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

Adam Srayi, Policy Apprentice

Nation Leadership Program, Fall 2017

RespectAbility Fellow Adam Srayi standing in front of the RespectAbility logo smiling

Adam Srayi

Adam Srayi was a Public Policy and Employment Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program. He researched the unemployment rate for people with disabilities in Long Beach, California, with a focus on the Latino community. With RespectAbility, he worked to find a model to increase the employment rate and opportunities for people with disabilities in Long Beach and the greater California area.

Before working with RespectAbility, Srayi worked with the Benjamin Center at SUNY New Paltz where he researched and compiled the data for a map of the City of Newburgh. The map highlighted all locations in the area that provided services to those with low or no income. Srayi is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz, with a Bachelor’s degree in political science, and minors in creative writing and women’s gender and sexuality studies. He enjoys trying to find creative solutions to political problems, particularly regarding the most vulnerable and marginalized groups. Srayi hopes to hold public office in the future.


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 is the Vice President, Communications, 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. From entertainment professionals to presidential campaigns, journalists to philanthropists, she conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible. Behind the scenes in the entertainment industry, Appelbaum engages decision makers and creatives to improve the quality and number of authentic, diverse and inclusive presentations of people with disabilities on TV and film so audiences can see people with disabilities as vital contributors in America and around the world. She and her team have consulted on projects with Amazon, Disney/ABC Television, NBCUniversal, Netflix, and The Walt Disney Studios, among others. Appelbaum also enriches the pool of disabled talent in Hollywood by nurturing and connecting them to those who can assist with their careers, both on the creative and business sides of the industry. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit, which was created to help entertainment professionals to be as inclusive of people with disabilities as possible, and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working behind the camera. To reach her, email

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