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Advisory Board

Arfaraz Khambatta, Director of Accessibility Consulting Group, Sally Swanson Architects

Arfaraz Khambata is an ICC-Certified Inspector and a Certified Access Specialist who has over a decade of experience in accessibility consulting. Arfi’s responsibilities include project management and oversight, client and agency coordination, detailed project design and feasibility analyses, and project controls. His large portfolio of work covers cities and counties, K-12 and post-secondary educational facilities, private and public office buildings, residential projects, recreational centers, luxury hotels and resort complexes, convention centers and health care facilities.

Arfi is a leading expert in assessments of facilities for compliance with ADA/ADAAG, CCR Title 24 and other relevant access requirements.  He collaborates with state agencies, counties and other public entities to develop their Self-Evaluations and Transition Plans. In addition, he conducts access compliance plan reviews and back checks of drawings and specifications for the Division of the State Architect (DSA).

Under his leadership, SSA has completed sidewalk inventories documenting ADA barriers using sidewalk profiling technology that captures field data integrated into GIS. His work in this field has resulted in the acceptance of papers for the 2012 Transportation Research Board in Washington, D.C. and Transed 2012 in New Delhi, India. Mr. Khambatta also presented at the 2012 APWA International Conference and was a panelist at the 2012 National Pro-Walk Pro-Bike Conference. He has presented to the U.S. Access Board on developing Accessible Guidelines for Outdoor Developed Areas. He has worked at SSA for over seven years and also is a presenter and trainer of best practices for the firm.

Kari Edison Watkins, Civil Engineering, Georgia Tech

Dr. Kari Edison Watkins, P.E., is an Assistant Professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.  She returned to her undergraduate alma mater to become a faculty member in 2011 after completing her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington.  Her teaching and research interests revolve around multi-modal transportation planning and the use of technology in transportation, especially as related to transit planning and operations and improved traveler information.  At the University of Washington, Dr. Watkins’ research focused on transit travel time reliability and the effects of transit traveler information.  She co-created the OneBusAway program ( to provide real-time next bus countdown information and other transit information tools for transit riders in greater Seattle-Tacoma.  Dr. Watkins doctorate was funded by a three-year US DOT Eisenhower Fellowship, a UW ARCS Fellowship and a UW Valle Fellowship.  Prior to her doctoral studies, Dr. Watkins worked for a decade as a senior transportation engineer at Wilbur Smith Associates in New Haven, Connecticut.  Her work at WSA ranged from bus rapid transit and commuter rail studies to regional transportation visions.  In line with her years in industry, Dr. Watkins’ undergraduate teaching focus is on sending top-notch engineers into the workforce through practical experience in the Senior Capstone course.

Todd Vaarwerk, Western New York Independent Living, Inc.