] 
410-659-9314, extension 2234

The Smart Cities Summit is supported by the State of Maryland through the Nonvisual Accessibility Initiative (NVAI) grant administered by the Maryland Department of Disabilities (MDOD), to support the NFB Center of Excellence in Nonvisual Access (CENA) in Education, Public Information, and Commerce.