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

Adam Fishbein, Jewish Inclusion and Community Outreach Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Summer 2019

Adam Fishbein smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Adam Fishbein

Adam Fishbein was a Jewish Inclusion and Community Outreach Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program in the summer of 2019. He previously served as a Public Policy and Employment Apprentice at RespectAbility in the fall of 2017.

Originally from the Philadelphia area, Fishbein recently graduated as a Politics, Policy and Law Scholar from American University, earning in just three years his Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies: Communications, Law, Economics and Government. He will continue his education for one more year at AU as a Master of Public Administration candidate.

Fishbein’s interest in disability policy and advocacy stems from his own mental health and learning challenges. Throughout his childhood, Fishbein was involved in the PA Tourette Syndrome Alliance (PA-TSA) and the Tourette Association of America. He lobbied his legislators for state and federal funding for Tourette Syndrome awareness and research efforts and promoted understanding of Tourette 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, initially as its first youth board representative, and currently as vice president and board development committee chairman. He was appointed as the deputy director of disability advocacy for AU Student Government during the 2016-17 academic year and attended Jewish Disability Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill in February 2017 and 2018.

Fishbein’s professional experience includes a policy internship with the National Center for Learning Disabilities, where he provided extensive research support for an assessment of every state’s Every Students Succeeds Act plan and how it affects students with disabilities. He also worked two stints as an intern for Sen. Art Haywood, who represents his home district in the Pennsylvania Senate. There, he assisted 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.

Fishbein came to this Apprenticeship because RespectAbility is the type of organization where he could see himself working after college. He is especially interested in advancing public policy related to disability rights, particularly in 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 education faced by children with disabilities to be the most pressing issue in the disability community. Fishbein looks forward to helping recruit and manage RespectAbility’s volunteer corps and advance Jewish inclusion efforts through the weekly Shabbat Smile newsletter.

Fishbein wrote four pieces during the 2019 Summer Apprenticeship. Read them on our website:


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 [email protected] for more information.



Meet the Author

Adam Fishbein

Adam 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.

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