Chairman of the National Council on Disability: Who Is Clyde Terry?
Clyde Terry was named by President Obama on September 18, 2016, to be chairman of the National Council on Disability (NCD). Terry had been a council member since 2011.
Terry certainly has experience with disabilities; he has been blind since birth because of a rare childhood glaucoma. Nonetheless, he earned a B.S. degree from Emerson College in 1974 and went on to get a law degree in 1985 from Franklin Pierce Law Center (now the University of New Hampshire School of Law).
He never practiced law as such, but Terry was a hearing officer/Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) coordinator at the New Hampshire Division of Mental Health and Developmental Disability’s Office of Client and Legal Services from 1988 to 1994. Terry then moved on to the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council, first as director of policy and planning and, beginning in 2001, as its executive director. While there, Terry fought for accessible polling places, which resulted in him being the co-author of “Voters Denied Equal Access at the Polls; A Status Report of the Accessibility of Polling Places in the United States” in 2001.
Terry left the following year to become CEO of Granite State Independent Living, a non-profit that provides training and support services for the disabled. In 2011, while still in charge of Granite, he was named to a seat on the NCD, where he served on the Policy Development and Program Evaluation Committee. While there, he became the first blind person to “drive” an Audi automated car, taking a spin around the Washington, D.C., area. He has advocated for automated cars to accommodate disabled drivers. Another of his goals is to ensure fair wages for disabled workers, instead of a subminimum that some are allowed by federal law to receive.
Terry and his wife Susan Palmer Terry, a business consultant, have a son and a daughter.
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