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

Adam Fishbein, Policy Fellow

National Leadership Program, Fall 2017

Respectability fellow Adam Fishbein smiling in front of the Respectability banner

Adam Fishbein

Adam Fishbein is a Public Policy and Employment Fellow in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. He is from Elkins Park, Pennsylvania and is in his second year as a Politics, Policy and Law Three-Year Scholar at American University, where he is pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Law, Economics and Government. Fishbein’s interest in disability advocacy stems from his own mental health and learning challenges.

Throughout his childhood, he was involved in the PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance (PA-TSA) and the Tourette Association of America. He advocated to his legislators for state and federal funding and raised awareness through mass media outlets and public speaking. Fishbein has continued to embrace his role as a disability advocate during college. He has served as a member of the PA-TSA Board of Directors since 2015, first as the first Youth Board Representative, and now as a full Board Member. He was appointed as the Deputy Director of Disability Advocacy for AU Student Government during the 2016-17 academic year and attended Jewish Disability Awareness Day on Capitol Hill in February 2017.

Fishbein’s internship experience includes two stints working for Sen. Art Haywood, who represents his home district in the Pennsylvania Senate. There, he helped the staff with constituent services and legislative research. He also interned at the nonprofit Jewish Learning Venture where he worked closely with the director of the whole community inclusion program to refine and promote its work on disability advocacy. Most recently, Fishbein interned with the Montgomery County Democratic Committee, where he identified opportunities for fundraising by analyzing campaign contribution databases.

Fishbein came to this Fellowship because RespectAbility is the type of organization he could see himself working for after college. He is especially interested in advancing public policy related to disability rights, particularly education and employment policy. Although he recognizes the progress already made to empower and accommodate students and young adults with disabilities, he views the inequalities in housing, jobs, and income faced by people with disabilities to be the most pressing issue. Fishbein looks forward to helping build the toolkit for the Communities of Practice in Long Beach, furthering RespectAbility’s policy goals and empowering the disability community at-large through his work as a Policy Fellow.


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 for more information.



Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum
Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the communications director of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities, and managing editor of The RespectAbility Report, a publication at the intersection of disability and politics. Previously she was a digital researcher with the NBC News political unit. As an individual with an acquired invisible disability - Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy - she writes about the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. Appelbaum currently oversees RespectAbility’s outreach to Hollywood to promote positive, accurate, diverse and inclusive media portrayals on TV and in film. To reach her, email

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