Keynote and Noted Speakers


Beginnings, The Power of Art, the Power of Us

Fiona Moola

Photo: Fiona J. Moola

Dr. Fiona Moola is a Scientist at the Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto. Currently, Dr.


Ashley Rhae Oliver

Photo: Ashley Rhae Oliver

Ashley Rhae Oliver, Esq. is an attorney and an activist, currently serving as the Assistant Director of the Center for Student Accessibility in Eastern Kentucky University.

Clare Hanusz

Photo: Clare Hanusz
Clare Hanusz founded Aloha Immigration in June 2017, after working with the Immigration Practice Group at Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert in an Of Counsel affiliation since October 2013.

Advocacy, Policies & Research: Moving Forward

Mary Brogan

Photo: Mary Brogan

Mary Brogan is the Administrator for the Hawaii Department of Health, Developmental Disabilities Division.

Heather Pierucki

Photo: Heather Pierucki

Heather Pierucki serves as the Director of Behavioral Health at Helping Hands Hawaii, overseeing the Community Based Case Management/Community Based Care Coordination, Hawaii Pathways Project, and clinical aspects of the

Charmaine Mangram

Photo: Dr. Charmaine Mangram
Dr. Charmaine Mangram is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics Education at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She received her doctorate in Curriculum and Teacher Education at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. Currently, she studies mathematics teacher professional development for inservice secondary mathematics teachers and parental practices involving mathematics.

Ruthie-Marie Beckwith

Photo: Ruthie-Marie Beckwith

Ruthie-Marie Beckwith, Ph.D. is the Executive Director at TASH, a non-profit that advocates for human rights and inclusion for people with significant disabilities.

Breaking Stigma: Your Brain on Empathy, Relationship

Emile Bruneau

Photo: Dr. Emile Bruneau
Dr. Emile Bruneau is a social and cognitive scientist who heads the Peace and Conflict Neuroscience Lab at the University of Pennsylvania. Previously he was a research affiliate with the Brain and Cognitive Sciences Department at MIT.


Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyer

Photo: Dr. Manulani Aluli Meyer
Manulani Aluli Meyer is the fifth daughter of Emma Aluli and Harry Meyer. Her family hails from Mokapu, Kailua, Kamamalu, Wailuku, Hilo and Kohala on the islands of Oahu, Maui and Moku o Keawe. The Aluli ohana is a large and diverse group of scholar-activists who have spent their lives in Hawaiian education, justice, land reclamation, law, health, cultural revitalization, arts education, prison reform, transformational economics, food sovereignty, Hawaiian philosophy and most of all, music. Manu works in the field of indigenous epistemology (philosophy of knowledge) and its role in world-wide awakening. Professor Aluli-Meyer obtained her doctorate from Harvard (Ed.D. 1998) by studying Hawaiian epistemology via language, history, and the clear insights of beloved Hawaiian mentors. She is an international keynote speaker who has published on the topic of native intelligence and its synergistic linkages to post-quantum sciences, simultaneity, spirituality, whole thinking, and to liberating evaluation and reflective pedagogy.

Breaking Stigma: Your Brain on Empathy

James R. Doty

Photo: James Doty
James R. Doty, M.D., FACS, FICS is a Clinical Professor of neurosurgery at Stanford University and founder and director of the Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education (CCARE), a part of the Stanford Institute of Neuro-Innovation and Translational Neurosciences. He is the New York Times bestselling author of Into the Magic Shop: A Neurosurgeon's Quest to Discover the Mysteries of the Brain and the Secrets of the Heart published by Penguin Random House in 2016.

The Power of Art, the Power of Us

Tom di Maria

Photo: Tom di Maria
Tom di Maria has served as Director of Creative Growth Art Center since 2000. He has developed partnerships with museums, galleries and international design companies to help bring Creative Growth's artists with disabilities fully into the contemporary art world. He speaks around the world about the Center’s major artists and their relationship to both Outsider Art and contemporary culture. Prior to his current position, he served as Assistant Director of the Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific Film Archive at UC Berkeley.

Lifespan, Justice

Law, Disability & Society, Youth Reach

Jacque Phillips

Photo: Jacque Phillips

Jacque Phillips, PhD, is an attorney in Colorado. The Law Office of Dr. Jacque Phillips works to get students with disabilities educational services. Concurrently, Dr.


The Built Environment

Mark Lakeman

Photo: Mark Lakeman
Mark is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. In the last decade he has directed, facilitated, or inspired designs for more than three hundred new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and it’s various affiliates such as the The City Repair Project (501(c)3), The Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute, he has also been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects across the United States and Canada. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities.

