Episode 3: What is the History of Disability?

John Kramer 

Earned his PhD in Disability Studies in 2009, with his work interests addressing the mutual support roles of siblings in aging families and issues of future planning for people with Intellectual Disabilities and Disability Studies critiques of family disability research.


John is currently working with the State Systems research team at the Institute for Community Inclusion (ICI) at the University of Massachusetts at Boston on systems change and employment issues for people with disabilities. John co-founded the Sibling Leadership Network. This network connects brothers and sisters of people with intellectual disabilities, siblings with intellectual disabilities, and professionals interested in policy, services, and research related to siblings and disability. John also co-founded the Massachusetts Sibling Support Network (MSSN) and Supporting Illinois Brothers and Sisters, both statewide advocacy groups. 



We believe reflection is an important part of growth.

Episode Expert:

Adam Ballard

Adam is the Housing and Transportation Policy Analyst at Access Living in Chicago. In that role, he develops policy priorities and messaging in housing, transportation, and related planning issues. He acts as a thought leader on integrating accessibility for disabled people, and manages relationships with elected officials and public agencies that that can help advance the disability community’s advocacy agenda.


Adam also believes strongly in the power of community organizing to make change, and has served as an organizer and supervised other organizers on multiple campaigns, professionally at Access Living and as a volunteer

elsewhere. He serves on boards and advisory committees at several agencies and organizations in the Chicagoland area. Adam and his family live in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago.

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We believe reflection is an important part of growth.

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