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From Isolation to Elevation: Tips to Disability Inclusion and Belonging

Presented by the Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit’s Opening the Doors Program and RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau


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Moderated by Mitchell S. Parker, PhD, psychologist

Speaker Bios

Jennifer Fink smiling headshotJennifer Fink is a social entrepreneur and management consultant whose passion lies in promoting behavioral and community health to empower individuals learning to cope with mental health challenges. Due to an accident and illness in her mid-20s, Ms. Fink lives with nonvisible disabilities, anxiety, and depression. Fink had founded a nonprofit and co-authored a children’s book supporting military children. She collaborated with the Obama White House’s Joining Forces Initiative, and due to Fink’s finesse, former First Lady Michelle Obama filmed a video for a USO Asia-Pacific Tour that Fink co-led. A captivating and relatable storyteller, she weaves humor and grace as she embraces and shares her story, wisdom, and lessons learned from her journey.

Arielle Silverman headshot

Dr. Arielle Silverman has been both Jewish and blind since birth. She has worked with Jewish camps, congregations, and other organizations to help build a culture of inclusion. Dr. Silverman has also studied and conducted research on the psychology of disability. She speaks on the tensions between her intersecting disabled and Jewish identities; simple principles for fostering inclusion across ability lines; and learning to correct our own biases toward people who are different.

Meet the Author

Debbie Fink
Debbie Fink

Debbie Fink is Director of Community Outreach & Impact for RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. In addition to this role, she was Project Director for the unprecedented Women’s Disability Leadership, Inclusion & Advocacy Series; and is responsible for RespectAbility’s Volunteer Corps and Jewish Inclusion Project. Ms. Fink 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 DebbieF@respectability.org.

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