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

Matthew Wagner, Nonprofit Management and Policy Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Spring 2017

Matthew Wagner smiling at camera

Matthew Wagner

Matthew Wagner was a Nonprofit Management and Policy Apprentice 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 Apprentice 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.


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 [email protected] for more information.



Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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