In February, President George W. Bush named Pamela Dorwarth of Sarasota, Florida, and Gary L. Talbot of Ann Arbor, Michigan to the Access Board. The President also reappointed Denis Pratt of Kennebunk, Maine.
|Dorwarth is an active member of various government and community organizations. She has worked on accessibility issues relating transportation, building codes, and voting through appointments to several state entities, including the Florida Department of Transportation, the Department of Community Affairs, and special task forces. She also has served on county advisory boards on accessibility compliance, city planning, public transportation, and women’s issues, and has been a member of nonprofit organizations devoted to community and human services, disability rights, and education. She has received many awards recognizing her service to the community. Dorwarth has previously worked as a teacher, in the legal services field, and in the airline industry.|
|Talbot is a vehicle system engineer with General Motors (GM) who previously managed GM’s Mobility Center. The GM Mobility Center engineers and develops vehicle features and options specially designed for customers with disabilities and seniors. Talbot currently co-chairs the GM Affinity Group for Persons with Disabilities, which consists of employees and retirees with and without disabilities who provide suggestions for improving access to facilities, transportation, communications, and employment opportunities for people with disabilities. As part of this work, the GM Mobility Center with the GM Affinity Group conducts research on customer needs and preferences for vehicle adaptations. Previous to his career at GM, he worked as a nationally certified automotive technician. Talbot, who holds a degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan, is active in various trade and civic organizations. He is chair of the Adaptive Devices Standards Committee for the Society of Automotive Engineers and is on the board of directors of the Ann Arbor Center for Independent Living and of Deaf and Hearing Impaired Services, Inc. He also serves as an officer for the Knights of Columbus Council 8989.|
|Pratt, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, is a licensed architect who specializes in accessible design and universal design. He has over 30 years of diversified experience on a wide range of privately and publicly funded building projects. His clients include state agencies, municipal governments, school districts, hospitals, non-profit organizations, businesses and home owners, large corporations, among others. Since 1992, he has been employed by Alpha One, an independent living center that provides technical assistance and training on making public facilities and housing accessible. Founded in 1980, Alpha One also provides guidance on complying with the ADA and access regulations issued by the State of Maine. Access services include compliance surveys, plan reviews, worksite evaluations, workshops, and other services. At Alpha One, Pratt has been involved in hundreds of access design consultations, projects, and presentations. Before joining Alpha One, he was employed as a project architect for a small architectural firm in southern Maine. Pratt was also previously employed by the Maine State Housing Authority and the State of Maine Office of Energy Resources. He was first appointed to the Access Board in 2003.|
The new members will be sworn in at a meeting of the Board to be held March 10, 2004. The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public. Half its members are representatives from most of the Federal departments. The other half is comprised of members of the public appointed by the President to four-year terms, a majority of whom must have a disability. The new appointees succeed public members Marilynn Porter and J. Richard Thesing who were appointed to the Board by President Clinton.