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RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Erika Abbott smiling headshot

Erika Abbott

Erika Abbott is a native of Manhattan and was raised in Montclair, NJ. She began her advocacy very early in life as the ringleader of the disabled posse, the small group of children that had varying disabilities at her school. Though she was young, Ms. Abbott perceived the absurdity and poignance of their challenges. Abbott was never picked first for any team sport, but had there been a Reading Olympics, she certainly would have won!

Abbott is an award-winning poet for her debut book, PORGY’S REVENGE, which is available in several libraries across the country. The book is endorsed by Tom Hanks, “These poems are from the soul, personal and particular. they are not from us, but speak of us….” and Olympia Dukakis, “PORGY’S REVENGE contains the unique writings of an extraordinary poet-a story-teller both in content and in style.” As Abbott’s publisher asserts: “her imagery haunts, one that readers will not soon forget, even when the collection is closed.” Her poetry speaks volumes, challenging us and pushing us just as great art should.

Read an article about Abbott in The Montclair Times.

Read some of Abbott’s poetry in our Shabbat Smile.

About RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau offers diverse speakers with disabilities to teach about disability inclusion; and/or to offer their expertise in an array of topics, ranging from Art and Entertainment to Entrepreneurship, Education, Finance, Law, Psychology, Religion (of many faiths) and every vocation in between. Our Speakers Bureau and its divisions are expanding. If this is of interest to you or you know a professional with a visible or nonvisible disability who might be interested, you (or she/he/they) can email

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, 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.

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