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Summer 2017 Fellows standing or seated in wheelchairs, smiling and posing for the camera

Matthew Wagner, Development and Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Spring 2017

Matthew Wagner smiling at camera

Matthew Wagner

Matthew Wagner was a Development and Policy Fellow with RespectAbility. His personal experience with hearing loss created a desire to increase access for all people, particularly in cultural institutions. Wagner worked on identifying potential funding sources for RespectAbility as well as contributing to several public policy initiatives. In addition, he became the resident Fellow on ensuring accessibility of all RespectAbility PowerPoints for those who are visually impaired.

Prior to joining RespectAbility, Wagner interned at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and Mount Vernon. Most recently, he interned with the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History where he worked on increasing accessibility in the Q?rius Lab. He believes knowledge should be accessible for all. Remembering how he felt when visiting museums in the late 90’s when materials were not captioned and people unwilling to speak clearer, he aims to ensure museums are truly accessible through universal design. As an advocate, he believes that museums have the power to inspire all and wants all visitors to benefit from that inspiration.

Wagner is a 2016 graduate of the Cooperstown Graduate Program at State University of New York, a master’s program focusing on museum studies and community engagement. Wagner also graduated from James Madison University with a history and anthropology undergraduate degree.

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RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.

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Meet the Author

Eric Ascher
Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher joined RespectAbility because he is passionate about challenging the stigmas that people with disabilities face. He has experience with website design, video editing and writing blog posts.

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