Disability Views From The White House

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts: Disability Views From The White House

  • Seth Harris – Director, AMTRAK Board of Directors
  • Rachel A. Meidl – Member, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board
  • Michael P. Leary – Inspector General, Social Security Administration
  • Robert P. Storch – Inspector General, National Security Agency

President Obama also announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Victor Santiago Pineda – Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
  • Shelley Siegel – Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
  • Karen Tamley – Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
  • Maxwell Barrows – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Ryan Easterly – Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities
  • Marvin Johnson – Member, Federal Service Impasses Panel, Federal Labor Relations Authority
  • David Walker – Member, Federal Service Impasses Panel, Federal Labor Relations Authority
  • Kenneth R. Feinberg – Member, John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission
  • Elaine R. Jones – Member, John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission
  • Yo-Yo Ma – Member, John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission
  • JackKennedy Schlossberg – Member, John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission
  • Billy W. Altom – Member, National Council on Disability
  • Rabia Belt – Member, National Council on Disability
  • Wendy S. Harbour – Member, National Council on Disability
  • Benro T. Ogunyipe – Member, National Council on Disability
  • Clyde Terry – Member, and upon appointment to be designated Chairperson, National Council on Disability

President Obama said, “I am honored that these talented individuals have decided to serve our country.  They bring their years of experience and expertise to this Administration, and I look forward to working with them.”

President Obama announced his intent to nominate the following individuals to key Administration posts: 

Seth Harris, Nominee for Director, AMTRAK Board of Directors

Seth Harris serves as Counsel for the Public Policy and Regulation practice and the Employment and Labor practice at Dentons, a position he has held since 2014.  He is an Executive-in-Residence at the Cornell Institute for Public Affairs.  He is the former Deputy Secretary of Labor, serving from 2009 to 2014, including six months as the Acting Secretary of Labor.  He was a Professor and the Director of Labor & Employment Law Programs at New York Law School from 2000 to 2009.  He was also a Senior Fellow at the Life Without Limits Project of the United Cerebral Palsy Association and a member of the National Advisory Commission on Workplace Flexibility.  He served as the Chair of Obama for America’s Labor, Employment, and Workplace Policy Committee and a Co-Chair of its Disability Policy Committee.  During the Clinton Administration, he served as Counselor to the Secretary of Labor and Acting Assistant Secretary of Labor for Policy, among other positions.  Before joining the Clinton Administration, he was a law clerk to Judge William Canby of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and to Judge Gene Carter of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine. Mr. Harris received a B.S. from Cornell University’s School of Industrial & Labor Relations and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Dr. Rachel A. Meidl, Nominee for Member, Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board

Dr. Rachel A. Meidl currently serves as the Deputy Associate Administrator for Policy and Programs in the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration at the Department of Transportation, a position she has held since 2015.  Previously, she served as the Director of Regulatory and Technical Affairs at the American Chemistry Council from 2012 to 2015.  Prior to that, she served in a number of positions at the University of California, San Diego from 2003 to 2012 including as the Supervisor for Environment Health & Safety, a Hazardous Waste Specialist, and Chemist. She began her career as a Contract Manager and Senior Field Chemist at Clean Harbors Environmental Services, Inc. from 1997 to 2003.  Dr. Meidl received two B.S. degrees from the University of Wisconsin, an M.Ed. from National University, an M.S. from the University of Denver, and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University.

Michael P. Leary, Nominee for Inspector General, Social Security Administration

Michael P. Leary is a member of the Senior National Intelligence Service in the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), where he has served since 2006.  During his tenure at ODNI, he has held a number of senior executive and staff intelligence positions, including assignments at the National Intelligence Council, the Office of the National Counter Intelligence Executive, and the National Counter Proliferation Center.  He is currently on detail with the Central Intelligence Agency’s Office of Inspector General.  Prior to joining ODNI, Mr. Leary served as a Senior Attorney Advisor at Immigration and Customs Enforcement from 2004 to 2006 and Associate Deputy Director at the Department of Homeland Security from 2003 to 2004.  From 2001 to 2003, he was a Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Enforcement at the Department of the Treasury.  Prior to his role at Treasury, Mr. Leary served as an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia and Boston from 1996 to 2001.  Mr. Leary served as a Colonel in the United States Marine Corps in both active and reserve service from 1978 until his retirement in 2016.  He served combat tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is a recipient of the Bronze Star medal.  Mr. Leary received a B.A. from the University of Notre Dame and a J.D. from Notre Dame Law School.

