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

The National Organizing Project Presents… A Teleconference: Passing On What We Have Learned – Preserving Our History While Envisioning a More Inclusive Future

As we approach the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we have an opportunity to reflect on the history of our movement, who helped forge the path toward equality and integration, and what work remains to be done. As we move beyond 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act, we raise our eyes towards building equity in our movement. Leaders who have played critical roles in mentoring disabled activists, especially lifting up multiply-marginalized disability activists, will reflect on the history of the movement and their mentorship experiences in this roundtable. Activists on the panel who are helping our movement look toward a more inclusive, more equitable future for the ADA will set out a vision for the work yet to be done.

This hour-long conversation will feature a panel of presenters highlighting their unique perspectives about where we have been and where we need to go from here.

Target Audience: This presentation is open to all.

Registration Fee: This presentation is free to attend, but we do need you to register prior to the event.

This session will feature:

  1. Stories of our past
  2. Accomplishments
  3. Where we missed the mark
  4. Where these presenters think we ought to go from here


Bernard Baker is a long-time self-advocate who got his start in Atlanta ADAPT in 1983. Over his professional career, Bernard has worked at DisABILITY Link, a Center for Independent Living in Atlanta as a receptionist and as the Transportation Coordinator. He participated in a well-publicized lawsuit against the MARTA transportation system for its inaccessibility. He has served on the board of the Georgia Advocacy Office for the last 8 years and has served as the President of National SABE since June of 2019. Bernard enjoys helping people advocate for Supported Decision-Making and Competitive, Integrated Employment.

LaDonna Kirkaldie Fannon is a Nakoda, Santee Dakota, Turtle Mountain Chippewa and Cree tribal member of the Fort Belknap Indian Community in northcentral Montana. She is the mother of two beautiful adult daughters and two amazing granddaughters. Her experience in disability has been over a life time as a person with a disability and over 35 years working in Disability Support services, Vocational Rehabilitation as a counselor/supported employment specialist/Systems Change Specialist as well as Director of various programs within the Rural Institute on Disability at the University of Montana dealing with tribes, tribal governments and tribal people with disabilities. Areas covered have been Independent Living, Education, Employment, Recreation and working with non-tribal agencies on cultural diversity. She has been on Board of Directors for Summit Independent Living Center in Montana as well as the Advisory board for Montana State Vocational Rehabilitation. She helped develop a national technical support center for American Indians from 1999 to 2004 (American Indian Disability Technical Assistance Center – AIDTAC) involving grassroots disability for Indian Country and in Indian Country. Mentoring individuals with disabilities has been a large part of all of her work over the years. Over the past few years LaDonna has helped individuals with disabilities working on Social Security applications as well as referrals to services. LaDonna is presently enjoying retirement living in California with her loving husband Gary Fannon.

Reyma McCoy-McDeid is the executive director of Central Iowa Center for Independent Living (winner of the 2018 Organization of the Year award from the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission) and serves as treasurer for both the National Council on Independent Living and the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. She is the recipient of a 2019 AT&T Humanity of Connection award and her 2018 run for office was endorsed by the Working Families Party, the Asian & Latino Coalition , and Iowa Women for Progressive Change. She is also a single mom. Her work has been featured in Vice, Pantsuit Nation, TIME, The Des Moines Register, The Cedar Rapids Gazette, and Progressive Voices of Iowa. Her vocation is mobilizing marginalized persons – the working class, people of color, folks with disabilities, religious minorities, and others – to engage with the political process at every available opportunity

Tink (Susan) Miller has worked in the Independent Living Movement for 40 years, serving as Executive Director of Placer Independent Resource Services in Auburn, CA. since 1995. Prior to that she was Director of Administration at Westside Center for Independent Living in Los Angeles, CA for sixteen years, including twice serving as Acting Executive Co-Director. She also spent eight years in restaurant management before that. She holds a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is a member of the State Independent Living Council representing the 28 Centers for Independent Living in California. She served on the board of APRIL for thirteen years and has continued to serve on many other boards and advisory councils addressing access to transportation, employment, healthcare, facilities and services while working against discrimination in any form.

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