Frederick “Rick” Bowes

Executive Consultant

Rick, plays several key roles for Tech for All (TFA), including managing the contractual and business aspects of its engagements and providing strategic support to its leadership and consulting teams.  Rick leverages over  20 years of strategic consulting experience with senior management, primarily focused on accessibility matters, to support organizations seeking to pragmatically achieve and sustain ADA compliance across their websites, products, services, and internal IT systems. 

For the past 17 years, seven as Executive Consultant for the American Foundation for the Blind’s  (AFB) Consulting Group and ten with  TFA, Rick has provided strategic consulting support to address the accessibility of digital products, applications and websites for users with disabilities.  Strategic support is designed to help clients answer accessibility questions such as “Where do we stand?”, “What are our options?”, “Can you help us get it right?”, “How can we sustain accessibility?”

Before joining AFB and TFA, Rick enjoyed a highly successful, 20+ year career in publishing during the genesis and evolution of electronic/digital publishing. An industry pioneer, he became deeply engaged in industry efforts to realize the potential of digital publishing to expand access to content for students with visual impairments. In collaboration with the Association of American Publishers (AAP) and working with the AFB and CAST (a nonprofit education research and development organization that created the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework and UDL Guidelines, now used the world over to make learning more inclusive.)​​, Rick participated in the National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard (NIMAS) initiative. The NIMAS initiative resulted in the formulation of  the design and operating model for the highly successful AccessText Network (ATN), launched in 2009.  Through ATN, 57 member publishers support over 3,000 post-secondary institutions by providing rapid access to over 750,000 digital files for use by students with disabilities; of these files, more than 50,000 are available for immediate download where previously it would have taken weeks.  

From the early pre-internet days of electronic publishing, Rick has been fascinated by and engaged in efforts to realize the potential for digital technologies to remove barriers that limit opportunities for people with disabilities.  He is motivated daily by the realization that each TFA engagement presents a chance to remove barriers and expand opportunities for individuals living with disabilities. 

Rick holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College and an M.B.A. from Columbia Graduate School of Business (NYC). 

Publications include: 

(1) “An overview of content accessibility issues experienced by educational publishers,” Learned Publishing, 2018, Volume 31, pp 35-38

(2) “Accessibility Requirements take on New Significance for Publishers, Publishing Research Quarterly, Fall 2005, Volume 21, Number 3 

(3) “Chapter 7: Accessibility,” The Columbia Guide to Digital Publishing, Columbia University Press, 2003, pp 325-369

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