Thank you for attending the 2023 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium. This digital program includes all the items needed to access the content for this year's symposium. If you have questions or concerns, please contact Lou Ann Blake at 410-659-9314, extension 2221, or [email protected].
- A Letter from Mark Riccobono
- Presenters and Workshop Facilitators
- Full Agenda
- Thursday, March 24 Agenda
- Friday, March 25 Agenda
- Directions to Workshop Locations
- Sponsor Ads
- Steering Committee
March 23, 2023
Welcome to the National Federation of the Blind’s 2023 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium, "The Right of People with Disabilities to Live in the World of a Changing Legal and Policy Landscape."
The makeup and reasoning of the US Supreme Court has radically changed due to recent appointees to the court. This shift has resulted in the weakening or elimination of some disability and civil rights that have long been enjoyed, and in some cases, were taken for granted. The Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium provides the disability community with an opportunity to work together to develop a strategy to minimize the impacts of the recent rollback of rights, and to avoid future rollbacks.
We will examine this issue, and others that impact the disability community, through a lens of intersectionality, exploring how our intersectional identities subject us to inequalities, public misconceptions, and injustices. We will also explore how to meaningfully advance Dr. tenBroek’s goal of integrationism—economic opportunity, social equality, and personal dignity for ourselves and all members of our disability rights community.
This year is the sixteenth anniversary of our disability law symposium. This forum is an important initiative toward our commitment to collaboration with individuals and organizations. As a movement of blind people, we imagine a world where blind people can live the lives they want as valued and respected members of society. Through this symposium we seek to synergize our work with others bringing their unique expertise and equally bold aspirations for other disabled people. Our community is stronger together, and that is our commitment.
Although we continue to make significant advances toward full and equal participation in society, numerous barriers to full participation by all disabled people continue to exist. Low expectations, misconceptions, systemic barriers, and hollow initiatives to acknowledge the authentic contributions people with disabilities make in society prevent many Americans with disabilities from living the lives they want. Unlawful discrimination persists in virtually every avenue of society—in education, where disabled students are deprived of an integrated and equal education; in healthcare, where disabled people receive unequal and often substandard care; in our communities at large, where many of us are segregated and deprived of an opportunity for independence and control over our own lives; and in our right to vote on the same terms and with the same degree of privacy and dignity as voters without a disability.
It is my pleasure to welcome you to this year’s disability law symposium. We hope everyone will take full advantage of this opportunity to once again strengthen our relationships, deepen our commitment, and hone our knowledge and skills to use the American justice system in a calculated and deliberate manner to achieve the equality and inclusion we all deserve. We also hope these two days together will provide an opportunity to learn from each other and expand our worldviews.
The National Federation of the Blind appreciates the chance to partner with each of you and looks forward to the achievements that will result from our work together at this year’s symposium. As always, your honest feedback about the symposium and how we can continue to make it better and stronger in helping to advance disability rights is welcome and appreciated.
Mark A. Riccobono, President
National Federation of the Blind
Kristin Aiello (she/her/hers) represents individuals who have been discriminated against in employment, state and local government, and public accommodations. Before entering private practice as a civil rights attorney, she was senior attorney at Disability Rights Maine, Maine’s designated protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities.
Kristin represented the plaintiffs in Doe v. Rowe, a seminal ADA voting rights case which overturned Maine’s constitutional provision prohibiting individuals under guardianship for reason of mental illness from voting and was later cited by the US Supreme Court in Tennessee v. Lane. In 2021, Kristin was lead counsel in another seminal voting rights case filed in the US District Court for the District of Maine, Merrill, et al. v. Bellows, et al., which resulted in an accessible absentee voting system in Maine for individuals with print disabilities.
Kristin has served as a commissioner on the Maine Human Rights Commission, where she represents adults and children at the Commission and in state and federal courts. In addition, Kristin educates policy makers at the Maine Legislature regarding civil rights laws, and she has conducted trainings to many diverse groups.
In 2007, Kristin was appointed by the Maine Legislature on a group of experts to participate in redrafting the definition of disability in the Maine Human Rights Act, which led to groundbreaking changes that influenced the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008. In 2015, Kristin was appointed to the Task Force to Ensure Integrity in the Use of Service Animals. In 2016, Kristin was elected co-chair of the Employment Law Section of the Maine State Bar Association. She has also been called to serve the federal courts, and she currently serves on the Local Rules Committee for the District of Maine. Kristin formerly served on the Blue-Ribbon Commission on the Maine Unemployment System.
Kristin is a graduate of Boston College, magna cum laude, and the University of Maine School of Law, where she tried cases as a law student intern with the Cumberland County District Attorney’s Office.
Kristin lives in central Maine with her husband, Walter McKee. They have two grown daughters who are recent college graduates, and one very rambunctious Westie.
Zainab Alkebsi is policy counsel at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), the largest and most influential membership organization of deaf and hard-of-hearing persons in the United States. As policy counsel, she is responsible for providing analysis, recommendations, and advice to the NAD on policy issues affecting people who are deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, DeafDisabled, and DeafBlind. She regularly interfaces with government agencies, Congress, coalitions, media, and businesses on communication access issue, with an emphasis on working with the Federal Communications Commission on captioning, relay, emergency communications, and other issues. She also represents the NAD at conferences, on advisory committees and panels, and through presentations. Before joining the NAD, Ms. Alkebsi served as deputy director at the Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, where she coordinated the office’s legislative and policy efforts. Ms. Alkebsi has a BA in political science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and a JD from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is currently the President of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association.
Heather L. Ansley is the associate executive director of government relations at Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA). Her responsibilities include managing the organization’s efforts on Capitol Hill and working with the Administration to promote legislation and policies that ensure veterans with catastrophic disabilities receive the health care and benefits that they have earned and the civil rights protections that they deserve. She also works to promote collaboration between disability organizations and veterans service organizations and currently serves as the immediate past chair of the Consortium for Constituents with Disabilities (CCD). CCD is the largest coalition of national organizations working together to advocate for federal public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of children and adults with disabilities in all aspects of society. She also serves on the board of the Disability Rights Bar Association. Prior to joining PVA, Ms. Ansley served as vice president of VetsFirst, a program of United Spinal Association, and as the director of policy and advocacy for the Lutheran Services in America Disability Network. She also served as a research attorney for the Honorable Steve Leben with the Kansas Court of Appeals. Ms. Ansley holds a BA and MSW from the University of Missouri-Columbia and a JD from the Washburn University School of Law in Kansas.
Denise Renee Avant was raised in and is still a resident of Chicago. She was admitted to practice law in Illinois in 1984. She attended the University of Missouri-Columbia, receiving a BA in political science in 1980 and a JD in 1983. She received an MA in journalism from Roosevelt University in 2003.
Denise retired from the Office of the Cook County Public Defender in 2017, after thirty years of service in the appellate and post-conviction units. Prior to working at the Public Defender, she worked for two years at the Will County Legal Assistance Program, Inc.
Denise is the immediate past president of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois and is now its first vice president. She currently serves on the board of directors of the National Federation of the Blind, as well as on the board of the National Association of Blind Lawyers, a division of the NFB.
Denise is the immediate past chair of the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights and is currently a member of the ABA’s Board of Governors. She has been a member of the American Bar Association since 2012, during which she served as a commissioner on the Commission on Disability Rights, Center for Racial and Ethnic Diversity, and Commission on Youth at Risk, and on the ABA’s House of Delegates Nominating Committee. She participated in the Implicit Bias video series sponsored by the ABA. In 2018 the ABA’s Government and Public Sectors Lawyers Division presented her with the Nelson award.
Kelly Bagby is the vice president at AARP Foundation Litigation (AFL) managing the office’s work related to health, hunger, housing, and human services. Kelly specializes in civil rights, disability rights, and health law with an emphasis on litigation. Kelly was co-counsel in several cases in which nursing facility residents were administered psychotropic medications without informed consent. She has also litigated against many states under the Americans with Disabilities Act to provide people in nursing facilities with the opportunity to move back to their own communities.
Kaitlin Banner directs The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs education and public accommodations work. There, she is counsel on cases such as Charles H. v. District of Columbia (failure to provide special education at the DC Jail); Black Lives Matter et al. vs. Trump et al. (challenging the assault on protesters at Lafayette Square); and Costa et al. v. Bazron et al. (challenging failure of psychiatric hospital to keep patients safe during public health emergencies). Prior to joining the Committee, Kaitlin was the deputy program director and acting director of Advancement Project’s Opportunity to Learn Program. There, Kaitlin worked alongside communities on reducing the overuse and disparate use of zero-tolerance school discipline policies and stopping the criminalization of young people of color by employing creative legal tactics and policy reform. Prior to joining Advancement Project, Kaitlin was clinical instructor at the Took Crowell Institute for At-Risk Youth at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. She represented families in special education and school discipline cases and advocated for policies that promote positive educational interventions. From 2008-2010, Kaitlin was the Crowell & Moring Equal Justice Works Fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital, where she founded the Fair Discipline Project and began working on school-to-prison pipeline issues. Kaitlin holds a BA from Villanova University, a JD from The George Washington University Law School, and an LLM. from the University of the District of Columbia David A. Clarke School of Law. Kaitlin is admitted to practice in New York state and the District of Columbia.
