Ensuring Long-term Success for Young People with Disabilities

Spring Social Issue Talk
March 14, 2019
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
The Boston Foundation

Join the Social Innovation Forum on March 14, 2019 from 12:00-1:30 pm for the Social Issue Talk on "Ensuring Long-term Success for Young People with Disabilities." Lunch will be provided. Space is limited. Please RSVP below. 

Kirk Joslin, President Emeritus at Easter Seals Massachusetts

Kirk Joslin is the former President and CEO of Easter Seals Massachusetts, retiring three years ago after 40 years. He began his career as a special education advocate in the 1970’s when, at age 19, he was elected to the Natick School Committee championing the rights of students with disabilities.   

At Easter Seals, his major accomplishments included making the organization the nation’s leader in Assistive Technology and establishing the Youth Leadership Initiative to empower youth with disabilities to grow up to be independent, working adults.   

Many years ago, Kirk and his wife Sheila adopted their late son Matthew who was already receiving Easter Seals services.  Matthew’s life and his memory have deepened his commitment to advocate for the kind of world in which he would've wanted Matthew to grow up. 

In retirement, Kirk serves as President Emeritus at Easter Seals and has just been appointed Interim Executive Director of the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England.  

Rinat Kisin, Program Officer at the Ruderman Foundation 

Rinat Kisin is a Program Officer at the Ruderman Family Foundation overseeing the work of LINK20, a cross disability movement led by a network of young disability advocates. In her role, she works with young advocates to raise awareness on disability inclusion topics and strengthening leadership skills of young disability advocates.

Prior to joining the Ruderman Family Foundation, Rinat worked at the St Louis Jewish Federation as the Inclusion Coordinator where she initiated, implemented and explored a variety of strategies and programs to make the Jewish community more inclusive for individuals with disabilities and their families. Before relocating to the U.S., Rinat has worked with major Israeli disability organizations while serving as the Director of Public Relations at the Commission for Equal Rightsfor People with Disabilities, at the Israeli Ministry of Justice. In this role, she formulated educational programs for government officials, nonprofit organizations and the general public, all in areas concerning inclusion of people with disabilities. She holds a B.A degree from Hebrew University and a Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Washington University in St Louis.

Dr. Monika Mitra, Director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University     

Dr. Monika Mitra is the Nancy Lurie Marks Associate Professor of Disability Policy and Director of the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy at Brandeis University’s Heller School. She is also Adjunct Associate Professor at the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health, University of Massachusetts Medical School.

Dr. Mitra’s research examines the health care experiences and health outcomes of people with disabilities, with a particular focus on the sexual and reproductive health of women with disabilities. Her current research examines the health needs and barriers to perinatal care of women with disabilities, including those with intellectual and developmental disabilities and Deaf and hard of hearing women.

She currently co-leads both the National Research Center for Parents with Disabilities, which focuses on addressing knowledge gaps about the needs of parents with diverse disabilities, and the Community Living Policy Center, which seeks to improve policies and practices that advance community living outcomes for people with disabilities.


2019 Social Innovator 

Disability Policy Consortium is a statewide civil rights advocacy, research, and healthcare ombudsman organization run by and for people with disabilities. They believe that people with disabilities should be not just at the table but at the forefront of making the policies that affect their community: "About us, by us." 

Track Partner 

Edith M. Ashley Fund at the Boston Foundation 

About the Spring Social Issue Talk Series 
This year, the Social Innovation Forum (SIF) is excited to announce the expansion of our annual March Social Issue Talk Series to all of spring. With the optimistic energy necessary to live and work in Boston, we are ushering in the start of spring early with our first event on February 21. The newly renamed Spring Social Issue Talk Series is still made up of eight free, educational events across the city but now takes place throughout the months of February to April. At each event, funders and community leaders can hear from leading experts and our 2019 Social Innovators about the latest trends, best practices, and exciting innovations across a variety of fields.

Learn about the entire series here