Norman Coombs, Ph.D. is the CEO of EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information) as well as professor emeritus from the Rochester Institute of Technology where he taught history for 36 years. He pioneered RIT’s distance learning program and was given Zenith’s “Master of Innovation” award for his uses of distance learning to mainstream students with disabilities and also was chosen as New York State CASE, (Council for the Advancement and Support of Education), “Teacher of the Year” award in 1990 for using computers in teaching. In 1998, he was selected Man of the Year Award by AHEAD, in 1999, he received the Strache National Leadership Award from the CSUN Center on Disabilities, in 2000, he was the recipient of the Francis Joseph Campbell Award of the American Library Association for work in helping libraries to meet the needs of customers with disabilities and in 2007 received the Richard Johnson Pioneers in Educational Technology Award from the Western Cooperative on Educational Technology. Coombs, who is blind, has found adaptive computer technology has transformed his life, and he eagerly works to spread this information to benefit others.
Besides continuing to teach distance learning classes for RIT, he has taught at a distance for San Diego State University, the New School for Social Research, the university of Washington, the University of Southern Maine, for Environment Canada and for EASI Corp.
He is the CEO of EASI (Equal Access to Software and Information). EASI has been awarded three grants by the National Science Foundation to collect and disseminate information on providing access to the fields of science and math for students and professionals with disabilities.
Coombs has lectured on distance learning and on making information systems accessible to students with disabilities across the US as well as in Canada, England, Ireland, Hungary, Mexico, Switzerland and turkey.
He is the author of 3 books:
Making Online Teaching Accessible (2011)
Information Access and Adaptive Technology (1997)
Black Experience (1972)