Skip Navigation
Image of people smiling in a recording studio.

Bio – Jewish Speakers Bureau

Joseph “JB” Bensmihen

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Joseph Bensmihen headshot smiling in front of an American flag

Joseph “JB” Bensmihen

With over two decades of experience across administrations and state lines, as well as being fluently multi-lingual in Spanish, French and English, Joseph “JB” Bensmihen has been a successful advocate for every cause he has championed. JB has brought his distinct process of goal-setting to all of the teams he has led, clarifying specific objectives within the long-term team vision. [continue reading…]

Justin Borses

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Justin Borses smiling wearing a headset and suit and tie while covering a game

Justin Borses

Justin Borses is a Broadcaster and Journalist for Moorpark College with experience in sports and writing for the Moorpark Reporter. He has covered football and basketball for the school. One of the most influential parts of his life, however, has to do with his disability identity. He was born with Cerebral Palsy on February 19th, 2000.

[continue reading…]

Barry Shore

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Barry Shore smiling holding up his business card with the word SMILE on it.

Barry Shore

The Ambassador of JOY, Barry Shore, is a change maker and life transformer whose profound message of JOY is being embraced globally. A successful serial entrepreneur with two multi-million dollar exits and 3 issued patents, Barry acquired a disability that left him completely paralyzed overnight. Barry’s decision to use this experience to better his life and the lives of others has opened a unique opportunity to find JOY in living regardless of circumstance. [continue reading…]

Michael Jordan Segal

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Michael Segal smiling headshot

Michael Segal

Shot in the head during a robbery in his college years, Michael Jordan Segal defied all odds by first surviving and then returning to complete two degrees with honors; married his high school sweetheart, Sharon; and became a father to their daughter, Shawn.  Segal is a social worker in Houston and an author (having written many stories in various Chicken Soup For The Soul books, as well as his two book projects: an autobiography, working title is A Shot of Inspiration; and an anthology of his short stories. In addition, Segal has a CD/download available on his website of 12 of his best stories, read over light music, entitled Possible.  He also is a popular motivational speaker, sharing his “recipe” for recovery, happiness, and success before conferences, businesses and seminars. [continue reading…]

David Sharif

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

David Sharif smiling headshot

David Sharif

David Sharif is a global autism advocate and motivational speaker for the world of neurodiversity. Born in Los Angeles, he graduated valedictorian from a multi-disciplinary school administered by The Help Group, and became its first student to attend a four-year university out of state. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Pace University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Peace & Justice Studies, Sharif spent most of his undergraduate life traveling abroad carrying his learning differences to new educational environments. He was a member of the award-winning Model United Nations team participating in global negotiations, delivering impromptu speeches. Sharif is a recipient of the Indelible Mark Student Award, given to a student who leaves a legacy of outstanding contributions that significantly and positively influence the Pace student community. In his senior year, he received a research grant to conduct a study titled, “The Challenges and Successes of Post-Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” which he presented at several conferences. Sharif is also an alum of Pace’s Oasis program, a comprehensive support setting for students with learning differences and is one of their strongest advocates. He currently works for a large New York City based non-profit serving neurodiverse adults in building fulfilling lives and has attended conferences with other New York state non-profits that strive for disability rights. [continue reading…]

Susan Sygall

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Susan Sygall smiling in front of bushes and flowers

Susan Sygall

As CEO and co-founder of Mobility International USA, Susan Sygall is an internationally recognized expert in the area of international educational exchange, international development, and leadership programs for persons with disabilities, and especially women with disabilities. Susan, a wheelchair rider, has had a personal and professional commitment to disability rights and women’s issues for more than 30 years. She has co-authored numerous publications and has lectured throughout the world on a variety of topics related to inclusive development, international exchange opportunities for persons with disabilities, women’s empowerment, and disability rights. [continue reading…]

Ila Eckhoff

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Ila Eckhoff smiling outside in front of trees and plants wearing glasses

Ila Eckhoff

Ila Eckhoff, CPA, Managing Director, is a member of BlackRock’s Business Operations as part of Investment Operations. She is responsible for leading BlackRock’s Industry and Counterparty Management strategy and TSS Services for Aladdin clients. Ms. Eckhoff serves on a number of committees, including the Business Operations and Technology Leadership Committees, and Government Relations Steering Committee. She is also a leader of Blackrock’s ABN- Ability Network. [continue reading…]

Shelly Christensen, MA, FAAIDD

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Shelly Christensen smiling headshot

Shelly Christensen

Shelly Christensen is a pioneer in the Jewish and interfaith disability inclusion movement. She is an international speaker, author and consultant. Her newest book is From Longing to Belonging–A Practical Guide to Including People with Disabilities and Mental Health Conditions in Your Faith Community.

After one of Shelly’s sons was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, she recognized herself in the literature she poured over to understand ADHD.  Soon after being diagnosed, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Developmental Disabilities at St. Mary’s University. Her graduate research and thesis focused on the experiences of parenting a child with a disability. A few years later, Shelly was diagnosed with depression and anxiety disorder. Shelly candidly shares her living with a mental health condition in her book and her presentations. [continue reading…]

Denise Sherer Jacobson

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Denise Jacobson smiling headshot

Denise Sherer Jacobson

Author/educator Denise Sherer Jacobson, M.A., has worked as an activist, counselor, administrator, and oral historian (at UC Berkeley) in the Independent Living Movement for over 50 years. She penned the multi-layered memoir, The Question of David: A Disabled Mother’s Journey Through Adoption, Family, and Life,  as well as a plethora of disability/Jewish-themed blogs, articles, stories, and poetry published on websites and in newspapers, magazines, and anthologies. In 2015, she was the subject of a New York Times online photo essay. She is the story consultant for the acclaimed 2020 Netflix documentary Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution and a featured personality in the film. She is deeply connected to her Jewish community, helping to establish the Access Committee of  Temple Sinai (Oakland) in 2003, and acting as its first Chair. Sherer Jacobson has given presentations on disability-related issues both nationally and worldwide. As a writer/educator, her goal is “Weaving the Disability Experience into the Tapestry of Living.[continue reading…]

Neil Jacobson

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

Neil Jacobson sitting at his computer and smiling he has a beard and is wearing glasses color photo

Neil Jacobson

Neil is the founder and CEO of Abilicorp, a business innovation consulting company. Abilicorp’s mission is to significantly increase the employment rate of people with disabilities by promoting entrepreneurs with disabilities and eliminating employment barriers.

Neil retired in 2008 from Wells Fargo Bank after 29 years. Neil began his career at the Bank as a Proof-of-Deposit programmer. His last position was as a Senior Vice President managing the System Automation Management and Wireless Technology Divisions. Being the Chief Systems Architect for the retail business was also a position that Neil enjoyed. The proudest part of his career was architecting the first 7×24 banking system in the United States. The team, Neil managed implemented the 2nd mobile banking system in the country. Interestingly, Neil cannot use the mobile banking system because of his disabilities. [continue reading…]

1 2 3 4
Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.

CONTACT US

East Coast: 11333 Woodglen Drive, #102, Rockville, MD 20852

West Coast: 5115 Wilshire Blvd, #231, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Office Number: 202-517-6272

Email: info@respectability.org

GUIDESTAR PLATINUM

RespectAbility and The RespectAbility Report is a GuideStar Platinum Participant. GuideStar Platinum Participant Logo
© 2021 RESPECTABILITY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. SITE DESIGN BY COOL GRAY SEVEN   |   SITE DEVELOPMENT BY WEB SYMPHONIES   |      SITEMAP
Translate »