Webinar Recap: Mental Health & Disability

On March 27th, the Disability Community Engagement Partner Project (DCEPP) at AAHD held our third conversation in the 2023-2024 Disability and Health Webinar series with “Mental Health, Disability & All of Us” Moderated by Clarke Ross, this conversation brought together a panel of disability community members and advocates to discuss the mental health needs of diverse communities. Many thanks to our distinguished panelists who made this conversation possible. Learn more about Nicole Jorwic, Nev Jones, Lydia X.Z. Brown, and George Ramirez  in the section below, along with additional resources shared during the panel.

Learn more about the All of Us Research Program and how inclusive research might support better health for all: https://bit.ly/DisabilityHealth-Webinar-Mar27


Speaker Recommendations and Links

Meet the Panelists

Dr. Nev Jones (she/her) – Nev Jones PhD is an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh and mental health services researcher.  Grounded in personal experience of schizophrenia and public sector services, her work focuses on participatory methods, community integration and equity, and anti-carceral policy and practice.

George Ramirez (he/him) – George is an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist in Southern California. As someone with Cerebral Palsy, George is passionate advocate for the disabled community both personally and professionally. George received a Masters of Arts in Clinical Psychology in December of 2023 and is currently working in Substance Use Disorder.

Lydia X.Z. Brown (they/them) – Lydia is the Director of Public Policy at the National Disability Institute and Senior Advisor to the Autistic Women & Nonbinary Network. They have worked for over 15 years as a committed advocate, community organizer, and policy expert at the nexus of disability rights and disability justice. Lydia has spoken, facilitated, and consulted internationally and throughout the U.S. on a range of topics related to disability rights and disability justice, especially at the intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality, and has published in numerous scholarly and community publications. Their work addresses the deep interconnections between ableism and other forms of systemic discrimination, marginalization, and oppression, and has often focused on interpersonal, state, and corporate violence, deprivation, and exploitation targeting disabled people at the margins of the margins. Lydia currently teaches at Georgetown University, holding faculty appointments in Disability Studies, Women’s & Gender Studies, and the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Fellowship Program at the Georgetown University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities.

Nicole Jorwic (she/her) – Nicole Jorwic is an experienced policy professional supporting advancements in disability, aging and direct care workforce policy and mobilization. Nicole is the Chief of Advocacy and Campaigns for Caring Across Generations. Prior to her current role, Nicole was Senior Director of Public Policy and Senior Executive Officer of State Advocacy at The Arc of the United States. Before coming to DC to work on Federal Advocacy, Nicole served as Senior Policy Advisor and Manager of the Employment First Initiative in Illinois. Prior to that appointment, Nicole was the CEO/President of the Institute on Public Policy for People with Disabilities. Nicole is also an accomplished special education attorney. Nicole leads and supports many coalitions to advance the priorities of strengthening and expanding access to home and community-based care and better pay for direct care workers. Nicole is a member of the Presidents Committee on People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Nicole is most importantly a sibling to her brother Chris who is 33 and has autism, a former direct care worker, and on the care team for her 90 year old grandma who has Parkinson’s.