image of 31 people and 1 organization (2 people) in a collage of diverse faces

National Coalition Announces the 2019 Inductees of the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame

WASHINGTON, DC (January 17, 2020) – [National Disability Mentoring Coalition]

The National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC) has named 31 individuals and one organization as inductees into the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.  Selection criteria for the Class of 2019 included demonstrated commitment to mentoring and the impact of contributions on improving the lives of people with disabilities.

Substantial research has shown that mentoring is a critical element in helping youth from diverse backgrounds transition to independent adulthood and successful careers.  For youth with disabilities, mentoring is even more critical because most come from families that have no experience with disability and there are few role models to follow.  Moreover, peer mentoring and career mentoring have demonstrated effectiveness in strengthening self-advocacy, advancing career development, and promoting inclusion through positive engagement.  The NDMC established the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame to highlight the importance of mentoring for people with disabilities and to honor individuals and organizations that provide exemplary service.

The Class of 2020 Hall of Fame inductees will be honored via a national webinar on Friday, January 17th, International Mentoring Day.  The below individuals and organization are the Class of 2019.


  • Joshua Basile, Esq.,  Advocate, philanthropist, and lawyer
  • Lydia X.Z. Brown, Disability justice advocate, organizer, educator, attorney & writer
  • Darren Burton, Online accessibility expert
  • Catherine Campisi, Consultant on disability policy & program development
  • Mark Crenshaw, Center for Leadership in Disability
  • Pascuala Herrera, Harper College
  • Br. Christopher Stephen Jenks, Brotherhood of St. Gregory
  • Elizabeth Jennings, National Disability Institute
  • Margaux Joffe, Verizon Media & Kaleidoscope Society
  • Alisa Key, Pearson
  • Barbara Kornblau, Attorney, occupational therapist, certified case manager, & radical e-patient
  • Ken Kunken, Lawyer & advocate
  • Paul Lewis, Chemco
  • Aimee Mangold, Kotler Hospitality
  • Susan Mazrui, AT&T
  • Hayden Mears, Film critic
  • Donté Mickens, Paralympian & advocate
  • Leroy F. Moore, Jr., Activist, journalist, writer, & lecturer
  • Maria Palacios, Poet, author & disability rights activist
  • Katherine Perez, The Coelho Center for Disability Law, Policy and Innovation
  • Dylan M. Rafaty, DylanListed & C-Hear, Inc.
  • Maggie Roffee, Disability inclusion advocate
  • John Ross (JR) Rizzo, MD, NYU Langone Health
  • Debra Ruh, Ruh Global Impact
  • Joe Strechay, Strechay Consulting
  • Suzanne Stolz, EdD,  University of San Diego
  • Allegra Heath Stout, Jewish Organizing Institute and Network (JOIN) for Justice
  • Josie Thomas, CBS
  • Daman Wandke, AbiliTrek & Western Washington University
  • Erik Weihenmayer, No Limits
  • Paul Weiland, Oak Hill Adaptive Sports & Fitness
  • Maysoon Zayid, Actress, Comedian & Disability Activist

Mentoring Organizations

  • 4 Wheel City

Background information on all of the inductees is available in the Hall of Fame section of the NDMC website, Each inductee has their own page, including a bio and statement on the value of mentoring.

Special Recognitions

This year, John Kemp, President/CEO of The Viscardi Center, and Judith Heumann, international disability rights activist, will honor the lives of two Hall of Fame Inductees who passed away in 2019, Barbara Butz (Class of 2017) and Marca Bristo (Class of 2015).

About the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame: The Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame was established in 2015 as a legacy to Susan M. Daniels, who devoted her life to improving the lives of people with disabilities. As a person with a disability who achieved enormous professional and personal success, Dr. Daniels had significant impact as a senior policy maker, as an inspirational speaker and teacher, and as a mentor to hundreds of individuals.  Sponsors for NDMC and the Hall of Fame are Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ForwardWorks Consulting, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, New Editions Consulting, and PolicyWorks.

In 2015, the NDMC named 25 outstanding leaders as the first inductees into the Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame – 25 champions marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  In each year since, public nominations for the Hall of Fame have been solicited across the country, with finalists chosen by the NDMC Recognition Committee.

About the National Disability Mentoring Coalition: The Coalition aims to raise awareness about the importance and impact of mentoring in the lives of people with disabilities and to increase the number and quality of disability mentoring programs around the country. Members include the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), Bender Leadership Academy, BroadFutures, Concepts, Inc., Cooper Design, Cornell University’s Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, DREAM at the National Center for College Students with Disabilities, EIN SOF Communications, ForwardWorks Consulting, Independence Care System, MENTOR: The National Mentoring Partnership, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation (MEAF), National Telecommuting Institute (NTI), New Editions Consulting, Partners for Youth with Disabilities  (PYD), Policyworks, Survive or Thrive, The Viscardi Center, the University of Kansas and the University of Kentucky.. Learn more and apply to join the Coalition at:

Comments (3)

  1. Barbara Castlow
    Barbara Castlow
    4 years ago

    In the same manner, is anything being done to recognize those smaller names, who do as much hard work to get their members seen? There are so many out there!

    • Derek Shields
      Derek Shields
      4 years ago

      Thanks for your comment. The current recognition program (in place since 2016) was actually created to try and find and tell stories from communities that aren’t being told. Stories about the hard work (inclusive of mentoring of course) being done by people who aren’t normally recognized on a national level. The Hall of Fame’s namesake, Susan Daniels, agreed with your thinking and we do too. The challenge for us every cycle is to get public nominations to recognize those people who are so deserving. We will keep working at it until we are telling all of the stories that need to be told; even then we’ll know there will be more to do.

  2. Marie Strahan
    Marie Strahan
    4 years ago

    Outstanding Class of Mentors! Congratulations to all!

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