USICD Board of Directors


Candace Cable, President – Candace Cable is a proud member of the disabled community and is the President of USICD. She had a successful 27-year career as a Paralympic athlete and has 40 + years in sport outreach and governance. Candace has developed inclusive education curriculum on understanding the disability experience and change community attitudes. She has worked with many diverse organizations and corporations, Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, Open Doors Organization, UNICEF, United nations, U.S. State Department, and the Comedy Central TV show, Drunk History. Candace is the Director of Community Outreach, Resources & Education for the Disability Right Legal Center. She is a board member for Southern California Olympians and Paralympians Association, a Commissioner for the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Disability Commission and volunteers locally in Los Angeles.

Dr. Patricia Morrissey, Past President – Patricia Morrissey is chair of the Hawaii Statewide Elections Accessibility Needs Advisory Committee and immediate past chair of the U.S. international Council on Disabilities. She also serves on the boards of two nonprofits, Learning and Achievement in Disabilities of Hawaii and Fuller Lives, and is a policy fellow with the Eastern Oregon Center for Independent Living. She is an active member of two groups promoting preservation of disability history and culture and the creation of a national museum devoted to disability history and culture. In 2018, she left her position as director of the Center on Disability Studies at the University of Hawaii, Manoa. Prior to coming to Hawaii in 2016, she served as Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Over 20 years she served in senior staff positions in the Executive Branch of the U.S. Government and in both Houses of Congress. She played a primary role in drafting federal disability legislation from 1981 through 2000. While serving in the George W. Bush Administration, she was part of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. when the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was being drafted. She has keen interest in working with others, especially those with disabilities, to promote meaningful engagement of people with disabilities in all aspects of society..

Jerry McCloskey, Treasurer – Jerry McCloskey is a graduate of Marquette University and serves as a Board member of Independence First, Milwaukee, WI, executive and advocacy committees. He is one of the State of Wisconsin representatives working with USICD on the quest for ratification of the CRPD, and is a polio survivor.

Kirt Toombs, Secretary – Kirt Toombs is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Eastern Oregon Center of Independent Living (EOCIL) and began his employment in January 2000. Kirt is an alumnus of the University of San Francisco (USF), where he was awarded a Master of Management and Disability Services degree. Kirt has also studied at the University of Ireland-Galway, Department of International Disability Law & Policy, through its summer program. Kirt has extensive educational and professional experience in program design, implementation, and evaluation. Since 1986, Kirt has been a fierce advocate of the Independent Living Movement, participating at both the practitioner and researcher levels. Kirt has over two decades of public administration experience, all of them in the service of the cross-disability community.


Bill Abrams
William M. Abrams is the former President of the Trickle Up Program, in New York. Mr. Abrams joined Trickle Up following a career as a senior executive and journalist for the New York Times, ABC News and The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Abigail Akande Dr. Abby Akande is an Assistant Professor of Rehabilitation and Human Services at The Pennsylvania State University – Abington College. She is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, and prior to entering academia, she worked in the fields of vocational rehabilitation and behavioral health across four states. She has taught students at the bachelor’s and master’s levels who aspire to a variety of careers within the rehabilitation and disability services disciplines. Dr. Akande’s research focuses on the implications of disability and culture in the realms of employment, education, and health regarding women in developing countries and immigrants in the United States. Furthermore, her research and service endeavors seek to highlight needs and interventions through international partnerships and policy development and implementation.

Michael Brogioli
Mr. Michael Brogioli is the current Executive Director of TASH. Mr. Brogioli has served as the Executive Director of RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America since 2013; Prior to joining RESNA, Brogioli served as Executive Director and CEO of the National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), the first Vice President for Policy and Government Relations at Special Olympics International, and the Executive Director of the Autism Coalition for Research and Education. Michael holds a Master of Public Policy from Duke University, where he was a Jacob Javits Fellow and a Bachelor’s degree in Government and International Relations from the University of Notre Dame.

Janet Lord
Janet Lord is an international human rights lawyer who has worked on disability rights advocacy for 15 years. She participated in the drafting of the CRPD, written extensively on disability rights issues, and worked with disabled peoples’ organizations (DPOs) around the world. She serves on the Board of Amnesty International USA and teaches international disability rights at American University.

Stephanie Ortoleva
Stephanie Ortoleva is an international human rights lawyer, researcher and consultant and Founder of Women Enabled, Inc., a NGO which educates and advocates for the rights of all women and persons with disabilities with a special focus on women and girls with disabilities through collaborations with organizations of women and girls with disabilities around the world.

Carolyn Osolinik Carolyn Osolink served as the chief counsel for Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA) with responsibility for judicial nominations and all civil rights issues. She was his key staff person for the Civil Rights Restoration Act, the Fair Housing Act Amendments of 1988, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, for which Carolyn was the senior Senate staff negotiator with the House of Representatives and the George H.W. Bush Administration. Carolyn was also the government relations partner at the law firm Mayer Brown, LLP, where she counseled businesses on the requirements of federal disability rights laws. Carolyn provided outside pro bono counsel to USICD during the campaign for U.S. ratification of CRPD in 2012. As a long-time board member, Chair, and now Chair Emeritus of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights Education Fund, Carolyn has worked to make sure the organization includes disability issues in all its initiatives.

Susan Parker
Susan Parker has more than 30 years of executive experience gained through appointments by state governors, U.S. presidents, local and international boards of directors to better help people with disabilities worldwide. The former Secretary-General of RI (1993-1998), Parker’s experiences as a New England ski racer and instructor pointed her toward a career in disability advocacy, which included assisting disabled soldiers from armed conflicts in Vietnam, Sierra Leone, Iraq and Afghanistan. In the early 1990s, Parker served as the Disability Commissioner of the U.S. Social Security Administration, opening up disability benefits to 465,000 U.S. children. From 2002-2011, she joined in the U.S. Department of Labor as the Disability Policy Director and helped create the national Disability Unemployment Statistic. Prior to the federal level, Parker held top leadership posts in two state governments: the State of Maine, Commissioner, Department of Mental Health & Mental Retardation; and the State of New Hampshire, Executive Director of the Developmental Disabilities Council. From 1998 to 2001, Parker was the Senior Policy Officer, Disability at the International Labour Organization in Geneva. She holds the Master of Social Work and Master of Social Planning degrees from Boston College School of Social Work and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Eric Rosenthal Eric Rosenthal is the founder and Executive Director of Disability Rights International (DRI), a human rights advocacy organization dedicated to the protection and full inclusion in society of children and adults with disabilities worldwide.  For 25 years, DRI has been a pioneer in documenting and exposing abuses, bringing media attention to the concerns of people confined to institutions, training disability activists, bringing test case litigation in international courts, and educating international donors and development organizations.