Sachin Pavithran. Photo courtesy of Utah State University
LOGAN – After 20 years at Utah State University’s Center for Persons With Disabilities — most recently as Policy Director — Sachin Pavithran will leave soon for Washington, D.C. to become Executive Director of the U.S. Access Board.
The Access Board is an independent federal agency devoted to accessibility issues for people with disabilities, similar to his work at USU.
”In spite of being a small agency, it has a large footprint, and is very unique in a sense because no other country has an agency like this,” said Pavithran. “So, it’s not the U.S. only that benefits from the work of the Access Board, it’s a global impact.”
He said the Access Board develops design criteria for the ‘built environment’ and in other ways to help those with disabilities gain accessibility.
“There is always going to be work to be done,” he explained. “It’s important that broader community members, broader players in this space, really understand the importance of why accessibility needs to be imbedded in everything that we do.”
Pavithran served on the U.S. Access Board after he was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2012.
“The Americans with Disabilities Act was passed 30 years ago, and it is a good thing,” said Pavithran, who is blind. “But there is a lot still to be done to make lives for people with disabilities more inclusive.
“People with disabilities have a lot to contribute, but they can’t play a key role in all these different sectors unless we do things to level the playing field, to make sure things are being done in a way that people with disabilities can be equal partners in the conversations within a community.”