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INCLUDEnyc’s Lori Podvesker Named to Education Power 100 List

February 16, 2020
Press Release

New York, NY, Feb. 16, 2020—Lori Podvesker, INCLUDEnyc’s Director of Education and Disability Policy, has been named to City & State’s 2020 Education Power 100 List. Lori is a former special education teacher, parent, and advocate for young people with disabilities. 

For nearly a decade, Lori has grown INCLUDEnyc’s involvement in New York City education and disability policy. She is a tireless advocate for transparency, accountability, and improved outcomes for New York City students with disabilities. Lori is the Mayor’s appointee and Vice Chair of the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP) of the NYC Department of Education. She is a member of the New York State Commissioner’s Advisory Panel (CAP) for Special Education Services, an advisory council to the NYS Office of Special Education and to the Governor, Legislature, and Commissioner on unmet needs in the education of students with disabilities.  

“Lori has been one of the City’s strongest proponents and advocates for students with disabilities and their inclusion in all programs, schools, and activities. We thank City & State for recognizing Lori’s contribution to education and particularly, special education. On behalf of all of us at INCLUDEnyc, we congratulate her on being named to City & State’s Education Power 100,” said Barbara Glassman, INCLUDEnyc’s Executive Director. 

“I’m humbled to be named to the Education Power 100 list,” Podvesker said. “It was not long ago that I reached out to INCLUDEnyc as a parent looking for answers about special education. Many families are prevented from getting the resources they need or from fighting for systemic change. They face barriers like poverty, their undocumented status, housing insecurity, and their own disabilities.” 

As an advocate and on behalf of INCLUDEnyc, Lori will continue to fight for young people with disabilities to be included in schools, workplaces, and our community.  “It is my hope that measures of inclusion—the extent to which students with disabilities are physically, academically, and socially integrated with their non-disabled peers—are built into the NYC Department of Education’s accountability structure,” Podvesker said.

“I will keep fighting for my son, Jack who attends a District 75 program, and for all of our young people with disabilities. I’m looking for real structural and cultural changes, and a world that no longer perceives disability as a deficit, but as an asset to the entire community. I’m in it for the long game,” she added.

Alongside other influential educators and education leaders, Lori will receive her award at a reception on Tuesday, February 18. The event will feature keynote remarks by Betty Rosa, Chancellor, New York State Department of Education and State Senator John Liu, Chairman of the New York City Education Committee.