Skip Navigation
Image of people smiling in a recording studio.

Volunteer Spotlight

Volunteer of the Month: Vivian Bass

“It is an honor and privilege serving on the Executive Committee of RespectAbility and in a wide myriad of roles. I enjoy interacting with the extraordinary staff, Fellows, our board colleagues and others in the greater community of people with disabilities. It is truly beyond remarkable the extraordinary strides that we’ve made in six short years in such a wide arena—from empowerment of women with disabilities in NYC to fighting stigmas in Hollywood to training the next generation of disability community leaders through our National Leadership Program to promoting employment opportunities for all.”

– Vivian Bass

headshot of Vivian Bass smiling at the camera with long hair color photoVivian Bass has volunteered with RespectAbility in a multitude of capacities since its founding in 2013. She became a resource as work was being done to launch the organization, as she knew RespectAbility’s Co-Founder/President, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, from various leadership and national organizations. [continue reading…]

Volunteer of the Month: Jonathan Murray

“It is exciting to work for Respectability! I truly value the organization’s concrete steps towards increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities and pushing for better representation for people with disabilities in Hollywood – both in front of and behind the camera.”

-Jonathan Murray

headshot of Jonathan Murray wearing a gray striped shirt and facing the camera color photoJonathan Murray has been involved with RespectAbility since its beginning. His commitment to supporting people with disabilities has grown, noting that this is a marginalized community that has been historically left out of the discussion when talking about inclusion and diversity. [continue reading…]

Volunteer of the Month: Gary Norman

“The greatest role for any public servant is to be involved with the community. Through my volunteering with RespectAbility, I have had this great feeling – I have been able to advance the conversation about how to increase the opportunities for people with disabilities, particularly expanding the role of young leaders in public affairs and service.”

– Gary Norman

Gary Norman smiling wearing a suit and tie in front of a black backgroundGary C. Norman is a dedicated public servant who has donated his time to teach various cohorts of RespectAbility’s Fellows about public service and disability-related topics. Some of these topics include assistive technology, the laws surrounding reasonable accommodation, and what the process can be for gaining meaningful federal employment. Gary connected with RespectAbility in 2015 when he served as a Visiting Fellow for the Robert J. Dole Institute for Politics. He was drawn to the organization because of his interest in non-partisan disability work. [continue reading…]

Volunteer of the Month: Andrea Jennings

“RespectAbility is an organization that leads by example. The team is very supportive of teaching and helping companies and individuals understand best practices for diversity and inclusion. RespectAbility doesn’t want to blame people – it wants to teach people.”

– Andrea Jennings

Andrea Jennings smiling in front of a white backdropAndrea Jennings, a passionate self-advocate living and working in California, has volunteered with RespectAbility in a variety of ways. One of her key roles has been to represent RespectAbility at Hollywood events. She makes certain that questions are being asked regarding disability inclusion in Hollywood. In addition, she has spoken on panels on behalf of RespectAbility. Andrea also mentors younger individuals with various disabilities who are interested in the entertainment industry. She works to ensure that people recognize their implicit biases and determine how they’re going to move past those biases. [continue reading…]

Volunteer Spotlight: Paola Vergara

Spanish-Language Resources Team Co-Chair

Paola Vergara headshot

Paola Vergara

“Being a volunteer for RespectAbility makes me feel as if I am making a difference. Sharing my experience and knowledge with the people who need it most helps me live a meaningful life. I gave birth to an atypical child, and thanks to him I can say I am living a life full of purpose.”

“Ser voluntaria para Respectability me hace sentir como alguien que marca la diferencia. Cuando comparto mi conocimiento y experiencia con la gente que más lo necesita, siento que mi vida tiene un significado. Soy madre de un niño atípico y gracias a el puedo entender que estoy acá para cumplir un gran propósito.”

Paola Vergara is a public lawyer who graduated in Colombia. She began her career working in public and government affairs as well as in health and education. Outside her professional career, she has been a disabilities and inclusion activist since her first son was born with a special condition 13 years ago. She currently works at a higher education institution for a program focused on Latin American issues, and recently completed a certificate in disabilities studies.

Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.


HQ: 11333 Woodglen Drive, #102, Rockville, MD 20852
West Coast: 350 S Bixel Street
Los Angeles CA 90017

Office Number: 202-517-6272


RespectAbility and is a GuideStar Platinum Participant. GuideStar Platinum Participant Logo
Translate »