Nashiru Abdulai is the cofounder of Global Deaf Muslim (GDM), a nonprofit organization that strives to provide opportunities for the Deaf to learn about Islam and gain inclusion in the Muslim community. GDM started as a local community organization for Deaf Muslims in Rochester, New York, in 2005. While president of GDM, Abdulai led efforts to provide access to Islam in sign language and charity services for hundreds of Deaf Muslims, domestically and internationally. GDM expanded to include chapters around the world and added a separate international chapter called Global Deaf Muslim Federation (GDMF). In 2018, Abdulai was elected by international organizations to become president of the GDMF board of directors in Istanbul, Turkey. Abdulai spearheaded GDM-USA’s translation of the Quran into American Sign Language and organized three international conferences for Deaf Muslims in Qatar (2013), Malaysia (2016), and Indonesia (2019). Abdulai earned a BS in social work from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in 2004 where Abdulai also worked as a safety officer teaching Deaf culture to Rochester law enforcement officers and deputies working with Deaf residents. As a student at RIT, Abdulai also established the Deaf International Student Association and interned at the Center for Disability Rights as a Deaf system advocate. Abdulai obtained an MPA from American University in Washington, DC, in 2018. Abdulai has appeared for interviews with several news organizations such as Al Jazeera, CNN Indonesia, Deseret Newspaper, and others focusing on issues related to accessibility at religious services for Deaf Muslims in the US and around the world.
Kristen L. Aeillo represents individuals with disabilities who have been discriminated against in employment, state and local government, and public accommodations. Focusing on litigation, Aeillo leads the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) team at Disability Rights Maine and is a frequent trainer and lecturer on the ADA and the Maine Human Rights Act. Aeillo was lead counsel for the plaintiffs in a seminal ADA voting rights case which overturned Maine’s constitutional provision prohibiting individuals under guardianship for reason of mental illness from voting. Aeillo represents adults and children with disabilities at the Maine Human Rights Commission and in state and federal courts. In addition to work with clients, Aeillo educates policy makers at the Maine Legislature regarding disability law and has conducted disability law trainings to diverse groups. In 2019, the US District Court for the District of Maine appointed Aeillo to serve on the local advisory committee. Aeillo previously served on the planning committee for the 2018 Judicial Conference for the District of Maine and by appointment on the executive committee of the Stakeholder Working Group for Civil Justice Reform for Maine's courts, among other appointments. Aeillo is active in the employment section of the Maine State Bar Association as a faculty presenter and served as section leader from 2016 to 2018. Aeillo is a graduate of Boston College and University of Maine School of Law.
Zainab Alkebsi is the policy counsel at the National Association of the Deaf (NAD). In this role, Alkebsi advocates for regulatory changes to improve the quality of life of deaf, hard of hearing, late-deafened, deaf with mobile disabilities, and deaf-blind people in many areas including transportation, telecommunications, employment, technology, and more. As part of this work, Alkebsi advocates at federal agencies through meetings and filing comments. Prior to joining the NAD, Alkebsi served as Deputy Director at the Maryland Governor’s Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, coordinating the office’s legislative and policy efforts. Licensed to practice law in Maryland, Alkebsi is also president of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Bar Association. Alkebsi received a law degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law in 2012 and a BA in political science from University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Selene Almazan has represented students and families for over thirty years. Almazan is a former supervising attorney for the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland representing children in the foster care system, including in special education matters. For nearly twenty-three years, Almazan represented parents in special education matters with a primary focus on least restrictive environment (LRE) issues at the Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education. Since September 2014, Almazan has been the legal director for the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, where Almazan supports the work of the amicus committee and works on federal and local policy issues. In this position, Almazan writes appellate amicus briefs for appellate courts as well as the US Supreme Court. Since May 2015, Almazan maintains a private practice that focuses on parent and student representation in special education matters, including LRE. Almazan represents families at individualized education program (IEP) team meetings, state complaint proceedings, mediations, due process hearings, suspension/expulsion proceedings, and federal court proceedings, including matters involving violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Almazan has extensive experience training families, teachers, school administrators, attorneys, and advocates on legal issues related to special education law, as well as disability discrimination issues. Almazan obtained a BA from University of Maryland, College Park, and a JD from Antioch School of Law.
Peter Blanck is university professor at Syracuse University, the highest faculty rank at the university, and chairman of the Burton Blatt Institute. Blanck is an honorary professor at the Centre for Disability Law & Policy at the National University of Ireland, Galway. Blanck has written articles and books on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and related laws and has received millions of dollars in grants to study the ADA. Blanck’s 2020 book from Foundation Press is titled Disability Law and Policy. Blanck is a former member of the President's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, a former senior fellow of the Annenberg Washington Program, and a former fellow at Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs. Prior to teaching, Blanck practiced law at Covington & Burling and served as law clerk to the late Honorable Carl McGowan of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. Blanck received a JD from Stanford University, and was president of the Stanford Law Review. Blanck received a PhD in social psychology from Harvard University.
Christina Brandt-Young, a managing attorney for Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) in New York, develops and litigates class and impact cases under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Brandt-Young has particular expertise in elections and health care and works with legal services and shelter providers serving domestic violence victims with disabilities. Prior to working with DRA, Brandt-Young was a senior staff attorney at Legal Momentum, evaluating and litigating sex, race, and disability discrimination in class and impact employment and education cases. Brandt-Young also formerly was a staff attorney with the New York Legal Assistance Group where Brandt-Young represented domestic violence victims and was a member of an appointed counsel panel for child abuse, neglect, custody, and family offense cases on review from family court to the New York Appellate Division. Brandt-Young obtained a BM and MM from Northwestern University, MA in musicology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and JD from the University of Michigan Law School. Following law school, Brandt-Young clerked for Justice Walter Carpeneti of the Alaska Supreme Court.
Alexander S. Brown has nearly thirty years’ experience providing services and managing programs for nonprofit organizations and teaching at the graduate-school level. Brown is currently executive director of Friedman Place, a nonprofit supported living community serving adults who are blind or low vision. Brown also has served as executive director for two other organizations that provide residential services to adults with severe and persistent mental illness and autism and has managed community-based programs that serve older adults, as well as a crisis intervention program based in a hospital setting. Brown teaches graduate-level courses at DePaul University’s School of Public Service and the Jane Addams School of Social Work and previously taught at Concordia University Chicago College of Business. As a grant reviewer for the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in Washington, DC, Brown reviews federal healthcare and behavioral health grant applications. Brown also works as a psychotherapist and nonprofit consultant for Brown Leopold Partners, LTD, has served on the boards of directors of six nonprofits, and has raised over twenty-five million dollars from foundation, corporate, and individual sources, developing and/or implementing more than three dozen new or expansion programs and services. Brown presents frequently to both professional and lay audiences on a wide range of topics related to both clinical and administrative matters, such as suicide assessment and intervention, and competency and consent in real-world practice. Brown has a master’s and doctoral degree in social work from Simmons College in Boston and the Institute for Clinical Social Work in Chicago, respectively, a master’s degree in business from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management in Illinois, and a certificate in nonprofit management from the Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in Illinois.
Lydia X. Z. Brown is a disability justice advocate, attorney, educator, organizer, strategist, and writer whose work centers on violence against multiply marginalized disabled people. Brown currently serves as policy counsel for the Center for Democracy & Technology, as well as the director of policy, advocacy, and external affairs with the Autistic Women & Binary Network. Brown is adjunct lecturer and core faculty for the Disability Studies Program at Georgetown University and adjunct professorial lecturer in the Department of Critical Race, Gender, and Culture Studies at American University. Previously, Brown was a Justice Catalyst Fellow at the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, working on defending and advancing the educational civil rights of Maryland students with disabilities facing various forms of disproportionate discipline, restraint and seclusion, and school pushout. Brown is co-editor and visionary behind All the Weight of Our Dreams, the first-ever anthology of writings and artwork by autistic people of color and otherwise negatively racialized autistic people. Brown also founded and directs the Fund for Community Reparations for Autistic People of Color’s Interdependence, Survival, and Empowerment, which provides direct support, mutual aid, and community reparations to individual autistic people of color. While a law student, Brown taught a course on disability theory, policy, and social movements as a visiting lecturer at Tufts University. Brown was also chairperson of the Massachusetts Developmental Disabilities Council. Before law school, Brown worked with the Autistic Self Advocacy Network as part of its national policy team and cofounded the Washington Metro Disabled Students Collective to create space for queer and trans-disabled people of color, among others with multiply marginalized identities. Brown holds a BA from Georgetown University and a JD from Northeastern University School of Law.