Robert P. Storch, Nominee for Inspector General, National Security Agency

Robert P. Storch is Deputy Inspector General of the Department of Justice (DOJ), a position he has held since 2015.  Mr. Storch also serves as the Whistleblower Ombudsman in the Office of the Inspector General at DOJ and as Chair of the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency Whistleblower Ombudsman Working Group.  He previously was Senior Counsel and Counselor to the Inspector General from 2012 to 2015, and served concurrently as Acting Deputy Inspector General from 2014 to 2015.  He worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of New York from 1995 to 2012, most recently as Deputy Criminal Chief from 2011 to 2012 and as Counsel to the U.S. Attorney from 2010 to 2012.  Mr. Storch also served as a Resident Legal Advisor in Ukraine from 2007 to 2009 and as Chief of the Appellate Division and Senior Litigation Counsel at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of New York from 2004 to 2005.  Earlier in his career, he was an attorney in the Public Integrity Section of the Criminal Division at DOJ and also served as an Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Middle District of Florida.  Mr. Storch received an A.B. from Harvard College and a J.D. from Columbia University School of Law.

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts: 

Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda, Appointee for Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board

Dr. Victor Santiago Pineda is Founder and President of World ENABLED and The Pineda Foundation, positions he has held since 2003.  Dr. Pineda was an Adjunct Professor in City and Regional Planning and the Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley, positions he held in 2012.  He was a Senior Research Fellow at the World Institute on Disability in 2011 and a Principal Investigator at the Department of Education in 2009.  Dr. Pineda was a Researcher at the Institute for Urban and Regional Development in 2005 and at the University of California, Berkeley’s Kujacic Endowment in 2004.  He was a member of the Youth Advisory Committee of the National Council on Disability in 2003 and received the AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award in 2009.  He was first appointed to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board in 2015.  Dr. Pineda received a B.A., B.S., and an M.C.P. from the University of California, Berkeley and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Shelley Siegel, Appointee for Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board

Shelley Siegel is Founder and President of Universal Design & Education Network, LLC, positions she has held since 1991.  Ms. Siegel is also Consulting Designer of the Siegel Design Group, Inc., where she has worked since 1972.  Ms. Siegel is a Fellow of the American Society of Interior Designers and a member of the Design Alliance for Accessible and Sustainable Environments.  She is a former member of the Advisory Panel for the National Universal Design Program of the American Society of Interior Designers, the Florida Coordinating Council on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Florida Department of Cultural Affairs ADA Advisory Board.  She was first appointed to the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board in 2016.  Ms. Siegel received an A.S. from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale, a B.L.S. from Barry University, and an M.A. from Nova Southeastern University.

Karen Tamley, Appointee for Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board

Karen Tamley is Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities for the City of Chicago, a position she has held since 2005.  Ms. Tamley is Co-Founder of the Disability Rights Action Coalition for Housing, where she also served as a National Organizer from 1994 to 2004.  She was Director of Programs at Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago from 1996 to 2005, Housing Director at Atlantis Community, Inc. from 1992 to 1996, and Executive Assistant at the National Disability Action Center from 1990 to 1992.  Ms. Tamley is a member of the Executive Committee of Meals on Wheels Chicago, the Board of Directors of Pace Suburban Bus, and the Transit Access Advisory Committee of the Regional Transportation Authority.  Ms. Tamley received a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

Maxwell Barrows, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Maxwell Barrows is Outreach Director for Green Mountain Self-Advocates, a position he has held since 2007.  Mr. Barrows served as Region 8 Representative at Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered from 2008 to 2016, and also served as the organization’s Vice President from 2010 to 2012.  He is Co-Founder of Capitol Advocates Together and serves on the State Program Standing Committee for Development Services.  Mr. Barrows was recognized as a White House Champion of Change in 2015.

