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Meet the Director

Jane Dunhamn

Ms. Dunhamn’s experience in disability related fields spans 50 years. For the past two decades, her work has focused on the intersections of race and disability.  She is the founding member and Director of the National Black Disability Coalition. (NBDC)

In her role of Director of NBDC Ms. Dunhamn spearheaded initiatives to establish Black Disability Studies, mentor family members, provide employment references and opportunities for Black disabled individuals, international internships, network with incarcerated youth programs, an intermediary for an ADA lawsuit, support for community Black disabled organizations and provide education, information and referrals for Black disabled people and their families. Also, under her leadership NBDC partnered with the Seeking Ways Out Team (SWOT) to assist hundreds of individuals living in institutions to move into community living.

NBDC developed a curriculum to promote a more accurate and complex understanding of Black disabled people and their evolution in historical contexts of the United States.  Black Disability Studies will create and promote resources for research of much needed study on the Black Disabled 

experience.  Jane is a past board member for the Society for Disability Studies (SDS), the academic arm of disability and served as co-chair of the SDS People of Color Caucus.

A past member of Black Issues Convention (BIC) she successfully advocated for disability issues within both BIC and the NAACP.   In 2009, at her behest, a BIC Board Member and State Senate Leader championed legislation to establish an annual review by the NJ Department of Human Services to study disability related disparities to minority communities. The bill passed into Public Law on January 29, 2015.

 

Ms. Dunhamn served two terms as a member of the New Jersey State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights (NJ SAC) Ms. Dunhamn, as Sub-Committee Chair, convened experts from the disability and criminal justice communities to provide testimony about the need for and status of accommodations to inmates with non-apparent disabilities in the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

 

Ms. Dunhamn also served as Project Manager for Council on Developmental Disabilities where she coordinated New Jersey’s first Partners and Policymaking program.  Partners is a national program that 

teaches best practices in all areas of disability to enable family members the expertise to work with legislators in policy making decisions that impact their lives.

 

Ms. Dunhamn, a nationally recognized speaker, has served in a professional capacity for numerous national organizations including the National Federation of the Blind, United Cerebral Palsy Association, The Arc of Texas, and the City of Portland, Oregon.  She has also lectured at universities including Rutgers University, Princeton University, San Diego State, New York University, and San Francisco State University.

She is the single parent of an adult daughter with developmental and mental health disabilities who recently retired from over 20 years of service at the US Department of Labor, Washington, DC.

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