Holly Ceasar is a staff attorney at Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities (QT), an independent, nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the interests of people with developmental disabilities. Ceasar works on the Jenny Hatch Justice Project, which provides free legal services to low-income DC residents who are in or at risk of undue or overbroad guardianship. Before joining QT, Ceasar served as a legal fellow at the AARP Foundation’s Litigation Department, where Ceasar was involved in numerous complex litigation matters, including the enforcement of federal community integration mandates. As a legal fellow at the Children’s Law Center, Ceasar advocated on behalf of families applying for Supplemental Security Income. While at George Washington University Law School, Ceasar interned at QT and served as a student attorney in the Public Justice Advocacy Clinic, representing low-income clients in the DC Superior Court and the Office of Administrative Hearings. Caesar also interned in the Disability Rights Section of the US Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division and the Department of Education’s Office of Hearings and Appeals.
Gabe Cazares serves as the director of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for the city of Houston, Texas. In this capacity, Cazares works under the direction of Mayor Sylvester Turner and collaborates with the Houston City Council, Houston’s disability community, city agencies, and other stakeholders to build a more accessible and inclusive city for all Houstonians. Prior to Cazares’s appointment, Cazares served as the manager of government affairs at the National Federation of the Blind in Baltimore, Maryland. Cazares was responsible for monitoring, drafting, and shepherding legislation and regulations that affect blind Americans through the federal legislative and rule-making process. In addition, Cazares provided supervisory support to the government affairs staff and coordinated their policy portfolios. Cazares holds a BA in political science with a Spanish minor from Texas State University.
Mariyam A. Cementwala is US Embassy Dhaka’s political-military officer, covering a range of peace and security issues at the intersection of law enforcement, counterterrorism, and bilateral defense cooperation between the United States and the Republic of Bangladesh. Cementwala speaks four South Asian languages, as well as Arabic, and has served in the political sections of US embassies in the United Arab Emirates, India, and Saudi Arabia. Cementwala has covered issues such as women’s rights, political Islam, counterterrorism and countering violent extremism, and human trafficking, in addition to leading mission outreach to minority communities. Most recently, Cementwala served as a policy advisor to Ambassador-at-Large Sam Brownback in the US Department of State’s Office of International Religious Freedom in Washington, DC, earning a superior honor award for outreach to vulnerable communities and initiatives to counter violent extremism through pluralistic education. Cementwala previously served as US Embassy Abu Dhabi’s lead in helping to launch Hedayah–the Center of Excellence for Countering Violent Extremism, receiving a meritorious honor award by the State Department’s Bureau of Counterterrorism. A lawyer by training who received both a BA and JD from the University of California (UC), Berkeley, Cementwala worked at a DC law firm, served as a legal fellow on the Senate Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Human Rights and the Law, and managed government relations for an international NGO devoted to promoting disability rights across the globe prior to joining the State Department. Cementwala also taught a student-led course on the blind civil rights movement at UC Berkeley, incorporating the legal and philosophical underpinnings of Dr. Jacobus tenBroek’s and Dr. Kenneth Jernigan’s writings and speeches. In the early 2000s, Cementwala was involved in the negotiations and drafting of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for the UN General Assembly in New York.
Salomon Chiquiar-Rabinovich is an of counsel immigration law attorney at Moreno Law in Boston and is the cofounder and current co-chair of the Boston Bar Association Attorneys with Disabilities Committee. Chiquiar-Rabinovich has had a leadership role in professional organizations, advocating for the advancement of diversity and inclusion. As an attorney with dyslexia and a disability rights activist, Chiquiar-Rabinovich advocates for law students and practicing attorneys with visible or invisible disabilities who navigate law school through reasonable accommodations and are admitted to the bar, but then face the challenge of transitioning and negotiating reasonable accommodations from academia to the workplace. Chiquiar-Rabinovich has served as the president of the Massachusetts Association of Hispanic Attorneys, regional president of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA) for New England, and national co-chair of the HNBA’s international law section. Chiquiar-Rabinovich also has served in state and federal government positions, developing customized EEO compliance and corporate social responsibility workforce trainings. An immigrant from Mexico, Chiquiar-Rabinovich is fluent in Spanish, Hebrew, and Yiddish. Chiquiar-Rabinovich received a JD, MSFS, and BSFS from Georgetown University.
David W. Covington is CEO and president of RI International. Covington is a behavioral health innovator, entrepreneur, and storyteller. Covington is also a partner in Behavioral Health Link, producer of the Moving America’s Soul on Suicide film series and founder of the international initiatives Zero Suicide, Crisis Now, and Hope Inc. Stories. A licensed professional counselor, Covington received an MBA from Kennesaw State and an MS from the University of Memphis. Covington previously served as vice president at Magellan Health and was responsible for the executive and clinical operations of the $750 million Arizona contract. Covington is a member of the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC) established in 2017 in accordance with the 21st Century Cures Act to report to Congress on advances in behavioral health. Covington is a two-time national winner of the Council of State Governments Innovations Award. Covington also competed as a finalist in Harvard’s Innovations in American Government in 2009 for the Georgia Crisis & Access Line, and the program was featured in Business Week magazine. Covington has served on the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention Executive Committee since 2010. Covington was also the vice-chair of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Steering Committee from 2005 until 2020 and served as a former president of the American Association of Suicidology. Covington has served on numerous committees and task forces on clinical care and crisis services, including the National Council for Behavioral Health Board of Directors.
Samantha Crane is legal director and director of public policy at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN), a nationwide nonprofit organization run by and for autistic people to advance disability rights. ASAN works to ensure that autistic people are able to enjoy the same access, rights, and opportunities as all other citizens. Crane’s responsibilities include development of official recommendations on prospective legislation, development of materials for advocates to improve healthcare and safety for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, publication of policy updates and analysis, litigation, administrative enforcement, and amicus efforts on matters with the potential for widespread impact on the autistic community. Crane has spearheaded ASAN’s initiatives on supported decision-making and self-determination, including drafting the first model legislation on supported decision-making in the United States. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Crane previously worked as an associate at the litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP. Crane also previously served as a legal fellow at the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where Crane focused on enforcement of the right to community integration as established by the Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C. From 2009 to 2010, Crane served as a law clerk to Judge William H. Yohn at the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Sharon daVanport is the founding executive director of Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network (AWN Network), formerly known as Autism Women’s Network. daVanport is an educational speaker who hosts workshops on topics including health and wellness for women and nonbinary people with disabilities, violence against women and girls in vulnerable communities, and how to effectively use privilege when amplifying the voices and work of disabled people who experience racial and gender inequality. Speaking invitations have included advising on topics regarding disability, healthcare, and autism for the United Nations Headquarters, World Autism Awareness Day (Empowering Autistic Women & Girls) and the White House (Obama Administration). daVanport is an advisory board member at Felicity House, AWN Network representative at Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, AWN steering committee member at National Disability Leadership Alliance, and a board member at Crushing Colonialism.
