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People We Love: Rebecca Cokley, Washington, DC

People We Love: Rebecca Cokley, Washington, DC. Rebecca describes herself this way on Twitter: “Exec Director of the National Council on Disability, a 2nd generation disability advocate, and the proud mom of 2 awesome kids.”

This quote is about how parents should think about their disabled kid, especially when representing their needs and interests.

Dear Parents–your are not your child’s voice. You are their parent. They HAVE a voice. You need to think of your role as advocating WITH your child. Not FOR your Child. Not speaking OVER your child. YOUR child is the expert of their own existence.


Do you have a badass quote you’d share with the Disability Visibility Project? Email Alice:


Rebecca Cokley is the Executive Director of the National Council on Disability, an independent agency charged with advising Congress and the White House on issues of national disability public policy. She joined NCD in 2013 after serving 4 years in the Obama Administration. Most recently, she was the Special Assistant to the Principal Deputy at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) at the US Department of Health and Human Services. Before serving at ACL, Cokley was the Director of Priority Placement for Public Engagement in the Presidential Personnel Office at the White House where she was responsible for outreach to diversity and minority organizations to recruit qualified individuals for roles in the Obama Administration. Prior to her time at the White House, Cokley was the Confidential Assistant to the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. She is an EPFP Fellow (2006) and worked at the Institute for Educational Leadership for five years, building a number of tools and resources designed to empower and educate youth with disabilities and their adult allies. She has spent the last 15 years engaging in discussions tied to civil rights and equity while paying particular attention to the needs of young people with disabilities. Rebecca has a B.A in Politics from the University of California Santa Cruz, is the proud spouse of Patrick and mother of Jackson and Kaya.



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