Watertown, MA (July 15, 2015) – Perkins School for the Blind is pleased to announce that Bill Oates has joined the organization as Vice President of Perkins Solutions. Bill comes to Perkins from Massachusetts state government where he served as the Commonwealth’s Chief Information Officer (CIO).
In his new leadership role at Perkins, Oates will focus on the growth and evolution of Perkins Solutions by pursuing new opportunities for its literacy products – including the flagship Perkins Brailler™ and SMART Brailler® – as well as assistive technologies and solutions designed to help organizations make their digital resources and physical spaces more accessible. Bringing Oates on board puts Perkins Solutions in a stronger position to find novel ways to meet the needs of consumers who are blind. At the same time, he will take a lead role in the new Perkins Innovation Advisory Group, partnering with industry leaders to seek out the best advances in mobile and information technology, robotics, sensory devices and developments in neuroscience.
“Perkins is experiencing growing demand to make the world accessible for people with disabilities,” says Dave Power, President and CEO of Perkins. “Through Bill’s leadership, we will build on Perkins’ leadership in this area by partnering with industry leaders to address this need through our Perkins Solutions division, offering solutions that include consulting services, assistive technology products and educational programs.”
“I have been working in the technology solutions industry for many years, but have never been more excited to take on the challenges and opportunities of an organization as I am joining Perkins Solutions,” says Oates. “I think Perkins Solutions is in a unique position to harness the creativity of new ideas and the power of new technology and direct that energy toward solutions that truly change the lives of the community we support.”
Oates joins Perkins with extensive experience in the information technology (IT) sector. He most recently served as the Chief Information Officer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where he spearheaded the state’s technology initiatives and managed the delivery of IT services to support various state functions. Oates also held the role of CIO for the City of Boston for more than seven years, during which time he was recognized for his success in leveraging technology to boost residents’ engagement and access to IT services.
Oates has been honored with the New England CIO Innovation Award from the Mass. High Technology Council, and was named a “Top 25 Public Sector Innovator” by Government Technology Magazine in 2011. Before his tenure in government, Oates had a long career in the hospitality/travel industry and was the Senior Vice President, CIO for Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide. A native of Watertown, Massachusetts, Oates is a graduate of Boston College and also holds a JD and Master of Laws (LL.M, global technology law) from Suffolk University Law School.
Perkins School for the Blind is committed to improving the lives of people worldwide who are blind or deafblind through five areas of focus: Perkins School for the Blind, Perkins Library, Perkins Solutions, Perkins eLearning and Perkins International. Perkins’ mission has been driven by expertise and the pursuit of excellence and innovation since its founding in 1829. Learn more at www.Perkins.org.
Marilyn Rea Beyer, Perkins