Lia Sifuentes Davis is a senior litigation attorney at Disability Rights Texas, the federally mandated protection and advocacy organization for people with disabilities in Texas. Specializing in the areas of employment, access, and voting, Davis currently leads the voting rights team at Disability Rights Texas and litigates and researches issues pertaining to the voting rights of people with disabilities. Davis has presented on a wide range of disability topics, including veterans’ issues, service animals, housing rights, and employment rights. Davis has testified in front of the Texas legislature on voting legislation and changes to state antidiscrimination laws. Davis has also been invited to present to law students on the practice of public interest law and disability rights and is passionate about mentoring law students and new attorneys who want to pursue public interest law. Davis is a member of the Texas Employment Lawyers Association and the Disability Rights Bar Association and is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and Brown University, where Davis concentrated in Community Health and American Studies.
Charlene D’Cruz, a graduate of the College of Wooster and the University of Minnesota Law School, is the Border Rights Fellow for Lawyers for Good Government's Project Corazon stationed in Matamoros, Tamaulipas, Mexico. D’Cruz works closely with asylum seekers who have been forced to live in Matamoros while their asylum cases wend their way through the courts. Before September 2019, D’Cruz represented clients through a small private immigration law practice. In 1989, D’Cruz helped start the Florence Project, which has survived thirty years and provides free legal services to immigrants and refugees detained in Arizona. D’Cruz also formerly worked with refugee rights at the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights and the San Francisco Neighborhood Legal Assistance Foundation, representing non-citizen victims of domestic abuse. As an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Minneapolis, D’Cruz worked with families to prevent homelessness through litigation under the unlawful detainer and tenants' remedies laws; and at the Minnesota Disability Law Center, D’Cruz represented children with special needs, advocating for better education services through the schools and juvenile courts. A teacher and attorney by training, D’Cruz is a pioneer in developing large-scale emergency legal response programs.
Steven Dettwyler, PhD, is a public health analyst at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Dettwyler has over thirty years of experience in developing, managing, and monitoring public mental health, addiction, and intellectual disability services at the state and local area. Dettwyler was responsible for implementing the community services requirements of the US Department of Justice’s settlement agreement with the state of Delaware. Roles in SAMHSA include data analysis and training pertaining to the SAMHSA Center for Mental Health Services formula grants and the Mental Health Block Grant; contracting officer representative for the First Episode Psychosis Evaluation project; state project officer for the Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH) and Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI); and co-steward of the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee Access work group, which focuses on access to care and crisis systems of care.
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.
Safaya Fawzi is the associate director in the Diversity & Inclusion Center at the American Bar Association (ABA). Fawzi works to advance Goal III of the ABA: Eliminate Bias and Enhance Diversity. Fawzi leads demographic survey/data collection, coordinates events, manages communications and teambuilding, and supervises marketing efforts. Fawzi is also an expert with the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Experts Hub run by Catalyst:Ed. Prior to the ABA, Fawzi was manager of diversity and inclusion administration at YMCA of the USA, managed service delivery and training as the first point of contact for more than eight hundred YMCA associations, and coordinated the administration's work with Salesforce and customer relationship management (CRM) processes. Fawzi supported the execution, project management, research, and design of trainings on implicit bias, disability, faith, immigrant inclusion, and disability and inclusion primers, educating hundreds of YMCA staff and volunteers.
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 an attorney in the Special Litigation Section of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) working to protect disability rights, juvenile justice, and the religious rights of institutionalized people. Fox is a 2008 graduate of NYU School of Law and completed a two-year fellowship at the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law before joining the Civil Rights Division. At the DOJ, Fox has worked on statewide Olmstead matters in Delaware, New Hampshire, and Mississippi.
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.
Michelle M. Goldberg joined the Law School Admission Council (LSAC) in May 2018 and is currently manager of LSAC’s accommodated testing department. In that role, Goldberg serves as a reviewer and decision-maker for test accommodation requests for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) and acts as the primary liaison with LSAC's external disability consultants, in addition to supervising daily operations of the unit and staff. From December 2008 until May 2018, Goldberg was the manager of disability services for the National Board of Medical Examiners where Goldberg was similarly responsible for reviewing and making decisions regarding test accommodations for assessment programs including the United States Medical Licensing Examination program and overseeing daily operations. Goldberg is a Pennsylvania licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist, and holds a BA in psychology from McDaniel College, an MS in applied psychology from the University of Baltimore, and a PhD from an American Psychological Association-accredited combined school and clinical psychology program at the University of Pennsylvania.
Katharine Gordon is the pro bono coordinator for Al Otro Lado, a binational legal services organization serving deportees and refugees at the United States-Mexico border, with offices in Tijuana, San Diego, and Los Angeles. In addition to direct representation, Al Otro Lado files civil rights complaints and engages in class action litigation to address individual and systemic abuses of the rights of refugees and detained immigrants. Al Otro Lado’s litigation projects include Al Otro Lado v. Nielsen and East Bay Sanctuary Covenant v. Trump. Previously, Gordon worked as a child advocate with unaccompanied minors—including children with developmental and mental health disabilities—detained by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the Houston region, making recommendations about conditions of detention, release, custody, placement, and issues of safe repatriation. Gordon also previously worked with the American Diabetes Association’s national legal advocate program, where Gordon helped people across the country fight discrimination in employment, education, public accommodations, correctional facilities, and interactions with law enforcement. A former Georgetown University Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow, Gordon is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the George Washington University Law School. Gordon has lived and worked in Mexico City and rural Guatemala, is fluent in Spanish, and has worked extensively with survivors of trauma and violence, including at the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles and the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project.
Steve Gordon for the last twenty-five 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.
Angela Groves is an attorney at Relman Colfax PLLC, a civil rights law firm based in Washington, DC. Groves’ civil rights litigation practice includes cases challenging discrimination in housing, education, public accommodations, and policing. Groves currently represents fair housing groups and an individual challenging an inaccessible senior housing development in Toledo, Ohio, under the Fair Housing Act (FHA). Groves also represents Access Living, a disability advocacy organization, in a lawsuit challenging Chicago’s inaccessible affordable housing program under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the FHA. Much of Groves’ work involves the pursuit of racial justice. Prior to joining Relman Colfax, Groves served as a law clerk to the Honorable Solomon Oliver, Jr., on the US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Groves previously taught as a high school social studies teacher in Miami, Florida. Groves received a JD from New York University School of Law, where Groves was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar. Groves obtained an undergraduate degree from Princeton University.
Daniel Goldstein, currently retired, was a partner at the firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP and a disability rights lawyer for more than two decades. As counsel for the National Federation of the Blind, Goldstein initiated a national legal campaign to ensure access to technology used in the classroom, workplace, and in everyday life. Actions filed against Penn State and Florida State Universities resulted in settlement agreements to make the electronic and information technology systems used at these institutions accessible to blind students and faculty. Goldstein filed litigation against Arizona State University and complaints against five other universities piloting the inaccessible Kindle DX eBook reader, leading to agreements to use only accessible ebook reading technology in their respective educational programs. Other cases brought by Goldstein helped ensure the accessibility of ATMs, the right of the blind to vote privately and independently, and the right to use a laptop computer equipped with screen reading software in high-stakes testing. Goldstein’s suit against Target.com set precedent regarding the application of access laws to websites. In addition to litigation, Goldstein participated in the negotiation of joint technology agreements with technology developers such as Apple to make iTunes and iTunes U accessible. Goldstein is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law and clerked for Judge Frank A. Kaufman on the US District Court for the District of Maryland. Prior to joining Brown, Goldstein & Levy, Goldstein served as an Assistant United States Attorney.
Eliot Greenwald is a deputy chief of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Disability Rights Office, where Greenwald has worked since January of 2011. Greenwald participates in proceedings involving telecommunications relay services, television closed captioning, real-time text, and implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, including advanced communications services, video description, television-user interfaces, internet captioning, emergency information, 911 calling, hearing aid compatibility, and the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program. Greenwald began a career at the FCC in 1977, working in the former Common Carrier Bureau until 1982. Greenwald 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 US, spectrum auctions, mergers and acquisitions, and telecommunications finance.
