Nicole LeBlanc, Board of Directors
Nicole LeBlanc has a keen ability and interest in public policy and excels at communicating the needs of people with developmental disabilities to public officials. In December of 2020, she started working as the Self Advocate Advisor with TASH on the AOD Disability Employment TA Center, where she researches material on employment and self advocacy, recruits focus group members, and drafts blogs and social media posts.
Ever since the day Nicole first stepped foot in Washington, D.C. with her mentor Chester Finn, she knew she wanted to live in the political universe. Nicole has presented or facilitated webinars and video blogs on the topics of healthcare, autism, presuming competence, self-managed services, voter access, COVID-19, the dignity of risk, and employment of people with disabilities. She has worked with organizations including Green Mountain Self-Advocates, Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered, the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, and the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. In the summer of 2019, Nicole won the David Joyce Advocate of the Year award for outstanding policy advocacy on Capitol Hill.
In 2017, Nicole was a Public Policy Fellow at RespectAbility, and has spoken at several RespectAbility events since then. In 2022, Nicole was the first-ever recipient of RespectAbility’s Steve Bartlett Award, which recognizes and honors an individual in the private or public sector who demonstrates a strong commitment to using the political system to advance public policy in support of people with disabilities.
Nicole is a natural leader chosen by her peers due to her unwavering commitment to speaking the truth to power. Nicole is one who is not willing to shy away from taking on big challenges and new adventures. Her motto is “control your own destiny or someone else will.” Her hobbies are following politics, ice skating, reading, going to conferences, hiking, exercising at the gym, traveling, hanging out with her best friends and alternative medicine.