Ann passionately creates, implements, and evaluates innovative strategies around education and employment readiness of disadvantaged youth in her roles as the Transition Program Specialist at the LightHouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco and a Ph.D. student in education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Ann received her B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education from UC Berkeley as a Gates Millennium scholar. Ann’s intersectional identity and lived experience as a blind woman who emigrated from Hong Kong greatly impact her work and research.
In her role at the LightHouse, Ann designs and implements innovative programs to support the transition of blind and low vision youth as they pursue post-secondary education or navigate the pathway to meaningful employment via empowering expectations, interactive work-based experiences to expand their resumes, as well as effective mentoring. Engaging with employers on best practices to better source and attract young talent with disabilities, shifting the culture around disability, and influencing policy can culminate in maximum impact and innovative solutions.
Prior to the LightHouse, she worked as an education technician intern in Washington DC disaggregating student suicidality data and analyzing its negative impact on both student and school excellence. Ann also contributed to a project with the Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL) on implications of cultural reciprocity with the implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act and pre-employment transition services. In addition, Ann co-founded Survive or Thrive where she designs and facilitates workshops as well as mentors youth with disabilities and their families. Her research passions include: creation of innovative workforce development curriculum for transition age youth with disabilities, self-determination, and employer engagement.
In a professional capacity, Ann has been invited to share her expertise and discuss promising practices regarding youth with disabilities as they enter the workforce at The Forum on Workplace Inclusion; in 2014 she testified at the U.S. Senate hearing to advocate for herself and others, informing policy makers of the attitudinal and tangible societal barriers which limit the potentials of people with disabilities. Ann also serves as research consultant and advisory committee members for both nonprofits and government agencies including the California Department of Rehabilitation’s Advisory Committee, Disability Rights California, and PolicyWorks. Through her research and advocacy, Ann hopes to continue empowering youth and families to envision, define, and achieve their future aspirations together!