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Bob Williams

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Bob Williams has cerebral palsy and speaks with a Liberator communication device. He was about 13 years old when he led a sit-down strike of students in his special ed class, which eventually led to his and others’ inclusion in regular education. As a teenager in the 1970s, he testified before legislators at town council meetings.

In 1993, President Clinton appointed Williams commissioner for the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD), an agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He presides over a $100 million network of services designed to increase the independence, productivity and community inclusion of the estimated 4 million Americans with developmental disabilities and their families.

Bob Williams has built his career on providing articulate advocacy and leadership in the disability arena. Before his White House appointment, Williams was a policy associate with the United Cerebral Palsy Association, spearheading the group’s advocacy efforts in connection with the Americans with Disabilities Act and personal assistance. He has also been co-chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities’ Rights and Personal Assistance Services Task Force.

During his tenure as deputy director and program analyst of the Pratt Monitoring Program of the D.C. Association of Retarded Citizens, he oversaw the closing of Forest Haven, the District’s institution for people with developmental disabilities, and developed community support services for former residents. Williams also served as a program analyst for the Youth Policy Institute in Washington, D.C., in 1983; and as a staff assistant on the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Handicapped (now the Subcommittee on Disability Policy) from 1981 to 1982. Among the programs Williams directs as head of ADD are the Developmental Disabilities Planning Councils, University Affiliated Programs and Protection & Advocacy systems in each state.

He has been president of Hear Our Voices, an organization for people who rely on augmentative communication devices, and vice president of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps.

Williams is also a poet and writer; some of his best-known works appear in the volume, In a Struggling Voice.

-Taken from http://www.wheelchairnet.org/WCN_Prodserv/Docs/TeamRehab/RR_95/9506art2.PDF

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