Monica Basche joined Brown Goldstein & Levy in September 2019. She represents clients in civil rights cases, including disability rights, housing discrimination, employment discrimination, and prisoners’ rights. She is part of a team of attorneys who recently sued the Virginia Department of Corrections and other defendants on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind of Virginia and seven individual inmates for violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, as well as state and constitutional law. She also represents individual blind inmates incarcerated in Maryland state prisons who are seeking accommodations under the ADA and Rehabilitation Act. Prior to joining the firm, Monica was a law clerk to Judge George L. Russell, III on the United States District Court for the District of Maryland and to Judge Sally D. Adkins on the Supreme Court of Maryland (formerly known as the Court of Appeals of Maryland).
Lou Ann Blake is director of research programs at the National Federation of the Blind. She has been at the NFB since 2005 and lost most of her vision in her 30s. She has been, and continues to be, a leader in ensuring that voting systems nationwide are accessible to people with print disabilities. She is an expert on voting systems and accessibility and has been involved as an expert and advocate in many voting accessibility advocacy efforts across the country.
Lou Ann earned a BS in Environmental Engineering from Montana Tech, and a JD from Widener University School of Law.
Lisa Bothwell is a program analyst in the Office of Policy Analysis and Development at the Administration for Community Living. Lisa provides recommendations on and develops healthcare policies that promote independent living and incorporate disability rights and the rights of older adults based on feedback from the aging and disability networks, congressional reports, statutes, health studies, legislations, and other supporting data and materials.
Sasha Buchert is a senior attorney in the Washington, DC, office of Lambda Legal, the oldest and largest organization dedicated to advancing the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people, and individuals living with HIV.
During her time at Lambda Legal, Sasha has been involved in extensive federal and state legislative and policy efforts on a wide range of issues including judicial nominations, criminal justice reform policy, and health care initiatives. She is also litigating a number of cases expanding and solidifying federal civil rights protections for LGBTQ people. Most recently, she is counsel in Karnoski v. Trump, a federal lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Trump administration’s ban on military service by transgender people, and is counsel in Gore v. Lee, a federal lawsuit filed in Tennessee challenging that state’s refusal to amend birth certificates for transgender people.
Sasha has written about the legal issues facing LGBT people for publications including USA Today, Fox News, and Medium. She has appeared on the CNN, the PBS NewsHour, C-SPAN, Newsy, and Uprising.
Before joining Lambda Legal, Sasha served as staff attorney and policy counsel at Transgender Law Center. Sasha Buchert was the first openly transgender person to be appointed to an Oregon state board, and from 2012-13, she served as the chair of the Oregon State Hospital Advisory Board. She holds a JD from Willamette University. Sasha Buchert served proudly in the United States Marine Corps.
Ruth Colker is a distinguished university professor and Heck Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law at the Moritz College of Law at Ohio State University. She is one of the leading scholars in the country in the areas of constitutional law and disability discrimination. Her primary research interests are special education, disability discrimination, and LGBTQ issues. Professor Colker is the author of sixteen books, two of which have won book prizes, and she has published more than fifty articles in law journals such as the Harvard Law Review, Yale Law Journal, Columbia Law Journal, Pennsylvania Law Review, University of Virginia Law Review, and University of Michigan Law Journal. In 2015, she co-authored the Report of the “Best Practices” Panel created by the consent decree between the US Department of Justice and the Law School Admission Council. Before joining the faculty at Ohio State, Professor Colker taught at Tulane University, the University of Toronto, the University of Pittsburgh, and in the women’s studies graduate program at George Washington University. She also spent four years working as a trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice. She obtained her AB from Harvard University and her JD from Harvard Law School.
Leigh Ann Davis is senior director of disability and justice initiatives at The Arc of the United States and directs The Arc's National Center on Criminal Justice and Disability® (NCCJD). With 27 years of experience working at the intersection of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) in the criminal legal system, she strives to build stronger lines of open communication and understanding between these two worlds. Ms. Davis has authored numerous publications and presents nationally and internationally on a broad array of criminal justice and disability topics. In 2013, she worked with The Arc to secure funding and fulfill a long-term dream to create NCCJD®, the first national center in the US to address both victim and defendant issues within the IDD population, and oversaw the development of NCCJD’s signature training: Pathways to Justice®. She also works internationally with the Access to Justice Knowledge Hub to facilitate a team of activists and advocates who are reimagining community safety and policing from the lens of people with lived experiences. As The Arc’s subject matter expert related to criminal justice and disability issues, she is often interviewed by national media outlets and provides consultation to a number of federal agencies and nonprofit agencies. Ms. Davis works from a home office in Arlington, Texas, and holds a BSW (Bachelor of Science in Social Work), MSSW (Masters of Science in Social Work), and MPA (Masters of Public Administration) from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Robert D. Dinerstein is professor of law and director (and founder) of the Disability Rights Law Clinic at American University, Washington College of Law (WCL), where he has taught since 1983. Prior to coming to WCL, he was an attorney for five years at the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Special Litigation Section, where among other things he litigated cases concerning conditions in state institutions for people with intellectual disability, psychosocial disabilities, and juveniles. From 1994-2000, he was a member of the President’s Committee on People with Intellectual Disabilities. He currently chairs the ABA Commission on Disability Rights and is co-chair of the ABA Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice’s Disability Rights Committee. He has served on a number of boards of directors and committees that address legal issues for people with disabilities (including serving on the steering committee for the Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium from 2006 through 2017), and currently is chair of the board the Equal Rights Center (Washington, DC) and New Hope Community, Inc. (Loch Sheldrake, New York). In the area of disability rights, Prof. Dinerstein’s work has focused on issues of consent, supported decision making, and deinstitutionalization of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He has an AB degree from Cornell University and a JD degree from Yale Law School.
Elizabeth Edwards is a senior attorney at the National Health Law Program. In addition to working with the National Health Law Program’s litigation team to advance the health rights of low income and underserved individuals, Elizabeth’s work includes policy advocacy and legal education on topics such as home and community-based services, community integration and Olmstead, managed care, due process, use of automated decision-making systems in public benefits, and disability discrimination.
Elizabeth joined the National Health Law Program after five years with Disability Rights North Carolina, where she used the Medicaid Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and public policy to ensure equal access and community integration for individuals and groups, along with other ADA issues such as voting rights and accessibility. She is a graduate of Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of law.
Timothy Elder is a civil rights litigator and the principal attorney of the TRE Legal Practice, a civil rights law firm focusing on the rights of the blind and other disabled people to access employment, education, government programs, public accommodations, accessible technology, and all other aspects of society. Working with a network of attorneys from across the United States, Elder has helped secure injunctions against testing entities for their failure to accommodate disabled students, negotiated groundbreaking settlements with publicly traded companies, tried employment discrimination cases, and argued before federal trial and appellate courts. Representative matters include a class action filed against Marriott International for its failure to make job-related software accessible to blind call center employees; a nationwide class action filed against Uber for its failure to train and prevent its drivers from discriminating against passengers with service animals; settlements involving screen reader accommodations for college students; negotiations securing Braille instruction for blind K–12 students; and several federal lawsuits and structured negotiations involving inaccessible touchscreen technology, websites, or mobile apps of public accommodations. Elder obtained a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. During law school, Elder externed with the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel of the US District Court for the Northern District of California.
Elizabeth Eubanks has extensive experience advocating for people with disabilities at the administrative, state, and federal level. Elizabeth received her Juris Doctorate from Pepperdine University School of Law and a Certificate in Dispute Resolution from the Straus Institute for Dispute Resolution. After graduation, Elizabeth worked in private practice, advocating for parents of children with disabilities in regional center, school district, and health insurance matters. From 2012 to 2018 she was the California Inland Empire Regional Director at Disability Rights Legal Center. As regional director, Elizabeth was responsible for special education advocacy and civil rights litigation within San Bernardino and Riverside Counties, specializing in disability discrimination cases. In 2018, she opened Rios Eubanks, LLP, a firm that fights for opportunities for society to grow and thrive by ensuring that those with disabilities have access to the world around them and that society has access to the unique contributions of people with disabilities.
Elizabeth is an adjunct professor at the University of La Verne College of Law. She is the director of the Law School’s Disability Rights Clinic, and she teaches coursework in special education and disability rights law.
Elizabeth has presented seminars at national conferences, including at the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates and the American Bar Association. She has been the co-chair of Practicing Law Institute’s annual Special Education Law Conference since 2012. She serves on the board of directors for the Autism Society, Inland Empire, and sits on the ABA’s Commission for Disability Rights.
Kobie Flowers is a partner at Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP, with over twenty years of trial experience. Flowers has litigated cases in federal and state courts throughout the United States and internationally in the military commissions in Guantanamo Bay. Flowers’s first-chair trial experience in building cases for the government as a federal civil rights prosecutor and in fighting the government’s efforts as an assistant federal public defender provides him with an uncommon insight into trial practice. Recognized by peers for exemplary trial acumen, Flowers teaches the art and science of trial lawyering to other trial lawyers around the country. As a member of the Attorney General’s Honors Program, Flowers was a civil rights prosecutor at the US Department of Justice (DOJ) for over four years. While at DOJ, Flowers specialized in the prosecution of police brutality cases. After DOJ, Flowers sought out the challenge of defending against federal prosecutions as an assistant federal public defender (AFPD) in Baltimore. As an AFPD, Flowers won two-thirds of argued trials. Flowers is a graduate of Stanford University and Georgetown Law School.
