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

NCIL Mourns the Loss of Sheryl Grossman

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of Sheryl Grossman. Sheryl passed away early this morning, March 28, 2022 surrounded by the love of her community.

Sheryl was a passionate disability rights advocate who spent over two decades working to promote legislative and social change for the disability community. During her time as the Community Living Advocate at NCIL, Sheryl facilitated the National Organizing Project, where she advocated for community integration on Capitol Hill and worked to advance direct action in support of disability rights and community living. Sheryl was also founder and facilitator of Bloom’s Connect, an international organization that enabled people with Bloom’s Syndrome, a rare genetic condition, to find community and peer support. In 2020, she was nationally recognized for her dedication to the rare disease community, and she received a RareVoice Award for her federal advocacy work.

Sheryl was passionate about working at the intersection of Judaism and disability. She was Board Chair of Yad Hachazakah, the Jewish Disability Empowerment Center, and she spoke and wrote regularly about breaking down barriers to a fully inclusive Jewish disabled life. When speaking about disability inclusion in the Jewish community, Sheryl said, “Disability inclusion means putting us up front. It means letting us take our rightful place in our own communities, our rightful places within our families, in our shuls, in our schools, in our community centers…The talents and strengths of every person, disabled or not, are equal. People are doing in community, what they’re best at doing, and what they want to be doing.”

Over the course of her remarkable career and advocacy work, Sheryl dedicated herself to building that inclusive community. She worked to advance the rights of disabled people at a wide range of organizations inside and outside of the Independent Living community, including the IMAGE Center of Baltimore, the Job Accommodation Network, Paraquad, and the government of the city of St. Louis, among others. She was also a member of numerous ADAPT chapters. The Independent Living Movement has lost a fierce advocate who dedicated her life to her communities.

The memorial service for Sheryl will be held on Tuesday, March 29 at 12:00 p.m. Eastern in the Baltimore, Maryland area. The service will be livestreamed with ASL. Access the webcast.

Sheryl will be deeply missed, and we would like to express our condolences to her family and friends during this incredibly difficult time. May her memory be a blessing.

Sheryl engages in conversation on a boat during a NCIL staff retreat.