Allison Hertog is the founder of Making School Work, law firms in Los Angeles and Miami which represent special needs students at the K–12, college, and graduate levels. Hertog comes to the field from a unique perspective as a former special education teacher who also learned to compensate for learning disabilities. Hertog has a national practice obtaining test accommodations for high-achieving students with a variety of disabilities who were diagnosed late in life due to a variety of reasons, including immigrant status, low-income backgrounds, and lesser-known disabilities. As co-counsel with the National Woman’s Law Center and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, Hertog settled a suit of deliberate indifference under Title IX of a Miami high school student sexually assaulted by three peers. Hertog graduated from Smith College, has a graduate degree in special education from Columbia University Teachers College and obtained a JD from Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. Hertog is licensed to practice law in California, Florida, and New York.
Eve Hill is a partner in the law firm Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP and a co-leader of Inclusivity, the firm’s strategic consulting group. Until January 2017, Hill was a deputy assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), where Hill 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 Hill’s work to extend the Olmstead integration mandate of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to segregated employment and segregated education. Hill further is known for applying the ADA to emerging technology, the criminal justice system, professional licensing, child welfare systems, and high-stakes testing. Among other causes, Hill 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. Hill 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, 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. Hill earned a JD from Cornell Law School.
Kelly Israel is a policy analyst at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN). Israel works to advance the legal, legislative, and administrative policy objectives of ASAN and, among other things, has represented ASAN at disability advocacy coalitions, testified before the Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for People with Disabilities, and engaged in policy analysis and advocacy in supported decision-making, guardianship, the school-to-prison pipeline, and related issues affecting autistic people. Israel often represents ASAN on the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions, and Seclusion coalition when it meets and has been involved in ASAN's legislative advocacy around the Keeping All Students Safe Act. Israel’s chief interests are the education of children with disabilities, supported decision-making as a viable alternative to guardianship, and the over-criminalization of people with developmental disabilities. After obtaining a BA in criminal justice and criminology, Israel earned a JD from American University.
Caroline Jackson, an associate at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, LLP, works on complex litigation and pre-litigation matters, including class actions, with a particular focus on the rights of people with disabilities. Prior to joining Rosen Bien, Jackson worked as a staff attorney with the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), whose mission is to preserve, protect, and promote the civil, human, and linguistic rights of deaf and hard-of-hearing people in the United States. As an attorney at NAD, Jackson focused primarily on civil rights litigation filed on behalf of Deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Jackson also teaches a Civil Rights of Persons with Disabilities Clinic at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. Before joining NAD, Jackson clerked for Judge R. Guy Cole, Jr., chief judge of the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to becoming an attorney, Jackson worked as an interpreter in New York City, where Jackson also taught reading and writing in the program for Deaf adults at LaGuardia Community College. Jackson holds a BA in linguistics from Harvard University, an MA in education policy from the Stanford Graduate School of Education, an AAS in manual communication from Sinclair Community College, the National Interpreter Certification, and a JD from Stanford Law School.
Elizabeth Johnson is a senior trial attorney in the US Department of Justice (DOJ), Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section and, since 2005, the coordinator of the US Attorney’s program for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) enforcement. Johnson investigates and litigates claims under the ADA involving voting, transportation, employment, and healthcare, and coordinates ADA work with approximately thirty-five US Attorneys’ offices. From 1999 to 2005, Johnson served as deputy chief of the Special Litigation Section, supervising investigations and litigation under the Civil Rights of Institutionalized Persons Act, with a primary focus on persons in nursing homes, mental health facilities, and facilities for persons with developmental disabilities. Johnson has also served as chief of the voting section, supervising investigations, litigation, and the enforcement of the federal observer provisions under the Voting Rights Act, the DOJ’s defense of minority-majority districts challenged under the Fourteenth Amendment, and the DOJ’s enforcement of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993. Prior to joining the DOJ, Johnson clerked for the Honorable Harold Baker, Chief Judge of the US District Court for the Middle District of Illinois. For five years, Johnson also served as the assistant legal director at the Southern Poverty Law Center, where Johnson litigated lawsuits under an array of civil rights statutes, including the Voting Rights Act, Section 1983, and the First Amendment. Johnson obtained a BA from Michigan State University and a JD from the University of Michigan Law School.
Christine Inkyung Kim is a trial attorney with the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice (DOJ), where Kim investigates and litigates violations of the ADA, focusing on schools, employment, prison, childcare, and foster care. Prior to joining the DOJ, Kim worked as a legal intern at the Center for Responsible Lending, Duke HIV/AIDS Policy Clinic, the appellate section of the Office of General Counsel in the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and as a law clerk at both Relman, Dane & Colfax PLLC and the DOJ. Kim obtained a BA from Tufts University and a JD from Duke University School of Law.
Christopher Knauf has practiced public interest civil and disability rights litigation, including special education litigation, for nearly twenty-five years. Following fourteen years running Knauf Associates, a public interest law firm, Knauf has been the director of litigation at the Disability Rights Legal Center (DRLC) in Los Angeles, California, since late 2019. DRLC is a national nonprofit law office that has been a leader in the disability rights community for over forty-five years. Knauf is a 1996 graduate of the University of Southern California’s Gould School of Law and earned two highly competitive fellowships at Bet Tzedek Legal Services of Los Angeles and the Western Law Center for Disability Rights—now the Disability Rights Legal Center. Prior to starting Knauf Associates, Knauf did defense work, joining the education law firm Lozano Smith, where Knauf defended public school districts in special education and employment matters. At Knauf Associates, among dozens of successful settlements and judgments, Knauf and co-counsel achieved a nearly $1 million arbitration award on behalf of a Deaf client who was not accommodated in an online degree program. Knauf has litigated hundreds of matters, first-chaired jury and bench trials, participated in numerous administrative hearings, and argued four appeals in the Ninth Circuit, each of the latter resulting in successful rulings for clients.
Sharon Krevor-Weisbaum, managing partner of Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP, is a passionate and forceful advocate for individuals with disabilities and their families who confront barriers in education, high-stakes testing, employment, housing, and accessing state and federal services and supports. Krevor-Weisbaum represents college and university students with disabilities in Americans with Disabilities Act litigation to ensure they have equal access to their curriculum and other services offered by the universities. Working with the Office of General Counsel for various universities, Krevor-Weisbaum has resolved Office for Civil Rights and/or other complaints brought by university students. These cases have involved university disability services offices and resulted in systemic-change settlement agreements focused on ensuring sustained changes in university culture surrounding curriculum accessibility. Krevor-Weisbaum also represents parents with disabilities when they confront discriminatory practices. Krevor-Weisbaum is equally passionate and forceful in representation of nonprofit and for-profit entities that provide supports and services to individuals with disabilities, whether serving as a proactive general counsel or as an aggressive advocate for corporate clients. In addition, as a former Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Krevor-Weisbaum has built knowledge, experience, relationships with regulators, and the ability to counsel and defend health care providers effectively in actions involving licensure and regulatory compliance. Krevor-Weisbaum obtained a BA from the University of Michigan, MA from Cornell University, and JD from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law.
Catherine Kudlick is currently a professor of history and director of the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University after two decades of working as a professor of history at the University of California, Davis. Kudlick has published a number of books and articles on disability history, including Reflections: The Life and Writings of a Young Blind Woman in Post-Revolutionary France and "Disability History: Why We Need Another ‘Other’" in the American Historical Review. Kudlick oversaw completion of Paul Longmore’s posthumously published book, Telethons: Spectacle, Disability, and the Business of Charity and co-edited The Oxford Handbook of Disability History with Michael Rembis and Kim Nielsen. In addition, Kudlick has also published essays and other writings such as “Black Bike, White Cane: Timely Confessions of a Special Self" and "The Blind Man's Harley: White Canes and Gender Identity in Modern America"—a Notable Essay in 2005's Best American Essays. As director of the Longmore Institute, Kudlick directed the public history exhibit Patient No More: People with Disabilities Securing Civil Rights and co-hosts Superfest International Disability Film Festival. Kudlick’s current work blends research and advocacy in the service of public history where the major goal is pursuing the Longmore Institute’s mission to convince the world that society is better because of people with disabilities. Kudlick earned an MA and PhD in history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a BA in history from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Jeanine LaFratta is a trial attorney with the Office of General Counsel (OGC) at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. LaFratta has worked in OGC’s Office of Fair Housing, Compliance Division since joining HUD through HUD’s Legal Honors Program in 2007. LaFratta received a BA in political science and theology from the University of Notre Dame, and a JD from Notre Dame Law School. LaFratta is a member of the Virginia Bar.