Deena Fox is a deputy chief in the Disability Practice Group within the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section. Fox is a 2008 graduate of NYU School of Law and completed a two-year fellowship at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law before joining the Civil Rights Division. At the DOJ, Fox has worked on statewide Olmstead matters in many states including Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and South Carolina.
Morissa Fregeau has built a legal career supporting businesses with changes—change in law and change in business practices. Fregeau has led corporate implementation of significant federal laws including the Affordable Care Act and the 2017 changes to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, helping unravel complicated legal rhetoric into understandable plain language. Fregeau joined the Aflac legal team in September of 2020 as senior associate counsel supporting the group business. Prior to Aflac, Fregeau was at UnitedHealth Group supporting traditional and digital operations including, among other projects, implementing online accessibility. Fregeau started a legal career at GE Financial which later broke off as Genworth Financial. Prior to law school, Fregeau spent ten years as a counselor, social worker, and a mediator. Fregeau earned an MA in counseling psychology from Antioch University and a JD from Western New England University School of Law.
M. Geron Gadd is a senior attorney at the National Health Law Program (NHeLP) specializing in systemic litigation seeking to protect the rights of people with disabilities, those isolated and neglected in congregate care settings, and those denied health care services. Geron began her legal career in New York and Florida, where she represented corporate clients in intellectual property, securities, construction, and related commercial disputes. In 2011, Geron returned to Alabama, from which her family hails, to focus on public-interest litigation on behalf of people with disabilities and in an array of civil rights matters. Prior to joining NHeLP, Geron served as legal director of the Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program, the state’s protection and advocacy system for people with disabilities. While in Alabama, she served as lead class counsel in Hunter, et al. v. Beshear, a class action resulting in a consent decree requiring the Alabama Department of Mental Health to timely provide court-ordered psychiatric services. She also worked with national partners to obtain a settlement agreement providing intensive home-based services for children with severe emotional disturbance and autism spectrum disorders. Geron earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Methodist University, a master’s degree in theological studies from Harvard Divinity School, and a law degree from Harvard Law School.
Karla Gilbride joined Public Justice in October 2014 as Cartwright-Baron staff attorney. Her work focuses on fighting mandatory arbitration provisions imposed on consumers and workers to prevent them from holding corporations accountable for their wrongdoing in court. She has testified before the state legislatures of New York and California on the topic of forced arbitration and recently won a victory in the Eighth Circuit against an employer that tried to use its arbitration clause to take a case out of court eight months into the litigation, only after the judge ruled in the employee’s favor on a motion.
She has also combated the tactic of corporations trying to decapitate class actions by offering individual settlements to the named class representatives and argued and won a challenge to such pick-off attempt in the Seventh Circuit in 2015 in a case called Webster v. Bayview Loan Servicing.
Before coming to Public Justice, Karla spent three years as an associate at Mehri & Skalet PLLC, where she worked on wage and hour and employment discrimination cases, as well as consumer class actions and cases brought under the Fair Housing Act. She previously spent three years at Disability Rights Advocates in Berkeley, California, bringing disability discrimination class actions and representing disabled consumers before the California Public Utilities Commission.
Karla graduated with honors from Georgetown Law in 2007 and clerked for Judge Ronald Gould on the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She received her undergraduate degree from Swarthmore College with highest honors in 2002 with a major in linguistics and minor in psychology.
Danica Gonzalves is an advocacy attorney at Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), where she works on disability rights issues including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Architectural Barriers Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. PVA is a congressionally chartered veterans service organization with nearly 16,000 members. All of PVA’s members are honorably discharged veterans who have incurred a spinal cord injury or disease (SCI/D). Virtually all PVA members use wheelchairs or other assistive devices for mobility. With a focus on physical accessibility, Danica advocates for all individuals with disabilities to ensure they have full and equal enjoyment in their daily lives. Prior to joining PVA, Danica worked at The Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program as an advocate for veterans, directing a program that aided veterans with mental health conditions and those who experienced military sexual trauma. She co-wrote an article, published by Stetson Journal of Advocacy and the Law, on representing veterans with less than honorable discharges. Danica is an Equal Justice Works Fellow alum.
Steve Gordon for the last twenty-eight years has been employed by the US Department of Justice (DOJ), most recently as an assistant US attorney with the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of Virginia. While with the DOJ, Gordon has developed cases under the DOJ’s Elder Justice Initiative and served as lead counsel in actions involving the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Administrative Procedures Act, False Claims Act, Contract Disputes Act, and other federal statutes. Gordon also has appellate experience in the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and other jurisdictions. As the founder and coordinator of a district-wide civil rights enforcement program for the US Attorney’s Office, Gordon engages in community outreach, pursues civil rights cases, and provides guidance to less experienced attorneys. Before becoming an assistant US attorney, Gordon worked as an attorney for the DOJ’s civil division, the National Labor Relations Board, and the law firm formerly known as Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. Gordon has presented widely on a variety of ADA topics, including the ADA in the state and local criminal justice system and disability discrimination in health care settings. Gordon earned a BA from Brandeis University and JD from Northeastern University School of Law.
Julia Graff is a trial attorney in the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice. Before joining DOJ, Julia was a senior staff attorney at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where she worked on Olmstead enforcement, campus mental health, and children’s access to equal and inclusive educational opportunities.
Eliot Greenwald is a deputy chief of the FCC’s Disability Rights Office, where he has worked since January of 2011. He participates in proceedings involving telecommunications relay services (TRS), television closed captioning, real-time text, and implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), including advanced communications services, video description, TV user interfaces, Internet captioning, emergency information, 911 calling, hearing aid compatibility, and the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program. He began his career at the FCC in 1977, working in the former Common Carrier Bureau until 1982. He then practiced at various law firms, concentrating on wireless, satellite, spectrum, and ownership issues, including spectrum licensing, deployment of the initial cellular systems in the United States, spectrum auctions, mergers and acquisitions, and telecommunications finance.
Maame Gyamfi is a senior attorney at AARP Foundation. She is a health care expert who advocates nationwide for the rights of low-income older adults. She litigates cases involving health law, civil rights, elder abuse, disability rights, consumer protection, and other areas of public interest. She is also class counsel in the Olmstead case, Brown v. District of Columbia. Prior to working at the Foundation, Ms. Gyamfi was senior counsel at the Office of the Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services and attorney-advisor to the chairman of the Federal Trade Commission. She also litigated criminal and civil cases as a special assistant United States attorney for the US District Courts of the Southern District of Florida and the Eastern District of New York. She graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy.
Catherine Hanssens is founder and chief strategy advisor of The Center for HIV Law and Policy (CHLP). Hanssens has been working on HIV legal and policy issues since 1984 through litigation, legislative lawyering, community organizing, and policy advocacy. CHLP was the first organization in the United States to challenge and organize against state and federal laws that rely on HIV status as a basis for criminal liability. In 2010, CHLP launched the Positive Justice Project (PJP), the first national collaborative campaign to end the criminalization of HIV and other diseases and the only organization to develop a National Prosecutors Roundtable on HIV/VH and the Law, resulting in the dismissal or reduction of charges in multiple jurisdictions. The only legal organization focused on HIV and health criminalization, CHLP has drafted bills to amend and appeal state HIV/VH criminal laws for advocates in more than a dozen states and filed multiple amicus briefs in appeals of criminal convictions and civil commitments based on HIV. CHLP publishes HIV Criminalization in the United States: A Sourcebook on State and Federal HIV Criminal Law and Practice.
Before founding CHLP, Hanssens was a clinical professor and director of the Women and AIDS Clinic at Rutgers University Law School; director of Lambda Legal’s HIV Project; and an attorney with the New Jersey Public Defender, where she successfully litigated a number of prisoner rights cases, including the first cases on involuntary HIV testing, an incarcerated woman’s right to comprehensive prenatal care, a pregnant prisoner’s right to choose to have an abortion, an incarcerated person’s right to patient/therapist confidentiality, and a class action challenge to segregation and mistreatment of state prisoners living with HIV. She also created and managed one of the first medical-legal partnerships in the country, with on-site HIV legal services in hospitals and community health centers across Philadelphia.
Jasmine E. Harris is a professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School. She is a leading law and inequality scholar with expertise in disability law, antidiscrimination law, and evidence. Her recent academic articles have appeared in Columbia Law Review, New York University Law Review, and University of Pennsylvania Law Review. Harris serves as a co-editor of the preeminent evidence treatise, McCormick on Evidence. Harris also writes frequently about disability law for popular audiences with by-lines and commentary in such publications and media outlets as the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Ms. magazine, Washington Post, TIME magazine, Bloomberg, and National Public Radio. Harris graduated with honors from Dartmouth College and Yale Law School. She clerked for Harold Baer, Jr., United States District Judge for the Southern District of New York, and she practiced complex commercial litigation at WilmerHale and public interest law at the Advancement Project. Harris serves as a board member of The Arc of the United States where she chairs the organization’s Legal Advocacy Committee.
Maggie Hart joined The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs as counsel in January 2019. Her practice focuses on litigation to uphold and expand the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in civic activities, the economy, and the social life of the community. Maggie has represented individuals with vision impairments in cases involving public health, voting rights, and equal access to education. Before joining the Committee, Maggie was a staff attorney at Disability Rights DC at University Legal Services, the protection and advocacy program for people with disabilities in the District of Columbia. Maggie has experience representing individuals with disabilities to promote their access to appropriate, individualized vocational rehabilitation and special education services and she advocated for people with disabilities to be free from discrimination. Maggie also interned at the Disabilities Rights Network of Pennsylvania during law school, where she was involved in cases arising under the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Maggie is admitted to practice in New York state and the District of Columbia.
