Chair of the Karten Network board
Trained as an environmental scientist, holding degrees in combined sciences, and in Pollution Control.
Worked in the environmental sector from 1980 to 2009, for a mixture of utility companies, waste management contractors and then the Environment Agency. From 2006 to 2009 I was Head Of Enforcement for the Environment Agency tackling issues of organised environmental crime.
Worked on projects and campaigning at regional, national and international level on issues of consistent regulation, responsible waste management and tackling organised waste crime. I participated and led capacity building projects on environmental regulation and enforcement in Russia and South Africa, and was a member of the Interpol Environmental Crimes Committee, building collaboration and intelligence sharing across Interpol membership.
In 2009 joined Keep Britain Tidy as Operations and Commercial Director campaigning on issues of littering and local environmental quality.
I joined Beacon Centre for the Blind in January 2013 and was CEO for 6 years until December 2018. My wife is visually impaired and therefore I have a strong empathy with the issues of sight loss and feel passionately that many people living with sight loss are not yet getting the full benefit of support that is available. In particular technology can play a much bigger role in reducing the impact of sight loss and disabilities more generally, but it also needs to be more accessible in terms of usability and cost, as well as different services (including charities) needing to collaborate more to give a better overall service to customers.
Having now left Beacon Centre I am able to pursue specific projects, and still hold Director roles with Active Black Country (the Country Sports Partnership), Visionary (the national membership body for sight loss organisations, and BC Make CIC ( a Black Country organisation committed to enabling communities to develop skills and resources to build their own homes.
On a totally different path, I run a chauffeured vintage car hire business with a 1926 Ford Model T called “Bertie”.
Vice chair of the Karten Network board
Rohan has 16 years’ experience of supporting technology in the education sector. Rohan has an IT, assistive technology and education management background, and is a qualified teacher. Rohan is currently employed by Jisc as a subject specialist working with universities, colleges and other Jisc members on various technology led consultancy / advice and guidance activities.
Rohan was previously employed at Scope’s Beaumont College (a Natspec independent specialist college) as assistant principal and formerly as the head of technology.
Rohan led the development of the integrated ‘technology team’ at Beaumont College which consists of both mainstream IT staff and assistive technologists who work with students and other specialist staff to deploy assistive technology/IT hardware and software solutions.
Rohan has worked on organisational strategy, general management and led a number of national scale projects. Most recently he was the project manager of the Jisc funded DART2.1 project. Rohan has done consultancy work for large general further education colleges, higher education institutions, specialist colleges and schools in the areas of assistive technology, IT and technology and the integration of such with the curriculum.
In 2014 Rohan completed an MSc by research in computing and communication systems at Lancaster University that focused on how home automation / internet of things technology can be made accessible to disabled people.
Rohan was chair of the Jisc / Natspec technology advisory group until July 2015 and is a currently vice chair of the Karten Network board.
Vic first started teaching over 15 years ago at a psychiatric unit in Redditch. This experience helped identify her passion - to help enable those with disabilities and difficulties to reach their full potential and to lead fulfilling lives. Vic currently works as an Assistant Principal at Homefield College, in Leicestershire. With a special education needs degree in Autism plus a keen interest in IT, Vic likes to discover new technologies that enable individuals with disabilities and difficulties to participate and achieve. Vic has been involved in many bids over the years, both for Homefield College and in partnership with other colleges. Bids have varied from exploring and sharing best practice, through to innovative ways of using IT in learning. Vic was very proud to have been involved with the em-safety project. Homefield College was fortunate to receive support from Karten Trust in 2010, to develop its already well established eBay enterprise and create Sip & Surf - an internet café, learning centre and print enterprise supported by more accessible and up to date IT equipment, located in Loughborough town centre.
My name is Joe Cash and I am currently working as the ICT Officer with The Cedar Foundation in Northern Ireland (http://www.cedar-foundation.org). I have a background in Computing, obtaining my degree in 2000. I have kept my IT skills current by completing a variety of IT based qualifications (Comptia A+ 2003, OU post graduate Certificates in User Interface Design, Relational Databases 2009, MCAS Word 2009, Java Programming 2014). I have recently commenced the Certificate in Teaching, Ulster University to refresh and upgrade my teaching skills.
