Jamie Axelrod earned a B.A. in Psychology from New York University and an M.S. in Counseling at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
After graduating with his M.S., Mr. Axelrod worked for the University of Wisconsin-Madison athletic department in the Student Affairs office. He then worked as a mental health therapist in Valparaiso, Indiana and Lander, Wyoming. After thirteen years at community mental health centers Mr. Axelrod went to work for Protection and Advocacy Systems, Inc., a disability rights advocacy law firm. At Protection and Advocacy Systems, Mr. Axelrod served as an advocate assisting individuals with disabilities with claims that their civil rights had been violated.
Mr. Axelrod joined the Disability Resources team at Northern Arizona University in August of 2007 as a Program Coordinator and became the Director of the Disability Resources program in October of 2009. Mr. Axelrod served as co-chair of N.A.U.’s Commission on Disability Access and Design from 2011-2015. Mr. Axelrod has served on the Board of Directors for the Association on Higher Education and Disability since 2010 and is the current President.
Irene Bowen, J.D., is President of ADA One, LLC, and a nationally recognized ADA consultant, trainer, and speaker. Before starting her firm in 2009, she was Deputy Chief of the Disability Rights Section at DOJ, where she oversaw enforcement of the ADA and spearheaded initiatives on higher education as well as effective communication. She was actively involved in the development of the ADA accessibility guidelines as well as DOJ’s Title II and Title III regulations. She had also served as Deputy General Counsel of the U.S. Access Board. She achieved ADA compliance through landmark litigation, settlements, and education. She helped found the National Center for Law and Deafness, housed at Gallaudet University, when she was a law student.
Ms. Bowen doesn’t just know, study, and apply the laws and regulations – she wrote and enforced many of their provisions. She grasps what the federal government expects for compliance and how compliance can be achieved.
Since 2011, Ms. Bowen has authored or coauthored five ADA guides, presented internationally, and assisted in numerous self-evaluations of universities and other entities. She is on the board of the National Association of ADA Coordinators.
Lisa Caringer received her B.A. in Sign Language Interpreting from Maryville College and an M.S. in Rehabilitation Counseling from Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Lisa has several years’ experience in the disability services field coordinating services for students who are deaf or hard of hearing. She has also been a vocational rehabilitation counselor for the deaf and is a former member of the Pepnet2 team. She is currently the Assistive Technology Coordinator at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. She serves as a member of the Interpreter Licensure Advisory Board for the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission
Lauren Kinast received her Master’s in Educational Administration from California State University, Northridge. She is currently the Associate Director with the Services for Students with Disabilities office at the University of Texas at Austin. She also coordinates services for deaf and hard of hearing students, faculty, staff, and visitors at the university. Prior experience include working at a four year university coordinating interpreting services for 150+ deaf and hard of hearing students and at a multi-campus community college serving 75+ deaf and hard of hearing students. Ms. Kinast spends her time serving on advisory boards with various educational and community organizations with programs supporting pre-K through college students who are deaf and hard of hearing. She enjoys participating in local, state, and national level conferences providing awareness, training, resources, options, and opportunities to families, administrators, and the community at large that serve deaf and hard of hearing individuals.
L. Scott Lissner has served as the ADA Coordinator for The Ohio State University since 2000 where he is also an Associate of the John Glenn School of Public Policy and a lecturer for the Moritz College of Law, the Knowlton School of Architecture and Disability Studies. Teaching and public service informs his work as the university’s disability compliance officer and energizes his role in creating seamless access to all of the university’s programs, services, employment opportunities and facilities. Engaged in community, Lissner is Past President of the Association on Higher Education and Disability and was appointed to the Columbus Advisory Committee on Disability Issues, Ohio’s HAVA committee and the Ohio Governor’s Council for People with Disabilities. Lissner publishes, presents, and consults frequently on disability issues.
Michael Stein and Mary Vargas are founding partners of Stein & Vargas, LLP, and have earned a national reputation for high stakes litigation pursuant to Americans with Disabilities Act on behalf of individuals with a disability, including individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Michael Stein was a 2007 Skadden Fellow with the National Association of the Deaf. He is a graduate of Princeton University and earned a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was Notes Editor of the Harvard Law Review. Stein is a member of the bars in New York, Massachusetts, and the District of Columbia. He is also admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Mary Vargas was a staff attorney with the National Association of the Deaf, a 1998 Skadden Fellow, and a 1994 Truman Scholar. Vargas obtained a B.S. in deaf education from the College of New Jersey, and a J.D. from the University of Connecticut, School of Law. Vargas is a member of the bars in Connecticut, Maryland and federal court for the District of Columbia. She is also admitted to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, and Eighth Circuits.