Melissa Heifetz is the executive director for The Arc of Northern Virginia. She received her undergraduate degree in Government and Politics at the University of Maryland, College Park, and received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she graduated magna cum laude. After graduation, she worked as a staff attorney in New York City’s Legal Aid Society, Juvenile Rights Division, where she advocated for children in Bronx Family Court. She later received a fellowship to work in New York University School of Law’s Public Interest Law Center.
After moving to Virginia, she was director of the ALLY (A Life Like Yours) Advocacy Center at The Arc of Loudoun, founded a Positive Interactions with Law Enforcement Initiative (PILE), and created the first Disability Response Team (an Arc of the United States initiative) in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Melissa rose to become the Executive Director of The Arc of Loudoun and was recognized by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce with the 2018 Non-Profit Executive Community Leadership Award.
Melissa later served as the executive director of Congregation Beth Emeth, a Synagogue in Northern Virginia. As a board member for the Jewish National Fund’s Disability Task Force, she had the opportunity to travel internationally visiting innovative disability programs abroad.
In 2020, Melissa founded the consulting firm Advocacy Partners, LLC. The firm advocated for individuals with disabilities and their families and helped navigate the unique challenges they often face on the path to full inclusion, equal participation in the community, fairness, and justice.
Eve Hill is a partner in the law firm Brown, Goldstein & Levy and a co-leader of Inclusivity, the firm’s strategic consulting group. Until January 2017, she was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), where she worked diligently to break down the barriers that interfere with the ability of people with disabilities to fully and equally participate in society. A highlight includes her work to extend the Olmstead integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to segregated employment and segregated education. She further is known for her work applying the ADA to emerging technology, the criminal justice system, professional licensing, child welfare systems, and high-stakes testing. Among other causes, she has advocated for accessible technology, website accessibility, accessibility in education, the right of people with disabilities to age in place, and supported employment placement and fair wages for those with disabilities. She is a co-author of the casebook Disability Civil Rights Law and Policy and has served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. Before joining the DOJ, Ms. Hill was senior vice president of the Burton Blatt Institute, served as director of the Office of Disability Rights for the District of Columbia, and was executive director of the Disability Rights Legal Center at Loyola Law School. Ms. Hill earned her JD from Cornell Law School.
Christopher Hodgson is a supervising attorney at Disability Rights North Carolina. He has practiced law at DRNC since 2015 and has successfully represented clients in state, federal, and administrative hearings. Chris enforces disability rights in various employment and community settings and supervises the work of other attorneys. Prior to his time at DRNC, Chris supervised direct care staff to assist people with disabilities. In addition to a law degree from the University of North Carolina, Chris has a master’s in philosophy from Texas A&M University and a bachelor’s in English from Southern Illinois University.
Jacob Hutt joined the Prison Law Office as a staff attorney in 2020. He works primarily on Armstrong v. Newsom, a class action brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act on behalf of people with disabilities in California state prisons, and Chavez v. County of Santa Clara, a class action challenging certain conditions in the Santa Clara County jails. Jacob also represents individuals in habeas corpus lawsuits challenging denials of parole. Prior to joining the PLO, Jacob worked as a legal fellow at the American Civil Liberties Union and clerked for Judge Ronnie Abrams (S.D.N.Y.) and Judge Karen Nelson Moore (6th Cir.). Jacob was admitted to the New York Bar in 2017 and is registered by the State Bar of California as a Registered Legal Aid Attorney.
Caroline Jackson is senior counsel at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP. At RBGG, she has focused primarily on disability rights cases brought on behalf of individuals who are incarcerated or on parole, with a particular focus on the rights of deaf and hard of hearing individuals. Prior to coming to RBGG, she worked for the National Association of the Deaf, where she focused on litigation against hospitals and other entities for violating disability rights laws with respect to deaf and hard of hearing individuals. In addition to the practice of law, Ms. Jackson has meditated daily for the past eight and a half years and studied meditation, mindfulness, self-compassion practices, and other resource-building skills.
Patrice Jetter is a disabled artist who uses her creativity to move through a world that was not built with her in mind. At an early age, she learned that to survive her circumstances, she would have to construct a world she would want to live in. She has been in and of the state system, institutionalized, and fought disability discrimination for thirteen years to become a crossing guard in her hometown of Montclair, New Jersey.
Patrice has won over 100 medals in Special Olympics and has competed in a wide array of events including ice skating, bowling, bocce ball, horseback riding, skiing, gymnastics, and many others. She has spoken in and around New Jersey as an anti-bullying advocate and has acted in a number of theatre productions, including a performance at the United Nations. She is a comic book artist, model train builder, and was the costume designer for the rock band The Moldy Peaches. Patrice developed and hosted “The Trish Show,” a public access television kids show for many years, and was featured in the Netflix series “Worn Stories.”
Jason Kaune leads political law compliance practices at Nielsen Merksamer, a leading election and government law firm. He specializes in government ethics, including the election, lobbying disclosure, conflict of interest, gift and gratuity, and campaign finance laws of federal, state, and local governments.
Mr. Kaune advises clients on the complex government regulation of the intersection of the public and private sectors in the United States. In addition to his representation of the regulated community, he works extensively with state and local governments to advise public entities on election laws. He chairs the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Election Law, is an active member of the Council on Government Ethics Laws, and has served as a local elected official. This spring he is teaching a course on political ethics at the Yale School of Management.
Anne Kelsey (she/her) is a policy analyst for Disability Rights at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights. Anne has worked on disability and health rights issues for nearly a decade. She has previously held positions at the Center for HIV Law and Policy, Disability Rights New York (New York’s protection and advocacy organization), the Community Service Society of New York, and at Disability Rights Advocates. Anne received her JD from the Fordham University School of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.
Christine Inkyung Kim is a trial attorney with the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), where Christine investigates and litigates violations of the ADA. Christine obtained a BA from Tufts University and a JD from Duke University School of Law.
Beth Kurtz is a Trial Attorney in the Special Litigation Section of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice. Beth focuses on ensuring that individuals with disabilities can live in the most integrated community-based settings appropriate to their needs. Prior to joining DOJ, Beth worked to improve outcomes for children and families at the ABA Center on Children and the Law. Beth was previously an Equal Justice Works Fellow, staff attorney, and supervising attorney at Children’s Law Center in DC, where she primarily represented children in abuse and neglect matters.
Kate Lang joined Justice in Aging’s economic security team in December 2012. She serves as director of federal income security in the Washington, DC, office, leading JIA’s advocacy to improve the Social Security and Supplemental Security Income programs. In January 2023, she was nominated by President Biden to the Social Security Advisory Board. She was formerly a staff attorney at the Legal Aid Bureau in Riverdale, Maryland, where she was an advocate for low-income older adults and persons with disabilities. In previous positions, Kate worked as an attorney at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association and Bread for the City Legal Clinic in Washington, DC, as well as at Doherty, Cella, Keane and Associates, LLP. She also served as a staff attorney for Legal Services of Northern California. She received her BA from Oberlin College and her JD from Fordham University School of Law.
Charlotte Lanvers is a trial attorney with the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ), where Charlotte investigates and litigates violations of the ADA. Prior to joining the Civil Rights Division in 2014, Charlotte worked as an attorney in the Program Legal Group in the Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Education and as a Skadden Fellow and staff attorney at Disability Rights Education Defense Fund. Charlotte holds an AB from Princeton University and a JD from Cornell Law School.
Kristina M. Launey is a partner of the law firm Seyfarth Shaw LLP, representing and providing advice to employers and public accommodations on compliance solutions and litigation strategy concerning disability discrimination compliance matters. Launey began an employment practice more than fifteen years ago at the California Legislative Counsel's Office, drafting bills and legal opinions for legislators and providing employment law and other advice and counsel to the legislature. As a result of participating in numerous site inspections and demonstrations by claimants with disabilities, plaintiffs, attorneys, and professionals, Launey has developed a deep understanding of application of disability access and physical facilities standards, as well as accessibility matters associated with emerging technologies, the practical impact on individuals with disabilities, and challenges faced by businesses addressing compliance with changing legal requirements. Launey frequently engages in structured negotiations to minimize costs for clients, attempting to resolve legal matters collaboratively before incurring the substantial expense and distraction of litigation. Launey obtained a BA from University of California, Berkeley, and a JD from the University of California, Davis School of Law.
Amy Leipziger is a senior staff attorney at Queens Legal Services. Her practice includes both education law and Social Security Disability law. She is dedicated to representing the educational needs of children with special needs and their families, and advocating around the issues of education, poverty, and discrimination. She maintains an active docket of special education cases, Social Security cases for children, and is lead counsel on two federal lawsuits against the NYC Department of Education alleging constitutional and federal statutory claims, including gender and national origin discrimination. Amy is co-coordinator of a pro-bono partnership that provides legal assistance to Asian-American parents to help them advocate for educational needs of their children. She is an adjunct professor in the Education Law Clinic at New York Law School and is formerly the chair of the Education Law Committee of the New York County Lawyers Bar Association. She received a JD from CUNY Law School, an MA in Women’s Studies from George Washington University, and a BA from the University of Oregon.