Ryan Easterly, Appointee for Member, President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities

Ryan Easterly is Co-Founder and Director of Northern California Community Relations at MySupport, Inc, positions he has held since 2015.  Mr. Easterly served in several roles at The HSC Foundation from 2007 to 2015, including Manager and Senior Coordinator of the National Youth Transitions Initiative, and Program Coordinator.  Mr. Easterly was Program Assistant for the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy from 2006 to 2007.  He serves on the boards of Community Resources for Independent Living, Special Hope Foundation, and Ala Costa Centers.  Mr. Easterly received a B.S. from Troy University.

Marvin Johnson, Appointee for Member, Federal Service Impasses Panel, Federal Labor Relations Authority

Marvin Johnson is Executive Director of the Center for Alternative Dispute Resolution, which he founded at Bowie State University in 1986.  He has been a Mediator, Arbitrator and Trainer with Accormend Associates since 1984.  Mr. Johnson was Assistant and Associate Professor of Labor Relations, Law, and Dispute Resolution at Bowie State University from 1983 to 2000 and was Adjunct Professor at The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law from 2008 to 2012.   He served as a Member of the Foreign Service Grievance Board from 2005 to 2007.  Mr. Johnson has served on numerous boards and panels, including the Association for Conflict Resolution, the American Bar Association Section of Dispute Resolution, the International Academy of Mediators, the American Arbitration Association, and the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service.  Mr. Johnson currently serves as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP), a position he has held since 2015.  He previously served on FSIP from 1999 to 2002 and from 2009 to 2012. Mr. Johnson received a B.B.A. from Kent State University, an M.S. from the University of Wisconsin, and a J.D. from The Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law.

David Walker, Appointee for Member, Federal Service Impasses Panel, Federal Labor Relations Authority

David Walker currently serves on the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service Roster of Arbitrators, a position he has held since 2004.   Mr. Walker was on the Central Florida/South Florida/Suncoast Expedited Arbitration Panel of the United States Postal Service and the National Mail Handlers Union from 2002 to 2005.  From 1968 to 2003, he was an attorney in private practice specializing in labor relations.  As an arbitrator, he was a member of the American Arbitration Association Construction Disputes Panel throughout the 1970s.  Mr. Walker was also a member of the National Panel of Arbitrators maintained by the American Federation of Government Employees, and served as an arbitrator for the Social Security Administration.  Mr. Walker also served as Lieutenant in the United States Air Force from 1962 to 1965.  He has served as a member of the Federal Service Impasses Panel since 2015.  Mr. Walker received a B.S. from Louisiana State University, an M.A. from George Washington University, and an L.L.B. from Harvard Law School.

Kenneth R. Feinberg, Appointee for Member, John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission

Kenneth R. Feinberg is Founder and Managing Partner of The Law Offices of Kenneth R. Feinberg, PC, positions he has held since 1993.  Mr. Feinberg was appointed by the Governor of Massachusetts and the Mayor of Boston to administer The One Fund Boston for victims of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, and served as the Federally-appointed Administrator of the BP Deepwater Horizon Disaster Victim Compensation Fund in 2010.  He served as the Special Master of the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund from 2001 to 2003.  Mr. Feinberg worked as Chief of Staff to Senator Edward Kennedy from 1978 to 1980.  He received the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Medal in Law in 2014 and was named “Lawyer of the Year” by the National Law Journal in 2004.  He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation.  Mr. Feinberg received a B.A. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and a J.D. from the New York University School of Law.

Elaine R. Jones, Appointee for Member, John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission

Elaine R. Jones is Counsel Emeritus of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF).  Ms. Jones was President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP LDF from 1993 to 2004.  She held various leadership roles at the NAACP LDF from 1970 to 1993, with the exception of her service as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation from 1975 to 1977.   She was the first African American woman to graduate from the University of Virginia School of Law, and was subsequently the first African American to serve on the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association.  Ms. Jones has received numerous awards, including the Jefferson Medal in Law and the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award.  Ms. Jones received a B.A. from Howard University and a J.D. from University of Virginia School of Law.

