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The Power Of Persuasion

Learning from Political Expert Dan Hazelwood

Dan Hazelwood and RespectAbility Fellows standing and seated in a posed photograph, smiling for the camera

Dan Hazelwood with RespectAbility Fellows and Staff

Rockville, Md., June 29 – “Win people through emotions,” Dan Hazelwood told an audience of attentive RespectAbility Fellows earlier this month. “The heart overrides logic.”

Hazelwood mastered the technique of captivating voters in the political world. His main expertise involves campaign strategy, message development, targeting and persuasion mail. A nationally recognized political campaign professional, his past clients included President George W. Bush and several U.S. senators and governors.

People with disabilities face a battle against misleading stigmas, Hazelwood recognized. The way people with disabilities are portrayed in society makes a significant impact in all aspects of their lives.

Whether working with politicians or the disability community, Hazelwood said it is essential to have the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes.

He demonstrated the major reason most ad marketers fail: They almost always look at certain issues from their own perspective. Hazelwood clarified the importance of understanding and recognizing arguments through other people’s eyes.

“An election is never about a politician – it’s about what the audience wants,” Hazelwood said.


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

Ella Issacharoff

Ella Issacharoff is a Communications Fellow. During her two years of National Service (2013-2015) in Israel, she lived and worked in a distressed agricultural community on the border with Jordan where she implemented informal educational programs for the youth of the community, working intensively with families that had economic and social needs. She also worked in Jerusalem at an elementary school where she managed the third to sixth grade after-school program.

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