Ayesha Elaine Lewis is a staff attorney and member of the Leadership Team at Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF). Ayesha earned her BA from the City University of New York, Macaulay Honors College, and her JD from New York University School of Law. Ayesha clerked for Colorado Supreme Court Justice Allison Eid. Prior to joining DREDF, she was a fellow at the ACLU National Center for Liberty and the ACLU of Michigan. Ayesha uses her experience from various aspects of civil rights advocacy to inform her work to advance the civil and human rights of people with disabilities through legal advocacy, training, education, public policy, and legislative development. Her work spans a variety of areas, including marriage equality, the rights of parents with disabilities, access to the legal system, and technology access. As a disabled Black woman attorney from a socioeconomically disadvantaged background, Ayesha is familiar with intersections of disadvantage and the opportunities they can create for collaboration and enhanced empathy. She is committed to engaging with disability advocacy from an intersectional approach that acknowledges and celebrates the diversity of experiences within disability. Ayesha also loves rainy days, karaoke, and baking with seasonal produce.
Lori Long is a current DAC recipient and longtime promoter of #LorisLaw, one of the SSA reform bills currently pending before Congress. Lori and her partner have been engaged for five years but cannot marry because of SSA marriage penalties. Lori has been advocating for reform of the SSA marriage barriers in both the DAC and SSI programs for years. Lori and her advocacy work have been profiled by numerous media outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, and NPR.
Jennifer Mathis is a deputy assistant attorney general in the US Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. She reviews the work of the Disability Rights Section and the Special Litigation Section’s disability work. Prior to arriving at DOJ, Jennifer served as director of policy and legal advocacy at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, a national nonprofit legal advocacy organization that advances the rights of people with mental disabilities. At the Bazelon Center, Jennifer used litigation as well as legislative and administrative policy advocacy to promote equal opportunity for people with disabilities in all areas of life, including community living, health care, housing, employment, education, parental and family rights, voting, and other areas. Jennifer played a key role in coordinating strategy and briefing when the Olmstead case was heard by the Supreme Court and has litigated numerous community integration cases before and after. She also served on the disability community negotiating team that worked with representatives of the business community to craft language that became the ADA Amendments Act and played a lead role in securing passage of the ADAAA. Jennifer served at the Bazelon Center from 1999 to 2021, with the exception of 2010-2011, during which she served as a special assistant to Commissioner Chai Feldblum at the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, helping to draft regulations implementing the ADA Amendments Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act.
Jennifer received her AB at Harvard College (1988) and her JD at the Georgetown University Law Center (1994).
Nancy Mayer is an attorney in private practice in North Carolina concentrating on Disability Law, Elder Law, and Probate. Ms. Mayer retired from federal civil service after working at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for over 33 years. At EPA she worked as an Environmental Engineer and served as a Union Steward concentrating on disability issues. She has been accepted to practice on the North Carolina State Bar, District of Columbia Bar, the Eastern District of North Carolina Federal Bar, and the United States Supreme Court. She holds a BS degree from Cornell University College of Engineering, an MBA from Duke Fuqua School of Business, and a JD from North Carolina Central University. As a lawyer she is a member of the Disability Rights Bar Association, North Carolina Bar Association, North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Durham Orange Women Attorneys, and National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Ms. Mayer has also been an active volunteer for the American Red Cross for 45 years. Among other positions, she currently is the Eastern North Carolina Regional Lead for Disability Integration. She has been married to Dave Salman for 44 years and she has two sons, who both attended UNC, and two granddaughters, aged 7 and 4, who are absolutely the best grandchildren anywhere. An interesting fact, over 20 years before becoming an attorney she helped draft the EPA brief to the 1984 US Supreme Court for the landmark decision known as Chevron, one of the most cited cases in administrative law.
Joshua Mendelsohn is an attorney advisor with FCC's Disability Rights Office and works to enhance accessibility of video programming and modern communications including telecommunications. Josh also serves as the designated federal officer (DFO) of FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee. Josh previously worked as a deputy general counsel and assistant commissioner for the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission, where he oversaw programs enabling individuals with disabilities to live independently in the community. He also previously worked as an attorney and supervisory attorney for the US Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division on cases and investigations on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, and disability. Josh graduated with a BA in economics from California State University Northridge and received his JD from the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law. Joshua lives in Annapolis, Maryland, with his husband and their daughters.
Megan Morris is an associate professor in the Division of General Internal Medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Her research aims to identify and address the multi-level conditions that contribute to the provision of equitable care for people with disabilities. She is a leading expert on the documentation of patients’ disability status in the Electronic Health Record and healthcare disparities experienced by patients with communication disabilities. Her work has been funded by NIH, Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute, and the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research. Dr. Morris is founder and director of the Disability Equity Collaborative, a community aimed at advancing equitable care for patients with disabilities through practice, policy, and research.
Shari Myers is a nationally recognized expert on inclusive disaster services which integrate the access and functional needs of the whole community before, during, and after emergencies. She is committed to advancing disability-led disaster preparedness, response, and recovery, with a focus on civil rights protections and disability justice.
Shari has been a disability rights advocate/self-advocate for over 32 years. She became a disaster responder when she and her family were impacted by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. They experienced firsthand the failure of federal, state, and local emergency management to plan for the whole community. Shari was recuperating from heart surgery, and suddenly had little to no access to healthcare when it was critically needed. She and her husband, Ron, worked alongside friends and neighbors, many of whom were also disabled, to support their community.
Shari has worked full time in disability-centered disaster preparedness, response, and recovery since 2013. She served as disaster operations coordinator and chief operating officer of an organization that was, at the time, the only national disability-led group focused solely on meeting the disaster-related needs of people with disabilities. She was national disability integration coordinator for American Red Cross, and on February 1, 2023, joined the Partnership for Inclusive Disaster Strategies as disaster operations coordinator. She has been supporting disability-led global response efforts in the wake of February’s devastating earthquakes in Türkiye and oversees the Partnership’s Disability and Disaster Hotline.
Since 2010, Shari has deployed in person or virtually managed over 150 natural and man-made disaster response operations to ensure that disabled individuals and their families have equitable access to service delivery sites, programs and services, and effective communication.
Nira Nova attends Florida International University (FIU) majoring in criminal justice. Entering her junior year, Nira is an active member of Fostering Panther Pride (FPP), an organization that enhances student transition into FIU for foster youth and students facing homelessness. Nira has worked as a private writing tutor for several years, with a focus on how to improve essay structure, flow, citations, and theme.
Nira struggled in her youth to embrace her identity, facing challenges as a first-generation Colombian American who spoke Spanish as her first language. Her personal life experiences and work as a writing tutor inspired her to volunteer teaching English as a second language at Church by The Sea in Bal Harbor, Florida. As an ESL learner herself, Nira strongly believes in the power of education and language. She is an active member at her church as an intern and volunteer for community service projects such as co-organizing a youth summer camp in 2019.
Nira has participated in undergraduate law school programs such as Florida International University College of Law’s program Law Path and University of Miami’s Law School Summer Legal Academy. These competitive and intensive programs have sparked her interest to pursue law school. While learning various legal concepts, Nira felt inspired by landmark cases promoting equality and human rights, such as Olmstead v. L.C. As a woman with a psychiatric disability, Nira’s lived experience gave her a unique perspective about Olmstead, a case in which the Supreme Court mandated community-based services in the least restrictive setting for two women with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities who were institutionalized. Nira strongly believes that anybody can accomplish their goals, regardless of disability, personal background, or life circumstance.
Living with a psychiatric disability initially discouraged Nira from pursuing a law career because of stigma and discrimination. The Coelho Center Law Fellowship is a one-of-a-kind opportunity to learn disability law and policy, engage with other students in her community, and learn from disabled professionals in the legal field. She feels inspired to participate in this program where she feels represented and accepted. She hopes to practice disability law, litigation, or contract law as an attorney and represent others with similar life experiences.
Michael Nunez is senior counsel at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld LLP. He works on complex litigation and prelitigation matters, including class actions, with a particular focus on advocating for the civil rights of incarcerated persons with disabilities and ensuring that people with disabilities obtain equal access to government services, technology, transportation, and public accommodations. Mr. Nunez also has experience representing clients in employment discrimination and white-collar criminal defense matters.
Mr. Nunez is a graduate of Stanford Law School and earned his BA at Stanford University. Prior to joining RBGG, he was a staff attorney at Disability Rights Advocates, a national nonprofit impact litigation center.
Mr. Nunez received a California Lawyer of the Year (“CLAY”) Award in 2018 and was named a Northern California Rising Star by Super Lawyers from 2016-2020. Mr. Nunez is a member of the US District Court for the Northern District of California General Order 56 Advisory Committee. He is also a member of the board of directors for the Disability Rights Bar Association (DRBA) and for the Lighthouse for the Blind and Visually Impaired in San Francisco.
Lee Page is the senior associate advocacy director for the Paralyzed Veterans of America. For the past 30 years Mr. Page has been a disability rights advocate for PVA members and all people with disabilities.
His area of expertise covers the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA) and voting rights laws that affect people with disabilities. He currently is working to increase access to air travel with the Air Carrier Access Amendments Act, ensure Amtrak meets the requirements of the ADA, and follow the consumer market and industry of autonomous and electric vehicles.
Mr. Page works with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), the largest coalition of national organizations working together to advocate for people with disabilities in all aspects of society. He is a former a co-chair of the CCD Transportation Task Force and Long-Term Services Task Force.