Yo-Yo Ma, Appointee for Member, John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission

Yo-Yo Ma is a world-renowned cellist and Founder of Silkroad, an arts organization he created in 1998.  Mr. Ma is the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s Judson and Joyce Green Creative Consultant, a position he has held since 2010.  He was appointed Artistic Advisor-at-Large to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in 2016.  Mr. Ma was appointed as a U.N. Messenger of Peace in 2006 and as a CultureConnect Ambassador by the U.S. Department of State in 2002.  He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2010 and the National Medal of Arts in 2001.  Mr. Ma was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2009.  Mr. Ma attended The Juilliard School and received a B.A. from Harvard College.

Jack Kennedy Schlossberg, Appointee for Member, John F. Kennedy Centennial Commission

Jack Kennedy Schlossberg served as a Staff Assistant in the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs at the U.S. Department of State in 2016.  Mr. Schlossberg also worked in the Global Business Development Division at Suntory Holdings, Ltd. in 2016.  He was an Emergency Medical Technician from 2013 to 2015, and an Environmental Technician at Clean Harbors in 2014.  He is a member of the John F. Kennedy Library New Frontier Award Committee and the Profiles in Courage Award Committee.  Mr. Schlossberg received a B.A. from Yale University.

Billy W. Altom, Appointee for Member, National Council on Disability

Billy W. Altom is Executive Director of the Association of Programs for Rural Independent Living, a position he has held since 2007.  Mr. Altom was Executive Director for Delta Resource Center for Independent Living from 1996 to 2007 and Program Director for Spa Area Independent Living Services, Inc. from 1993 to 1996.  He serves on the National AgrAbility Project Advisory Committee and the National Disability Leadership Alliance Steering Committee.  He previously served as Chair of the Rail Vehicles Accessibility Advisory Committee of the U.S. Access Board.  Mr. Altom received a B.A. from the University of Arkansas.

Dr. Rabia Belt, Appointee for Member, National Council on Disability

Dr. Rabia Belt is an Assistant Professor at Stanford Law School, a position she has held since 2016.  Dr. Belt was a Visiting Assistant Professor at Georgetown University Law Center from 2014 to 2015 and a Graduate Student Instructor at the University of Michigan from 2007 to 2010.  She was named a Kathryn T. Preyer Scholar in 2014.  Dr. Belt received an A.B. from Harvard University and an M.A., J.D., and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Dr. Wendy S. Harbour, Appointee for Member, National Council on Disability

Dr. Wendy S. Harbour is Director of the National Center for College Students with Disabilities, Coordinator for the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Disability Consortium, and Advisor for Disability Rights, Education, Activism, and Mentoring, positions she has held since 2015.  Dr. Harbour held various positions at Syracuse University from 2009 to 2015, including the Lawrence B. Taishoff Professor of Inclusive Higher Education, Executive Director of the Taishoff Center for Inclusive Higher Education, Co-Director of the Center on Human Policy, Co-Coordinator of the Disability Studies Program, and Coordinator of the American Sign Language Program.  Dr. Harbour was an Adjunct Professor at the Boston Teacher Residency Program at the University of Massachusetts-Boston from 2006 to 2008 and at the American Sign Language Program at Northeastern University in 2007.  She was a Disability Specialist from 1995 to 2001 and an Academic Assistance and Testing Coordinator from 1995 to 1998 in Disability Services at the University of Minnesota Twin Cities.  Dr. Harbour received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and an Ed.M. and Ed.D. from Harvard University.

Benro T. Ogunyipe, Appointee for Member, National Council on Disability

Benro T. Ogunyipe is an Accessibility Specialist for the Illinois Department of Human Services, a position he has held since 2004.  Mr. Ogunyipe was President of the National Black Deaf Advocates, Inc. from 2011 to 2013 and Vice President and Chairman of the organization’s Board from 2007 to 2011.  He was Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Illinois Deaf and Hard of Hearing Commission from 2007 to 2012 and previously served on the Board of Directors for the Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago.  Mr. Ogunyipe was appointed to the Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities Task Force by the Governor of Illinois in 2016.  He was first appointed to the National Council on Disability in 2014.  Mr. Ogunyipe received a B.A. from Gallaudet University and an M.P.A. from DePaul University School of Public Service.

