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Eleanor Clift: Importance of Raising Awareness for the Disability Community

Eleanor Clift and RespectAbility's Spring 2018 Fellows

Eleanor Clift and RespectAbility’s Spring 2018 Fellows

Rockville, Maryland, April 18 – In a visit to RespectAbility’s office Eleanor Clift spoke to the National Leadership Fellows about the current administration, growing up during the Civil Rights Movement and race-related issues.

Clift is a well known columnist for The Daily Beast and an author; she was previously a reporter at Newsweek for 50 years of her life. She also has appeared in many movies and is a board member of RespectAbility.

She was curious to know where the Fellows stand on disability issues and what changes they would like to see. Many of the Fellows felt strongly about disability inclusion in the workplace. Some of the Fellows talked about their own personal experiences and the challenges they faced finding jobs and being discriminated against in school.

Eleanor Clift and RespectAbility Fellow Tameir Yeheyes smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Eleanor Clift and RespectAbility Fellow Tameir Yeheyes

Clift related many of the Fellows’ experiences to her own. When asked why the disability rights movement is taking off, she says “it’s in our face every day.”  She revealed what it was like being a woman growing up in a time when women were discriminated against and not welcome in the workplace.

Clift shared optimistic views on society and what Fellows can do as citizens to make a difference. She has witnessed a lot in her lifetime and is continuing to do great things with the many organizations she is a part of. Clift suggested that “legislation can fix some issues, but we need to raise more awareness to really move society forward.”


RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. This spring, 14 Fellows had the opportunity to learn from a variety of guest speakers. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact [email protected] for more information.



Meet the Author

Tameir Yeheyes

Tameir Yeheyes is passionate about serving the community, making a difference in the world and working hard on behalf of people with disabilities. Upon graduation, she hopes to go into either nonprofit work or government agency employment.

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