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USU Assistive Technology Program Director Appointed to U.S. Access Board

Thursday, Dec. 13, 2012

Sachin Pavithran

USU's Assistive Technology Program Director Sachin Pavithran has been appointed by U.S. President Barack Obama to serve on the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, also known as the U.S. Access Board.

United States President Barack Obama has appointed Utah State University Assistive Technology Program Director and Cache Valley resident Sachin Pavithran as a member of the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, also known as the U.S. Access Board.

The U.S. Access Board is in charge of writing technical standards for various policies relating to people with disabilities. The board consists of 13 appointed members who work in conjunction with the staff of the board in drafting standards.

“These are the kinds of things I’ve been working towards, but I didn’t think it was going to happen this quick — I was surprised when I got the call,” Pavithran said.

In late spring 2012, Pavithran received a call from the White House after being highly-recommended for a position on the board. Since then, he has undergone multiple and various background checks to verify Pavithran “as a person” rather than his qualifications — something he’s not lacking in.

The Utah State University graduate serves on the Committee of the National Federation of the Blind, the Association of Assistive Technology Act Programs National Board and is also currently the director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program at the Center for Persons with Disabilities (CPD) at USU.

“I’m really excited,” Pavithran said. “I know I’m going to learn a lot about policy.” 

Some of the key issues the board will be dealing with include web accessibility, education, ADA issues and policy that impacts people with disabilities.

One issue he hopes to especially contribute to is accessibility for the blind. Pavithran, who is blind, has 12 years of experience in accessible websites and training others in assistive technology.

While the position will require Pavithran to spend time in Washington D.C., he will continue to pursue his doctorate at USU in disability disciplines with a focus on rehabilitation, while working at the CPD.

“I know it’s going to be a lot of work,” Pavithran said. “This is not something where I can just sit back and listen. There are a lot of expectations from me, and I hope to live up to them and learn and contribute.”

Pavithran will be sworn into position in January 2013. His term is not dependent on the term of the president, rather, it is an ongoing appointment.

Learn more about the Utah Assistive Technology Program online at [] or [], or call 435-797-3824. Learn more about the USU Center for Persons with Disabilities online at [].

Writer: Storee Powell, 435-797-7412 (office), 208-360-2376 (cell),

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