Emory Alumna White House Disability Liason
From Emory News: "As President Barack Obama addressed a gathering in the East Room on July 20, he gave a special shout-out to Maria Town 09C, who joined his staff in May as an associate director in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement. After singling out Town as the “fantastic new disability community liaison,” the president added, “Yay, Maria!” to enthusiastic applause." Read more about Maria Town.
About The DSI
Mission StatementThe Disability Studies Initiative at Emory is a working group generated across departments and schools that is dedicated to interdisciplinary research and teaching by faculty and students. The Initiative is led by a group of faculty and students who are interested in the social, cultural, historical, political, and legal dimensions of disability in our world. Our mission is to promote the growth and increase the profile of Disability Studies at Emory University.
Disability Rights Discussion with
Salman Rushdie and Eva Kittay
Maria Town has been appointed to the post of Associate Director in the Office of Public Engagement at the White House by the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy. Prior to her appointment in the Executive Branch, Town was a Policy Advisor at U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). While at ODEP, Maria led or coordinated numerous efforts to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities. Maria graduated from Emory University in Atlanta, GA with a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology. Congratulations, Maria!
Jennifer C. Sarrett is currently a Lecturer at Emory's Center for the Study of Human Health, where she teaches courses on bioethics and disability studies, health humanities, mental illness and culture, and health and human rights. Her current research focuses on bio- and neuroethical concerns of intellectual and developmental disabilities, including international research ethics and emerging technologies for the identification of these disabilities. She received her PhD from Emory's Institute of Graduate Arts in 2014, and her dissertation compared professional and parental experiences of autism in Atlanta, GA and Kerala, India. She has been an active and integral member of the Emory DSI since its inception.