Richard Davis

2013 Disability Policy Leadership Fellow

Richard Davis

Richard is the 2013 AUCD Disability Policy Leadership Fellow. He was born and raised in Daytona Beach, and comes to AUCD after spending the last 3 years in the heart of Texas. He recently received his Master of Social Work degree from the University of Houston, graduated with a 4.0 GPA, and was inducted into The Phi Alpha National Honor Society for Social Work; The Golden Key International Honour Society; The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi; and The Phi Beta Delta Honor Society for International Scholars.

During his time at UH, Richard served as President of the ‘Students for the Advancement of International Social Work' (SAISW); studied abroad in Turkey with the Gülen Institute during May of 2012; studied abroad in Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia, and Poland during July of 2012; attended the 2012 World Conference on Social Work and Social Development in Stockholm; and also attended the 30th Annual World Social Work Day at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

While living in Houston, Richard worked for the LGBT Non-Profit Organization, The Montrose Center, as both a Program Assistant for the EMBody Program (SAMHSA-HRSA Primary & Behavioral Health Care Integration) and as a Social Work Intern with the HATCH LGBT Youth Program. From July 2012 to June 2013, Richard completed a fellowship with the Lone Star Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental & Related Disabilities (LEND) training program, where he did numerous clinical rotations throughout the Houston Medical Center and Harris County. Richard was also involved part-time at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children's Hospital's Pediatric Retrovirology Department as an Interventionist for an Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) study working with recently diagnosed HIV-positive youth.

Prior to living in Texas, Richard spent over 2 years (2008 to 2010) living and working as a Native English Teacher (NET) for the GEOS Language Corporation in the Ginza District of Tokyo, Japan. In addition to his passion for Civil Rights and Social Justice, Richard also loves studying foreign languages, world history, and cultural diversity, and can usually be found exploring new places or wandering through museums during his days off.

Activities as AUCD's Policy Fellow

While serving as the AUCD Disability Policy Fellow in 2013, Richard was engaged in several activities; you can read more in his full summary report.

  • Richard met with Senators, Representatives, and Congressional staffers to advocate and educate on key issues regarding the legislative priorities of the AUCD Network
  • Richard collaborated with several organizations, including the U.S. International Council on Disability (led by former Fellow, David Morrissey), to urge the Senate to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. When the Senate Foreign Relations Committee asked advocates to show more support from the business community, Richard was able to get a letter of support for the treaty from NASCAR, headquartered in his hometown of Daytona Beach
  • Along with Liz Weintraub (AUCD Self-Advocacy Project Specialist), Richard helped develop Toolkits for Grantees and Funders for use by the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AIDD) and other parties, based on data collected from the pilot grant projects that resulted from the Envisioning the Future: Allies in Self Advocacy Summits
  • Along with former Fellow Amie Lulinski, Richard helped organize a Trainee Subcommittee on Autism Legislation to develop a nationwide strategy to revise and reauthorize the Combating Autism Act in 2014
  • Represented the AUCD Legislative Affairs Committee at the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) on the Autism, International, and Rights Task Forces
  • Mobilized UCEDD and LEND Directors to advocate in key states for co-sponsorship of the Keeping All Students Safe Act, addressing the use of restraints and seclusion in schools
  • Uploaded new content and announcements for AUCD's 
  • Contributed information on various issues to several of AUCD's communication tools, including the weekly Legislative News In Brief, online Health Reform Hub, and powerful Policy Action Center.