In 2016 Mr. Page was appointed by the Secretary of Transportation to the Department of Transportation’s Advisory Committee on Accessible Air Transportation (ACCESS Advisory Committee). He is a subject expert on compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Air Carrier Access Act (ACAA).
By advocating for the removal of regulatory and discriminatory barriers, Mr. Page continues to work for passage and implementation of legislation which will enrich the lives of paralyzed veterans and all people with disabilities.
Paralyzed Veterans is a national nonprofit veteran’s service organization dedicated to meeting the needs of its members, veterans of military service who are paralyzed as a result of spinal cord injury or disease.
John Paré is the executive director for Advocacy and Policy at the National Federation of the Blind. In this position he oversees the NFB-NEWSLINE® program, the largest electronic newspaper service in the world, the Independence Market, and the Federation’s Governmental Affairs office. He has testified before the House of Representatives Committee on Appropriations Legislative Branch Subcommittee regarding library services for blind Americans.
He was instrumental in the negotiations and passage of the Pedestrian Safety Enhancement Act, which was signed into law on January 4, 2011, and went into full effect on March 1, 2021. At the international level, Mr. Paré testified on several occasions before the World Forum for the Harmonization of Vehicle Regulations in Geneva, Switzerland, regarding the danger posed by silent hybrid and electric vehicles.
Mr. Paré played a key role advocating for the passage of the Marrakesh Treaty Implementation Act which was signed into law on October 9, 2018.
He is currently working on the Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act, the Medical Device Nonvisual Accessibility Act, and the Transformation to Competitive Integrated Employment Act.
He has appeared on CNN, Fox, BBC, and various radio programs to discuss issues affecting blind Americans.
He has a bachelor’s and master’s from the University of Florida in Gainesville and has been a member of the staff of the National Federation of the Blind for nineteen years.
Katherine Pérez is the inaugural director of the Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy, and Innovation. She graduated from the UCLA School of Law (2013) and is a current doctoral candidate in Disability Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she is writing a dissertation on the Burger Supreme Court (1969-1986) cases on the criminal legal system and mental disability. Katherine writes about and presents on disability and immigration law and policy. Her article "A Critical Race and Disability Legal Studies Approach to Immigration Law and Policy" advocates for an intersectional approach to understanding immigration that considers disability as well as a multidisciplinary approach that combines grassroots activism with legal work. Katherine teaches a disability rights law course at Loyola Law School as a visiting professor of law.
Katherine's sense of disability justice formed at a young age as she grew up with psychiatric disabilities and a sister to an autistic woman with intellectual disability. Katherine has dedicated her life toward advocating for people with disabilities on local, national, and international levels. She worked for Congresswoman Linda Sanchez as a legislative fellow from 2006-2007 as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow. From 2008-2010, Katherine lived in La Libertad, Peru, working with a local disability rights organization as a Peace Corps volunteer. From 2015-2019, she helped launch and led The National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities (CNLD), an intersectional organization that advocates on important issues and provides a positive space for the disabled Latinx community. As a queer, disabled woman of color, and granddaughter of Mexican immigrants, Katherine's lived experience informs her approach to intersectional justice.
The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) honored Katherine in 2017 with the prestigious Paul G. Hearne Award for her work as a CNLD co-founder.
Dennis Quon, EDP, is a subject matter expert in document accessibility and leads the Document Accessibility Services business at Crawford Technologies providing automated and manual transcription, remediation, and service bureau accessible document solutions to the visually and cognitively disabled.
Dennis has worked in executive roles in large transactional print service providers, the Canadian federal government, and at Xerox Canada. Dennis has over 35 years of experience in the electronic document industry and holds an electronic document professional certification. He started his role in accessibility in the 1980s during his college days.
Clark Rachfal is the director of advocacy and governmental affairs for the American Council of the Blind (ACB). In this role, he leads ACB’s legislative and regulatory agendas, as well as member-driven and individual advocacy efforts, to further the organization’s mission of security, independence, equality, and opportunity for all people who are blind and experiencing vision loss.
Clark embraces the ACB core values of integrity and honesty, respect, collaboration, flexibility, and initiative in all that he does to support the necessary changes required for successful interventions of equality. He represents ACB on various corporate technology and communications accessibility boards as well as the Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee and Consumer Advisory Committee.
Prior to joining ACB, Clark served in public policy positions for National Industries for the Blind and Verizon Communications, Inc. In addition to his policy background, Clark is a Paralympian and World Champion in the sport of tandem cycling. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Towson University in political science and economics. He lives in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Greta, and their two dogs, Summit and Cricket.
Jalyn Radziminski is director of engagement at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where Jalyn leads community coalitions, call-to-action campaigns, and grassroots organizing.
Jalyn is also the founder of Count US IN, the first Indiana-based, non-partisan nonprofit led by BIPOC disability community members that not only increases but intentionally diversifies voter turnout and broader civic engagement through education and empowerment of community members.
Jalyn is a Black and Japanese activist from Indiana who advocates for disability and racial justice, especially in the intersection of mental health. Jalyn is dedicated to breaking down barriers for BIPOC disability communities, including voting and civic engagement, and lifting up community-based and anti-carceral solutions. Jalyn’s work is informed by their lived experience as a student and young professional with disabilities, navigating voter suppression, and over eight years of experience doing advocacy at the intersection of race, mental health, and mass incarceration.
Internationally, Jalyn has studied and worked in Japan, Germany, and the Netherlands to advocate for and learn about human rights. Jalyn graduated from Emory University and is pursuing their JD as an evening student at Fordham University School of Law.
Mark A. Riccobono is President of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) where, for nearly nine years, he has led the organization in testing the limits of blindness by helping blind people overcome the barriers to full participation in society. Through a combination of education of the public about blindness, advocacy to protect the legal rights of the blind, and a continuing commitment to the development of innovative research, educational programs, technology, products, and services, the NFB remains the leading force in the blindness field today. Before becoming president in 2014, President Riccobono served as executive director of the NFB Jernigan Institute and was responsible for the development of many successful national education and technology programs, such as the National Center for Blind Youth in Science, Braille Enrichment for Literacy and Learning (BELL), and the Blind Driver Challenge. Prior to joining the NFB, President Riccobono participated in the Sears executive training program, was appointed to the Wisconsin State Superintendent's Blind and Visual Impairment Education Council, and served as the first director of the Wisconsin Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired, an agency responsible for statewide services to blind children. Between 2010 and 2011, he served as an appointed member of the Federal Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials in Postsecondary Education. In January 2011, President Riccobono navigated a car equipped with nonvisual technology at the Daytona International Speedway, demonstrating the first time a blind individual has driven a street vehicle in public without the assistance of a sighted person. President Riccobono earned an undergraduate degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and a graduate degree in educational studies from the Johns Hopkins University.
Lucia Romano is the supervising attorney of the Employment, Voting and Accessibility Team at Disability Rights Texas (DRTx). Lucia began her career as a disability rights advocate at DRTx in 2005 leading special projects around the Jail Diversion Project in Harris County, and also on the Katrina Aid Project in 2005. She became a staff attorney for the organization in 2006 and ultimately accepted a management role in 2014. She leads a passionate team of attorneys, advocates, a policy specialist, and a voting rights trainer and education specialist who work across the state of Texas on behalf of individuals with disabilities. Her current work focuses on direct legal representation in the areas of employment discrimination, wage equity, vocational rehabilitation, Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility issues, and voting rights for individuals with disabilities. She has practiced in federal district courts for the Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas, and in Texas state courts. She serves and was a founding member of several Houston community-based workgroups including the Houston Financial Inclusion Workgroup, the Houston Employment Roundtable, and Houston Bar Association Project TRAIN. She obtained her law degree from the University of Houston Law Center in 2001 and a BA from Loyola University-New Orleans in 1996. Lucia is from San Juan, Argentina, and she is fluent in Spanish. She lives in the Houston area and enjoys hiking, Nia Dance, and Argentine Malbecs.
Will Schell serves as a deputy chief at the Disability Rights Office of the Federal Communications Commission where he, among other things, leads the disability related consumer complaints, drafts various guidance and orders, and engages in outreach with the disability community. Will also serves as the deputy designated federal officer of the Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee, which provides advice and recommendations to the Commission on a wide array of disability issues within the FCC’s jurisdiction. Prior to working at the Disability Rights Office, Will was a civil rights analyst at the Office for Civil Rights in the US Department of Health and Human Services, where he provided assistance and guidance on regional Olmstead cases, reviewed proposed regulations and other clearance documents, and coordinated systemic Olmstead compliance reviews. Will has also served as a staff attorney at Disability Rights California, California’s protection and advocacy agency ,where he represented students in special education hearings and participated in Olmstead class action cases in various stages of litigation.
Stuart Seaborn is managing director of litigation at Disability Rights Advocates. Mr. Seaborn first joined DRA in 2011 and has been advocating in the public interest for nearly 20 years. He specializes in systemic litigation on behalf of persons with disabilities and has achieved multiple national precedents on matters of first impression in the area of disability rights. In one example, Disabled in Action v. Board of Elections, Mr. Seaborn secured the first federal appellate decision to hold that, under the Americans with Disabilities Act, election officials must provide voters with disabilities the same private and independent voting experience they provide to non-disabled voters. He was also lead counsel in Legal Services for Prisoners with Children v. Ahern, which resulted in a court-enforceable settlement agreement to provide disability-based accommodations to persons housed in one of the largest county jail systems in California, and Ochoa v. City of Long Beach, a class action resulting in the installation and improvement of thousands of curb ramps for persons who use wheelchairs.
