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James Brett of Massachusetts Appointed to the National Council on Disability by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Friday, May 20, 2016

Press Release

May 20, 2016

WASHINGTON, DC — The National Council on Disability (NCD) – an independent federal agency that recommends disability policy to the President, Congress and other federal agencies – welcomes the appointment of James T. Brett of Massachusetts to the National Council on Disability.

Mr. Brett’s appointment to NCD by Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was published in the Congressional Record on May 12, 2016.

Appointments to NCD are made by the President of the United States, the Senate Majority Leader, the Senate Minority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the House Minority Leader pursuant to Section 451 of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (Pub. L. 113–128). The bill was signed into law by President Obama on July 22, 2014.

Mr. Brett joins Chair Clyde Terry, Vice Chair Katherine Seelman, Ph.D., and NCD members Gary Blumenthal, Janice Lehrer-Stein, Benro T. Ogunyipe, Lt. Col. Daniel Gade, Bob Brown, and Neil Romano at the independent federal agency.

The biography of Mr. Brett is included at the end of this announcement.

“The Council welcomes James T. Brett to NCD. We’re pleased to be adding his expertise and experience to our collective quest to ensure full participation of Americans with disabilities in the civic, social and economic fabric of American life,” stated NCD Chair Clyde Terry. “In addition to welcoming Mr. Brett to the Council we also thank departing members Lynnae Ruttledge and Royal Walker for their years of dedicated service to the disability community through their tenure on NCD’s board.”

Biography: James T. Brett served for more than fifteen years as a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.  Brett served as the Chairman of the Presidents Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and remains a member of its Committee.  He is Chairman of the Governor’s Commission on Intellectual Disability in Massachusetts.  He is also a Commissioner of the Massachusetts Disabled Persons Protection Commission.  He is the former President of the Board of Directors of the Massachusetts Association for Mental Health.

In 2014, he was inducted into the Special Olympics Massachusetts Hall of Fame.  Also in 2014, the Disability Law Center bestowed upon him the Edward M. Kennedy Leadership award.  In 2013, the University of Massachusetts Boston established the James T. Brett Chair in Disability and Workforce Development, the nation’s only endowed chair in disability and workforce development.  In 1996, Bay Cove Human Services of Boston named a new community home for disabled adults “Brett House” in his honor.

About the National Council on Disability (NCD): First established as a small advisory Council within the Department of Education in 1978, NCD became an independent federal agency in 1984. In 1986, NCD recommended enactment of an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and drafted the first version of the bill which was introduced in the House and Senate in 1988. Since the ADA became law in 1990, NCD has continued to play a leading role in crafting policy solutions, and in advising the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policies, programs, and practices.


An official website of the National Council on Disability