Mary Lou Breslin has been a disability rights law and policy advocate for over thirty years. In 1979 she co-founded the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), a leading national disability rights law and policy center and she currently serves as its Senior Policy Advisor.
During her career she has served as a policy consultant, trainer and lecturer on disability and related civil rights topics. Ms. Breslin taught graduate courses at the University of San Francisco, McLaren School of Business, and an undergraduate course at the University of California at Berkeley. For eight years she served as editor and researcher with the Disability Rights and Independent Living Project of the Regional Oral History Office of the Bancroft Library, UC Berkeley. She has written and published on various disability rights topics, most recently on health care and disability.
In 2007 Ms. Breslin was honored for her work to improve healthcare access for people with disabilities by the Independent Living Resource Center San Francisco and the San Francisco Mayor’s Office on Disability. She received the prestigious Henry B. Betts award in 2002 for improving the lives of people with disabilities and the Paul A. Hearne Award from the Physical and Mental Disability Rights Committee of the American Bar Association in 2000.
Susan Henderson has been with the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) since 1997 and is the organization’s Executive Director. She directs the Children and Family Advocacy and the Media & Disability Programs as well as DREDF’s Foster Youth Resources for Education (FYRE) project to heighten awareness and protect the rights of children with disabilities in the child welfare system. Ms. Henderson has worked in non-profit and law firm management and finance for over 20 years. She serves on the Board of the Ed Roberts Campus, a collective of seven non-profit agencies in the disability community that are collaborating on the construction of a universally-designed building in Berkeley, CA. She also serves on the Board of Community Resources for Science, an agency dedicated to strengthening science education in elementary schools. Ms. Henderson received her undergraduate degree in Anthropology from the University of California at Davis. She holds an MBA degree from the California State University, Hayward.