Clyde Terry, Appointee for Member, and upon appointment to be designated Chairperson, National Council on Disability

Clyde Terry is Chief Executive Officer of Granite State Independent Living, a position he has held since 2002.  Mr. Terry worked at the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council as Executive Director from 2001 to 2002 and as Director of Policy and Planning from 1994 to 2001.  He was an Adjunct Professor at the University of New Hampshire in 1996 and Hearing Officer/American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator at the New Hampshire Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disabilities’ Office of Client and Legal Services from 1988 to 1994.  Mr. Terry serves on the Governor’s Commission on Disability in New Hampshire and the Concord Hospital Medical Ethics Committee.  He served on the National Task Force on Accessible Elections and the ADA Watch Advisory Council.  Mr. Terry was first appointed to the National Council on Disability in 2011 and was designated Chairperson in 2015.  Mr. Terry received a B.S. from Emerson College and a J.D. from Franklin Pierce Law Center, now the University of New Hampshire School of Law


National Impaired Driving Prevention Month, 2016

November 30, 2016

A Proclamation
Driving drunk, drugged, or distracted poses a significant threat to drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and all who share our roads. During the holiday season, incidents of impaired driving occur more frequently, and every December, we observe National Impaired Driving Prevention Month to highlight steps we can take to improve safety on our streets and raise awareness of these preventable dangers.

Recently, the number of traffic crash fatalities caused by impaired driving has unfortunately increased — last year, preventable alcohol-related driving fatalities accounted for nearly one-third of all traffic fatalities. Consumption of alcohol by drivers, even those who are of legal drinking age, is highly dangerous, and drug use, including prescription drug use, can also harm judgment, perception, and the motor skills used when driving. Distracted driving — including eating, tending to passengers, and using a cell phone — can also be dangerous and is equally preventable.

We can all do our part to keep our roads safe and prevent these tragedies. As passengers, we can reduce our interactions with drivers and lessen distractions. As friends and family members, we can look out for loved ones who may be drinking and help them get home safely. And as citizens, we can always call
911 to report any dangerous driving we observe.

My Administration has worked to help Americans who struggle with substance use disorders and substance misuse, which can lead to incidents of drunk or drugged driving. We are also striving to give law enforcement officers the resources and support they need to combat impaired driving, and we must encourage the development of technologies like ignition interlock devices, which can prevent impaired individuals from getting behind the wheel. Through the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over campaign, States and communities across our country are working to increase road patrols and sobriety checkpoints, in addition to raising awareness and improvingeducation on the dangers of impaired driving. You can learn more about what we are doing to prevent impaired driving by visiting www.WhiteHouse.gov/ONDCP/DruggedDriving,
www.NHTSA.gov/DriveSober, and www.Distraction.gov.

Whether encouraging parents to set a good example for their teen drivers or educating every driver on the dangers of unsafe driving, we must recommit to doing everything we can to prevent driving-related injuries and fatalities. This month, let us continue empowering drivers to make responsible decisions and educating the American people on ways they can help keep our roads safe and our futures bright.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim December 2016 as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month. I urge all Americans to make responsible decisions and take appropriate measures to prevent impaired driving.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.

BARACK OBAMA


The Continuing Need To Rethink Discipline

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the White House released a new capstone report with updates about projects launched and local progress made in response to the Administration’s Rethink Discipline efforts. Rethink Discipline was launched as part of President Barack Obama’s My Brothers’ Keeper initiative and aims to support all students and promote a welcome and safe climate in schools. The full report is available HERE.

The White House will also convene stakeholders and leaders to discuss the progress made and the work ahead to encourage and support local leaders as they work to implement supportive school discipline practices. Today’s meeting in the Roosevelt Room will include remarks by Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett, Cabinet Secretary and Chair of the My Brother’s Keeper Task Force Broderick Johnson, Domestic Policy Council Director Cecilia Muñoz and Secretary of Education John King.

As noted in a joint Department of Education and Department Health and Human Services Policy Statement, suspension and expulsion can contribute to  a number of adverse outcomes for childhood development in areas such as personal health, interactions with the criminal justice system, and education.

The 2013-14 Civil Rights Data Collection reveals that out-of-school suspensions decreased by nearly 20 percent compared to the 2011-12 school year. However, 2.8 million students received out-of-school suspensions in the 2013-14 school year, representing approximately 6% of all students enrolled in elementary and secondary schools.