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.
Chris M. Law conducts projects with, and for the benefit of, the accessibility community. Through his consultancy firm, Accessibility Track, Law organizes the annual Digital Accessibility Legal Summit, bringing together plaintiff lawyers, defendant lawyers, and accessibility professionals. A two-part edited volume of 2019 and 2020 Legal Summit talks is planned for publication in Spring 2021, and the 3rd Annual Summit will take place later in 2021. Accessibility Track is the host organization for the peer-reviewed scientific/practice-based annual ICT Accessibility Testing Symposium (now in its 6th year). Law is the lead author of the National Federation of the Blind’s Accessibility Switchboard Information Portal, providing advice and guidance to newcomers to the practice of accessibility in industry. In 2021, Law plans to launch a new collaborative initiative, generating industry consensus standards for accessibility test reporting.
Fe Lopez, who earned a JD from Seattle University School of Law, is the Director of Educational Equity Initiatives at the Law School Admission Council. In 2014, Mayor Ed Murray appointed Lopez to the position of executive director of the Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC). This position was an extension of Lopez’s longstanding commitment to community service and advocacy for the underserved. The CPC directly engages with community members negatively and disproportionately affected by policing. Additionally, the commission advocates for systemic change to the Seattle Police Department’s policies and practices to help build trust and strengthen community-police relations. Before the CPC, Lopez worked for a year with the King County Prosecutor's Office; Lopez then returned to the Seattle University School of Law as assistant and then director for student life. A past president of the Latina/o Bar Association of Washington, Lopez is active with minority bar associations and the social justice community and, on the basis of that work, received the 2013 Excellence in Diversity Award from the Washington State Bar Association.
Alexandria Lippincott is a civil rights attorney with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Since 1998, Lippincott has worked primarily with the Fair Housing Act. Lippincott works as a trial attorney in headquarters, assisting HUD’s Office of Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity with developing fair housing discrimination cases, litigates, drafts regulations and guidance, develops and provides trainings, and works with HUD’s fair housing attorneys around the nation. Among Lippincott’s contributions to the field of fair housing enforcement, Lippincott, together with colleagues in Region III, secured a $1.2 million damages and civil penalties award against a white supremacist in HUD v. Wilson, charged HUD’s first case on maternity leave mortgage insurance discrimination, served on the team that drafted HUD’s Harassment Rule, Quid Pro Quo and Hostile Environment Harassment and Liability for Discriminatory Housing Practices Under the Fair Housing Act, and more recently collaborated on the creation of a series of trainings and materials on preventing and addressing sexual and other discriminatory harassment in housing. Lippincott is a member of the Maryland Bar.
Leslie Seid Margolis is a managing attorney at Disability Rights Maryland, Maryland’s protection and advocacy agency, where Margolis has worked since 1985. Margolis handles individual special education cases and engages in special education policy work at the local, state, and national levels. Having co-counseled the Baltimore City Vaughn G. case for many years, Margolis has extensive experience with systemic urban school reform litigation. A frequent presenter at local, state, and national trainings and conferences, Margolis has published technical assistance documents, manuals, and articles on a variety of special education and related topics. A former member of several national boards, including TASH, the Epilepsy Foundation, and the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Margolis currently sits on several Maryland-based boards. Margolis obtained an AB from Princeton University and a JD from Stanford Law School.
Kathy Martinez joins Disability Rights Advocates as president/CEO in March 2021 after having spent six years as senior vice president and head of disability and accessibility strategy for Wells Fargo. While with Wells Fargo, Martinez helped to weave disability into the overall diversity agenda to expand the bank’s capabilities and programs to better serve both employees and customers with disabilities. Previously, Martinez served as assistant secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) at the US Department of Labor. Martinez led ODEP in putting policy priorities into practice through several innovative grant programs. These include Add Us In, through which a nationwide consortia worked to increase the capacity of small businesses to employ people with disabilities. The grant program also included the Employment First State Leadership Mentor Program, through which several states received support to promote community-based, integrated employment as the primary outcome for people with significant disabilities. Martinez has served on the boards of the National Council on Disability, the US Institute of Peace, and the State Department’s Advisory Committee on Disability and Foreign Policy, among others. A graduate of San Francisco State University, Martinez speaks and publishes on a wide array of topics related to disability employment, including the emergence of disability as an essential component of workplace diversity and inclusion and the importance of expectation in ensuring youth with disabilities grow up with an assumption of work—a topic on which Martinez, who herself was born blind, offers compelling and personal perspective.
Zaheer Maskatia, a Washington, DC-based attorney originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, currently serves as associate counsel for the Board of Veterans' Appeals drafting administrative opinions deciding veterans' benefits claims. In this capacity, Maskatia adjudicates claims pertaining to various disabilities, including hearing loss and orthopedic disorders. Applying the unique experience of an attorney living with spina bifida, Maskatia sympathetically communicates decisions to veterans, their advocates, and courts of appeal. Maskatia has also practiced consumer financial protection in the public and private sectors. Maskatia holds a JD from Santa Clara University and a BA in legal studies with a minor in Near Eastern studies from the University of California.
Jennifer Mathis is director of policy and legal advocacy at the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where Mathis engages in litigation and policy advocacy to advance equal opportunity for individuals with mental disabilities in all aspects of life, including community living, healthcare, employment, education, housing, voting, family and parental rights, and other areas. Mathis focuses primarily on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Medicaid rights of adults and children with disabilities. Mathis served on the team of disability community negotiators who worked with the business community to craft what became the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008. From 2010 to 2011, Mathis served as special assistant to Equal Employment Opportunity Commission commissioner Chai Feldblum, helping draft regulations implementing the ADAAA. Mathis serves as a co-chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities Rights Task Force and, in that capacity, has helped lead efforts to prevent passage of ADA “notification” bills. Mathis holds an AB from Harvard University and a JD from Georgetown University Law Center.
Celia McGuinness is a disability rights trial lawyer and a founding partner at Derby, McGuinness & Goldsmith, LLP, where McGuinness represents people with disabilities fighting discrimination in housing, employment, and the public sphere. Published cases include Tamara v. El Camino Hospital, the first case in the nation to rule service dogs cannot be excluded from a locked psychiatric ward. McGuinness served two terms on the California Commission on Disability Access, appointed by then-Governor Jerry Brown. The Commission’s mission is to promote disability access in California through communication and collaboration among the disability and business communities and government. McGuinness also serves as a mediator appointed to the alternative dispute resolution panel of the US District Court, Northern District of California. McGuinness has been a visiting clinical professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, as well as an adjunct professor of moot court and legal writing at Hastings College of the Law. Additionally, McGuinness has presented on a variety of disability-rights issues, including service animal rights and responsibilities, and has published scholarly and opinion articles in publications such as Hastings Women’s Law Review and California Lawyer magazine. McGuinness earned a JD from the University of California.
