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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

NCIL Applauds the Appointments of Catherine Lhamon and Debo Adegbile

NCIL would like to congratulate Catherine Lhamon and Debo Adegbile on their appointments to the U.S. Civil Rights Commission. Both Lhamon and Adegbile have long histories of fighting for civil rights, and NCIL applauds President Obama’s appointment of them both to the Commission.

Catherine Lhamon is the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights at the Department of Education (ED). Under her leadership, ED has made strong efforts to ensure equality for students with disabilities. The department has taken action on such issues as website accessibility, ensuring access to special education services for students in alternative education programs, bullying, and effective communication. Read Lhamon’s blog post on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Debo Adegbile has a long career of fighting for civil rights. His experience includes litigation in the government, private, and nonprofit sectors and includes over a decade of leadership at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. His cases have addressed a wide variety of civil rights issues, including fair housing, voting rights, and employment discrimination. Several years ago, Mr. Adegbile was nominated by President Obama for Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice. Many civil and human rights organizations, including NCIL, supported his nomination. Read the letter NCIL signed on to supporting his nomination (PDF).

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights works to inform the development of national civil rights policy and enhance enforcement of federal civil rights laws. Kelly Buckland, NCIL’s Executive Director, said regarding these appointments: “Assistant Secretary Lhamon and Mr. Adegbile are strong examples of the type of effective leadership this country needs to protect the civil rights of all Americans. NCIL applauds the appointments of these two exceptional individuals.”

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