The Council is pleased to welcome three new members to our Board of Directors this year. Each represents a different background and brings a unique perspective to the Council.
Madison resident Chamomile Harrison is a 2021 UW-Whitewater graduate who majored in Psychology. While at the university, she worked in the Office of Leadership and Career Development as an LGBTQ+ Peer Educator Intern. She’s a former Vice President of the Wisconsin Association of Blind Students. Chamomile is currently a Training Coordinator on the Disability Benefits Team at Disability Rights Wisconsin. “I know the good work that the Council does,” Chamomile says. “I am very passionate about disability justice and improving the world for all. I know that I am able to make a difference and help.” Chamomile adds that she is particularly looking forward to contributing within her advocacy specialty of diversity and inclusion.
Nat Tarnoff has worked in the corporate setting as a consultant on technical, marketing, design and human resource applications of accessibility for the past 15 years. The Sun Prairie resident says he “fell into” the world of disability advocacy 20 years ago in an almost accidental way while working in web development. “During my education, I learned about Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act,” Nat says. “This sent me looking into the world of disability and I had an eye-opening experience. From that point forward, I focused on being a developer that took accessibility seriously and considered it a part of necessary requirements in all websites. I often went off book to make sure accessibility was worked into projects.”
In 2012 Nat developed a vestibular disorder. “Now accessibility wasn’t about others, it was about me,” he says. “I knew from a user view how awful digital properties could be. I developed a mantra of ‘We are all human. We all deserve equitable access to all things.’” Nat adds that in addition to lending his specialty to the Board, he plans to “better understand what people with low vision and blindness really need to be independent.”
New Board member Brent Goodman is from Rhinelander. Brent is a retired creative marketing manager, literary editor and writer. He holds a Master’s degree in fine art and poetry from Purdue University and is currently an at-large Wisconsin Poet Laureate Commission member. The white cane advocate lost most of his vision between 2016 and 2018 due to a series of retinal detachments in both eyes.
Among other activities, Brent is co-organizer of the Northwoods Low Vision Lunch Club. “The Council’s work has mattered to me since they issued my first white cane back in March 2018,” Brent says. “The cane has given me confidence to travel independently through my transition into living with low vision.” Brent says he has a special interest in transportation issues, one of the Council’s key state budget and policy priorities.
We also want to extend a hearty “Welcome back!” to incumbent member Chip Kaufman, who was elected to a new term on the Board. Chip learned of the Council after his cone rod dystrophy diagnosis. He has participated in the Low Vision Support Group, and found a like-minded community there. “I found it inspiring to talk with others like me who are losing their vision and to encourage those who were having a rough time,” Chip said at the beginning of his first term. “The ability to connect with others who are blind or visually impaired and to make a difference is what drew me to the Council Board.”