Danielle L. Beatty Moody is an associate professor in the psychology department at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and, for the past year, has served as acting director of the Behavioral Medicine Graduate Subprogram in the department. Prior to becoming an associate professor, Moody was an assistant professor at the University of Maryland and, before that, a postdoctoral fellow in the Cardiovascular Behavioral Medicine Research Training Program at the University of Pittsburgh. Moody has an MA in psychology from North Carolina Central University, and a PhD in psychology from City University of New York, Graduate Center, with a social and personality and health psychology concentration. Moody has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Psychosomatic Medicine, Neuropsychology, Journal of Racial and Ethnic Disparities, Biological Psychology, Health Psychology, Journal of Social Issues, and Journal of Applied Social Psychology. A sampling of articles includes “Racism and Ambulatory Blood Pressure in a Community Sample,” “Everyday Discrimination Prospectively Predicts Inflammation across 7-Years in Racially Diverse Midlife Women: Study of Women’s Health across the Nation,” and “Lifetime Discrimination Burden, Racial Discrimination, and Subclinical Cerebrovascular Disease among African Americans.” Peer-reviewed presentations include topics such as social determinants of health and adversity; mental health in diverse populations; and race, ethnicity, and health. Moody is an editorial board member of Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, as well as an ad hoc journal reviewer for numerous journals including but not limited to Journal of Behavioral Medicine; Brain, Behavior, and Immunity; Race and Social Problems; and American Journal of Public Health.
Valerie Novack, a nonresident fellow at American Progress, was the 2019 Portlight Fellow for American Progress’s Disability Justice Initiative. As an International Code Council-certified accessibility plans examiner, Novack focuses on accessible public facilities. Previously, Novack was a disability rights advocate working on state and local issues in housing, transportation, and public access. Novack partnered with grassroots and legislative partners on legislation, trainings, services, and conferences on topics important to access and inclusion of the disability community. Novack graduated from the University of Toledo with a BA in disability studies, geography, and urban planning, as well as a master’s degree in disaster preparedness and emergency management from Arkansas State University. Novack focuses on the gaps present in preparedness and response efforts for people with disabilities and, in 2018, completed the study “Needs of Disabled Populations in Disaster Preparedness and Response.”
Michal J. Nowicki is an associate attorney at Marashlian & Donahue (M&D), where Nowicki prepares and reviews contracts and regulatory filings and advises equipment suppliers on closed-captioning obligations and accessible procurement requirements under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act and other accessibility laws. Nowicki also addresses telecommunications and data privacy issues. Apart from this paid job, Nowicki serves as treasurer of the National Federation of the Blind of Illinois. Before joining M&D, Nowicki worked as a contract analyst for Axiom Global Inc., reviewing and coding software purchases, licensing, and maintenance agreements. Nowicki also was a legal intern for the Chicago Transit Authority, as well as an extern for the general counsel at the University of Illinois Foundation and the Honorable William V. Gallo of the US District Court for the Southern District of California. Nowicki earned a BA from University of Illinois at Chicago and a law degree from University of Illinois College of Law.
Michael Nunez practices law at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, LLP, litigating a variety of civil cases, including disability rights cases, systemic prison reform class actions, and Freedom of Information Act cases. Prior to joining Rosen Bien in 2015, Nunez was a staff attorney and a Wolinsky Fellowship Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates. Nunez also worked as a summer associate at Winston & Strawn LLP in San Francisco, as a summer law clerk for the Office of Legal Policy in the US Department of Justice, and as an extern at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Nunez obtained a BA from Stanford University in 2006 and a JD from Stanford Law School in 2011.
Ronza M. Othman, is the director of the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Compliance Group with the US Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights. In that capacity, Othman oversees the staff and work of the agency’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment complaint program, including drafting and issuing Final Agency Decisions and Settlement Enforcement Determinations. While with the EEO complaints program, Othman has managed and processed complaints of employment discrimination, provided EEO counseling to aggrieved parties, advised agency leadership on civil rights policies and programs, and negotiated, drafted, and implemented settlement agreements. Othman also serves as the Contract Officer’s Representative on numerous contracts. In that capacity, Othman oversees and directs the work of all contracting personnel who provide direct services concerning EEO compliance and reasonable accommodations to CMS. Prior to joining the DHSS, Othman among other things served as a policy advisor at the US Department of Homeland Security, Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties. Othman’s work involved engagement with post-9/11 communities to facilitate integration and counter violent extremism. Othman served as a national subject matter expert on various areas associated with the American Arab, Muslim, South Asian, Sikh, Somali, and Middle Eastern communities. Othman also provided leadership and guidance to various federal, state, and local agencies concerning countering violent extremism protocols, as well as protections of the civil rights of members of the post-9/11 communities. Othman is the current president of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, a member organization that provides advocacy, outreach, and training on civil rights matters pertinent to the blind, including areas such as education, social and government services, and employment. Othman earned a BA from Saint Xavier University in Chicago, an MA from DePaul University, and a JD from DePaul University College of Law.
Katherine A. Pérez is an attorney, scholar, and recognized leader who helped initiate the Disabled Latinx Movement. From 2015–2019, Pérez helped launch and led the National Coalition for Latinxs with Disabilities, an intersectional organization that advocates on important issues and provides a positive space for the disabled Latinx community. Today, Pérez serves as the inaugural executive director at The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy, and Innovation. The Coelho Center works with the disability community to cultivate leadership and advocate innovative approaches to advance the lives of people with disabilities. In service of this mission, Pérez created the Coelho Law Fellowship Program, the first-of-its-kind program working with disabled individuals interested in going to law school. Pérez teaches disability civil rights law as a visiting professor of law at Loyola Law School and writes and presents on the intersection of immigration and disability. Pérez is a graduate of the UCLA School of Law with specializations in critical race studies, law and philosophy, and public interest law and policy, and a doctoral candidate in disability studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Mary Rainer-Skala has over twenty-five years of experience and business development in the digital accessibility market space. Rainer-Skala was a cofounder of Bartimaeus Group in 1997. The vision of Bartimaeus Group was to find and develop talented teams of persons with disabilities to create digital accessibility solutions in corporations and federal government agencies. Bartimaeus Group was one of the first companies to respond to Section 508 law with testing, training, and remediation for websites. In 2005, Bartimaeus Group merged with SSB Technologies, a company that brought the first automated accessibility testing tool to the market. Rainer-Skala served as vice president for the merged company—SSB BART Group. Rainer-Skala has helped build and manage accessibility teams, created key relationships to further the vision of digital accessibility, and helped key organizations with strategy to develop their internal accessibility teams. SSB BART Group, now Level Access, is today one of the leading full-service accessibility solutions companies serving large complex organizations, as well as the federal government. Rainer-Skala has spoken at many conferences over the years, developed workshops, and been on several boards in the industry. Rainer-Skala was also part of the founding group that created the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). Since retiring from Level Access in 2018, Rainer-Skala consults with IAAP as the director of special initiatives.
Milton Reynolds is an educator, activist, and author in the San Francisco Bay Area. Reynolds formerly served for nearly two decades as senior program associate with Facing History and Ourselves. Prior to joining Facing History, Reynolds spent more than ten years as a middle school teacher. Reynolds’s background also includes working as an equity/ communications consultant and an educational researcher and curriculum design specialist. Reynolds possesses over thirty years of counseling experience. Dedicated to improving dialogue and implementing innovative solutions to address difficult social issues such as race relations, juvenile justice, disability rights, and environmental concerns, Reynolds sustains a high level of community engagement. Reynolds has a strong interest in understanding how the legacies of collective history manifest themselves in the institutional practices that structure our present society. In addition to serving on the governing board for Literacy for Environmental Justice, a San Francisco-based environmental justice/youth development nonprofit, Reynolds also serves on the advisory board of the Paul K. Longmore Institute at San Francisco State University; the California Council for the Social Studies; the Awareness, Compassion, and Engagement (ACE) Center Advisory Board at Castilleja School; the advisory board for the Communication Arts and Sciences program at Berkeley High School; and recently joined the advisory board of Gene Watch UK. Reynolds’s background includes such varied and divergent experiences as being a youth counselor, service-learning coordinator, tour guide, stand-up comedian, and a research associate at the University of California, Berkeley, and more recently at Stanford University. Reynolds received a BA from San Jose State.
