Our Story

 

Ruh Global Communications (RGC) was founded in 2013 by our CEO Debra Ruh.  Debra has worked as a Global Inclusion Strategist since 2001.  Before she became an entrepreneur she was an executive in the banking industry for many years.

She created Ruh Global Communications to help clients reduce their compliance and brand risks associated with inclusion and create programs that act as a positive differentiator.  The goal was to help our clients thrive in this space and empower them to be global problem solvers, champions of change, and transformational leaders of social change.

Our works is in a time of rapid change, globalization, technology and medical advancements, civil rights issues, cultural changes, accessibility, future of work, corporate social responsibility, and disability inclusion.  Ruh Global Communications works with our clients to help them envision, develop, and execute dynamic business strategies that help you reduce your risks, enhance your brand and drive profitability amid disruption.

Debra is a global leader and has worked with countries, UN agencies, national and multi-national firms all over the world helping then create programs, strategies and processes that fully include persons with disabilities.  Her catalyst for starting RGC was her daughter Sara born with Down syndrome.

When told by ‘experts’ that her daughter, Sara, who was born with Down’s Syndrome, would be lucky to push shopping carts at the local grocery store, Debra refused to accept this. Debra’s unshakable faith in the power of human potential and her love for her daughter, led her to create Ruh Global Communications and TecAccess.  This was her call to action to prove the ‘expert’ wrong, Debra created a path to empowerment and success for those with disabilities.

Debra became a Global Keynote Speaker and was honored to be Invited to Address the United Nations General Assembly at the COSP9 by the President office of the UN on May 13, 2016. She is a published author, radio host, blogger, and social media “influencer”.

Her work has been featured on NPR, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Business Week, Voice of America Television, Reinvention Radio, Kenya Television, Print and Radio, Barranquilla, Colombia Television, Print and Radio and many other radio, podcast, print and television appearances.

Debra has also won many awards for her work including Dell “Take Your Own Path” Marketing Campaign; American Express Open Campaign; 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.

In 2001, Debra founded TecAccess to acknowledge the contributions of people with disabilities in both the workplace and the marketplace and provide accessibility consulting solutions to companies around the world. The choice to become a for-profit company led to many other decisions that supported the success of TecAccess and its mission.

TecAccess -became a trusted, world-class provider of accessibility consulting solutions that helped other companies ensure their technology was accessible to all. Her employees, many of whom had a varying range of disabilities themselves, tested clients’ products and web sites to make sure that they were accessible and usable. TecAccess was a pioneer in the movement to show business and society how to use technology to reach out to people with disabilities and show people with disabilities how to use technology to improve the quality of life.

Most of Debra’s employees were scattered throughout the country, in homes, offices, rehab facilities and even nursing homes. Over 80% of the team members were technologists with disabilities. They were hired because their unique qualifications made them perfect for the positions. Many firms try to guess how people with disabilities use technology; but, Debra hired people with disabilities and assured they had a VOICE.

 In 2011, TecAccess merged with SSB BART Group (SSB) another small technology firm that focuses on accessible Internet, Communications, and Technology (ICT) and actively hires technologists with disabilities.

Her masterful leadership in the community has put her in a position of a true thought leader and has become the go to strategist for inclusion by Corporations and Governments alike.

In early 2014 Kevin Ruh and Emily Ha joined the Ruh Global Team as marketing and creative directors for the firm.  Kevin and Emily brought us the Millennial view point which has added great value to our clients. Kevin is the Chief Marketing Officer of Ruh Global & has a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University.  He is well versed in social media and understands the value of engaging over different mediums and networks. Kevin is a talented analytics manager, video artist, author, and has experience as project manager. Kevin has worked in special education and as a job coach. He has worked with individuals with autism and other types of disabilities since he was a teenager and is an avid accessibility advocate.

Emily Ha is our Chief Creative Officer and a talented manager, illustrator, artists, writer, social media manager and project manager. Emily has a strong background in marketing, art, designer, creative programs, and social media. Emily is the illustrator for the series of children’s books: Dance is For Everyone – Featuring a young girl with Down syndrome modeled after Sara Ruh.

In late 2014, Rosemary Musachio joined the team as our Chief Accessibility Officer.  Rosemary was born with CP and has many years of experience as a writer, tester, auditors, and technologist.  Rosemary was also part of TecAccess as a senior manager for the firm.  She has an important voice in our community and adds tremendous value to RGC. Besides E&IT Accessibility, she also advocates attitudinal accessibility, especially concerning women with disabilities and non-verbal patients.

In late 2015, Richard J. Streitz joined the firm as our Chief Operations Officer. For the previous six years, Mr. Streitz was the Executive Director of Design & Development for two theme parks, three resorts and multiple residential and shopping center projects between Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, and Texas. Prior to that work, Mr. Streitz spent over ten years as an Imagineer with the Walt Disney Co. Imagineering group. He was integral to the complex design and development process on many large, high profile Disney theme park and resorts in the USA, Asia, and Europe. Over the years, he has consistently championed the philosophy for these projects to be universally accessible and enjoyable experiences for all.

Sara Ruh is the Chief Inspiration Officer for RGC.  Sara is an artist, writer, keynote speaker, and social media maven.  She has accomplished more in her lifetime than the ‘experts’ every imagined was possible.  She has also acted on stage and in commercials, modeled, written a children’s book with her Debra her Mom, displayed her art work in many art exhibits including art shows at Capital One, SunTrust Bank and the VABLN.  Her work is now part of collectors all over the country.