Over the past 15 years I have worked with a wide variety of people with disabilities including Cedar's Children's Services and Brain Injury Services. In my current role I have delivered assessment and training to adults with disabilities as part of the organisation's Training Services. In addition I have designed and implemented bespoke Assistive Technology solutions where necessary. I also provide training and support in AT to health care professionals in Northern Ireland as part of Cedar's outreach program.
I hope my knowledge and experience of working with people with disability and a sound knowledge of IT will inform my role as a Director of the Network Board.
Matthew Kayne is a disability rights campaigner and accessible ICT advocate.
Matthew’s interest in technology goes back to his days at Treloar College, a specialist further education college for students with physical disabilities. During his time at the college, he set up an Internet radio station and got a true sense of the potential of technology. Matthew sees technology as being the great equaliser and would like to live in a world where technology is accessible to everyone.
He joined the Karten Network Board, advising on disability and technology in further education and daily life.
He also volunteers at Jewish Care, the largest Jewish social care charity in the UK, where he serves as a designer in printbox and runs a weekly bingo session at the Michael Sobell Centre. Additionally, Matthew sits on the Community Services Consultative Committee, advising on Jewish Care’s services across its care homes and community activities.
Matthew successfully campaigned for step-free access into shops in Golders Green where he lives. He continues to campaign for better public access for disabled people in his local area.
Matthew graduated from Middlesex University with a BSc in Computing and Networks. He is excited about the role technology plays in all of our futures and believes that artificial intelligence (AI), such as autonomous vehicles, will revolutionise mobility and independence for disabled people.
Sandi Wassmer is a compassionate technologist, leading digital services at Jewish Care, which includes Jewish Care Interact (www.jewishcareinteract.org), a digital hub for older and disabled people, the KC Shasha Centre for Talking News & Books and an ambitious digital engagement strategy around Jewish Care's Karten Centres.
Sandi is a passionate thought leader in inclusive design and accessible ICT, as well as a businesswoman, human rights advocate, marketer, writer and public speaker. She has worked in a range of commercial organisations throughout her career, as CFO & COO of Universal Studios' SyFy UK TV Channel, COO of Unilever's first dotcom investment and MD of digital agency, Copious.
Sandi joined the Karten Board as a non-executive director in July 2016. She is also a Trustee of RNIB Group and Action for Blind People.
Robert is a qualified computer programmer and worked in private business before joining Share Community in 1998. He first worked as a trainer at Share, teaching Information Communications and Technology (ICT). Now, as well as supporting the Chief Executive in managing Share, Robert is responsible for devising and developing Share's training programme to include both accredited and wellbeing workstreams to support students' vocational skills and interests. Robert is passionate about learning and teaching, with a particular interest in the use of technology as an aid to training.
David is currently Director of International Development and Technology Innovation at the National Star College, an independent residential college for students with physical disabilities and associated learning difficulties in Cheltenham in the United Kingdom. David spent 10 years as an additional Government inspector for Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) and the Adult Learning Inspectorates working in specialist post compulsory education.
David has worked within specialist education in the UK for over 25 years as a teacher, manager and senior director. He is a passionate driver for enabling technology, specialist teacher education and International development.
David has significant experience in working with people who have physical disabilities and additional learning needs, particularly work in sustaining employment, advising on environmental access, advocating rights and responsibilities and promoting equality.
David has developed a range of innovative technology solutions including SITE – A video resource bank for teacher educators learning about specialist teaching, MEMO a smartphone app to support people with early onset dementia, EMBER a task learning system to support learners in work, HandyClix a one handed wheelchair lap belt and ArkHive – an online resource bank of specialist teaching resources. David is currently developing InTime a video assessment program to allow learners to measure their own progress.
David works internationally with organisations supporting the education of people with disabilities across Europe, Kenya, Brazil, China, Lebanon, India and the USA.