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National Leadership Program

Learning from Political Expert Dan Hazelwood Rockville, Md., June 29 – “Win people through emotions,” Dan Hazelwood told an audience of attentive RespectAbility Fellows earlier this month. “The heart overrides logic.” Hazelwood mastered the technique of captivating voters in the political world. His main expertise involves campaign strategy, message development, targeting and persuasion mail. A [click to continue...]

Learning Effective Advocacy Strategies with Lisa Thomas of the American Federation of Teachers Rockville, Md., June 28 – “The lack of cohesive, consistent messaging is the Achilles heel of the disability community,” Dr. Lisa Thomas told a group of RespectAbility Fellows earlier this month. “We do have competing priorities.” Thomas, the Associate Director and Special Education [click to continue...]

A Conversation with Renowned Journalist Cal Thomas Rockville, Md., June 28 – During his talk with RespectAbility Fellows last week, Cal Thomas, a renowned journalist, celebrated author and Fox News contributor, proclaimed, “A cheerful spirit stands out like a rose in the snowstorm; people want to be around happy people.” Thomas’ words sparked my excitement [click to continue...]

Learning from Ron Drach, Combat Veteran Wounded in the Vietnam War Rockville, Md., June 26 – Earlier this month, the RespectAbility Fellows had the privilege of hearing from Ron Drach, a combat veteran wounded in the Vietnam War. Drach says he’s lucky to have survived his wounds. “If I could sum up the beginning of [click to continue...]

Learning from Disability Diva Donna Walton Rockville, Md., June 12 – When Donna Walton walked into the RespectAbility office, she greeted us with a radiant smile and embraced me a warm hug. A champion for empowering women with disabilities, Walton brought an air of confidence and acceptance that could be felt by everyone in the [click to continue...]

Advice on Connecting with People from AIPAC Strategist Jonathan Kessler Rockville, Md., June 9 – “It’s not about how the cards are dealt, it’s about how you play them,” Jonathan Kessler told RespectAbility fellows on Wednesday. Many of us RespectAbility fellows have had considerable medical and physical obstacles to overcome, but it’s people like Kessler who [click to continue...]

A Conversation with Ami Aronson of The Bernstein Family Foundation Rockville, Md., June 8 – As her husband often says, Ami Aronson never thinks outside of the box; she never even knew the box existed. En route to her current position as the Executive Director for the Bernstein Family Foundation (BFF), Aronson embarked on a [click to continue...]

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