Deb Dagit, Chief Diversity Officer
“I have worked with Debra Ruh as a client and a peer. My company sought out Debra as an expert resource re: how we could enhance access to our websites. The information she provided was practical and allowed us to create a path forward that we could get multiple stakeholders to buy in on. As a colleague on USBLN Board, I have found Debra to be insightful, knowledgeable, and courageous in her contributions. She is always a pleasure to work with.” – Deb Dagit, Chief Diversity Officer
“Debra Ruh has a head for business and a strong determination that makes things happen. Her personal dedication to aspiring and encouraging people with disabilities is truly heartfelt and shows more than just her loving nature. Debra focuses on the abilities and strengths that people have and challenges them to take it to the next level. She is a leader, teacher, trainer, encourager, and an inspiration.” – Christine Block
“I had the pleasure of meeting Debra Ruh, years ago, while I was working at the IBM Accessibility Center in Austin. I was so impressed with Debra—a charismatic business leader who creates synergy among the aspirations of the disabilities community, the leading edge of the accessibility industry, and the public and private sectors—that upon retiring from IBM, I accepted her kind offer to join her consulting firm—TecAccess . As I got to know Debra, I discovered that she is one of those rare persons who leverages an authentic passion for the mainstreaming of disabled people worldwide, a profound knowledge of the maze of disability regulations across national boundaries, and an amazing network of accessibility-related contacts in the public and private sectors across continental divides, to create professional opportunities for people with disabilities, for progressive governments to extend their services to their citizens regardless of abilities, and for smart businesses to thrive by employing talented people with disabilities.” —Guido Corona
Jerome Thompson – Founder and President, Bahamas Disability Adventures
I have only just met Debra since 2012 began. Nonetheless, I have come to know her as an honest, upstanding and very straight forward person. She is respectful but frank in her manner of dealing. In other words, she honestly tells how she sees a situation as she has indeed done with me; and as the nature of her honesty, though pregnant with painful realities concerning myself, was exactly what I needed to hear during the early stage of our acquaintance. I therefore see Debra as someone who is reliable, in respect to truly giving one her honest opinion and the benefit of her vast experience. This is so as she has the capacity to bring a clear-headed approach and likely resolution to whatever matter is currently before her. My organization, Bahamas Disability Adventures as well as me personally have subsequently benefited most meaningfully as a result of Debra’s advice, admonishments and wise counsel. Debra is a person of integrity as I have come to learn her; one who is willing to say and or do what is right and proper, though at times it might not necessarily be popular. She does so with kindness, but with the honest view toward helping to improve others. She also keeps her word, once having committed herself to help with or to be a part of whatever undertaking she becomes involved with. It is therefore a privilege and honor for me to be associated with Debra Ruh.”– Jerome Thompson, Founder and President, Bahamas disability Adventures
Jack M. Brandt – Disability Policy, Specialist Partnership for People with Disabilities, Virginia Commonwealth University
“I have known Debra Ruh for over 7 years. During that time, I have been impressed with her dedication and passion for her work. With her combination of creativity and willingness to get the job done, she has developed innovative ways for all people to access information and other projects to improve lives. She would be an asset to any project or organization that she is involved in and will take it to the next level. Debra brings her positive attitude in dealing with difficult situations and a willingness to work with others who have opposing views. Furthermore, she is willing to share her knowledge and experience to give back to the community, which is invaluable to sustain communities. I look forward to future collaborations with Debra and would be delighted to work with her again.” –Jack M. Brandt, Disability Policy Specialist Partnership for People with Disabilities, Virginia Commonwealth University
David Rosenthal – CEO, ConcernTrak, Inc.
“I was introduced to Debra Ruh by a colleague who was confident that her entrepreneurial experience would make her the perfect mentor and coach to help me navigate the twists and turns of my entrepreneurial journey. I have benefited from Deb’s coaching tremendously. Her “no nonsense” approach has helped me prepare for the tough questioning that founders are confronted with in the “Shark Tank” I look forward to working with Debra on future projects and I would highly recommend her services.” –David Rosenthal, CEO, ConcernTrak, Inc.
