Paul W. Schroeder is Vice President for Public Policy and Strategic Initiatives for Aira, <ww.aira.io> which provides blind people with convenient, mobile access to visual information. He leads Aira’s public policy engagement and issue development related to state/federal programs, supports Aira’s business development, and manages relationships with key organizations representing the interests of people with disabilities.
Prior to joining Aira, Schroeder previously served as Vice President of Programs and Policy for the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB), leading AFB’s efforts to improve services and policies related to the needs of people with vision loss. He joined the staff of AFB in 1994 as National Program Associate in Telecommunications and Technology. During 22 years with AFB, Schroeder assumed increasing responsibilities, ultimately leading AFB's activities related to legislative and public policy, research and demographic trends, and efforts to improve access and information concerning education, employment, independent living and technology. He also oversaw AFB’s publishing and eLearning programs and several AFB web programs including VisionAware, FamilyConnect and CareerConnect as well as the comprehensive technology magazine, AccessWorld: Technology and People Who are Blind or Visually Impaired.
Schroeder has been involved in a variety of policy and program advocacy efforts, including implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Communications and Video Accessibility Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Rehabilitation Act.
Schroeder currently serves on the Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee and has previously served on the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee. He has served as Vice Chair for the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and chair of the World Institute on Disability. He currently serves as Chair of the Board of the Metropolitan Washington Ear, and he serves on the Board of the Maryland School for the Blind and the Board of the National Braille Press.
Prior to joining AFB, Schroeder served for three years as director of governmental affairs for the American Council of the Blind in Washington, DC, and as the special Projects coordinator for the Governor's Office of Advocacy for People with Disabilities in Columbus, OH.
Schroeder earned a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies from American University.