WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Council on Disability (NCD) -- an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress, and other federal agencies on the policies and programs that affect the lives of people with disabilities -- is honored to welcome Stephanie Orlando to the agency. On July 5, 2011, President Barack Obama nominated Orlando to NCD. She was confirmed by the United States Senate March 29, 2012.
NCD's Chairman Jonathan Young hailed Orlando's confirmation saying, "Once a recipient of children's mental health, special education and residential services herself, Ms. Orlando has grown into respected advocate for youth with disabilities. Her previous work with NCD as the Chairperson of our Youth Advisory Committee and the valuable work she's done since have demonstrated her commitment and skill in championing equal access and opportunity for people with disabilities – particularly the next generation. We enthusiastically welcome Stephanie to the National Council on Disability."
With the addition of Stephanie Orlando, the NCD Board now consists of: Chairman Jonathan Young, Vice Chair Janice Lehrer-Stein, Gary Blumenthal, Chester Finn, Sara Gelser, Marylyn Howe, Matan Koch, Lonnie Moore, Ari Ne'eman, Dongwoo ("Joe") Pak, Clyde Terry, Dr. Fernando Torres-Gill, Linda Wetters and Pam Young-Holmes.
Stephanie Orlando is the Director of YOUTH POWER! of Families Together in New York State, a state advocacy network comprised of young people with disabilities with experience in state child-serving systems. After receiving children's mental health, special education and residential services herself, Ms. Orlando has become a strong advocate for youth with disabilities on county, state and national levels. Beginning in 2006, she served a term as Chairperson of the Youth Advisory Committee to the National Council on Disability. Ms. Orlando serves on the New York State Commissioners' Committee on Cross-Systems Services for Children & Youth, the New York State Commissioner's Advisory Panel for Special Education Services, the New York Mental Health Services Planning Council, and the Board of Directors of the Children's Mental Health Coalition of Western New York. She received the Diana Vietz Award in 2008 from the National Council on Independent Living, the mpower Award in 2006 from Mental Health America (formerly National Mental Health Association) and the 2004 Erie County Executive Award for Disability Employment Awareness Month. Ms. Orlando earned her Bachelor of Arts in 2005 from the State University of New York at Buffalo.