Looking Closer: Raising Expectations of People with Disabilities Helps Us All Move Forward

This item originally appeared on the Campaign for Disability Employment’s blog. It is not unusual for waiters and waitresses to look only briefly at my son Jacob before turning to ask me what he would like to eat. With a shrug, I almost always say the same thing: Ask him. Jacob, 26, has apparent physical and cognitive disabilities. His arms sometimes hang awkwardly, and his … Continue reading Looking Closer: Raising Expectations of People with Disabilities Helps Us All Move Forward

Civil Rights Legacy Shapes Mission at Providence St. Mel

In 1966, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. moved into an apartment in Chicago’s North Lawndale neighborhood — less than a mile from where Providence St. Mel stands — to protest housing inequality, segregation and poverty in this embattled community. A few short years later, Paul J. Adams III, the founder of Providence St. Mel School, moved from Alabama to that same neighborhood in Chicago to … Continue reading Civil Rights Legacy Shapes Mission at Providence St. Mel

Walking the ‘Last Mile’ Through Graduate Support

Providing low-income, minority boys from Boston with the rigorous, affordable education that they deserve is part of our daily work at Nativity Preparatory School. However, we see — as do the Johnson Scholarship Foundation and many in the education world —  the serious need to help bridge “the last mile” for disadvantaged students. Progress in this area continues, but it must have the end goal … Continue reading Walking the ‘Last Mile’ Through Graduate Support

Unwrapping the Gift of Potential at Clarke

The spirit of the season filled the classrooms on a recent day at Clarke Schools for Hearing and Speech in Jacksonville, Florida. In one class, a teacher led her energetic preschoolers in an assignment that involved decorating a Christmas tree. Later that morning, a student practiced her language skills by reading her letter to Santa aloud to a group of visitors. Schoolwide, classes were preparing … Continue reading Unwrapping the Gift of Potential at Clarke

Cracks in ‘Talent Pipeline’ Pose Risks for Employers, College Students With Disabilities

The following previously appeared in the Huffington Post and has been reprinted with permission. As the leader of a national organization focused on employment for people with disabilities, I routinely have the privilege of visiting places that are doing some remarkable work to advance the issue. My travels of late took me to two notable college campuses: Edinboro University, just outside of Erie, Pennsylvania, which has … Continue reading Cracks in ‘Talent Pipeline’ Pose Risks for Employers, College Students With Disabilities