The application of exclusionary discipline practices is especially significant for students of color and students with disabilities, who, in general, are disciplined more often than their classmates.  As stated in the Department of Education’s First Look brief about 2013-14 CRDC data, in preschool, black children are 3.6 times more likely to be suspended than white children. In K-12, black students are 3.8 times more likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions compared to white students. Students with disabilities are more than twice as likely to receive one or more out-of-school suspensions as students without disabilities

Addressing these disparities and rethinking discipline have remained top priorities of the Administration, which has focused attention on the importance of school disciplinary approaches that foster safe, supportive, and productive learning environments in which students can thrive.

 Announcements made as part of this comprehensive effort include:

  • Supportive School Discipline Initiative: In 2011, the Departments of Education and Justice announced the launch of a collaborative project to support the use of school discipline practices that foster safe, supportive, and productive learning environments while keeping students in school. A cornerstone of this Initiative is the School Discipline Consensus Project, managed by the Council of State Governments and supported by various philanthropic organizations. The Consensus Project brought together practitioners from various fields to develop consensus recommendations to dismantle the “school-to-prison pipeline.”
  • Joint Federal Policy and Legal Guidance:Education and Justice jointly released a School Climate and Discipline Guidance Package in 2014 to provide schools with a roadmap to reduce the usage of exclusionary discipline practices and clarify schools’ civil rights obligation to not discriminate on the basis of race, color, or national origin in the administration of school discipline.
  • #RethinkDiscipline Convening and Public Awareness Campaign:The Departments of Education and Justice launched Rethink Discipline at the White House in July of 2015, convening school district teams, including superintendents, some law enforcement practitioners, and justice officials from across the country and sparking a national dialogue around punitive school discipline policies and practices that exclude students from classroom instruction and targeted supports.
  • Rethink School Discipline – Resource Guide for Superintendent Action:As a part of Rethink Discipline, the Department of Education developed a resource guide with a set of potential action items to help school leaders implement safe, supportive school climate and discipline by engaging stakeholders, assessing the results and history of existing school climate and discipline systems and practices; implementing reform; and monitoring progress.
  • Support for State and Local Educational Leaders and Partners from Other Systems:In 2015, the Department of Justice launched the National Resource Center for School Justice Partnerships to advance school discipline reform efforts and serve as a dynamic resource hub for schools, law enforcement agencies, and others to support school discipline reform efforts at the local level.
  • Addressing Implicit Bias and Discipline Disparities in Early Childhood Settings:In 2016, the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services announced a new investment of $1 million in the Pyramid Equity Project to establish national models for addressing issues of implicit bias, and uneven implementation of discipline, including expulsions and suspensions, in early learning programs.
  • Providing Guidance to Schools on Ensuring Equity and Providing Behavioral Supports to Students with Disabilities:In 2016, the Department of Education announced the release of a significant guidance document in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter, which emphasized the requirement that schools provide positive behavioral supports to students with disabilities who need them. It also clarified that the repeated use of disciplinary actions may suggest that many children with disabilities may not be receiving appropriate behavioral interventions and supports. Also included was a Summary for Stakeholders.
  • Best Practices and Procedures for School Resource Officers: In September of 2016, U.S. Departments of Education and U.S. Justice released new tools to assist states, districts and schools in the implementation of best practices for the appropriate use of school resource officers (SROs). The release is the result of collaborative work between both Departments to define the best use of law enforcement officers when utilized within a school environment. The Departments also jointly released the Safe, School-based Enforcement through Collaboration, Understanding, and Respect (SECURe) Rubrics. These resources are designed to help education and law enforcement agencies that use SROs to review and, if necessary, revise SRO-related policies in alignment with common-sense action steps that can lead to improved school safety and better outcomes for students while safeguarding their civil rights.
  • Ending Corporal Punishment in Schools: Last month, ED sent a letter urging state leaders to end the use of corporal punishment in schools, a practice repeatedly linked to harmful short-term and long-term outcomes for students. The letter from the Secretary was sent to governors and chief state school officers and provided links to resources that can be promoted by those state leaders and adopted by district and school leaders.

