National Leadership Program, Spring 2018
Jaimie Ninan is a Policy Fellow in the National Leadership Program at RespectAbility. She graduated from the University at Buffalo (SUNY) with a degree in Political Science and History in 2006, obtained her Master in Public Administration degree in 2010 and is currently attending Catholic University, Columbus School of Law.
Ninan has advocated continuously for those with disabilities whether mental, physical, intellectual or sensory for the past 15 years of her life. After becoming a volunteer for Literacy Volunteers of America, she realized the lack of special education classes for students with learning disabilities in the city school district. Her insight grew at an exponential level when she experienced the many trials and tribulations after her husband acquired disabilities while fighting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. As a military spouse, she is committed, alongside her husband, to create an environment where all people with disabilities can contribute to society, as they wish.
After many years of helping the disability community at an individual level, whether through support programs or resource assistance programs, she will now enmesh herself in public policy initiatives at RespectAbility. Her goal is to not only help create sound legislation, but also educate communities on what a disability is, and how people with disabilities have an inalienable right to not only live, but live life to the fullest.
Ninan believes it is imperative to support those from the military community and to enhance the opportunities available to disabled soldiers and veterans so that they are able to contribute at an impactful level during and after their military careers. Many times, after being released from the hospital, or continuing outpatient therapies, veterans are often forgotten. Social security disability benefits, and service related entitlement programs do not meet the needs of our veterans, or their families. Quite often, these veterans feel a necessity to re-enter the workforce, however are unable, due to various impediments, ranging from cramped workspaces, to accessibility issues, to undiagnosed disabilities.
Robert M. Hensel once said that “there is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as more.” Ninan strongly believes in changing the stigma associated with persons with disabilities and would like to help catalyze our society into employing persons with disabilities, at an equal rate to people without disabilities.
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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 BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.
ALL FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
- PUBLIC POLICY/EMPLOYMENT
- COMMUNICATIONS/DIVERSITY IN FILM & TELEVISION
- PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT/FUNDRAISING
- FAITH INCLUSION