Muslimah “Salimah” LaForce is a senior policy analyst for Georgia Tech’s Center for Advanced Communications Policy (CACP). She specializes in policy research, identifying and describing intended and unanticipated implementation outcomes. Her work spans a variety of topic areas, including increasing accessibility and usability of wireless technologies, improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities, and building capacity for inclusive emergency response efforts. She has 14 years’ experience conducting user needs and experiences research, and utilizing study results to inform policy and practice recommendations concerning technology access, generally, and the benefit of said access to educational, employment, and social opportunities, specifically. Salimah is the project director for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Inclusive Technologies (Wireless RERC) project, Policy and Outreach Initiatives To Accelerate Adoption of Wireless Technologies. In this capacity, she is instrumental in drafting policy recommendations in response to pertinent Federal Communications Commission rulemakings; designing research studies that evaluate the impact of federal policy; translating research into policy proposals and research briefs; and producing educational materials for consumer, practitioner, government, and industry audiences. Salimah is the senior editor of the monthly policy newsletter, Technology, and Disability Policy Highlights, and has co-authored more than 78 conference papers, presentations, journal articles, and federal regulatory agency filings.
In addition to her work on the Wireless RERC, Salimah is a co-investigator on a Field-Initiated Project on understanding the contingent employment experiences of people with disabilities. She has served as co-project director for the IPAWS CACP Collaborative Project 2, informing citizens of features of mainstream technologies to enhance the effectiveness of Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs); and Project 5, providing accessible next generation alerts. Salimah was also the program manager for the DHS S&T contract, Public Response to Alerts and Warnings: Optimizing Ability of Message Receipt by People with Disabilities.
Additionally, Salimah served as the chair (elected) and women’s group representative for BCS, The Charted Institute for IT, USA Section, Southeast Regional Group. She organized events relevant to IT professionals and academics including IT’s for you too: the female dynamic in information technology education and careers, Starts-ups & Innovation: Taking Your Ideas to the Marketplace and the Geeks, Gadgets and Gizmos Showcase Competition. Other volunteer and community efforts include service as the chair of the Grants Committee at Bolton Academy Elementary School, founding member of the Soaring Owls Foundation, Inc., and tutor at the Henry Grady High School Writing Center.
Salimah earned her BA in English literature from Agnes Scott College and her MS in Clinical Psychology, applied research specialization, from the Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Capella University. Her graduate studies focused on culturally competent delivery of mental health services and the inclusion of people with disabilities, ethnic minorities, and women in the workplace with an emphasis on the function of perceptions, bias, and social attitudes.