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About the Commission on Disability Rights

Members, Liaisons, History, and Contact Information

ABA Diversity and Inclusion Center

The Commission on Disability Rights is a proud member of the Diversity and Inclusion Center. The Center promotes collaboration, coordination, and communication to advance ABA Goal III – to eliminate bias and enhance diversity and inclusion throughout the Association, legal profession, and justice system.

Special Advisors to the Commission

  • Hope Brinn

    Associate, Berger Montague

  • Christine M. Busanelli

    Oak Brook, IL

  • Jason P. Lacey

    Former Commissioner

  • Katherine H. O'Neil

    Former Commission Chair

  • Ronza M. Othman

    Director, EEO Compliance Group, Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

Liaisons to the Commission

  • Denise R. Avant

    Board of Governors

  • Hon. Robert S. Cohen

    Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice Section

  • Margaret M. Foran, Esq.

    Business Law Section

  • Robert D. Dinerstein

    Civil Rights & Social Justice Section

  • Guy Arcidiacono

    Criminal Justice Section

  • Kathleen M. Whitby

    Section of Environment, Energy, and Resources

  • James F. Carr, Esq.

    Government & Public Sector Lawyers Division

  • William Hopkins

    Health Law Section

  • Robert T. Gonzales

    Commission on Homelessness & Poverty; Senior Lawyers Division

  • Ira E. Marquette. Esq.

    Intellectual Property Law Section

  • Paul E. Johnson, Esq.

    International Law Section

  • Theresa D. Moore

    Judicial Division

  • Randi B. Starrett, Esq.

    Law Practice Division

  • Angela Li

    Law Student Division

  • Hugh B. Wellons, Esq.

    Science & Technology Law Section

  • Briana Pearson

    Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division

  • Alan S. Rachlin, Esq.

    Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section

  • Matthew J. Halverson

    Young Lawyer Division

Contact Us

Meet our staff and see contact information for the Commission.

History of the Commission

The ABA’s Commission on the Mentally Disabled was established in 1973 to respond to the advocacy needs of persons with mental disabilities. After the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the ABA broadened the Commission’s mission to serve all persons with disabilities and changed its name to the Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law. In 2011, the members changed the name to the Commission on Disability Rights to better reflect its mission. Today, the Commission carries out an array of projects and activities addressing disability-related public policy, disability law, and the professional needs of lawyers and law students with disabilities.

Diversity Plan

The Commission – recognizing the importance of diversity in its operations and mission, as well as ABA's Goal III – established a diversity plan. The plan outlines the Commission's plan to track and promote diversity and eliminate bias.