The A-Team

The “Accessible Technology Enhancements Advisory Members” (A-Team) serves as an advisory committee to Team Gleason to pursue affordable technical solutions that enable families living with ALS access to technologies without requiring insurance to cover exorbitant costs.

Together with their shared experiences living with ALS and their technical backgrounds, members of the A-Team have a passion for innovating on technology that is open-source, affordable, and life-changing for those with ALS.

We invite you to view our current projects below. If you are interested in collaborating with the A-Team, please email Daniel@TeamGleason.org.

 

Assist the A-Team

The A-TEAM is currently seeking input from individuals living with ALS and their caretakers to get a better sense of the limitations and gaps in accessible technology and equipment. We encourage you to be as thorough as possible when answering. The more information you provide, the more we can learn to help solve problems.

By completing the survey below, you can help us discover the state of technology today and help us identify new ways that technology and equipment can make life more productive and bring more independence to those living with ALS.

A-Team Members

Steve Kowalski
Boston, MA

Steve Kowalski has an expansive career of over 30 years as an Account Executive for large technology companies such as UNICOM and Apple, working with the latter for over 24 years. He now serves as secretary of the Massachusetts chapter of The ALS Association. Steve holds a degree in computer science and is a very passionate advocate for including digital outcome measures in ALS research. Steve believes that today’s personalized mobile and wearable technology, with app ecosystems, empower people of all abilities to navigate their physical and online worlds.

“For me, accessibility means participation. The innovation in technology over the past 20+ years has allowed people with disabilities, such as Team Gleason’s A-Team, to contribute using their given talents and passions.”

 

John Otto Knoke
Guatemala City, Guatemala

John Otto Knoke is a seasoned data and technology expert whose experience includes leading top organizations as a CEO, CTO, and as Community Manager for a team of over 2,500 Microsoft professionals.

John is known for spearheading new initiatives, building high-performing teams, providing consulting services to international developers, and using business intelligence tools to reduce costs and optimize performance. John is an accessibility champion with expertise in ADA standards. As a results-driven leader, John believes that innovation, critical thinking, and creative problem solving are the drivers of excellence.

“I am excited to collaborate with Team Gleason’s A-Team to provide other people living with ALS with innovative, accessible technology.”

Kevin Rowland
Cincinatti, OH

Kevin Rowland grew up taking everything apart and putting it back together, often adding modifications just for fun. With a degree in physics and a self-taught passion for programming and hacking, Kevin’s career has always included using technology to solve problems in various settings, such as creating individualized software for faculty and staff at The University of Notre Dame. His work eventually led him to be recruited by a government defense contractor, where he was able to improvise unique technology solutions for the protection of U.S. interests around the world for more than 15 years. After his ALS diagnosis, Kevin developed his own low cost head mouse after being underwhelmed by the available assistive computer access technologies and their costs.

“Being able to collaborate with Team Gleason’s A-Team is an honor! I get to work with enthusiastic and brilliant people, while sharing some cool and helpful technologies with family, friends, pALS and cALS.”

Andrew Miller
Lincoln University, PA

A passionate problem solver, Andrew Miller has exploited technologies such as eye gaze, home automation, data analytics and more to find solutions at home and at work. Andrew holds a masters degree in mechanical engineering and over two decades of experience supporting the evolution of Ceramic Matrix Composites (CMC) material from lab to production. Andrew’s work was influential in bringing the production of CMC components to commercial and military aircraft turbine engines. Andrew is passionate about educating others about ALS by using his own experiences to help others understand the effects of the condition.

“I am honored to work with the other members of Team Gleason’s A-Team who have accomplished so much in our mission to solve problems for those living with ALS.”

Follow his work at One And A Half Legs.

 

Philip Green
Temecula, CA

Philip Green is a former University of Washington football player, taking part in two Rose Bowl teams and pinning a 1991 National Championship win under his belt. Phil has a long background in business development, advertising, and directing various digital organizations, including his roles as Vice President of Digital Innovation at a solution-driven agency. Since his diagnosis, Phil has been actively involved in many activities and organizations to raise awareness and make a difference in the fight to end ALS. Phil currently serves on Team Gleason’s Board of Directors.

“I am excited to join Team Gleason’s A-Team, which consists of people living with ALS making life better for themselves and others living with ALS using technology.”

Follow his work at Phil Your Heart.

 

Jay Smith,
Austin, TX

In 2004, Jay Smith founded and served as CEO for the music technology company Livid Instruments. Using his background in technology design, Jay created the world’s first eye gaze bed controller. Additionally, Jay founded the Every 90 Minutes Foundation whose mission is to help people with ALS live with dignity and freedom while fighting to find a cure. In an effort to give those living with ALS independence, Jay teamed up with Steve Gleason and Tolt Technologies to bring Ability Drive, the ability to control powered wheelchairs using eye gaze technology, to market.

“I’m passionate about affordable and innovative accessible technology, and inspired by the other members of Team Gleason’s A-Team. I believe we have the power and motivation to advance the technology options for disabled people and to help them live meaningful and productive lives.”

Jay blogs extensively about living with ALS at Every 90 Minutes and maintains an ALS technology guide here.

Shawn Sexton
Atlanta, GA

Shawn Sexton has over 30 years working on technology solutions. As the Director of Networking at the University of Notre Dame, Shawn designed, and with his team, built the first campus network. Shawn was a Network Consulting Engineer and Technical Leader at Cisco Systems, working with large multinational corporations before being diagnosed with ALS in 2014. In the past 7 years as Shawn became increasingly disabled, he and his son, John, have created a variety of assistive solutions, including LifeDrive (formerly EyeDriving) – a mobility solution that allows people to fully control their power wheelchair with a variety of alternative methods of input, such as eyes and voice. LifeDrive also includes caregiver apps for safety and convenience.

“Solving problems with creative technical solutions is what I have done for over 30 years. I hope the A-Team can help the ALS community with practical solutions that improve quality of life.”