Session Type(s): Panel
Starts: Friday, Jul. 12 9:00 AM (Eastern)
Ends: Friday, Jul. 12 10:00 AM (Eastern)
Cripping the Movement: How Disability Inclusion Can Save Progressives
Posted by Netroots Nation on Friday, July 12, 2019
Disabled people, both those with visible conditions and those with hidden ones (mental health, learning disabilities, chronic illness) are already within our movement. In this session, we’ll discuss how our issues and agendas overlap, incorporating best practices and strategies to recognize and combat ableism to strengthen our agenda, buttress our grassroots, and sustain us for the long road ahead.
Rebecca Cokley is the Executive Director of the National Council on Disability, an independent agency charged with advising Congress and the White House on issues of national disability public policy. She joined NCD in 2013 after serving 4 years in the Obama Administration. Most recently, she was the Special Assistant to the Principal Deputy at the Administration for Community Living at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Before serving at the Administration on Community Living, Cokley was the Director of Priority Placement for Public Engagement in the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House where she was responsible for outreach to diversity and minority organizations to recruit qualified individuals for roles in the Obama Administration. Prior to her time at the White House, Cokley was the Confidential Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. She participated in the Education Policy Fellowship Program in 2006 and worked at the Institute for Educational Leadership for five years, building a number of tools and resources designed to empower and educate youth with disabilities and their adult allies. She has spent the last 15 years engaging in discussions tied to civil rights and equity while paying particular attention to the needs of young people with disabilities. In 2015 she was inducted into the inaugural class of the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Frank Harkin Memorial Award by the National Council on Independent Living. Rebecca has a B.A in Politics from the University of California Santa Cruz, is the proud spouse of Patrick and mother of Jackson and Kaya.
Other sessions: Disability Caucus
Sarah Blahovec is a chronically ill disability advocate. Diagnosed with severe Crohn’s Disease at age 15, Sarah has always had a passion for politics and focuses her advocacy on civic engagement and issues that intersect the chronic illness and disability communities. She graduated from American University in 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in International Studies, and after struggling to find mentors with disabilities in her field, began blogging about disability rights for the Huffington Post. Sarah is currently the Disability Vote Organizer for the National Council on Independent Living, where she advocates for greater accessibility in elections; educates the disability community on voting rights and works to energize a disability voting bloc; and addresses barriers to running for office for people with disabilities.
Sarah is the creator of Elevate: Campaign Training or People with Disabilities, the first national run for office training program for people with disabilities. As part of her work, she also created “Including People with Disabilities in Your Political Campaign: A Guide for Campaign Staff,” which was used widely by campaigns and existing run for office training organizations in 2018. Sarah is also a founding board member, former Access and Inclusion Chair, and current Communications Chair of New Leaders Council of Virginia, which equips diverse Millennial leaders in Virginia with the skills to impact progressive change in their communities.
Mr. Cokley is a long-time disability advocate who works to bring issues of inclusion to the forefront of all communities. He has significant experience working at the intersection of disability policy and social media, in both the Federal and non-profit sectors. Under the blogger name Angry Negro and as a founding member of the Lead On Network, Mr. Cokley provides commentary on issues of inclusion and pop culture, technology, employment, and education as well as policies, programs, and events on Capitol Hill as they relate to disability.
As a graduate of a Historically Black University, Mr. Cokley believes that it is imperative that the disability and traditional diversity communities learn to work together as they both share the core values of inclusion. Cultural barriers have led to disability being a taboo subject in many ethnic communities, and the disability community needs the experience of the diversity field to continue their advocacy and policy goals. Only together can both communities realize the success of an America that is inclusive of all of its citizens.
Other sessions: The Double Down: Discussions of Black and Disability Identity
Reyma McCoy McDeid is the Executive Director of Central Iowa Center for Independent Living in Des Moines.
She has carved out a unique career in employment services, disability advocacy, and education and she works to engage voters with disabilities into the political process and educate elected officials on the issues that impact the nation’s largest marginalized community. She holds a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Administration with a concentration in Business; her vocation is supporting fellow individuals on the Autism spectrum to lead independent, fulfilling lives.
Alice Wong is a disability activist, media maker, and consultant based in San Francisco. She is the Founder and Director of the Disability Visibility Project® (DVP), an online community dedicated to creating, sharing and amplifying disability media and culture created in 2014. Alice is also a co-partner in #CripTheVote, a nonpartisan online movement encouraging the political participation of disabled people.
Other sessions: Sparkle or Shade? Let's Get Real About Inclusive Politics