Director, Disability Justice Initiative



Mia Ives-Rublee

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Mia Ives-Rublee is the director for the Disability Justice Initiative at American Progress. Prior to coming to American Progress, she advocated for disability justice and inclusion at nonprofit organizations and businesses across the United States. She has worked with Women’s March, Families Belong Together, DC Action Lab, Adoptees for Justice, Fair Fight, People’s Collective for Justice and Liberation, and numerous other progressive organizations.

Best known for founding the Women’s March Disability Caucus, Ives-Rublee helped organize the original Women’s March on Washington in 2017. The Women’s March was one of the first large-scale events to have certified deaf interpreters on stage. Ives-Rublee’s work pushed for better access to disability accommodations at progressive events and more policy platforms inclusive of the disability community. For her work on the Women’s March, Ives-Rublee was named by Glamour magazine as one of 2017’s Women of the Year Award. She was also recognized by She the People as one of 20 Women of Color in Politics to Watch in 2020 and awarded the 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of North Carolina (UNC) School of Social Work.

Ives-Rublee worked on several political campaigns during the 2020 cycles. As a North Carolina community regional organizing director for the Elizabeth Warren Campaign for President, she communicated policies and organized events around specific issues affecting the disability and Asian American communities. She volunteered on Warren’s Disability Policy Group, helping shape the Disability Policy Platform and developing the campaign’s private event accessibility toolkit. During the general election, Ives-Rublee worked as the field director for Down Home NC to encourage rural residents to vote. She also worked with the Asian American Advocacy Fund and the Georgia Disability Vote Partnership to help elect Sen. Jon Ossoff (D-GA) and the Rev. Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) during the 2021 special election.

For six years, Ives-Rublee worked as a vocational counselor at the North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services to help disabled people obtain substantial employment and connect with services in their communities. She researched alternative mental health diversion programs at UNC Chapel Hill in 2015 and, in 2017, was the confidential assistant to Commissioner Chai Feldblum at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. At the Ford Foundation in 2019, Ives-Rublee created a Disability Inclusion Toolkit for nonprofit organizations.

Ives-Rublee holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a master’s degree in social work from UNC Chapel Hill.


Alleviating Food Insecurity in the Disabled Community Report
A high school girl wearing scrubs, a face mask, and latex gloves hands a bag of food to an elderly senior sitting on her porch.

Alleviating Food Insecurity in the Disabled Community

As food insecurity worsened for the disability community during the pandemic, several disability organizations developed innovative solutions that could provide a road map toward better equity around food access.

Mia Ives-Rublee, Christine Sloane

These Americans Helped Save Health Care. Don’t Forget Them Now. In the News

These Americans Helped Save Health Care. Don’t Forget Them Now.

Author Mia Ives-Rublee urges progressives not to neglect the disability community—which has been on the front lines of the fight for the Affordable Care Act, among other progressive causes—as they debate President Joe Biden's Build Back Better agenda.

Mia Ives-Rublee

Disabled workers are essential to the economy’s recovery In the News

Disabled workers are essential to the economy’s recovery

Mia Ives-Rublee examines the reason the employment gap between disabled and nondisabled workers has grown since the pandemic—and the challenges disabled workers are facing as many employers contemplate returning to the office.

Mia Ives-Rublee

Recognizing and Addressing Housing Insecurity for Disabled Renters Article
A disabled woman is photographed in her Washington, D.C., apartment, which she can barely afford with public assistance, with family members, October 2012. (Getty/The Washington Post/Marvin Joseph)

Recognizing and Addressing Housing Insecurity for Disabled Renters

In light of new analyses showing that people with disabilities continue to face higher rates of housing insecurity, housing policies must center this community’s needs to ensure a more equitable housing system for all.

Jaboa Lake, Valerie Novack, Mia Ives-Rublee