Mr. Seaborn is also an adjunct professor at UC Hastings School of Law. In addition to his work with DRA, he had a solo civil rights practice and worked as a litigator at Disability Rights California. He received his law degree from the UCLA School of Law in 1998 and his BA from UC Berkeley in 1995.
Melissa Shang is a sophomore at Harvard University. She currently receives SSI. She has been a disability activist since she was ten years old, when she started a petition for American Girl to release a doll with a disability. The petition went viral, and it was featured in major news outlets like Buzzfeed, CBS, and People magazine. Since then, she’s written for the New York Times and Teen Vogue, and she wrote and published the book Mia Lee is Wheeling Through Middle School. Melissa has spoken at the United Nations and done a TEDx talk. She is also the co-president of Harvard's Undergraduate Disability Justice Club.
Shelly L. Skeen (she/her) is a senior attorney for Lambda Legal. Shelly is a seasoned litigator, mediator, arbitrator, and appellate practitioner. She holds a diploma in international arbitration, has filed amici briefs in the US Supreme Court, and successfully appeared before Texas Supreme Court. Shelly served as the chair of the LGBT Law Section for the State Bar of Texas (SBOT), is adjunct faculty for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy and UNT Dallas School of Law, and is a frequent speaker and author. In 2016, The Texas Bar College awarded Shelly The Franklin Jones Award for the best CLE article. Shelly has served the SBOT CLE Committee for seven years and works with UT and UNT law schools on behalf of transgender Texans in their legal clinics. In 2018, Shelly earned an LLM from UCLA School of Law, with specializations in constitutional law and law and sexuality.
Jamie Strawbridge is an attorney with the Baltimore-based law firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP. Jamie represents clients in matters involving civil rights, disability rights, police misconduct, and commercial litigation. Jamie has represented blind clients in cases involving voting rights and access to healthcare and has represented individuals forced into retirement because of their disabilities. After law school, Jamie clerked for the Honorable Diana Gribbon Motz on the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and for the Honorable Catherine C. Blake on the US District Court for the District of Maryland.
Karen Tani is the Seaman Family University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, where she is jointly appointed in the law school and the history department. She is the author of States of Dependency: Welfare, Rights, and American Governance, 1935-1972 (Cambridge University Press, 2016). Her published articles have appeared or are forthcoming in the Yale Law Journal, the Law and History Review, Disability Studies Quarterly, and other outlets. A legal historian of the twentieth-century United States, she is particularly interested in social welfare provision, disability policy, administrative agencies, and rights guarantees. She holds a JD and a PhD in History from the University of Pennsylvania. Following her law school graduation, she clerked for the Honorable Guido Calabresi on the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.
Victoria Thomas is a trial attorney dedicated to Olmstead enforcement within the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Disability Rights Section. Thomas is a 2007 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. Before joining the Civil Rights Division, Thomas was a staff attorney at the P&A in Washington, DC. At the DOJ, Thomas has worked on statewide Olmstead matters in Rhode Island, Oregon, North Dakota, and Maine.
John Thompson is a civil rights analyst in the Civil Rights Division of the Office for Civil Rights at HHS. He is an attorney and a Presidential Management Fellow. Throughout his career in the federal government, John has investigated and helped resolve allegations of disability discrimination, drafted regulatory and guidance documents on disability rights issues, and provided technical assistance and outreach on a number of civil rights issues.
Angelica Vega (she/her/hers) is a May 2020 graduate of American University in Washington, DC, where she earned both department and Latin honors in philosophy. Angelica is a passionate advocate and served as a 2021-2022 Law Fellow of The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation at Loyola Law School. She has continued her work with The Coelho Center as chair of its Advisory Committee on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access, a committee that she proposed and co-created.
Shira Wakschlag is the senior director of legal advocacy and general counsel for The Arc. Her work involves directing The Arc’s participation in disability rights litigation to advance the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities nationwide, including cases pertaining to education, voting rights, criminal justice, and health care. Shira also oversees The Arc’s amicus practice, participating in briefs to educate courts around the country about matters critical to disability rights law. Prior to joining The Arc, Shira worked on civil and disability rights impact litigation in the San Francisco Bay Area as a Skadden Fellow at Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund and as an associate attorney at a civil rights law firm. Shira is the recipient of the 2022 American Constitution Society David Carliner Public Interest Award; has served on the board of the Disability Rights Bar Association; has published articles with the Denver Law Review, the ABA Human Rights Magazine, and the University of Minnesota Impact Magazine; is regularly quoted in national media on issues pertaining to disability rights law; and regularly presents at conferences on a wide variety of topics in the field of disability and civil rights. Shira received her JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and a BA from Brown University. She is licensed to practice in DC and California.
Angela Winfield is vice president and chief diversity officer for the Law School Admission Council. In this role, she provides leadership, vision, energy, and a unified philosophy to LSAC’s diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts on behalf of member law schools and the students who seek a career in law. Prior to her current position, Winfield was associate vice president for inclusion and workforce diversity at Cornell University, where she led the university’s affirmative action and federal contractor compliance programs, managed the university’s five identity/affinity-based colleague network groups, provided training opportunities for the 7,000+ member staff, oversaw religious accommodations, and served on the university’s ADA coordinator team. Winfield is a certified leadership coach and motivational speaker and has presented to companies including 3M, Société Générale, and LexisNexis. She also is a member of the Practicing Law Institute’s advisory committee on diversity, serves on the board of trustees for Cayuga Community College, and sits on the board of directors for The Rev Theatre Company, Reader’s Digest Partners for Sight Foundation, and Success Beyond Sight. Winfield earned her JD from Cornell Law School and is admitted to the New York bar. She earned her BA from Barnard College of Columbia University.
John Wodatch is a disability rights attorney with over 50 years specializing in the Americans with Disabilities Act and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He served for 42 years in the federal government, where he authored the government’s comprehensive disability rights regulations and created and led the Department of Justice’s office in charge of enforcing the ADA.
He is one of the drafters of the Americans with Disabilities Act, serving as a member of the White House negotiating team and as the Department of Justice’s chief technical expert during the writing and passage of the ADA. He was also part of the US delegation to the United Nations that helped develop the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
He was the chief author of the Department of Justice’s 1991 ADA regulations, created DOJ’s initial ADA technical assistance programs, and assembled the Department’s ADA enforcement staff. From 1990 until 2011 he served as the director and section chief overseeing all interpretation, technical assistance, and enforcement of the ADA at the Department of Justice. Just before he retired, he was responsible for the first major revision of the Department's ADA regulations, including the 2010 Standards for Accessible Design. He is also the chief author of the first federal regulations implementing section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
In 2010 he was honored with the Presidential Distinguished Rank Award for exceptional achievement in his career. He received a BA from Trinity College, an MPA from Harvard University, and a JD from the Georgetown University Law School.
Elizabeth M. Yang is a founder and president of WStrong LLC, a strategic business consulting and coaching firm dedicated to solving problems, meeting challenges, and building teams.
Elizabeth’s career is best seen through the lens of public service and the critical need for access to and equal justice for all members of our society. She spent over two decades as the director of the American Bar Association (ABA) Standing Committee on Election Law. She now serves as a member of Standing Committee, where, as policy chair, she has played a pivotal role in the continued development of the ABA Election Administration Guidelines, including the most recent revision addressing misinformation and disinformation and personal security of election administrators and voters. She is also chair of the Election Law and Voting Rights Committee of the ABA Section of State and Local Government Law, where she created the section’s Defending Democracy initiative to celebrate the work of state and local election administrators as workers on the frontlines of our democracy. She is committed to perfecting democracy by working to ensure voting rights for all eligible citizens, and defending democracy through education, civic engagement, and efforts to instill confidence in the integrity of our nation’s electoral process. Most recently, Elizabeth was named by the ABA Governmental Affairs Office as the Advocate of the Month for November 2022 for her tireless work on reforming election law.
Elizabeth is a proud first generation Taiwanese American, whose parents came from Chingshui and Taipei. She is an innovative and accomplished author and presenter on all aspects of election law, with recent focus on voting rights and gender parity in the electoral process. She earned her BA in rhetoric and communications studies from the University of Virginia and a JD from Syracuse University College of Law. She and her family reside in Northern Virginia.
Jean Zachariasiewicz is a trial attorney in the Police Practice Group within the US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division’s Special Litigation Section. Jean graduated from Columbia Law School in 2010 and then clerked for federal trial and appellate courts. Prior to joining the Civil Rights Division, she was a partner at Brown, Goldstein & Levy, where she litigated disability rights, police misconduct, and fair housing cases. At the DOJ, Jean is a member of the teams investigating the Phoenix Police Department and the Louisiana State Police and is helping to oversee the consent decree with the Albuquerque Police Department.
