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Marty Ford

Disability Policy Distinguished Honoree - The Academy at 25: Celebrating Milestones and Envisioning the Future of Social Insurance

Marty Ford is the Director of the Public Policy Office at The Arc of the United States.  She tirelessly researches important issues and promotes responsive and responsible disability policy, serving as a policy advocate for those who often go unheard.  Over the years, she has taken on leadership roles in long-term services and supports, including Medicaid, the Supplemental Security Income program, and Social Security disability policy issues.

Ford is is a national spokesperson and opinion leader, understanding the ins and outs of Social Security Disability Insurance.  With her extensive and informed knowledge and background, and her relentless commitment to people with disabilities, she has been called on to provide informed advice to Congress, the Executive Branch and the public.  Ford served three years as Chairperson of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD), a coalition of over 115 national organizations working on federal disability policy issues.  She continues to serve as its Immediate Past Chairperson and also serves as Co-Chair of the CCD Task Forces on Social Security and on Long Term Services and Supports.

Ford played an instrumental role in partnering disability advocates with policymakers focusing on elderly populations, a crucial step forward in discussing long-term services and support issues.  This work was extremely valuable in bringing together key stakeholders to help pass important provisions of the Affordable Care Act: the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act and the Medicaid Community First Choice Option.  She was the recipient of the 2010 Claude Pepper Award for Excellence in Community-Based Long-Term Care, recognizing her commitment to serve as a voice for citizens with disabilities.  Ford has served on the founding Board of Directors for: Advance CLASS; the Long Term Quality Alliance; Citizens for Long Term Care; and the Quality Trust for Individuals with Disabilities.  She is currently the Vice-Chair of Advance CLASS, a new organization formed to promote successful implementation of the new public long term services insurance program.

Before coming to The Arc of the United States, Ford served as General Counsel for the District of Columbia Arc.  She was invited to join the National Academy of Social Insurance in 2000 and has been actively involved in moderating and participating in roundtable discussions and workshops.  She is on the Academy's Membership Committee to review new member nominations prior to the Board of Directors’ approval.  She also served on the Academy’s Uncharted Waters study panel.  She is a member of the American Bar Association and has served on the Commission on Law and Aging and on the Commission on Mental and Physical Disability Law.  She received her law degree from George Washington University.

Ford has advocated for responsible and effective policy through the years, championing efforts to raise the profile about disability policy in government and the public.  NASI Board member Susan Daniels describes Marty as a colleague who “combines passion, smarts and hard work in the best possible way for making this a better world for people of all abilities.”  Her contributions to this field have been of great value in further highlighting disability policy on the national agenda.

Ford was recognized as the distinguished honoree for disability policy at the Academy's 25th anniversary celebration held on June 8, 2011 at the Washington Court Hotel in Washington, DC.