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Tuesday, 31 January, 2017

National Disability Institute Newly Elected Board Leadership and Members Committed to Increase Economic Opportunity for Americans with Disabilities

National Disability Institute (NDI), the nation’s first and leading nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better economic future for people with disabilities, announced today that Alexandra McArthur, National Director, Young Adult and Community Engagement for the Muscular Dystrophy Association, was elected Chair of the Board of Directors and Janet Hamer, Vice President and Southeast Regional Community Development Manager for TD Bank, was selected as Vice Chair. Three new members were added to the Board as well.

“It is an honor to be named Board Chair of National Disability Institute. As a person with a disability, I know economic advancement for people with disabilities could not be a more pressing issue," McArthur said. "Whether through cross-sector trainings, collaborations like the ABLE National Resource Center or awareness-building campaigns like Disable Poverty, NDI is finding effective solutions to end the cycle of poverty for people with disabilities. The NDI Board of Directors, with its members from both the finance and disability fields, is proud to support NDI's remarkable staff and push NDI's agenda forward."

As the National Director of Young Adult and Community Engagement at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, McArthur is implementing community programs and services to support the next generation of leaders with disabilities. In 2014, McArthur was named a White House Champion of Change for Disability and Employment by President Obama. She is also a former Ms. Wheelchair America (2011) and a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs. McArthur is a 2009 graduate of Davidson College and has been an NDI Board member since February 2012.

“As NDI celebrates its 12th year, we are gratified to see how much progress we’ve made, but also acknowledge how much farther we still have to go to ensure all people with disabilities are part of the economic mainstream,” Michael Morris, NDI Executive Director, said. “This new Board reflects a dedication to grow and strengthen NDI’s mission for the economic advancement and financial inclusion of all Americans with disabilities. I am extremely pleased and grateful for the diversity of talent, range of expertise and strength of commitment of our newest Board members.”

Three new members joined the NDI Board: Oscar Jimenez-Solomon, Research Scientist, New York State Psychiatric Institute Center of Excellence for Cultural Competence, where he is dedicated to improving the quality of life and economic inclusion of people with psychiatric disabilities; Susan M. Tachau, Co-Founder, Board Member and Chief Executive Officer of Pennsylvania Assistive Technology Foundation (PATF), which promotes and enhances the ability of Pennsylvanians with disabilities to live independently by providing education and financing for the purchase of assistive technology; and Dr. Donna R. Walton, EdD, CCBT, Outreach and Education Coordinator at Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), where she works to assure that people with disabilities are an integral part of the workforce.

Over the coming months, the Board will focus its efforts on implementation of the ABLE Act, with critical outreach and education activities to individuals with disabilities and their families; continue to expand the American Dream Employment Network (ADEN) which provides critically needed assistance to jobseekers with disabilities who are Social Security beneficiaries; and identification of additional public-private sector partnerships to pioneer additional pathways to a better economic future for Americans with disabilities.

NDI and its work are overseen by a 13-member Board responsible for making policy decisions, rulemaking and overseeing the organization’s operations.

Members of NDI’s Board of Directors have an influential voice and play an integral role in ensuring the growth and sustainability of NDI. Visit the National Disability Institute website for a full Board of Directors list.

National Disability Institute (NDI) is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to building a better economic future for people with disabilities. The first national organization committed exclusively to championing economic empowerment, financial education, asset development and financial stability for all persons with disabilities, NDI affects change through public education, policy development, training, technical assistance and innovative initiatives. NDI and its Real Economic Impact (REI) Network have helped more than 2.3 million people with disabilities receive nearly $2.3 billion in tax refunds and credits. To learn more, visit www.realeconomicimpact.org. Engage with NDI on Facebook: RealEconImpact or follow NDI on Twitter: @RealEconImpact. Take the pledge to DISABLE POVERTY at www.disablepoverty.org.

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