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Melissa Marshall – Bio

Melissa Marshall, a white woman with short brown hair and red-rimed glasses, smiles at the camera. She's wearing a mauve cardigan and a long necklace.

Melissa Marshall, JD (she/her)
Director of Policy & Programs

Melissa has over 30 years experience managing disability rights programs, projects and organizations. She has a JD from the University of Connecticut School of Law, is admitted to the Bar in Connecticut, and has been training and providing technical assistance in the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) locally and nationally since it’s passage. Melissa has also provided training and technical assistance in the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and other federal and state disability rights laws. She has a background in disability policy that is both broad and deep. Areas of particular interest include: equity for people with disabilities in disasters and public health emergencies; equity for people who identify as women with disabilities; employment for disabled people; closing congregate institutions for disabled people, including psychiatric institutions; equity for people found not guilty by reason of insanity; disability inclusive public health practices; ending outpatient for people with mental health conditions; and, mitigating disability-based bullying. Melissa has worked as the Executive Director of several disability-related non-profits, including a Center for Independent Living (CIL). Since 2017, she has been utilizing her expertise in ADA and other disability rights law and disability policy to ensure that people with disabilities have equal access to disaster-related programs and services before, during, and after disasters and emergencies.

Books Melissa Marshall has written:

I Can't Swim, But I Haven't Drowned Yet: Notes From a Disability Rights Activist, PYP Academy Press, 2020

Getting It: Persuading Organizations and Individuals to Be More Comfortable with People with Disabilities, People with Disabilities Press, 2003

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Contact Melissa via email at Melissa@disasterstrategies.org

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