Mark A. Riccobono is president of the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) where, for nearly seven years, Riccobono 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 executive training program at Sears, 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, Riccobono 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.
Victoria M. Rodríguez-Roldán is the transgender non-conforming justice project director at the National LGBTQ Task Force. Particular areas of expertise and focus are the intersections of issues affecting transgender people with disabilities and mental illness, anti-trans workplace discrimination, and gun violence prevention through a social-justice lens.
Rodríguez-Roldán is the author of Valuing Transgender Applicants and Employees, a gold-standard best practices guide for employers, and frequently speaks on discrimination issues that affect the trans community. Rodríguez-Roldán was named the Autistic Self Advocacy Network’s 2016 Ally of the Year and has been profiled in NBC News and Latina Magazine, among other outlets. Prior to joining the task force, Rodríguez-Roldán worked as an equal opportunity specialist for the US Department of Labor’s Civil Rights Center. Rodríguez-Roldán holds a BA in psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and a JD from the University of Maine School of Law.
Regan Rush is the acting principal deputy chief of the special litigation section of the civil rights division of the Department of Justice (DOJ). Over the past decade, Rush has worked on the DOJ’s Olmstead cases to ensure that people with disabilities are afforded the opportunity to live and work in the community. Rush has worked on cases regarding the unnecessary institutionalization of persons with mental illness in nursing facilities, state hospitals, and adult care homes. Prior to joining the DOJ, Rush represented individuals with mental illness in a variety of legal matters including employment, civil commitment, public benefits, and housing. Rush is a graduate of University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and Indiana University, Bloomington.
Lisa St. George, vice president of peer support and empowerment at RI International, has been instrumental in the planning, development, and start-up of a wide range of peer-run programs since September 2000. An expert in developing a recovery focus in behavioral health settings, St. George has provided training, consultation, and program development for behavioral health systems as far away as the United Kingdom and New Zealand. St. George has unending belief in the intrinsic courage, wisdom, and strength of people served by behavioral health systems. A social worker for thirty-six years, St. George’s career path has included childhood oncology, child protection and welfare, family wellness, and teaching at the Arizona State University School of Social Work. St. George has written books, articles, and developed many tools that support person-directed mental health care.
Will Schell serves as an attorney advisor at the Disability Rights Office (DRO) of the Federal Communications Commission where, among other things, Schell leads the DRO complaints team, drafts various guidance and orders, and engages in outreach with the disability community. Schell 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 DRO, Schell was a disability rights attorney at the Office for Civil Rights in the US Department of Health and Human Services and, before that, at Disability Rights California, California’s protection and advocacy agency, where Schell represented students in special education hearings and participated in Olmstead class action cases in various stages of litigation.
Emily Seelenfreund joined Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) as its Wolinsky Fellowship Attorney in 2017 and was promoted to staff attorney in September 2019. Seelenfreund’s work at DRA focuses on increasing education and transportation access for people with disabilities. Seelenfreund received a law degree from Harvard Law School in 2017 and a BA from the University of Alabama in 2012. During law school, Seelenfreund interned at Disability Rights California and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Seelenfreund also worked with the Veteran’s Law and Disability Clinic, Criminal Justice Institute, and served as president of the Tenant Advocacy Project. Prior to law school, Seelenfreund taught third grade on the Navajo Nation in New Mexico as part of Teach for America. Seelenfreund is an avid wheelchair basketball player and adaptive rock climber.
Rebecca Serbin joined Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) in 2017 as a staff attorney. Serbin received a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2013 and a BA from Yale University in 2010. Prior to joining DRA, Serbin was a litigation associate at a New York law firm and clerked for the Honorable Michael A. Chagares of the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Honorable G. Murray Snow of the US District Court for the District of Arizona. While in law school, Serbin was an articles editor on the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, a member of the Supreme Court Clinic, and led the Civil Rights Law Project. Serbin also interned at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice.
Leanne M. Shank is senior vice president for legal and corporate affairs, general counsel, and corporate secretary at the Law School Admission Council (LSAC). In this role, Shank manages the legal and corporate work for the organization. Shank’s legal team provides legal advice to the board of trustees, its committees, senior leadership, and managers in all areas of LSAC’s operations. Shank also works with disability associations and communities to help enhance the pipeline and reduce barriers to legal education and the legal profession. Shank was the county attorney for Rockbridge County, Virginia, and spent over twenty years as general counsel at Washington and Lee University, working closely with its board, president’s cabinet, and school of law in addressing all of the university’s legal matters. Shank is the past chair of the National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA), whose mission is to advance the effective practice of higher education attorneys for the benefit of the colleges and universities they serve. Actively involved in NACUA since 1993, Shank served on its board for two prior rotations. Shank has spoken frequently at NACUA conferences and other higher education workshops and has attended numerous meetings at the Department of Education and White House on legal issues affecting higher education. Shank earned a BA from the State University of New York at Oswego and a JD from University of North Carolina School of Law.
Michal B. Shinnar is a senior associate at Gilbert Employment Law, PC, in Silver Spring, Maryland, and also serves as the co-chair of the Disability Law Practice Group for the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). Shinnar represents employees in all aspects of employment law, including discrimination complaints, disability accommodations, and wage and hour disputes. Shinnar has presented on disability law topics for NELA, the Metropolitan Washington Employment Lawyers Association, the TIME'S UP Legal Defense Fund, and the Women’s Bar Association of the District of Columbia. Shinnar holds a JD from Fordham Law School, where Shinnar was a Stein Scholar Public Interest Law Fellow, as well as a BA from Barnard College at Columbia University.
Justine (“Justice”) Shorter joined National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) in February 2019 as its disaster protection advisor, available to support the protection and advocacy system with technical assistance and trainings related to disaster protections, emergency management, fire safety, and humanitarian crises/conflicts. Shorter earned a BA in journalism with a minor in justice and peace studies from Marquette University. As a youth journalist, Shorter began writing professionally on topics related to community development, humanitarian affairs, and youth empowerment. While earning an MA in sustainable development: international policy and management, Shorter authored three guides for the US State Department and produced multiple people-centered projects via internships with The Hunger Project, World Learning, and Women Enabled International. Shorter also interned within the White House Office of Public Engagement & Intergovernmental Affairs, focusing on disability outreach efforts, social inclusion policies, and federal agency engagement. In more recent years, Shorter served as a disability integration advisor with the US Federal Emergency Management Agency, deploying frequently to disaster areas across the US and its territories. With a steadfast commitment to international development and inclusive humanitarian assistance, Shorter continues to participate in ongoing projects as a global advisor and trainer.
Glenda Sims is the director of accessibility services at Deque, where Sims shares expertise and passion for the open web with government organizations, educational institutions, and companies ranging from small businesses to Fortune 50 companies. Sims is an advisor and cofounder of Accessibility Internet Rally and AccessU and has served as the lead judge for Accessibility Internet Rally. Sims also serves as an accessibility consultant and trainer for Knowbility, an organization whose mission is to support the independence of people with disabilities by promoting the availability of barrier-free information technology. In 2010, Sims co-authored the book InterACT with Web Standards: A Holistic Approach to Web Design. Sims spent over a decade as a senior developer at the University of Texas at Austin helping support the university’s central website and working as an accessibility and web standards expert. Sims gives back to the web by volunteering at the W3C on the Accessibility Guidelines Working Group.
Suzy Rosen Singleton, a native user of American Sign Language, is the chief of the Disability Rights Office of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Since 2016, Singleton oversees rulemaking proceedings and stakeholder activities to ensure accessible emergency communications, modern communication technologies, and video programing for millions of individuals with disabilities. Since 1992, Singleton’s disability policy expertise involved work as a litigator for the California Center for Law and the Deaf, government affairs counsel of the National Association of the Deaf, special education law compliance officer of the US Department of Education, the ombudsperson of Gallaudet University, and an attorney with the FCC. Singleton holds a JD from the UCLA School of Law and a BS from the University of California, Berkeley.
