March 22, 2017

Photo of Deborah A. RyanThe Access Board unanimously elected Board Member Deborah A. Ryan of Boston as its new Chair on March 15. Ryan is head of Deborah A. Ryan & Associates, an accessibility consulting firm that she founded in 2002.

"I am truly honored by this opportunity to serve as the Board's Chair," Ryan stated after her election. "It's a privilege to lead an agency that plays such a vital role in ensuring accessibility, and I look forward to helping the Board advance its work and meet its goals in the months ahead."

Ryan's firm specializes in compliance with accessibility requirements issued under Massachusetts law and federal laws such as the ADA, the Rehabilitation Act, and the Fair Housing Act. Prior to her work as a consultant, 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.

The Board is structured to function as a coordinating body among Federal agencies and to directly represent the public, particularly people with disabilities. Half of its members are representatives from most of the Federal departments. The other half is comprised of members of the public appointed by the President. Board officers serve for a term of one year.