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Eric Ascher: Conversation Starter and Disability Agenda Setter

Eric Ascher smiles taking a selfie at Apple Park's visitor center

Eric Ascher at Apple Park’s Visitor Center

Eric Ascher is one of the most interesting young leaders in America. He’s a fountain of knowledge around two key passions – live television talent contests and innovations in technology. It’s like he’s always looking for the best in man and in machines.

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility, where he is on the front lines of fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. As the Communications Associate, he is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President of Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

On busy days Ascher can put out 50 press releases – one customized for each state – while filling social media with interesting content for RespectAbility’s 60,000+ followers. As such, he’s a conversation starter and agenda setter.

“I’m on the autism spectrum, so the fact that I get to do work that makes a difference to people like me and that I enjoy doing and that I feel passionate about makes work so much easier,” Ascher said. “Besides the work I’m doing, I love the people there. I love the fact that we have Fellows that I get to work with, and some of them are particularly wonderful. They come from all over the place, and I just love the culture and the fact that I get to show up to work and make a difference.”

Ascher also traveled to Iowa twice during the 2020 presidential primary campaign, meeting with candidates to ensure they keep people with disabilities – and policies important to the one-in-four adults in America who have a disability – in mind.

Eric Ascher smiles in the spin room at the 2020 Democratic Debate in Des Moines Iowa

Eric Ascher in the spin room at the CNN Democratic Debate in Des Moines, IA

“I know firsthand how hard it is for qualified people with disabilities to find jobs,” Ascher said. “I spent two years after college looking for work. I honestly believe that stigma around disability played a major role in that fact. What candidates say can make a huge difference in the stigma people with disabilities face.”

Ascher graduated from Goucher College in May 2016 as a communications major and political science minor. He initially joined RespectAbility as a Communications Fellow in the Spring 2018 cohort. He was drawn to RespectAbility because, being on the autism spectrum himself, he knows that people with disabilities are capable of doing great work, just like everyone else.

Ascher previously completed internships at GMMB, PFLAG National, Maryland New Directions, NIH, Verasolve and StartFinder. Through his coursework and internship experience, he has gained experience writing short and long-form blog posts, social media posts and press releases. He also has filmed and edited videos, designed websites and print flyers, proofread documents and completed research projects. In his free time, he enjoys watching and podcasting about reality talent competition shows, attending concerts and playing video games.

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Meet the Author

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi

Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi is the Founder of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities. She regularly works with disability organizations, national, state and local policy leaders, workforce development professionals, media, employers, philanthropists, celebrities and faith-based organizations in order to expand opportunities for people with disabilities.

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