For over 20 years, Cheryl Mitchell has advocated for people with disabilities, the elderly, and the under served. She is the Director of User Research at The AbleGamers Charity, an international nonprofit, that uses video games to combat social isolation, foster inclusive communities, and improve the lives of people with disabilities. She tests and designs accessible experiences for video game studios, developers, museums, and edutainment companies.
She oversaw several federal programs to enhance employment outcomes for people with disabilities that were funded by the Social Security Administration, DOL, HHS, and Education. In particular, she managed DOL’s Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Program (EFSLMP), helping state governments implement systems-change efforts while adopting Employment First principles, which encouraged publicly-funded systems to align policies, service delivery practices, and reimbursement structures to commit to competitive integrated employment. Cheryl supervised 40 subject matter experts to (a) work with states to design and implement a TA plan to support Employment First systems change goals and evaluate its impact, and (b) develop a national Community of Practice to convene state officials, providers, and consumers to identify, share, and learn about promising practices and innovative approaches to further Employment First systems change goals. Cheryl holds a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. She also serves on the WISE Board, a national organization that promotes equitable employment for people with developmental disabilities through innovation, training, and technical assistance.