Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Joel Snyder, PhD

Dr. Joel Snyder, PhD

The President of Audio Description Associates, LLC The Founding Director Emeritus of the Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind USA
Title: “The Visual Made Verbal: Audio Description and The Importance of Cultural Access for People Who Are Blind”

Dr. Joel Snyder is known internationally as one of the world’s first “audio describers,” a pioneer in the field of Audio Description. Since 1981, he has introduced audio description techniques in over 40 states and 65 countries and has made thousands of live events, media projects and museums accessible to people who are blind or have vision loss.  Most recently, Dr. Snyder was named a Fulbright Scholar to train audio describers in Greece over a four-week period in 2019 and conduct workshops in Malta and Ukraine.

As Director of Described Media for the National Captioning Institute, a program founded by Dr. Snyder, he led a staff that produced description for dozens of feature films (broadcast here and abroad) and network series including, for the first time, “Sesame Street” broadcasts and its DVDs. He was a member of the American Foundation of the Blind’s “expert panel” charged with reviewing guidelines for educational multi-media description and has been a member of several media access panels at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as the Disability Access Committee of the International Telecommunications Union and the Description Leadership Network of the Video Description Research and Development Center.

He has authored/voiced audio described tours for dozens of museums including The Getty, the Smithsonian Institution (National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of American History, Air & Space Museum), the Albright-Knox, the Salvador Dali Museum and many National Park Service and National Forest Service visitor centers.

Dr. Snyder is the recipient of the American Council of the Blind/Audio Description Project’s highest award, the Barry Levine Memorial Career Achievement in Audio Description, the ACB Vernon Henley Media Award “for promoting and furthering the availability of audio description”, and the American Foundation for the Blind’s prestigious Access Award.

Dr. Snyder received his Ph.D in audiovisual translation and audio description from the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.  His book, The Visual Made Verbal: A Comprehensive Training Manual and Guide to the History and Applications of Audio Description, is published by the American Council of the Blind and is now available as an audio book and in Braille from the Library of Congress Division of the Blind and Physically Handicapped. A separate version, voiced by Dr. Snyder, has also been published and the book is available in print in English, Polish, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish (with the World Blind Union), Chinese (with the Arts and Disabled Association of Hong Kong), and Italian editions.

Dr. Snyder is the President of Audio Description Associates, LLC ( and he serves as the Founding Director Emeritus of the Audio Description Project of the American Council of the Blind (

Associate Professor Eliza Chandler

Assoc Prof. Eliza Chandler

Co-Director of Bodies in Translation Project
School of Disability Studies
Toronto Metropolitan University

Title: “Critical Inclusions: Accessing the world through art, technology, and design”

As an Associate Professor in the School of Disability Studies at Toronto Metropolitan University, Eliza Chandler leads a research program that animates disability arts and its connections to disability rights and justice. This research interest came into focus when, from 2014-16, she was the Artistic Director of Tangled Art + Disability, an organization in Toronto dedicated to showcasing disability arts and advancing accessible curatorial practice. Chandler teaches

in the areas of disability arts, critical access studies, social movements, and crip necropolitics and participates in a number of research projects in these areas, including co-directing the SSHRC-funded partnership project, Bodies in Translation: Activist Art, Technology, and Access to Life. Chandler regularly gives lectures on disability arts, accessible curatorial practices, and disability politics in Canada and she is a member of the Royal Society of Canada’s College of New Scholars.

Plenary Speaker

Prof. Gerry Duwin Dela Zerna

Prof. Gerry Duwin Dela Zerna

The President and CEO Guided and Unified Interaction for the Development of Children, Inc Philippines
Title: “Sustaining Development Efforts of a Non-profit Organization in the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities”

Dr. Gerry Duwin A. Dela Zerna is a human capital and organizational development professional, educator, clinical practitioner, and researcher whose priority interests are social and community development, special education, and the welfare of people with disabilities.

His professionalism, passion and quality workmanship sprung from his engagements in education, business, government, and cause-oriented NGOs. He is President and CEO of Guided and Unified Interaction for the Development of Children, Inc., a multi-awarded non-profit organization he founded twenty-seven years ago; the prime project of which is the psycho-social rehabilitation of children with disabilities and their inclusion in the community. He mobilizes and trains professionals, service providers and volunteers in response to programs intended for these children.

Numerous recognitions were accorded to him for outstanding and exemplary work in the academe and NGOs, particularly outstanding professor award twice given by the Far Eastern University, outstanding performance by a professor at University of Makati, national outstanding volunteer by the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency, a special commendation for his outstanding work for special needs children from the Diocese of Daet, award for public responsibility for his outstanding work in Team-Mindanao, a USAID funded project by the Lopez Group of Companies, recognition for outstanding leadership and commitment to the cause of special children given by GUIDE, Inc., recognitions accorded by the Department of Education and many others. He is also one of the Pitong Pinoy Modern Day Heroes bestowed by the Yahoo South East-Asia. He was also rewarded by Ugat Foundation and ABS-CBN with a Geny Lopez Bayaning Pilipino.

He has advanced and post graduate studies in clinical psychology and business administration with cognates in human resources management from the University of Santo Tomas, educational management and special education from the Philippine Normal University and executive leadership in public management from the University of Makati. His undergraduate degrees include AB major in English, BS Psychology, and BS Commerce major in Management. He also holds a diploma in education and is a holder of a professional license to teach. He also completed the Executive Project Management Course from the Center of International Education, an affiliate of the University of Cambridge and completed a professional diploma in organizational development at De La Salle University. He is a holder of the Career Executive Service Officer for government service.

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