Disability Advocacy Careers: Affecting Policy and Lives - View the video

Lisa Pugh

Lisa Pugh
Public Policy Director
Disability Rights Wisconsin

131 W. Wilson Street Suite 700
Madison, WI 53711

Website: http://www.disabilityrightswi.org

Career Clusters / Help Topics:

  • Government and Public Administration
  • Human Services

Lisa Pugh is the Public Policy Director for the state's Protection and Advocacy agency, Disability Rights Wisconsin. In this role she educates policymakers at the state and federal level and coordinates and informs the work of other advocates, coalitions and organizations that support people with disabilities in Wisconsin. As a Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation Public Policy Fellow in 2009-2010 Lisa served as a disability policy advisor in the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor and in the Office of the Under Secretary at the U.S. Department of Education. She is a current President Obama appointee on the President’s Committee for People with Intellectual Disabilities and was appointed in 2014 by Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez as a member of the federal Advisory Committee on Increasing Employment for Individuals with Disabilities. She works to pass legislation and polices related to education, healthcare, employment, civil rights and other issues that impact individuals with disabilities.

As a parent of a child with a disability, Lisa Pugh began running into obstacles with the system: health insurance policies that were difficult understand; programs that were supposed to help, but that had roadblocks. She never thought legislators would listen to her problems and help fix them, but she was surprised when they did. After coordinating a successful campaign that sparked awareness at the state capitol and ultimately raised $5 million dollars for early intervention programming for babies with disabilities, Lisa was hooked. Lisa will talk about her road from volunteer disability advocate to paid lobbyist and how she turned her passion and skills as a communicator into a career. (Running Time 25:30)