National Council on Disability Affirms its Unity, Marks Shift from Inward Restructuring to Outward Impact at Swearing in Ceremony

Mar 11, 2011, 10:55 ET from National Council on Disability

WASHINGTON, March 11, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members and staff of the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency, on Thursday, swore the oath of office at a swearing in ceremony held at the National Archive Building Rotunda, in the very room in which the U.S. Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights are kept and displayed. Members' and staff's families and other federal partners were present for the event.  

"It is unusual to unite presidential administrations as we do today, and equally unusual to unite political appointees and career civil servants. But it is by design. Our collective oath symbolizes that we are one agency with a singular purpose," said NCD Chairman Jonathan Young.

Dr. Young explained, "In the past year, our efforts have been directed largely inward to map out a sustainable future for the Council's leadership in disability policy. Today we shift our focus squarely to the policy work for which we have been appointed.

"These are difficult times, particularly for millions of people with disabilities who are often the first to feel the pain of economic distress. Our efforts as a Council must rise to meet these challenges. To do this the Council must be continually engaged with disability community stakeholders and be vigilant in identifying opportunities to influence priority policy issues as, and even before, they emerge," said Dr. Young.

During his remarks at the ceremony, Dr. Young announced several immediate plans of action, including exercising the agency's statutory authority to hold hearings. Plans are already underway to soon hold an agency hearing to ensure that people with disabilities are included in budget debates. Dr. Young also reaffirmed the agency's commitment to continue to convene regular regional forums around NCD's new holistic policymaking theme of "Living, Learning, & Earning;" and to use public-private working groups to develop actionable policy recommendations and focus on collaborative ways to implement them.

The oath of office sworn by NCD Council Members and staff originates from Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, which requires an oath of all government officials to support the Constitution.

The list of Members and staff of the National Council on Disability is as follows:

NCD Council Members:

Jonathan M.Young, Ph.D., Chairman

Linda Wetters, Vice Chair

Dr. Fernando M. Torres-Gil, Ph.D., Vice Chair - Policy

Ari Ne'eman, Vice Chair - Engagement

Gary Blumenthal

Victoria Ray Carlson

Chester A. Finn

Sara Gelser

Marylyn Howe

Lonnie Moore

Dongwoo Joseph "Joe" Pak, MBA

Carol Jean Reynolds

Pamela Young-Holmes

NCD Professional Staff:

Aaron Bishop, Executive Director

Joan M. Durocher, General Counsel and Director of Policy

Stacey S. Brown, Staff Assistant

Julie Carroll, Senior Attorney Advisor

Lisa Grubb, Director of Operations and Administration (Acting)

Geraldine-Drake Hawkins, Ph.D., Senior Program Analyst

Carla Nelson, Administrative Specialist

Anne C. Sommers, Director of Legislative Affairs and Outreach (Acting)

NCD is an independent federal agency charged with advising the President, Congress, and other federal agencies regarding policies, programs, practices, and procedures that affect people with disabilities.

For more information, please contact Anne Sommers at or by telephone at 202-272-2004 (voice); 202-272-2074 (TTY).

SOURCE National Council on Disability