About Blog & Author

The Clear Helper Blog tracks the efforts of John Rochford and his partners to research and develop:

  • best practices of Web accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities, especially intellectual and developmental disabilities;
  • artificial intelligence-driven Web text simplification on a mass scale;
  • a method for humans to reliably and easily create simple Web text;
  • eLearning cognitive accessibility and virtual-tutor technologies;
  • technology-based wayfinding (indoor navigation) for everyone, including people with visual impairment and/or cognitive disabilities; and
  • artificial intelligence empowerment and fairness for people with disabilities.

Research and Development Partners

Involvement by People with Disabilities

People with disabilities, including people with intellectual disabilities, are central to all of these efforts. John Rochford lives by “Nothing about us without us.”

About The Author

The author of this blog is John Rochford, Director of the INDEX Program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center at The University of Massachusetts Medical School. John teaches in the medical school’s graduate program, “Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND).” He also teaches medical students about disability as the Co-Director of the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education’s Disabilities Interstitial. John is honored to be part of the American Expert Speaker Program of the U.S. Department of State.

Applied Behavior Analysis Work

John has worked with children and adults with intellectual disabilities and/or autism since the 1980s. As a consultant, John has provided behavior-modification services and specializes in skills acquisition. John has a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis from Northeastern University. He is a Licensed Applied Behavior Analyst.

Information and Communication Technology Work

John has led consecutive teams of DevOps Engineers, Application Developers, Business Analysts, System Administrators, Project Managers, Information & Referral Specialists, and other technical professionals to build accessible Websites, online courses, and learning-management systems since the mid-1990s for nonprofit and public-sector organizations throughout the United States.

Web Accessibility Work

John’s passion is Web accessibility for people with cognitive disabilities, especially people with intellectual disabilities and/or autism.

John is an Invited Expert of the World Wide Web Consortium’s:

John is a co-founder and a co-organizer of the Boston Accessibility Group, which hosts annual conferences and semi-regular meetups about Web accessibility.

Learn more about and connect with John


INDEX provides, to the public for free, information about programs, services, and healthcare providers for people with disabilities living in Massachusetts. See www.DisabilityInfo.org. INDEX also develops and hosts accessible Web-applications, online-courses, learning-management systems; and other technical services, to nonprofit and public-sector organizations. See www.neindex.org.

About The Shriver Center

INDEX is a program of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center, a University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD). Since 1969, the Shriver Center has conducted research, training, and service related to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

About The Medical School

The Shriver Center is part of The University of Massachusetts Medical School, a pioneer in education, research, and healthcare delivery. The main campus of the medical school is located in Worcester, Massachusetts.


  • The opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, not necessarily the author’s employer.
  • No endorsement of any product and/or service discussed in this blog is intended or implied.

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