Accessible Times: an interview with US Access Board director Sachin Pavithran

By JoLynne Lyon | February 4, 2021

For a full transcript, visit our podcast website.

Sachin Pavithran is the new executive director of the US Access Board. But before that, he was the UATP director. Before he left, we sat down with him to talk about his own very personal experience with accessibility, assistive technology and advocacy—and where it all goes from here.

He had a lot to say about accessibility and assistive technology, but the part that really stood out was his own evolution from shy employee to national leader. It all started, he said, when he met other leaders.

"I didn't really know what a successful blind person could do," he said. "But when I went to a meeting that I was invited to go to in Washington DC, the speakers at that event, were, you know, blind people who held high positions in organizations, whether it's nonprofit, and government in the public sector, or it could be people leading different roles in different companies, attorneys, people working in White House, people who were successful. And I had no idea there were blind people who were that successful, like absolutely no clue. And it changed my perspective on what I've been doing so far, and what I could do, and also running into hundreds of blind people just doing things and saying, hey, let's go to dinner, we'll just go, it's just three blocks down the street over there. 

"And just how do you do that without someone helping you get to that? You know, it was just as foreign. It was so out of my comfort zone. And I just tagged along with these people, and I started telling myself, I need this, I need to be able to do this. And that's where it all started for me."

Enjoy the conversation!

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