Robyn M. Powell, JD. has worked in the field of disability law and policy for more than a decade. Ms. Powell has extensive knowledge of disability laws and regulations, including the Americans with Disabilities Act, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Rehabilitation Act, Fair Housing Act, and the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act. Ms. Powell also has vast experience working in a variety of public policy areas, such as parenting rights, transportation, emergency management, international disability rights, employment, vocational rehabilitation, housing, public accommodations, special education, government benefits, and health care. Ms. Powell is skilled at legal research and analysis, legal advising and counseling, public policy development and implementation, and legislative advocacy.
As a disabled woman, Ms. Powell has dedicated her career to advancing the rights of people with disabilities. Most recently, Ms. Powell served as an Attorney Advisor at the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent federal agency that advises the President and Congress on matters concerning people with disabilities. Previously, Ms. Powell was the Disability Rights Program Manager at the Equal Rights Center, Assistant Director for Policy and Advocacy at the Disability Policy Consortium, and Staff Attorney at Greater Boston Legal Services. While in law school, Ms. Powell interned for both the NCD and the Disability Law Center.
Ms. Powell is one of the country’s foremost authorities on the rights of parents with disabilities. Ms. Powell is principal author of NCD’s Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Children. Ms. Powell has written and presented extensively on the needs and experiences of parents with disabilities and has been interviewed by various news outlets, including NPR, BBC, ABC News, the Daily Beast, and the Associated Press.
As a disability rights activist and scholar, Ms. Powell is a member of several organizations, including the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, American Public Health Association, National Association of Lawyers with Disabilities, and the Boston Bar Association. In August 2015, Ms. Powell was appointed to the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights. Ms. Powell is also a Board Member of the Disability Policy Consortium.
Ms. Powell is currently pursuing her PhD at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Bridgewater State University and a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School.