Speaking with One Voice: Connecting the DOTs
Session 4: Ability of Disability: Challenging Perceptions
Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
Kathleen Martinez was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the third Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on June 25, 2009. As head of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), Ms. Martinez advises the Secretary o f Labor and works with all DOL agencies to lead a comprehensive and coordinated national policy regarding the employment of people with disabilities. Blind since birth, Ms. Martinez comes to ODEP with a background as an internationally recognized disability rights leader specializing in employment, asset building, independent living, international development, diversity, and gender issues.
Prior to her appointment at ODEP, Assistant Secretary Martinez served as Executive Director of the World Institute on Disability (WID), based in Oakland, California. She has also served as a member of the board of the U.S. Institute of Peace, the State Department advisory committee on disability and foreign policy, and the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency advising the President and Congress on disability policy.
Jim Raggio, Civil Rights Attorney
James Raggio is an attorney. He began his career at the Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia (PILCOP) where he was the lead attorney in cases to enforce the rights of people with disabilities to be included in transportation systems. He subsequently served as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland and General Counsel of the U.S. Access Board, where he was involved in establishing guidelines and standards for accessibility to buildings, transportation vehicles, and information and communication technology.