I’m Justin Chappell, one of The RespectAbility Report’s newest reporters. I also have Spina bifida, and, as a result, use a wheelchair. But this does not limit me. There are negative stigmas out there that discriminate against people with disabilities. But these stigmas are inaccurate and I live a very full life. Today I own my own place, am married to the love of my life, and now, on behalf of RespectAbility, I am interviewing presidential candidates!
The RespectAbility Report is a new online publication sponsored by the nonprofit disability rights and opportunity group RespectAbility. Our publisher, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, worked at Campaigns & Elections magazine and had a newspaper column for many years. Our editor, Lauren Appelbaum, has advanced degrees in journalism and worked in NBC News’ political unit with Chuck Todd and Andrea Mitchell.
Personally, I have worked for Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, a major disability leader who was key to the Americans with Disabilities Act and Workforce Innovation and Opportunities Act (WIOA), as well as in the Independent Living movement. Our team is filled with self-advocates and experts on disability issues and we have a thriving fellowship program where young leaders can get concrete skills in politics, journalism and public policy. Our publication focuses on the intersection between politics and disability issues.