Disability inclusion advocate
“I believe Mentoring is a gift that we should all embrace throughout our lives as both as mentees and mentors. It can be formal or informal. It can be done through organizations, the workplace or as one individual to another. It is listening, sharing and caring.”
We are proud to induct Maggie Roffee into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.
Maggie Roffee entered the disability community in 1971 when a close friend sustained a spinal cord injury while swimming at Ocean City, Maryland, and a wave drove him head-first into the ocean bottom resulting in quadriplegia. Searching for resources during a time when the medical and social service community had few expectations that someone paralyzed from the shoulders down could return to the community and employment led Maggie to the Spinal Cord Injury Network of Metropolitan Washington (SCINMW). She actively participated in SCINMW for many years including serving as its Board Secretary. The friendships formed with the members who were wheelchair users and their families provided the knowledge that expectations for individuals with disabilities should have no limits.
The passion developed as a result of her friend’s accident and the friendships developed throughout her life with smart and accomplished disability leaders, including Fred Fay, Susan Daniels, Mark Johnson, John Lancaster, Justin and Yoshiko Dart, and Kathy Martinez, nurtured a lifelong career in disability inclusion and an immersion socially and personally in the disability community. Following earning a M.A. in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Maryland College Park (UMCP), she worked for UMCP on the development of accessibility plans. Her next position was Trauma Counselor at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland primarily serving individuals who had incurred traumatic brain injuries but also with individuals who experienced strokes and amputations. She then accepted a position with Montgomery County’s Disability Resource Division overseeing quality in residential, employment, and other disability services provided by local organizations for individuals with developmental disabilities, on the autism spectrum and who were blind or Deaf. She was promoted to Section Chief for Technical Services and Administration which included providing support to the Commission on People with Disabilities and its subcommittees.
In 1992, she joined the Federal workforce with the President’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities where she was Director of Constituency Activities. Her final position with the Federal government was with the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy where she was a Senior Business Development Specialist in their Division of Education and Outreach. Maggie retired in 2010 and within 3 months failed retirement and joined John Kemp and Jill Houghton at Disability:IN as a Senior Corporate Relations Consultant. Her final retirement was in August 2019.
Her past community activities, in addition to SCINMW, included Staff Advisor for the UMCP Disabled Students’ Organization, Co-Facilitator Suburban Hospital’s Brain Injury Support Group, and Founding Member and Board Secretary for Independence Now, the Center for Independent living serving Maryland’s Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. She currently serves on the Board for TransCen, Inc. a non-profit organization dedicated to improving education and employment success of youth and young adults with disabilities.
Maggie resides in Montgomery County, Maryland with her husband Larry Roffee. Maggie and Larry met through the disability community. Larry is a combat-disabled Viet Nam Veteran, a proud wheelchair user for nearly 50 years, and the retired Executive Director of the Access Board. They now enjoy more family time, travel and continued support of disability rights and inclusion.