Marnie is currently the Executive Officer of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), the leading international organization dedicated to the promotion of accessibility of the built and virtual environments. Registered as a non-profit NGO in Canada, GAATES was incorporated in 2007 by an international consortium dedicated to promoting accessibility worldwide.
Marnie has been working in the field of Universal Design, Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities and Disability Inclusive Disaster Risk Reduction (DiDRR) for over 18 years. She is the Project Manager of the On Thin Ice – Emergency Preparedness for Persons with Disabilities in Canada’s North.
Betty Dion is a recognized International leader in accessibility of the built and virtual environments and has expertise in universal and accessible design which enables her to apply her understanding of design and human functioning.
Betty is a member of the National Building Code Executive Committee, served as Chair of the Canadian Standards Association CSA/CAN B651-M04 Accessibility of the Built Environment Standard for 15 years, is the Canadian representative to the ISO TC59/SC16 Accessibility and Usability of the Built Environment.
She is the Founder and current Past - President of the Global Alliance on Accessible Technologies and Environments (GAATES), an International NGO with members in over 100 countries.
Betty is the author of the international recognized seminal document International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Global Review (2005) and the International Best Practices in Universal Design: A Comparative Study (2000). These reports provided technical specification on accessibility codes and standards in Australia, Spain, Uruguay, Lebanon, Canada, the US, Bangladesh, Singapore, South Africa, Mexico, Ireland and Sweden. Betty has spoken extensively in Arab cities and elsewhere on accessibility issues relating to universal design and accessibility in the areas of transportation, and the built environment.