Stacy M. Kyle – PA BLN Project Director
“Debra is one of my “go to” people for expertise on accessible technology and for speaking to employers about the business reasons for hiring people with disabilities. She’s extremely passionate about her work and she practices the success that she promotes. Debra has also facilitated a few discussions for the PA Business Leadership Network’s monthly phone conferences called “Tuesday Talks”. She’s a definite asset to the education that I seek to bring to companies.” –Stacy M. Kyle, PA BLN Project Director
Ted Abbott – President and Founder of Sailing 4 All
“Debra Ruh is a new member of my nonprofit organization, Sailing 4 All. Debra really believed in the Sailing 4 All mission and agreed to be an Advisor after our second conversation. Debra came very highly recommended. My interaction with Debra has proved that having her as an Advisor is a wonderful addition. Debra’s ideas, input, and support has already proved her a very capable and wonderful asset to Sailing 4 All.” –Ted Abbott, President and Founder of Sailing 4 All
Axel Leblois – G3ict, Executive Director
Debra’s passion for accessibility is rooted in much personal experience and it shows. While adept at presenting convincing business cases for organizations to design accessible products, applications and services, she also reaches out to her audiences in subtle but powerful ways – showing that without being accessible, organizations are simply not following basic principles of fairness and respect for others. Debra can inspire people because she walks the walk: as the Founder of TecAccess, over 85% of her employees lived with a disability. An awesome example for all of us and she is a dear Friend. –Axel Leblois, G3ict, Executive Director
Senator Walter A. Stosch, Senate of Virginia
“Debra Ruh has a special calling to assist those with disabilities to become integrated into a society that is complex and often difficult for the disabled to achieve independence. I first met Debra when we collaborated in creating a pilot program for students with disabilities who need added help after high school in training and encouragement. She is especially knowledgeable about using social media as a pathway for the disabled student to become a productive worker. Her extensive expertise and hands-on training has directly assisted future employees and employers to prepare the workplace for disabled workers and in the development of comprehensive social media strategies. Employers often need professional guidance, such as that Debra provides, to identify innovative ways to leverage social media tools, trends and applications to expand their ability to employ more productive workers. Debra has been instrumental in helping me as a State Legislator define programs that provide employer and individual tax incentive programs to encourage training workforce preparation for the disabled.” –Senator Walter A. Stosch, Senate of Virginia
Jill Houghton, Executive Director of USBLN
“Debra Ruh is a proven Social Media Expert! Her extensive expertise and hands-on training has directly assisted us in the development of comprehensive social media strategies and helped us to identify innovative ways to leverage social media tools, trends and applications to enhance our reach. Debra has been instrumental in our improving our social media effectiveness and overall marketing efforts.” –Jill Houghton, Executive Director of USBLN
Rajiv Perera, Partner, Blue Saki Online
“I met Debra in 2006 to work on an initiative for the state of Virginia. Since then we have worked on multiple projects and pursued numerous opportunities. I have enjoyed working with Debra and I always look forward to the “Hi, I got an idea for you!” call from her. Debra’s passion and enthusiasm is infectious. She always looks for the best in people, and her “can do” spirit gets the best of people. On a personal note, she went out of her way to reach out to her contacts in Southeast Asia to help a relative of mine, with a hearing disability, gain employment once she graduated from school. Debra has a great BIG heart and she is a tireless champion for all people, regardless of their abilities!” –Rajiv Perera, Partner, Blue Saki Online
Marian Vessels – Director, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
“Debra Ruh is a consummate professional. She is a dynamic, engaging presenter discussing technological methods to include people with disabilities. She is generous with her time and talents to promote the inclusion of those with disabilities into the mainstream all over the world.” -Marian Vessels, Director, Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
Rebecca Busacca, Founder & President Accreditation Training Advisors
“I have had the distinct privilege of working with Debra in the development of Thankfully Yours socially responsible “Recycled Art” and “Gifted” programs. From the first day we met I had tremendous faith in her ability to create opportunities and to bring a positive energy where everyone works towards a collaborative vision. Debra is a leader, a woman of high intellect and a professional attuned to developing a socially responsible global community. She stands out amongst the crowd as someone who truly believes in social responsibility as evidenced by her client referrals, board positions, community projects, speaking engagements, and a wide array of community activities that support and include people with disabilities. Without question, she is an original thinker that has had a significant impact on the global marketplace by maintaining an unwavering commitment to ethical business practices, ethical leadership, compliance practices and corporate social responsibility. Debra is one of the most unique business people you will meet.” –Rebecca Busacca, Founder & President, Accreditation Training Advisors
Frances W. West – IBM Chief Accessibility Officer (Sara Ruh)
“I have known Sara for the past 5 years. She is a young lady with great interpersonal skills and passion for the people with disabilities cause. Her working experience at Nordstrom and association with TecAccess (now SSS Bart Group) give her extra knowledge and insight of workplace challenges and issues.” —Frances W. West, IBM (Sara Ruh)
Senator Walter A. Stosch, Senate of Virginia (Sara Ruh)
“I have known Sara Ruh since the day she was born. I am her godfather. Sara is a talented, respectful, gentle, and tenacious person. She is dedicated to making a significant difference in the lives of everyone she touches. Helping people understand and accept that differences make us all stronger and much more interesting is just one of her strengths. She has a gift for thinking outside of the box. We are all blessed by her presence.” Linda Ferrigno
“Despite her disability, Sara is one of the most positive young people I know and her “I can do anything” attitude is infectious.
I sponsor a charitable, non-profit organization, Great Aspirations Scholarship Program (GRASP), which serves primarily low income students and students with disabilities in developing a “Game Plan” for after high school. The program relies upon individual and business donations and is always free of charge to the students and families. Last year, GRASP advisors provided one-on-one support for over 5,000 students, influencing their direction in life and providing over $55 million in financial aid for post-secondary education.
I got to know Sara as I worked with her mother in developing a complimentary program to GRASP of transition to work and independence for young adults with disabilities. GRASP is very interested in expanding its reach to young people with disabilities recognizing the special challenges these students have in preparing for maximum independence. Sara and her mother, Debra Ruh, will be a continuing integral part of this effort.
Finally, I display proudly on my office wall a picture Sara painted for me and I use it as a reminder of the challenges many of our young people face but the enthusiasm they have for wanting to help and please others.” – Senator Walter A. Stosch, President pro tempore and Chairman, Finance Committee, Senate of Virginia (Sara Ruh)