Disability Rights and the Power of Advocacy

Event Date: 

Monday, November 8, 2021 - 7:00pm to 8:00pm

Event Location: 


Did you know that you have the power to influence elected officials to pass legislation that betters the lives of people with disabilities? Join Aaron Kaufman, Senior Manager of Legislative Affairs in Jewish Federation of North America’s Washington DC office; Laura Cherner, Director Community Relations Council at Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh; and Dr. Josie Badger, Disability Activist and Consultant, to learn what advocacy is all about, how it works and its importance to improving the lives of people living with disabilities. In this panel discussion, you will learn how you can get involved and have a direct impac


More About the Webinar Panelists

Aaron Kaufman

Aaron Kaufman joined The Jewish Federations of North America’s Washington DC office in January 2016 and is their Senior Manager of Legislative Affairs. He focuses on disability and poverty issues. Aaron came from The Arc Maryland where he lobbied members of the Maryland General Assembly and the Maryland Congressional delegation on issues affecting Marylanders with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

Having Cerebral Palsy, Aaron feels he brings a unique perspective to JFNA’s efforts on behalf of people with disabilities. Outside of advocacy, he was the instructor in Project SEARCH Montgomery, a job-training program for young adults with significant disabilities.

Aaron graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park with a BA in American Studies and with several honors. He is on the Executive Committee of the Jewish Foundation for Group Homes and is the former Vice Chair of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council. He also served on the Board of the National Association of Developmental Disabilities Councils as well as the Board of Disability Rights Maryland.

Dr. Josie Badger DHCE, CRC

Dr. Josie Badger received her Bachelor’s degree from Geneva College in Disability Law and Advocacy, a Master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in Rehabilitation Counseling, and a Doctorate from Duquesne University in Healthcare Ethics. In 2014 Josie founded J Badger Consulting Inc. where she provides youth development and disability consulting services for organizations, on transition and leadership development. She is the Director of the national RSA-Parent Training and Information Center technical assistance center (RAISE). She is the Campaign Manager of the United Way of Southwestern PA’s #IWantToWork Campaign, to improve the employment of people with disabilities, is a Field Organizer for the Family Care Act that supports paid family leave, and is the developer of TRAIL, a statewide advocacy and lobbying training program. She serves as a board member of the United Way of Southwestern Pennsylvania, The Woodlands Foundation, the Mary Grace Hospice Foundation, PA Assistive Technology Foundation, and FISA. In 2012, Dr. Badger was crowned Ms. Wheelchair America.

Laura Cherner

Laura Cherner is the Director of the Community Relations Council (CRC) at the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh and has served in this capacity since October 2020. Prior to this role, she served as the Assistant Director of the CRC for four years. In her role, she acts as a liaison from the Jewish community to the broader community. Her work focuses on being an advocate and facilitator of interfaith and intergroup collaboration, social justice, government relations, and combatting antisemitism. Her published writing includes biographies of former Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff and of philanthropist Liliane Kaufmann, published in the National Council of Jewish Women’s collection, “Her Deeds Sing Her Praises.”