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White House Adds New Disability Adviser

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Taryn Mackenzie Williams is joining the White House Office of Public Engagement as a liaison to the disability community. (Thinkstock)

Taryn Mackenzie Williams is joining the White House Office of Public Engagement as a liaison to the disability community. (Thinkstock)

A fresh face is on board at the White House tasked with focusing on disability issues.

Starting this week, Taryn Mackenzie Williams will serve as a liaison between the disability community and the president as an associate director in the White House’s Office of Public Engagement.

She fills a role that has been vacant since Claudia Gordon left in the spring to return to the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs after less than a year in the post.

In much the same fashion, Williams’ appointment is expected to be short-term. Williams will essentially be “on loan” from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy where she works as a senior policy adviser, according to Lawrence Carter-Long at the National Council on Disability, a federal agency that advises the president on disability policy.

In addition to her work at the Labor Department, Williams previously did a stint at the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions where she contributed to a report on the so-called ADA generation, those who have come of age since the passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Comments (8 Responses)

  1. Myra Goldick says:

    One step at a time. We all have to be a part of the change we want to see.

  2. Gloria Hill says:

    I hope there will also be a focus on psychiatric disabilities since our prisons and jails are overflowing with people with these disabilities who have not gotten the right treatment or services. Some people are dually diagnosed with both developmental and psychiatric disorders. Let us not forget those who are suffering.

  3. Rich says:

    Will she get the President off his ‘Butt’ and FINALLY full fund Section 8 Housing!!!!

    PS:The President still owes me $10,000 ! Pay up President!!

  4. Marilu Rix says:

    Along with the VA problems that the government has you should also pay attention to people with developmental disabilities who live in rural areas especially in Arizona. Sometimes there are too many chiefs and not enough people who actually know what is going on at ground level. Thank you for giving us someone who can be helpful.

  5. Peter Simpson says:

    And has any of these advisors got a disability to really know what they are talking about.

  6. Thomas Delia says:

    Will Taryn M. Williams start pushing an educational agenda in which children with disabilities are given more classes in school that focus on community-based instruction so they are prepared for jobs? Giving a special needs student another social studies class, Algebra, Geometry, civics and Spanish will not get them a job. They need classes that place them in the community.

  7. Erin says:

    Many of the issues we are facing in disability communities are also EVERYBODY issues. Like transportation, housing, poverty, employment. For example, funding public transportation would benefit students, minorities, single mothers and the poor, in addition to people with disabilities. When more people are able to get to work (and go places to spend the money they earn), this also helps small businesses. So many things we need benefit the community at large. And are not just disability issues, they are EVERYBODY issues.

  8. B says:

    I am assuming Ms. Williams has a disability because in order for her to fully comprehend this position she would need to. If she doesn’t, why was someone hired to be a liason without a disability?

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