Expertise: Civil rights, disability rights, education, health care, employment

Rebecca Cokley is the director of the Disability Justice Initiative at American Progress, where her work focuses on disability policy. Most recently, she served as the executive director of the National Council on Disability (NCD), an independent agency charged with advising Congress and the White House on issues of national disability public policy. She joined the NCD in 2013 after serving in the Obama administration for four years, including time at the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as a successful stint at the White House where she oversaw diversity and inclusion efforts. Cokley got her feet wet in advocacy while working at the Institute for Educational Leadership, where she built a number of tools and resources designed to empower and educate youth with disabilities and their adult allies. Since then, she has spent the last 15 years helping make stronger and deeper connections across civil rights communities and continues to see cross-movement solidarity as the only means of surviving these next four years. She is also currently working on her first book. In 2015, she was inducted into the inaugural class of the Susan M. Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and was the recipient of the Frank Harkin Memorial Award by the National Council on Independent Living. Cokley has a Bachelor of Arts in politics from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and is the proud spouse of Patrick and mother of Jackson and Kaya.

By Rebecca Cokley
The Disability Community Needs Paid Family and Medical LeaveCenter for American ProgressOctober 27, 2020
Judge Barrett’s view of Obamacare stirs fear among disabled AmericansCNNOctober 19, 2020
Repealing the ACA Would Create Chaos for the Disability Community During a PandemicCenter for American ProgressOctober 9, 2020
30 Years Later, The American Dream Is Still Not ADA-CompliantRefinery 29July 24, 2020
Investing in Home and Community-Based Care During the Coronavirus Pandemic and Future DisastersCenter for American ProgressJune 24, 2020
Calling Trump unwell doesn’t hurt Trump. It hurts disabled people.The Washington PostJune 16, 2020
Disabled Americans can’t be a Covid-19 afterthoughtCNNApril 23, 2020
The Trump Administration’s Deregulation of Nursing Homes Leaves Seniors and Disabled at Higher Risk for COVID-19Center for American ProgressApril 21, 2020
In Expanding Vote by Mail, States Must Maintain In-Person Voting Options During the Coronavirus PandemicCenter for American ProgressApril 20, 2020
Coronavirus Proposals Leave the Disability Community BehindCenter for American ProgressMarch 27, 2020
The next move in Trump administration’s war on the disabledCNNJanuary 30, 2020
10 Disability Policy Questions Every Presidential Candidate Should AnswerCenter for American ProgressOctober 15, 2019
Trump’s Labor Secretary Nominee Delights in Destroying Rights for Disabled WorkersCenter for American ProgressSeptember 19, 2019
‘Here We Are Again’: On Gun Violence, White Nationalism, and the Scapegoating of Mental IllnessCenter for American ProgressAugust 8, 2019
The Anti-Abortion Bill You Aren’t Hearing AboutRewire.NewsMay 20, 2019
Reforming Elections Without Excluding Disabled VotersCenter for American ProgressMarch 28, 2019
Another Lawmaker Overlooks Pain Management in Bill to Fight Opioid CrisisRewire.NewsMarch 28, 2019
The real victims of the college admissions scams are people with disabilitiesThe Washington PostMarch 14, 2019
To Be Tossed, or Not to Be Tossed: Is That the Question?Rewire.NewsNovember 30, 2018
Serving the Hardest HitCenter for American ProgressSeptember 24, 2018
Trump’s Public-Charge Rule Would Threaten Disabled Immigrants’ Health and SafetyCenter for American ProgressAugust 8, 2018
On Parenting and Consent: When Sharing Isn’t CaringRewire.NewsMay 9, 2018
The Rights of Disabled Americans Are Under AttackCNNFebruary 15, 2018
The Congressional Republican Tax Plan Is a Tax on DisabilityCenter for American ProgressNovember 27, 2017
Recovering from Hurricane Maria Requires an Extensive Federal ResponseCenter for American ProgressOctober 12, 2017
The Quiet Attack on the ADA Making Its Way Through CongressCenter for American ProgressSeptember 22, 2017