The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

As a national cross-disability rights organization, AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the over 60 million Americans with disabilities by promoting equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation.

Justin Dart, father of the ADA and one of the founders of AAPD, often called for solidarity among all who love justice and equality. The disability community is massive and incredibly diverse. As a convener, AAPD is a cross disability organization that builds trust and unity through open, honest conversations. When we stand in solidarity on any issue, we have the power to create lasting change.

Disability is a natural part of the human experience that influences all of us. As a connector, AAPD is a bridge that joins the disability community with our friends, adversaries, family, businesses, schools, and the community at large, amplifying a powerful voice for change.

Like champions of justice before us have proven, seemingly underestimated actions lead to significant transformation. As a catalyst, AAPD is action-oriented, building chain reactions that increase the rate and speed of change. A small spark can ignite extraordinary results.

History of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Disability Rights Movement

This exhibit celebrates just some of the many groups and people who made the ADA possible, explores how and why it was passed, and concludes by looking at some of the major challenges we’re facing now. The ADA changed America, but there is a lot of work left to be done.

AAPD Board of Directors



Maria Town image

Maria Town, President and CEO

Maria Town is the President & CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). She has worked as the Director […]

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Jasmin Bailey, Manager of Business Operations and Program Coordinator

Jasmin Bailey is the Operations Manager and Program Coordinator at AAPD.  In this role, she oversees the daily internal operations […]

Head shot of Christine Liao smiling.

Christine Liao, Programs Director

Christine Liao is the Programs Manager at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). She coordinates and implements all of AAPD’s national programs.

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Henry Claypool, Technology Policy Consultant

Henry Claypool is a Technology Policy Consultant for AAPD. He is the former Director of the Health and Human Services […]

Jason Mida, Development Consultant

Jason Mida is the President of Mida Associates, a DC-based fundraising consulting firm. In this capacity, he serves a Development […]

Christine Chew

Christine Chew, Development Consultant

Christine Chew is the Director of Events and Programs at Mida Associates, a DC-based fundraising consulting firm. In this capacity, she serves as a Development Consultant for AAPD.

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Emily Hanna, Development Consultant

Emily Hanna is the Vice President of Strategic Partnerships for Mida Associates, a Washington, D.C.-based fundraising consulting firm. In this […]

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Lawrielle West, Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program Coordinator (Consultant)

Born and raised on the Westside of Detroit, Lawrielle knows all about passion, grit and community. As a Liberatory Strategist, […]

Jess, a white woman with short brown curly hair smiles at the camera. Her arms are crossed. She is wearing a leopard print blazer and black shirt. Behind her is a brick wall with green vines.

Jess Davidson, Communications Director

Jess Davidson (she/her) is Communications Director at AAPD. Jess has focused her career on using advocacy and communications strategies to […]

Rachita Singh, Policy Associate

Rachita is the REV UP and Communications Coordinator at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

Lilian Aluri, REV UP Voting Campaign Coordinator

Rachita is the REV UP and Communications Coordinator at the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

Eryn Star, In-House Intern (They/Them)

Eryn Star is one of the current In-House Interns at AAPD, where theirresponsibilities include leading AAPD’s information and referral servicesand […]

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Blake Lapin, REV UP Fellow

Blake Lapin pursues a Masters of Public Administration specializing in Advocacy & Political action at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of […]

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Michelle Castro, REV UP Summer Intern

Michelle Castro (she/her/hers) is a recent graduate from the School of Social Work at Indiana University and is from Lafayette, […]

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