President Joe Biden is tapping a group of self-advocates, family members and professionals from across the country to advise him on the needs of people with intellectual disabilities.

The president said he will appoint 20 new members to the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities.

The panel, which originated in 1966, advises the president and the secretary of health and human services. In addition to citizen members, 13 federal officials including the secretaries of the Departments of Health and Human Services, Education, Labor, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, Transportation, Interior and Homeland Security as well as the attorney general are part of the committee.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Typically, the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities meets twice a year, but under the Trump administration some lawmakers raised concerns that the panel was less active. According to the committee’s website, the last meeting was held in March 2019 and the committee has not issued any reports since 2017.

New appointments to the committee include Shawn Aleong, a Temple University student with cerebral palsy and intellectual disability, and Jordyn Zimmerman who is described as a nonspeaking autistic who recently earned a graduate degree. Biden also selected professionals like Nick Perry, the sibling of a man with intellectual and developmental disabilities who serves as the disability inclusion expert for Boeing, and Paul Aronsohn, sibling to a sister with disabilities and New Jersey’s statewide Ombudsman for Individuals with Intellectual or Developmental Disabilities and Their Families.

Each member is being appointed to a two-year term, the White House said.

Read more stories like this one. Sign up for Disability Scoop's free email newsletter to get the latest developmental disability news sent straight to your inbox.