KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Sophia Herzog - Team USA

Sophia Herzog is a professional Paralympic swimmer who recently won the Silver Medal in the 100m Breaststroke in the 2016 Rio Paralympics. She has medaled in the 2015 Parapan American Games with silver in the 100m Breaststroke, 200m IM and 4x50 relay She also attained a Bronze medal in the 50m Freestroke. Sophia also achieved Gold and Silver medals in the CanAm Para-Swimming Championship and 2014 Pan Pacific Para-Swimming Championship. Currently, she is a resident of the Colorado Springs Olympic Training Center and provides tours of the facility.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Ryan Martin - Ryan Martin Foundation

Ryan Martin is the founder of the non-profit, Ryan Martin Foundation (RMF), that creates sports opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the USA & parts of Europe. Ryan was born with Spina Bifida and is an amputee as a result. He has played wheelchair basketball professionally for the last several years in Spain, playing as a point guard for CID Casa Murcia Getafe. Ryan has a passion for advocating for Americans with Disabilities and speaks worldwide on their behalf.




        Autograph Session and Meet & Greet

        Book Signing and Meet & Greet

On the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities, we are honored to have a wide scope of presenters support NTI in the 31 Nights of Light Event. Presentations, autograph signings, robotics, artwork, music, and book signings in a close and personal format, highlight the event. To see the specific event schedule, please visit our Event/Schedule link above.    

Alan Hubbard - COO of NTI 

With 25 years in the technology and contact center space, he has worked at organizations such as Hewlett Packard, KANA Software and the Aberdeen Group. Alan has worked in several startup companies and has designed, developed and implemented multiple customer care organizations. He has his Bachelors in Information Systems and Masters in Business Administration from Bentley University.

Nancy Hooks - LandAjob Candidate

Nancy Hooks is a LandAjob candidate and has successfully utilized the program for over the past few years. A local Bostonian, she graduated from Cape Cod Community College in 2005 and has studied at Curry College where she made the honor roll. Nancy will discuss her finding a new position as an American with a Disability as well as her experience leveraging LandAjob in her life. 

Josh Zakim - Council Committee on Housing and Community Development

As a Back Bay resident, attorney, and community activist, and chair on the Council's Committee on Housing and Community Development; Counselor Zakim brings to the Council the same passion for inclusiveness and a drive to provide access and opportunity for all Bostonians. He has consistently advocated for the interests of Boston’s underserved and disempowered. He will be presenting to NTI a Citation on behalf of the City of Boston.

John Ellis and Stephanie Schmidt

In the early 90's, Johns' promising career as a musician in bands Sonic Puppy and Sona Nyl was interrupted when he experienced a Traumatic Brain Injury. Following recovery, John attained his degree in Paralegal Studies and now works at Massachusetts Office on Disability. Stephanie is the Clinical Program Director at Gateway Arts, a professional studio arts center for individuals with developmental and other disabilities. Stephanie and Johnny will be performing music from the alternative rock genre as well as original songs of Sona Nyl.

Suitable Technology

Suitable Technology will showcase the Beam, the Smart Presence™ System (SPS) and discuss how a remote physical presence could be used to help Americans with Disabilities drive around and interact with people. The product will be demonstrated by Alice Wong, a disability advocate and the first person to visit the White House and the President through robot presence.


Andre van Rüschen was the Gold Medalist in the Exoskeleton Event at the first ever Cybathlon. He utilized the ReWalk, a wearable robotic exoskeleton that provides powered hip and knee motion to enable individuals with spinal cord injury (SCI) to stand upright, walk, turn, and climb and descend stairs. ReWalk will demonstrate their product and show how a paraplegic could walk once again. 

Jon Sarkin - Artist

Jon Sarkin was a successful chiropractor until a sudden brain hemorrhage and stroke changed his life. Sarkin transformed into an individual, with a strong desire to create art. Jon a self-taught contemporary American artist, masterfully creates elaborate drawings and paintings filled with words and images, among other artistic endeavors.

Mark Bos

Mark Bos, who is sight impaired, was the helmsman in the 2016 Blind Match Race World Cup Championship. In 2009, Mark received a Bronze Medal at the Blind Sailing World Championship Regatta held in New Zealand. When Mark isn't sailing, he serves as a Recruiter at NTI helping Americans with Disabilities back into the workplace.