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Gregory S. Fehribach – Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board
  • Dorit D. Straus – Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee
  • Lynne M. Ireland – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board
  • Mort Sajadian – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board
  • Kenneth J. Schutz – Member, National Museum and Library Services Board
  • Debo P. Adegbile – Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights
  • Catherine E. Lhamon – Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights

President Obama said, “These individuals have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers. I am confident that they will serve the American people well.”

President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

Gregory S. Fehribach, Appointee for Member, Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Access Board

Gregory S. Fehribach is Founder of The Fehribach Group, a position he has held since 1995.  Mr. Fehribach is a Panel Trustee for the U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Indiana, a position he has held since 1988.  He was designated a Distinguished Fellow at Ball State University’s Bowen Center for Public Affairs in 2009, where he established The Disability Project.  Mr. Fehribach has served on the Ball State University Board of Trustees, the Indiana Governor’s Planning Council for People with Disabilities, the Board of Directors of the Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation, and the Marion County Health and Hospital Corporation Board of Trustees.  Mr. Fehribach received a B.S. and M.A. from Ball State University and a J.D. from Ohio Northern University’s Pettit College of Law.

Dorit D. Straus, Appointee for Member, Cultural Property Advisory Committee

Dorit D. Straus is an Art and Insurance Advisor for Art and Insurance Advisory Services Inc., a position she has held since 2013.  Ms. Straus was previously Vice President Worldwide Specialty Fine Art Manager for Chubb & Son, where she held various management positions from 1982 to 2013.  She has been a Visiting Lecturer at the Association for Research into Crimes Against Art since 2009 and was an Art Culture and Entertainment Manager at ACE USA from 1998 to 2000.  Ms. Straus was a Curatorial Researcher at the Jewish Museum from 1981 to 1982, an Assistant Collection Manager at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography at Harvard University from 1978 to 1981, and an Assistant Registrar at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts from 1976 to 1978.  She serves on the Board of Directors of AXA Art Americas Corporation, and the International Foundation for Art Research.  Ms. Straus received a B.A. from The City University of New York.

Lynne M. Ireland, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board

Lynne M. Ireland is Deputy Director of the Nebraska State Historical Society, a position she has held since 2007.  Ms. Ireland has held various positions with the Historical Society since 1979, including Chief Education and Information Officer from 2001 to 2007, Associate Director for Museums and Historic Sites from 1990 to 2001, Coordinator of Museum Programs and Public Relations from 1984 to 1990, and Folklife/Special Projects Coordinator from 1979 to 1984.  She was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln from 1992 to 2004.  Ms. Ireland is a past Council member and past Chair of the American Association for State and Local History and a member of the Nebraska Museums Association, the American Alliance of Museums, and the Mountain-Plains Museums Association.  Ms. Ireland received a B.A. from Nebraska Wesleyan University and an M.A. from the State University College at Oneonta.

Dr. Mort Sajadian, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board

Dr. Mort Sajadian is Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer of Amazement Square, The Rightmire Children’s Museum, positions he has held since 1997.  Dr. Sajadian was Director and Chief Executive Officer of Seattle Children’s Museum from 1995 to 1997 and Director of the Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri from 1990 to 1995.  He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Children’s Museums.  Under Dr. Sajadian’s leadership, Amazement Square was a 2015 Recipient of the National Medal for Museum and Library Service.  Dr. Sajadian received a B.A. from the University of New York, Albany and an M.A. and Ph.D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kenneth J. Schutz, Appointee for Member, National Museum and Library Services Board

Kenneth J. Schutz is the Dr. William Huizingh Executive Director of the Desert Botanical Garden, a position he has held since 2001.  Mr. Schutz previously served as Executive Director of the Science Museum of Western Virginia from 1993 to 2001 and President of Bentley Consulting from 1990 to 1993.  He worked at the Baltimore Zoo from 1978 to 1988, where he served in various roles including Director of Marketing and Director of Development.  Mr. Schutz serves on the Board of the American Public Gardens Association and is an Accreditation Commissioner for the American Alliance of Museums.  He previously served on the Board of the Center for Plant Conservation.  Mr. Schutz received a B.S. from Bucknell University, an M.S. from Johns Hopkins University, and an M.B.A. from the University of Virginia.

