From Washington to Hollywood and Beyond: The Future of Americans with Disabilities

One-day Summit celebrates the good that can be done to end stigmas and advance opportunities for the 56 million Americans with disabilities. All invited to attend or watch webcast.

Key goals of RespectAbility include : the ability for all Americans to learn, contribute skills and fulfill their human potential. You are invited to get to know the people and best practices around transformative systems change that can improve the lives of the 1-in-6 people in our nation (56 million people) who live with a physical, mental health, cognitive or other significant disability that is a barrier to everyday living.

They are hosting a free gathering in the U.S. Capitol complex (Rayburn House Office Building) on Monday, July 30. They would love for you to join them. The agenda is below and the bios of all the diverse and outstanding speakers can be found on their website. The people working on the front lines on education and employment for people with disabilities will be speaking and/or in the room. Five of their speakers are blind, four use wheelchairs, one is deaf/hard of hearing and others have a variety of other disabilities including learning and attention issues. They also have a full panel on intersectionality as people of color and English-as-second-language learners with disabilities face unique challenges and opportunities.

Participation is free but spaces are limited. RSVPs are requited. We hope you will sign up now!


WHAT: From Washington to Hollywood and Beyond: The Future of Americans with Disabilities


Registration is required. Space is limited. 


8:00 AM – Registration and Networking

9:00 AM – Welcome by Calvin Harris, Chair, RespectAbility

9:10 AM – Education and High Expectations for Students with Disabilities

  • Johnny Collett, Assistant Secretary for Special Education and Rehabilitative Services, U.S. Department of Education

9:35 AM – Improving Employment Opportunities for People with Disabilities

  • Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor

10:00 AM – PANEL: Four-Fold Improvement in New Jobs for People with Disabilities: What’s Driving It and How We Continue Improving

  • Moderator: Donn Weinberg, Chair, Philanthropy Roundtable
  • Janet LaBreck, Disability Employment, Expert
  • Ron Painter, Executive Director of the National Association of Workforce Boards
  • Vincenzo Piscopo, Community & Stakeholder, Relations Director, The Coca-Cola Company
  • Jim Sinocchi, Office of Disability Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase

11:00 AM – EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARDS to Judy Woodruff, Host, PBS NewsHour, and Joe Shapiro, Correspondent, NPR Investigations

11:30 AM – Breaking the Glass Ceiling (introduced by Vivian Bass)

  • Ollie Cantos, Board of Advisors, RespectAbility
  • Leo, Nick and Steven Cantos (blind triplets who are each Eagle Scouts)

12:00 PM – Lunch: How to Have an Impact in Washington

  • Moderator: Calvin Harris, Chair, RespectAbility
  • Rep. Brad Sherman, California
  • Other members of Congress TBA

1:30 PM – PANEL: Fighting Implicit Bias Through TV and Film

  • Moderator: Jonathan Murray, Reality TV Pioneer, Bunim/Murray
  • Jeanette Betancourt, SVP, U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop
  • Rachel Dretzin, Director, Far From the Tree
  • Crystal R. Emery, Director, Black Women in Medicine
  • Andrew Solomon, Ph.D., Award-Winning Author, Far From the Tree

2:45 PM – PANEL: Importance of Intersectionality: Enabling People of Color and Immigrants with Disabilities to Succeed

  • Moderator: Donna Walton, Founder and President, Divas With Disabilities Project
  • Stephanie Farfan, National Leadership Alumna, RespectAbility
  • Kaity Hagen, National Leadership Fellow, RespectAbility
  • Clarence Page, Columnist, Chicago Tribune

3:45 PM – EXCELLENCE IN JOURNALISM AWARD to Joe Shapiro, Correspondent, NPR Investigations (presented by Eleanor Clift)

4:15 PM – A Look to the Future Featuring RespectAbility Board Members, Staff and Fellows

4:30 PM – Networking Reception

WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building, Washington, D.C.

ALSO: You may watch on C-SPAN (either 1 or 2) or on Respectabilty's Facebook page:
WHEN: Monday, July 30, 2018, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET)
GENERAL CONTACT: Christopher Trujillo,, 202-748-3582
MEDIA CONTACT: Lauren Appelbaum,, 202-591-0703




8:30AM - 5:00PM Mon 30 Jul 2018 ( Timezone: Eastern )


Rayburn House Office Building
45 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20515

[ Get Directions ]