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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release April 10, 1997



The President today announced his intention to nominate Yerker Andersson, Gina McDonald, Bonnie O'Day and Shirley Welsh Ryan to the National Council on Disability.

Yerker Andersson, of Frederick, Maryland, is the immediate past chairperson of Deaf Studies and Professor Emeritus at Gallaudet University. A native of Sweden, Dr. Andersson held several other positions with Gallaudet University, including American Sign Language/Deaf Studies Project Coordinator, Professor of Sociology, Special Assistant to the Dean of the College of Arts and Science, and Chairman of the Department of Sociology and Social Work. He has been actively involved in many local and national organizations, including the American Sociological Association, the D.C. Sociological Society, the American Association of University Professors, Gallaudet University Alumni Association, the National Association of the Deaf, and the World Federation of the Deaf. Dr. Andersson earned a B.A. from Gallaudet University, an M.A. from Teachers College at Columbia University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

Gina McDonald, of Salina, Kansas, is the president and CEO of the Kansas Association of Centers for Independent Living (KACIL). She is also a consultant for the Independent Living Resource Utilization (ILRU) Program in Houston, Texas, which provides training to organizations who assist the disabled. Ms. McDonald is the past chairperson of the State Independent Living Council and president of the board of directors of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), and serves as the chairperson of its Health Reform Committee. She serves on the Governor's Commission on Housing and Homelessness and is treasurer of the Board of the Families Together Parent Training Project. Among the various awards Ms. McDonald has received are the ADA Award from the Task Force on the Rights and Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities and the President's Award from NCIL. She received a B.A. degree from Marymount College of Kansas and a Master's degree in Rehabilitation Administration from the University of San Francisco.

Bonnie O'Day, of Minneapolis, Minnesota, is a policy researcher at the National Rehabilitation Hospital Research Center, where she conducts research on health policy and managed care. From 1990 to 1992, Ms. O'Day was the executive director of the Boston Center for Independent Living, a non-profit organization providing services and advocacy for people with severe disabilities, where she raises funds and coordinates public relations activities. From 1985 to 1989, Ms. O'Day was the executive director of the Endependence Center in Norfolk, Virginia, where she developed policy and legislative strategy, authored policy papers, and acted as media spokesperson. Since 1983, Ms. O'Day has served as a consultant for federal, state, and private non-profit agencies on disability issues, including reviews of disability related grants and materials, workshops on the Americans with Disabilities Act, and rehabilitation, independent living, crime prevention and assertiveness. She is a member of the Americans with Disabilities Act Implementation and Training Network and of the Society for Disability Studies. Ms. O'Day earned a B.S. degree from Augsburg College, and an M.P.A. from the University of Virginia.

Shirley Welsh Ryan, of Chicago, Illinois, has served as a member of the National Council on Disability since 1992. She is the chairman and co-founder of Pathways Awareness Foundation in Chicago, a public health awareness organization which is dedicated to education for and about children with movement difficulties. She is also president and co-founder of Pathways Center for Children, a neurodevelopmental therapy center for children with delayed gross or fine motor activity and/or eating involvement. Ms. Ryan is active in numerous philanthropic organizations, including the Chicago Community Trust, the Ronald McDonald's House Charities and United Cerebral Palsy of Chicago. Ms. Ryan earned a B.A. degree from Northwestern University and certificates from the Sorbonne of the University of Paris and the Ecole du Louvre in Paris.

The National Council on Disability is responsible for promoting the integration, independence and productivity of individuals with disabilities into the community, schools, the workplace. In the fulfillment of this mission, the Council evaluates the effectiveness of federal government programs and statutes concerning individuals with disabilities.