Leonard Stevens is a self-advocate and consultant with Project ACTION!, a self-advocacy organization of people with developmental disabilities who are strong voices for change in DC and beyond. Stevens wants people to feel like they are their own bosses and to make their voices heard, no matter how difficult. In 2017–18, Stevens participated in DC Advocacy Partners, a leadership program designed for self-advocates and family members of people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. For the last seven years, Stevens also has been involved with the DC Center for Independent Living in a peer-support project called Youth Empowered to Succeed and has presented on influencing positive change through self-advocacy. Stevens graduated in 2015 with a BA from the University of the District of Columbia.
Kellye Y. Testy is president and chief executive officer of the Law School Admission Council, a position held since 2017. Testy joined LSAC after an eight-year term as the first woman dean of the University of Washington School of Law. Prior to that, Testy was a professor and dean at Seattle University School of Law. Testy founded numerous programs at both schools while earning recognition as the nation’s second most influential leader in legal education by National Jurist. In addition, Testy is currently an adjunct professor of law at George Mason University, Antonin Scalia Law School. A nationally sought-after speaker on diversity and access in legal and higher education, Testy is a member of the American Law Institute and serves on the boards of the Washington Law Institute and the Law School Survey of Student Engagement. Testy has served on the Board of Governors of the Society of American Law Teachers, as president and in other roles for the Association of American Law Schools, and on committees and initiatives of the American Bar Association Section on Legal Education. Testy is a first-generation college graduate who earned a journalism and law degrees from Indiana University. After graduating, Testy clerked for Judge Jesse E. Eschbach, US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Victoria Thomas has been a trial attorney in the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the US Department of Justice since 2014, working to vindicate the civil rights of individuals with disabilities who are unnecessarily segregated in facilities such as nursing facilities, psychiatric facilities, and sheltered workshops. Thomas began a career in disability rights in 2007 as an attorney at the American Diabetes Association. Thomas then joined Disability Rights DC, litigating individual and class action disability rights claims such as Brown v. DC, a nursing facility Olmstead case. Thomas graduated from Georgetown University Law Center and Rice University.
Cara Trapani has been an associate attorney at Rosen Bien Galvan & Grunfeld, LLP since 2017, engaged in a variety of civil litigation, including systemic prison and jail reform class actions and disability rights cases. Before joining Rosen Bien, Trapani clerked for the Honorable Harry Pregerson of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. While in law school at the UCLA School of Law, Trapani worked with the Alliance for Children’s Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California’s Jails Project, and Bet Tzedek Legal Services to address, among other matters, the school-to-prison pipeline, disability discrimination, and housing issues. Trapani earned a JD in 2016.
Shira Wakschlag is the senior director of legal advocacy and general counsel for The Arc. Wakschlag’s work involves directing The Arc’s participation in disability rights litigation to advance the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities nationwide. Prior to joining The Arc, Wakschlag 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 firm. Wakschlag is on the board of the Disability Rights Bar Association and has published articles with the Denver Law Review, the American Bar Association’s Human Rights Magazine, and the University of Minnesota’s Impact magazine. Wakschlag received a JD from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law, and a BA from Brown University.
Jessie Weber is a partner at Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP (BGL) and works on a range of civil litigation matters nationwide, with a focus on civil rights, including disability and LGBTQ rights, workplace justice, and appellate litigation. Weber has successfully litigated or resolved cases involving voting rights, accessible technology and document formats, access to health care, employment discrimination, and wage and hour violations. Weber is currently representing children and advocacy organizations opposing Fairfax County Public Schools’ use of restraint and seclusion for students with disabilities. Before joining BGL, Weber was a Francis D. Murnaghan, Jr. Appellate Advocacy Fellow at the Public Justice Center where Weber worked on issues affecting marginalized communities. Before that, Weber served as a law clerk for Judge Catherine C. Blake of the US District Court for the District of Maryland. Weber has served on the boards of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and FreeState Justice. Weber obtained an AB from Princeton University and JD from Yale Law School.
Morgan K. Whitlatch is the legal director at Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities (QT), a nonprofit advocacy organization dedicated to advancing the interests of people with developmental disabilities. Whitlatch has widely presented on guardianship reform, supported decision-making, and other disability-related topics and is the lead project director of the National Resource Center for Supported Decision-Making (NRC-SDM). Prior to coming to QT, Whitlatch was an attorney at the Rhode Island Disability Law Center, a federally mandated agency dedicated to advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. Whitlatch also is a former attorney of the Washington, DC, firm Bracewell & Guilliani LLP. Whitlatch has provided legal advocacy on a wide range of issues, including civil and human rights, capacity and alternatives to guardianship, access to integrated services, and public benefits. Whitlatch has extensive experience advancing systemic policy and training initiatives, including those of the NRC-SDM and the Jenny Hatch Justice Project, both of which are dedicated to advancing the right of people with disabilities and older adults to make their own choices and determine their own path in life. Whitlatch obtained a JD from Georgetown University Law Center and undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University.
Melody A. Worsham is a Mississippi Department of Mental Health-Certified Peer Support Specialist (CPSS) working for the Mental Health Association of South Mississippi (MHASM). Worsham is also a founder and executive officer for Mississippi’s first statewide peer network, the Association of Mississippi Peer Support Specialists; a state-wide technical assistance provider for the Mississippi Department of Mental Health; and a certified facilitator of the Wellness Recovery Action Plan. As a CPSS, as well as a person living with schizophrenia and the impact of trauma, Melody has helped to establish a recovery and whole health and resiliency program for MHASM’s drop-in center members to achieve a level of recovery important to them. Worsham also conducts community outreach to identify adults who do not have access to mental health services and is instrumental in developing training and supports for other peer supports specialists within the state. As an original faculty member of the Mississippi Department of Mental Health Breakthrough Series Collaborative, Worsham has contributed to the domains and objectives for reforming the state’s mental health services to a recovery/resiliency-oriented system of care. Worsham, who holds a BA from the University of South Alabama in human services, has twenty years’ experience teaching adult continuing education and has spent the last decade working as a nonprofit consultant doing business as Coast Community Connect. An avid social researcher, Worsham helps local organizations serve their populations better through networking, partnering, and building community support and advocacy.
Yiyang Wu is counsel at Relman Colfax PLLC, a civil rights law firm located in Washington, DC. Wu’s litigation practice covers a wide variety of civil rights issues, including fair housing and lending, employment law, public accommodation, and disability rights. Wu currently represents a mental health program provider, Gilead Community Services, in a federal lawsuit against the Town of Cromwell, Connecticut, in a case alleging violations of the Fair Housing Act (FHA), Americans with Disabilities Act, and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Wu has also litigated extensively in the areas of reverse redlining and housing harassment under the FHA. Before joining Relman, Wu clerked for the Honorable Andre M. Davis of the US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, and for the Honorable Mary A. McLaughlin of the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Wu obtained an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Wu is an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law and is active with the Asian Pacific American Bar Association Educational Fund.
San Zhang received a medical degree in China and is a certified Chinese physician. Zhang has carried out biomedical research at a prestigious United States research institute, published over twenty high-quality research papers, and presented work at numerous international conferences. After overcoming issues related to test accommodations, Zhang was able to pass all required exams and obtained the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates certification, certifying that Zhang’s foreign medical degree is equivalent to a United States medical degree. Zhang is currently engaging in medical training as a resident physician.
Nicole Kovite Zeitler is a trial attorney in the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division at the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Zeitler’s work focuses on enforcing the requirement under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act that public entities administer services, programs, and activities in the most integrated setting appropriate to the needs of qualified individuals with disabilities. At DOJ, Zeitler has worked on cases involving the unjustified segregation of people with physical, intellectual, and/or developmental disabilities, children with complex medical needs, and adults with serious mental illness. Zeitler attended the University of Washington for both undergraduate and law school.