In Focus: National Organization on Disability Discuss 30th Anniversary of Americans with Disabilities Act

Video still of Charles Catherine interview

KENTUCKY — The Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law in the year 1990 by then-President George H.W. Bush with hopes to eliminate discrimination towards individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including transportation, schools, and in the workforce.

Charles Catherine is the Associate Director of Special Projects at the National Organization on Disability, and earlier this year, Catherine wrote an op-ed piece titled: Social distance, blindness, and coronavirus: How people with disabilities like me are adjusting.”

During this In Focus Kentucky segment, Catherine discusses the NOD’s mission and explains how the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 has personally impacted his life.

Watch the interview on Spectrum News1

NOD Corporate Leadership Council Receives Exclusive Briefing on a Changing National Disability Agenda under the Biden-Harris Administration

Group of people with and without visible disabilities in work attire standing in a line arm in arm

New York (DECEMBER 3, 2020) – To commemorate International Day of People with Disabilities, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) today hosted an exclusive webcast for its Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) to learn about and discuss the disability policy landscape in the coming Biden-Harris Administration, and how the next four years will present disability advocates with new opportunities and challenges, especially as COVID-19 rates continue to rise across the country.

“There is still so much work to be done to support and advocate for individuals with disabilities in our country, especially in light of the ongoing pandemic,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “Disability inclusion is a bipartisan issue that impacts millions of Americans, and we applaud the new Administration for finally bringing issues that are affecting the disability community to the forefront. These types of exclusive priority briefings are only available to our Corporate Leadership Council members.”

The briefing was led by RespectAbility and the Ridge Policy Group. RespectAbility President Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi and RespectAbility Policy and Practices Director Phillip Kahn-Pauli talked about America’s diverse disability community which includes 61 million individuals with disabilities, and the reality check that only 1 in 3 people with a disability have a job, despite research from Accenture that shows companies that recruited and supported employees with disabilities have a 30% greater profit margin. In addition, research shows that disability-inclusive companies have higher productivity levels and lower staff turnover rates, and are twice as likely to outperform their peers in shareholder returns and create larger returns on investment.

The Biden Plan for Full Participation and Equality for People with Disabilities

  • Ensure full inclusion of people with disabilities in policy development.
  • Guarantee access to high-quality, affordable health care, including mental health care.
  • Expand access to home and community-based services and long-term services and supports.
  • Expand competitive, integrated employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Protect and strengthen economic security for people with disabilities.
  • Ensure that students with disabilities have access to educational programs.
  • Expand access to accessible, integrated, and affordable housing, transportation, and assistive technologies and protect people with disabilities in emergencies.
  • Advance global disability rights.

Read the full Biden-Harris plan on disability issues.

CLC members were then provided an encouraging overview of the Biden-Harris plan for the disability community which includes full inclusion of people with disabilities in policy development, advancements in access to high-quality, affordable health care including mental health care, expanded access to home and community-based services, affordable housing, transportation and assistive technologies, as well as ensuring students with disabilities have access to educational programs. In addition, the speakers addressed the legislative priorities of the new administration and the 117th Congress, such as The Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, The Paycheck Fairness Act, The Equality Act, as well as strengthen and expand Violence Against Women Act.

Mizrahi and Kahn-Pauli said one priority needs to be increased federal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. These are positions working directly for the federal government and through federal contracts, they said.

Glazer added, “NOD is hopeful that with the new Administration’s focused attention on our community that people with disabilities will have the same opportunities as everyone else, and we can start to rebuild to make workforces more diverse and inclusive than ever before.”

About National Organization on Disability (NOD)

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80-percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands to be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs. For more information about NOD and how its professional services, Corporate Leadership Council and Disability Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit

This year marks the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, one of the most comprehensive and sweeping pieces of civil rights legislation in our nation’s history.  For more information about the ADA 30 and how NOD is celebrating this milestone event, please visit www.nod/

About RespectAbility

RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that enables people with disabilities to get the education, skills, and opportunities they need to achieve competitive, integrated employment and independence.