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Training for Mothers of Students with Disabilities

Date: Saturday, March 9, 2019
Time: 12:30 PM – 5:00 PM
12:30 – 1:00 PM: Registration & Refreshments
1:00 – 5:00 PM: Training and Networking
Location: Guttman Community College (Google Maps)
50 West 40th Street, Room 401
New York, NY 10018

Are you a mother of a child with a disability? Are you ready to learn new skills to advocate for your child and others? Are you interested in becoming a more effective leader in your community? Do you want to make New York City a better place for yourself, your loved ones and the next generation?

Then join us for this free training as we advance the empowerment of mothers of children with disabilities, bringing the lens of inclusion and equality to NYC’s civic life for this generation and future generations.


Donna Meltzer, CEO of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD)
Michelle Grier, LMSW, Director Of Social Work at Girls for Gender Equity

Dr. Nelle L Richardson, Self Advocate and CEO of The Will To Win Ministry
Gabrielle Einstein-Sim, Moderator

Joined by:
Ketrina Hazell, Ms. Wheelchair NY 2018
Jordana Mendelson, Associate Professor, NYU and Parent Advocate
Candace Cable, RespectAbility Inclusionist and nine-time Paralympian
Tatiana Lee, RespectAbility Inclusionist, Actress and Model

Donna MeltzerDonna Meltzer is CEO of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), a national non-profit organization that supports the nation’s 56 governor-appointed Developmental Disabilities Councils that work within state government to promote independence, productivity, and integration of people with disabilities through systems change activities. In this capacity, Ms. Meltzer oversees the organization’s public policy and advocacy agenda as well as technical assistance to the member Councils. Ms. Meltzer joined the NACDD in October 2012. Previously she was the Senior Director of Government Relations for the Epilepsy Foundation. She rejoined the Epilepsy Foundation in July 2005 after having previously worked for the Foundation from 1987 – 1993. She also served as Director of Legislative Affairs for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) from 1995-2005. Ms. Meltzer began her career on Capitol Hill working for the Honorable Tony Coelho (D-CA), a former Congressman and House Whip from California who is the father of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and a person with epilepsy. Ms. Meltzer also spent two years as the Government Affairs Director for the National Health Council where she directed the advocacy agenda for the Council’s Voluntary Health Agency (VHA) members. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism. Ms. Meltzer also participates in several key coalitions including serving as President of the Board of Directors of the Coalition for Health Funding. She is a past Chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) where she continues as a co-chair of the CCD’s Fiscal Policy Task Force.

Michelle GrierMichelle Grier is a social justice worker who hails from Brooklyn, NY. Grier dedicates her time to providing culturally relevant mental health services to youth of color. Additionally, she trains social workers and educators on increasing their self-awareness and bringing culturally sensitive models to their practice. Grier holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University in Anthropology and a Master’s of Science in Social Work from Columbia University. She currently works for Achievement First Endeavor Middle School as the Director of Socio-Emotional Learning and Social Work.

Dr. Nelle Richardson smiling in front of an undecorated white wallDr. Nelle L Richardson is a pastor, motivational speaker, counselor, life coach, and self-advocate with an invisible disability; godmother to Miss Wheelchair NY 2018 and mother of two adult children; wife of 32 years; and leader in her community. Dr. Richardson has worked for the Federation Employment and Guidance Services/NYC LINKS for 22 years as a counselor in its Mental Health Unit and a case manager for the Criminal Justice Department. Her duties involve evaluating individuals and working with the New York City Supreme Law Judge, The Assistant District Attorney of New York City and various attorneys, community professionals, parole, probation, and other detention centers across New York City. Dr. Richardson is the founder and CEO of “The Will To Win Ministry,” a non-profit organization that empowers professional women and families by releasing negative stigma, hurt and shame associated with many life issues, including disability. The Ministry has been in operation since 1997 and has supported individuals and families in the United States and internationally, helping people get back on track to lead successful lives. As a motivational speaker; Dr. Richardson’s motto is to encourage and help others to have a better life one day at a time. Her greatest joy is to see someone moving ahead of his/her challenges. Dr. Richardson has also volunteered her services in her community, addressing suicide prevention among youth in the LGBTQ community, and working with other youth and families through her Church. Dr. Richardson is completing her first book, Safety in Chaos,to help children find safety when everything around them seems chaotic. She continues to spread love through motivation wherever she goes.

headshot of Gabrielle Einstein-Sim smiling and facing the camera wearing a tank top color photoGabrielle Einstein-Sim is a graduate of the University of Michigan where she studied economics. She is currently a Master’s Student in Community Health Education at Teachers College Columbia University. She is a member of the Jewish National Fund’s Disability Task Force, focusing specifically on the Special in Uniform program, which enables people with disabilities to serve in the Israeli army.

Register today – space is limited!

Rolling admissions.

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Learn more about the series:

Can’t attend in-person? Register for the webinar:

Webinar Start Time: 1:15 p.m. ET / 12:15 p.m. CT / 11:15 a.m. MT / 10:15 a.m. PT

Meet the Author

Debbie Fink
Debbie Fink

Debbie Fink is Director of Community Outreach and Impact for RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. She brings more than 15 years of diverse leadership experience in public health, education and arts programming to serve RespectAbility’s mission. Fink has a lifetime commitment to enabling people with disabilities to have a better future and is passionate about the constructive impact volunteers can make in the world. To reach her, email

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