Every December 3 the world celebrates International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD). Declared by the UN in 1992, the Day is meant to raise awareness about the experience and circumstances of people with disabilities in all aspects of their lives, as well as to promote the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities around the globe. Through IDPD, the UN, WHO and multiple countries and organizations promote the rights and procure the potential of people with disabilities, “so they can participate fully, equally and effectively in society with others, and face no barriers in all aspects of their lives”.  

Excelsior University, the Center for Social Justice, and the Different Abilities Rope Team is excited to join the celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities by hosting Jessica Lopez for a virtual keynote address on November 30 at 3PM EST. 

Jessica Lopez is a full-time student and advocate who works to interrupt the narratives we often believe about people with disabilities and to make the world more equitable. Drawing on her lived experience as a woman born without hands and feet, she champions inclusive and accessible education and workforces. Jessica formerly served as AAPD intern at the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy and currently as Corporate Training Consultant at the Center for Disability Inclusion. Before this, Jessica served as Disability Inclusion Communication Specialist for Milt Wright & Associates, and as Social Media Manager and Partnerships Coordinator at Diversability.  

This past academic year, Jessica was President of the Coastline Associated Student Government as well as Treasurer of Region VIII of the Student Senate for California Community Colleges. Her dedication to advocacy has also led her to the California State Capitol, where she engaged with legislators to support accessible education. Most recently, Jessica was recognized as 2023’s Student of the Year at the California Association for Postsecondary Education and Disability, and she was just honored by the Obama Foundation with the 2023 Obama-Chesky Voyager Scholarship for Public Service.  


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