Dori believes that everyone can work together to unlock barriers and create positive change in the community! It’s never more evident as she networks in the community in her role as the Director of Community Outreach and Consumer Rights for Able SC with her sidekick, her service dog Shack. She actively works to build connections with a variety of community agencies as well as state and federal entities to provide resources and tools for individuals with disabilities to achieve their goals of independent living. Dori is responsible for coordinating trainings, webinars, and community events that emphasize the importance of individuals with disabilities being included in the community, as well as promoting access for all! Dori graduated from Johns Hopkins University with an MS in Counseling and, prior to joining the team at Able SC, worked as a teacher for twelve years. Her enthusiasm for educating and empowering people shines through as she provides presentations on Diversity and Inclusion, using both her personal experience and knowledge gained as both a graduate and a faculty member of the Georgetown University Leadership Academy. Dori passionately works to promote disability rights by engaging the individual, professional, and community to promote dialogue for an interactive experience. With over 20 years of education and training experience within the public and private sectors, Dori has focused primarily on interpersonal communication skills, conflict resolution, empowerment, and pride in oneself, including disability. Employment rights of individuals with disabilities are instrumental in including everyone in the workforce; Dori works with agencies who provide employment services to empower people with disabilities to sustain competitive employment. As a four-year facilitator of the Community Leadership Academy, she is committed to helping leaders unleash their full potential within a diverse and rapidly changing societal landscape. Each year, Dori trains hundreds of individuals all over the state, including people with disabilities, community businesses, organizations, service providers, and federal as well as state agencies. She created the emergency preparedness training for county managers and responders with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, Mass Care Management Training with the Department of Social Services, DHEC, and the American Red Cross. Let’s all be prepared! Health and wellness are two dynamic topics to Dori because people with disabilities are seven times more likely to develop chronic health conditions; Dori oversees the Inclusive Health Coalition in South Carolina along with the National Council on Physical Health, Activity and Disability. Her efforts to improve access to quality healthcare services drives her enthusiasm for this project. Dori also serves on the SC Disabilities Voting Coalition, SC Emergency Planning Committee for People with Functional Needs, and the Person-Centered Planning Workgroup. Dori has been instrumental in the development and implementation of several national pilot curricula for individuals with disabilities for NCIL, APRIL, SC LEND and UCEDD programs focusing on the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities, including person-centered planning, sex education, and violence prevention against people with disabilities. This year, Dori developed and provides training instruction for the Attorney General’s Office VAWA on the intersection of violence and disability. Dori loves what she does, and always expresses herself with a “Woo Hoo,” to foster community integration and collaboration!
Disability rights groups and parents of children with disabilities filed a federal lawsuit today challenging a South Carolina law that bans school districts from imposing mask mandates in schools. The parents and disability rights groups represent students whose disability, including underlying health conditions, makes them particularly susceptible to severe illness from COVID-19, and argue that the ban on mask mandates effectively excludes these students from public schools, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act.