Last week, the Obama Administration announced several key new appointments, including the appointment of Peter Bell and Jack Brandt as members of the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities. The committee is made up of 21 citizen members and 13 federal employees who are tasked with providing advice to the President and the Secretary of Health and Human Services as it relates to Americans with intellectual disabilities. Peter Bell is currently the Executive Vice President for Programs and Services at Autism Speaks, the nation's largest autism science and advocacy organization and Jack Brandt is the Disability Policy Specialist for the Partnership for People with Disabilities at Virginia Commonwealth University, a position he has held since 2010.
These new appointments follow the appointments made to the committee in November, which included Julie Ann Petty, who is a project trainer for Partners for Inclusive Communities at the Arkansas University Center on Disabilities. In November, President Obama also appointed Glee actress Lauren Potter (Becky Jackson) to the committee. In addition to her role on Glee, Lauren Potter has worked with several advocacy organizations in the disabilities community including Best Buddies and the Down Syndrome Association.