Debo P. Adegbile, Appointee for Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights

Debo P. Adegbile is a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, LLP, a position he has held since 2014.  Previously, from 2013 to 2014, Mr. Adegbile was Senior Counsel to the United States Senate Judiciary Committee.  From 2001 to 2013, he held a number of roles at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., including Special Counsel, Acting President and Director-Counsel, Associate Director-Counsel and Director of Litigation, Associate Director of Litigation, and Assistant Counsel.  Prior to joining the NAACP, he was an associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison from 1994 to 2001.  Mr. Adegbile received a B.A. from Connecticut College and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Catherine E. Lhamon, Appointee for Commissioner, United States Commission on Civil Rights

Catherine E. Lhamon is Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Education, a position she has held since 2013.  Previously, Ms. Lhamon was the Director of Impact Litigation at Public Counsel from 2009 to 2013.  Prior to joining Public Counsel, she served at the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California as Okrand/Wirin Attorney from 1999 to 2005, Racial Justice Director from 2005 to 2009, and Assistant Legal Director in 2009.  From 1997 to 1999, Ms. Lhamon was a Supervising Attorney at the Appellate Litigation Program at Georgetown University Law Center.  She clerked for the Honorable William A. Norris on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals from 1996 to 1997.  Ms. Lhamon received a B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from Yale Law School.

U.S. Access Board Issues Standards for Medical Diagnostic Equipment

The U.S. Access Board has issued new accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment (MDE) under section 510 of the Rehabilitation Act. The standards provide design criteria for examination tables and chairs, weight scales, radiological and mammography equipment, and other diagnostic equipment that are accessible to people with disabilities. They include requirements for equipment that requires transfer from mobility aids and address transfer surfaces, support rails, armrests, and other features. The Board developed the standards in consultation with the Food and Drug Administration.

“The new standards will be instrumental in ensuring access to health care services,” states Regina Blye, Vice Chair of the Access Board. “The Board is pleased to fill this gap in accessibility because diagnostic equipment has remained problematic for many people with disabilities due largely to the lack of design specifications for making such equipment accessible.”

Barriers to diagnostic equipment include equipment height and other dimensions, the lack of supports and features necessary for transfer, and the characteristics of contact surfaces. The standards address these as well as other features such as operable parts and patient instructions. The provisions are organized based on use position (standing, lying down, or seated) and whether transfer from wheelchairs is necessary. In addition to the final rule, which includes a discussion of the requirements and background on how they were developed, the Board released an assessment of the benefits and impacts of the standards and an overview of the rule.

The Board previously issued the standards in proposed form for public comment. Following the comment period, the Board organized a panel of stakeholders to develop consensus recommendations on how the standards should be finalized according to the comments received. The MDE Accessibility Standards Advisory Committee, whose 24 members included representatives from disability groups, equipment manufacturers, health care providers, and standard-setting organizations, among others, presented its recommendations in a report to the Board. The final standards are based on the committee’s recommendations and the public comments received on the proposed standards.

As issued by the Board, the standards are not mandatory on health care providers and equipment manufacturers. The U.S. Department of Justice, which has issued guidance on access to medical care, may adopt them as mandatory requirements under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Other federal agencies may implement them as well under the Rehabilitation Act which requires access to federally funded programs and services.

Visit the Board’s website for further information or contact Earlene Sesker at sesker@access-board.gov, (202) 272-0022 (v), or (202) 272-0091 (TTY).

President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:

  • Joseph Cox – Member, Board of Visitors to the United States Merchant Marine Academy
  • Addy Schmitt – Member, District of Columbia Judicial Nomination Commission
  • Charles Galbraith – Member, Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Arts Development, Board of Trustees
  • Andrea Sanders – Member, Institute of American Indian and Alaska Native Culture Arts Development, Board of Trustees
  • Carrie Conaway – Member,  National Board for Education Sciences
  • David Francis – Member, National Board for Education Sciences
  • Anthony Robles – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition
  • Brad Snyder – Member, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition

President Obama said, “These individuals have demonstrated knowledge and dedication throughout their careers.  I am grateful they have chosen to take on these important roles, and I know they will serve the American people well.”