All Times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time
7:45 – 8:30 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 8:40 AM Welcome, Introductions, and Opening Remarks
Mark Riccobono, President, National Federation of the Blind
8:40 – 10:20 AM The Disability Docket: What’s at Stake at the Supreme Court for People with Disabilities
- Shira Wakschlag, Senior Director, Legal Advocacy & General Counsel, The Arc
- Ruth Colker, Distinguished University Professor and Heck Faust Memorial Chair in Constitutional Law, Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
- Jasmine Harris, Professor of Law, University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Karen Tani, Seaman Family University Professor, University of Pennsylvania Law School
- Karla Gilbride, Co-Director, Access to Justice Project
- Jalyn Radziminski, Director of Engagement, Bazelon Center
10:20 – 10:30 AM Break
10:30 – 11:30 AM Workshops
1. Using the ADA to Bring Justice to the Criminal System
Location: Members Hall
Eve Hill, Brown Goldstein & Levy;
Kobie Flowers, Brown Goldstein & Levy;
Catherine Hanssens, Center for HIV Law & Policy
2. Advancing Disability Rights for Immigrant Children Within and Outside Government Custody
Location: Pimlico Conference Room
Anne Kelsey, Disability Policy Analyst at the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights;
Amy Leipziger, Project Director of the Peter Cicchino Youth Project at Urban Justice Center
3. Marriage Barriers for SSA Benefits
Location: Betsy Zaborowski Conference Room
Kate Lang, Director, Federal Income Security, Justice in Aging;
Ayesha Elaine Lewis, Staff Attorney & Leadership Team at Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
- Patrice Jetter, Special Olympics Medalist
- Lori Long, Promoter of #LoriesLaw
- Melissa Shang, Disability Activist and Harvard Student
4. Building Resilience Through Meditation
Location: Round Conference Room
Caroline Jackson, Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, LLP
5. Disability Discrimination and the Right of Air Travel
Location: Fourth Floor Conference Room
Heather Ansley, Esquire, MSW;
Danica Gonzalves, Esquire, Paralyzed Veterans of America;
Lee Page, Senior Associate Advocacy Director for the Paralyzed Veterans of America;
Zainab Alkebsi, Esquire, Policy Counsel, Law and Advocacy Center, National Association of the Deaf
6. Advocating from the Intersections: How Lived Experiences of Intersectionality Can and Should Inform Disability Advocacy on Behalf of Members of the LGBTQ+ Community
Location: Computer Lab
Sasha Buchert, Senior Attorney, Director, Non-Binary and Transgender Rights Project, Lambda Legal;
M. Geron Gadd, Senior Attorney, National Health Law Program
7. The Department of Justice and the ADA’s Integration Mandate: A Year in Review
Location: NFB of Utah Auditorium
Beth Kurtz, Trial Attorney, Special Litigation Section;
Julia Graff, Trial Attorney, Disability Rights Section, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
11:30 – 11:45 AM Break
11:45 AM – 1:05 PM The Balancing Act: Ethical and Zealous Representation When Collaborating for Equal Access Without Litigation
- Morissa S. Fregeau, Corporate Counsel, Aflac
- Kristina Launey, Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
- Timothy Elder, Attorney TRE Legal Practice
1:05 – 2:30 PM Lunch and Tribute to Scott LaBarre
Marc Maurer, Immediate Past President, National Federation of the Blind
2:30 – 3:30 PM Workshops
1. Raising the Bar: Best Practices for Disabled Voters
Location: Computer Lab
Elizabeth M. Yang, Policy Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Election Law;
Denise Avant, Board of Governors Liaison, ABA Commission on Disability Rights;
Jason D. Kaune, Chair, ABA Standing Committee on Election Law
2. The ADA in the Criminal Justice Setting and The Arc’s Pathways to Justice Program
Location: Betsy Zaborowski Conference Room
Steven Gordon, Assistant United States Attorney, Civil Rights Enforcement Coordinator, Eastern District of Virginia;
Leigh Ann Davis, M.S.S.W., M.P.A., Senior Director, Disability & Justice Initiatives, The Arc of the United States;
Melissa Heifetz, Executive Director, The Arc of Northern Virginia
3. The Americans with Disabilities Act in the Criminal Justice System (DOJ)
Location: NFB of Utah Auditorium
Deena Fox, Deputy Chief, Special Litigation Section;
Victoria Thomas, Trial Attorney, Disability Rights Section, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division;
Jean Zachariasiewicz, Trial Attorney, Police Practice Group, US Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Litigation Section
4. Olmstead in 2023: Protecting the Right of Older Americans with Disabilities to Live in the Community
Location: Fourth Floor Conference Room
Kelly Bagby, Vice President of Litigation, AARP Foundation;
Maame Gyamfi, Senior Attorney, AARP Foundation
5. Accessible COVID Testing: A Multi-faceted Approach to Accessible Public Health
Location: Bubble Conference Room
Kaitlin Banner, Deputy Legal Director, The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs;
Margaret Hart, Senior Counsel, The Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs;
Clark Rachfal, American Council of the Blind
6. In the Know: Shelter in Place or Evacuate
Location: Pimlico Conference Room
Shari Myers, National Disability Integration Coordinator;
Nancy Mayer, Attorney, Nancy Mayer Law Firm and Regional Lead for Disability Integration, Eastern Region of North Carolina, American Red Cross
7. Overview of United States' Consent Decree with UC Berkeley: Digital Accessibility in Web, Video, Audio and Education Platforms Under Title II of the ADA
Location: Members Hall
Charlotte Lanvers, Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section (DRS);
Christine Kim, Trial Attorney, US Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section (DRS)
3:30 – 3:45 PM Break
3:45 – 5:05 PM Accessible Voting Roundup
- Eve Hill, Partner, Brown Goldstein & Levy
- Stuart Seaborn, Disability Rights Advocates
- Lucia Romano, Supervising Attorney, Disability Rights Texas
- Lou Ann Blake, Director of Research Programs, National Federation of the Blind
5:05 – 5:15 PM Aaron Wilson, Founder and CEO, Enhanced Voting
Douglas George Towne, Chair and CEO, Access Ready, Inc.
5:15 – 6:45 PM Reception, sponsored by Enhanced Voting, platinum sponsor
All Times are Eastern Daylight Savings Time
7:45 – 8:30 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 – 9:50 AM The Disability Law Pipeline in a Changing Legal and Policy Landscape
- Katherine Perez, Executive Director, The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation
- Angelica Vega, Alumnus, The Coelho Center, Law Fellowship Program
- Nira Nova, Alumnus, The Coelho Center, Law Fellowship Program
- Angela Winfield, Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Law School Admission Council
- Robert D. Dinerstein, Chair, ABA Commission on Disability Rights, Professor of Law, American University Washington College of Law, Director, Disability Rights Law Clinic
9:50 – 10:05 AM Break
10:05 – 11:05 AM Workshops
1. Voting Rights of People with Psychiatric Labels
Location: Fourth Floor Conference Room
Kristin Aiello, Esquire, Aiello Law LLC, former Senior Attorney at Disability Rights Maine;
Jennifer Mathis, Department of Justice, former attorney at Bazelon Center for Mental Health
2. Protecting Access to Services in an Increasingly Hostile Environment
Location: NFB of Utah Auditorium
Elizabeth Edwards, Senior Attorney, National Health Law Program;
M. Geron Gadd, Senior Attorney, National Health Law Program
3. Recent Advocacy for Blind and Low-Vision Incarcerated People
Location: Computer Lab
Jacob Hutt, Staff Attorney, Prison Law Office;
Michael Nunez, Senior Counsel, Rosen, Bien, Galvan & Grunfeld LLP;
Monica Basche, Associate, Brown Goldstein & Levy
4. Effective Communication in Hospital Settings: Lessons Learned from Bone v. University of North Carolina Health Care System
Location: Members Hall
Dr. Megan Morris, Associate Professor at the University of Colorado Anshutz Medical Campus;
Dennis Quon, Director of Document Accessibility Solutions at Crawford Technologies;
Jamie Strawbridge, Brown, Goldstein & Levy;
Chris Hodgson, Disability Rights North Carolina
5. Latest Accessibility Developments from the Federal Communications Commission
Location: Pimlico Conference Room
Eliot Greenwald, Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission;
Will Schell, Deputy Chief, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission;
Joshua Mendelsohn, Attorney Advisor, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal Communications Commission
6. Websites and Software Applications Accessibility Act
Location: Betsy Zaborowski Conference Room
John Wodatch, President and Board Member, National Association of ADA Coordinators
John Paré, Executive Director, National Federation of the Blind;
Stephanie Enyart, Chief Public Policy and Research Officer, American Foundation for the Blind;
Clark Rachfal, Director of Advocacy and Governmental Affairs, American Council of the Blind
7. The Changing Medical Cannabis Landscape: What People with Disabilities Need to Know
Location: Bubble Conference Room
Maame Gyamfi, Esquire
11:05 – 11:20 AM Break
11:20 – 12:40 PM Accessible Information and Effective Communication in Healthcare Settings
- John Thompson, Civil Rights Analyst, HHS Office for Civil Rights
- Lisa Bothwell, Program Analyst, HHS Administration for Community Living
- Steven Gordon, Assistant United State Attorney, Civil Rights Enforcement Coordinator, Eastern District of Virginia
12:40 PM Final Remarks and Adjourn
Betsy Zaborowski, and Round Conference Rooms: Turn left when exiting Members Hall. Take first hall on left and proceed to end of hall, where NFB staff will direct you.
Computer Lab: Exit Members Hall and proceed through doors immediately to your right, where NFB staff will direct you.
Fourth Floor Conference Room: Turn left when exiting Members Hall. Proceed through lunchroom to hallway, where NFB staff will direct you.
Pimlico, and Bubble Conference Rooms: Turn left when exiting Members Hall. Take first hall on left and proceed to end of hall, where NFB staff will direct you.
NFB of Utah Auditorium: Turn left when exiting Members Hall and proceed down hallway to auditorium on your right.
Lia Sifuentes Davis