Disability Studies: Cultivating Critical Narrative Consciousnesses

Kim E. Nielsen

Photo: Kim Nielsen

Dr. Kim E. Nielsen is a scholar of disability, gender, and history in the Disability Studies Program at the University of Toledo.

Technologies for All

Kat Holmes

Photo: Kat Holmes
Kat Holmes is the Director of Inclusive Design at Microsoft, where she is recognized for her thought leadership in reexamining disability and diversity as a source of innovation. Holmes was named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business for 2017. At Microsoft, she leads a team of designers, strategists and researchers to improve the inclusivity of products such as Windows, Cortana, Xbox and Office.

Dr. David Luxton

Photo: David Luxton

Dr. David Luxton’s research and writing are focused in the areas of technology-based psychological treatments, telehealth and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) applications in mental health care.

Frank DeRuyter

Photo: Frank DeRuyter
Frank DeRuyter, PhD is Professor at Duke University Medical Center and Principal Investigator of the LiveWell Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for ICT Access. His work is focused on promoting ICT access to emerging technologies for all people regardless of ability.


K-12 Education for All, Transition to Adulthood and Post Secondary Education

Torrie Dunlap

Photo: Torrie Dunlap
In 1998, Torrie Dunlap found her life's purpose when she taught a theater class for children that included a boy with Down syndrome. This is also how she came to know the work of Kids Included Together, a nonprofit where she started as a volunteer and today is the Chief Executive Officer.

K-12 Education for All

Christina M. Kishimoto

Photo: Christina M. Kishimoto
Dr. Christina M. Kishimoto began as superintendent on Aug. 1, 2017. Since 2014, Dr. Kishimoto served as Superintendent and Chief Executive Officer for Gilbert Public Schools in Gilbert, Arizona, a district with an enrollment of 36,500 students and an annual budget of $305 million.

Bryan Cook

Photo: Bryan Cook

Bryan Cook received his PhD in special education from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1997, and is currently a professor in the Special Education Department at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is currently co-editor of the journal Behavioral Disorders and the annual volume Advances in Learning and Behavioral Disabilities, associate editor for Exceptional Children and Remedial and Special Education, and co-director of the Consortium for the Advancement of Special Education Research (CASPER). He is past-President of the Council for Exceptional Children's (CEC) Division for Research and chaired the working group that authored CEC's standards for evidence-based practices in special education.

Educational Justice and Reform

Matthew Wappett

Photo: Mathew Wappett

Matthew Wappett is the Executive Director of the Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities (UCEDD), with an affiliate appointment as a Research Associate Professor in the USU College of Education and Huma

Michael B. Salzman

Photo: Michael B. Salzman
Michael B. Salzman is a professor and Chair of the Department of Educational Psychology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He is a licensed psychologist and has published in the areas of cross-cultural psychology, cultural psychology, intercultural conflict, intercultural sensitivity training, multicultural counseling and cultural trauma and recovery among indigenous peoples and the effects of globalization on culture and anxiety.

Learn, Lifespan

K-12 Education for All, Youth Reach

Raphael Travis

Photo: Raphael Travis
Raphael Travis’s research, practice and consultancy work emphasizes positive youth development over the life-course, resilience, and civic engagement. He also investigates music, especially Hip-Hop culture, as a source of health and well-being in people's lives. Dr. Travis is an Associate Professor and BSW Program Director at Texas State University in the School of Social Work.


Living Well

Jessica Fechtor

Photo: Jessica Fechtor
Jessica Fechtor is an author, blogger and PhD candidate in Jewish Literature at Harvard University, where she has received numerous awards for her research and teaching. Her bestselling memoir Stir: My Broken Brain and the Meals that Brought Me Home won the 2015 Living Now Book Award and drew critical acclaim from The Wall Street Journal, and The Forward, among other outlets.

Amy Coleman

Photo: Amy Coleman
Amy Coleman, MD is CEO and Founder of Wellsmart and is author of the book, “Discovering Your Own Doctor Within.” Coleman has taken care of people in all sorts of places: on airplanes, boats, and battlefields, in the wilderness, schools and in homes. She’s helped people receive care in countries where there was no formal system for access to primary care doctors.

Xavier R. Peña

Photo: Xavier Pena

Director of Training, Clinical Psychology Residency Training Program, Tripler Army Medical Center.

Ryan Lee

Photo: Ryan Lee

Ryan Lee, M.D., is a pediatric neurologist, director of the neurodevelopmental clinic and director of medical research at the Shriners Hospitals for Children — Honolulu.