Chief Executive Officer and Founder – Ruh Global Communications
When told by ‘experts’ that her daughter, Sara, who was born with Trinomy 21 (better known as Down’s Syndrome’) would be lucky to push shopping carts at the local grocery store, Debra Ruh refused to accept this. When she told friends and family that she was going to start a for profit organization that would help companies see the worth and potential in hiring disabled employees, she was met with skepticism. Why not start a nonprofit? And could such an idea be feasible? Debra’s unshakable faith in the power of human potential and her love for her daughter, led her to create Tec-Access. TecAccess was an ICT Accessibility firm whose majority of employees were technologists with disabilities.
By 2011, Debra had built TecAccess into a multi-million-dollar firm but realized that her mission was not yet complete. Convinced that “the real disability is being unable to see human potential” she went on to create Ruh Global Communications as a global disability inclusion strategist. Debra consults with Fortune 100 companies and nations including Kenya, Oman, Egypt and the Bahamas. Her daughter, Sara, is now an internationally renowned keynote and motivational speaker who travels the world inspiring and encouraging others to follow their dreams.
Ruh Global Communications focuses on Global Disability Inclusion, Digital Marketing, EmployAbility, ICT Accessibility, Human Rights, Social Media Marketing and implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). Debra has provided global leadership to governments, corporations, NGOs and DPO’s (Disability Persons Organizations) supporting research projects, DPO outreach, policy and standards initiatives with the public and private sector. Proud to work with United Nations agencies and countries to help implement the CRPD.
Debra is an active Public Figure on Social Media. She’s an avid blogger and is a regular HuffPost Contributor. Her social media handle is @DebraRuh. She has over 175,000 followers on all mediums and has been named “Top 5% of Social Media Inflencers” and “Top 0.1% of people talking about Disability Inclusion and Accessibility” by KLOUT.
Policy, Legislative and Technical Experience: Expertise with Standards and Legislation including the United Nations Convention of Rights for People with Disabilities (CRPD), Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 503, 504 and 508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, W3C, WCAG 2.0 and ISO. Invited expert and contributor to the W3C Cognitive Accessibility Taskforce. Created UNICEF Procurement Policy for ICT Accessibility.
Country Experience: Provide global support with programs, research, outreach, policy and standards and initiatives for the public and private-sector. Experience in Australia, Asia, Caribbean, Central America, Europe, Middle East, North America, and UK.
Social Media: Thought Leader and Blogger on ICT Accessibility and Disability Inclusion on social media channels. Social media mediums include Twitter, Linked-In, Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Medium, Instagram, G+ and other platforms. Work featured in major mediums including CBS, CNN, PBS, ABC, NBC, NPR, INC, Publishers Weekly, Fortune Magazine, US News & World Report, America’s Best, Washington Technology, and Bloomberg Business Week.
Published Author and Blogger:
Blogger: Huffington Post Blogger
Books: “Finding Your Voice by Using Social Media” Published on Amazon
“Uncovering Hidden Human Capital”: How leading corporations leverage multiple abilities in their workforce. Publishing Date: 2016, Publisher: G3ict
White Papers and Journals:
“G3ict Egypt’s Model Policy for Accessible Education”, May 2015
“Design for All Institute of India”, Guest Editor April 2015 Issue
“Education for Employment: Technical and Vocational Education and Training for people with a disability in Qatar”, March 2015
Awards and Featured in Media Campaigns: (partial list)
Voice of America Television; Reinvention Radio with Steve Olsher, Kenya Television and Radio, Barranquilla Television and Radio; Empowerment Radio; Doug Foresta Radio Blog; Dell “Take Your Own Path” Marketing Campaign; American Express Open Campaign; Joyce Bender’s: Disability Matters Talk America Radio; VMFA Muse Award; Dell’s Innovative Business Award; Northrop Grumman’s Community Support Award; Women in Technology (WIT) Leadership Award; Wells Fargo/NAWBO Trailblazer Award; National Association of Women Business Owners “Rising Star” Award; America-China Foundation Social Responsibility Award; SBA Small Business Person of the Year for Region III; and “Most Powerful Women in IT” Virginia Business Magazine, UK Codpast Podcast and Neil Hodbin’s Podcast, Vital Presence with Sally Fox, Podcast, Peace Talk with Grace Bell Podcast