I was informed about these changes about a month ago when the director of my department, Diane Coleman, informed us about her promotion of moving up to Not Dead Yet organization (NDY). She tells us that still will still be in Rochester and with CDR. She will be more actively focused in the NDY activities as they are past due and a much needed service.

It was a great honor working with Diane who had many years of advocacy for disability rights. And, I have learned so much from her and her experience in Chicago, IL. Please read her message below about her future with NDY and as CDR’s Systems Advocate Director.

I am not sure what the future director of CDR/RCIL Systems Advocacy department will look like, but I am sure we will get a new person and someone who will bring some new advantages to the department. And, I am looking forward the new changes, and the future of Diane’s work.

Later, Dean DeRusso

From: Diane Coleman
Sent: Monday, July 11, 2011 9:17 AM
Subject: An Advocacy staff change coming in August

I want to let everyone know that I’ll be transitioning to a new position on August 1st. I’ll still come to work here at CDR, but I’ll be serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Not Dead Yet.

Some of you already know about Not Dead Yet (NDY), but for those who don’t, it’s a national disability rights group which started in 1996 to oppose legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia.

I’ve been the volunteer President from the beginning, but until now, Not Dead Yet has only received enough in donations to afford one staff member, our Research Analyst Stephen Drake. Stephen writes NDY’s controversial blog and handles much of our media work. If you want to learn more about the issues NDY addresses, you can check out our blog at www.notdeadyet.org.

Since we moved to Rochester in 2008, CDR has been wonderful in providing on going support, including a headquarters office on the second floor, as well as a computer, phone and administrative help.

Actually, even before we moved to Rochester, CDR advocated with NDY. For example, ten Rochester disability rights activists attended the trial of Jack Kevorkian that put him behind bars. (Most people don’t know this but the majority of Kevorkian’s victims were people with non-terminal disabilities.) CDR advocates also tried to get “equal suicide prevention” for Bill White, a disabled man who lived at Strong for decades. They protested at a bioethics conference in Albany. And CDR came to Boston for the disability rights protest against the World Federation of Right To Die Societies.

It means a lot to us that CDR will continue the same administrative supports after I move into my new role working full time for NDY. You’ll still be seeing me at CDR, almost as much as now, but I’ll also spend some work time at our home office.

Meanwhile, until CDR refills the Director of Advocacy position, beginning August 1, please bring your Systems Advocacy questions and issues to Dave Atias.

Diane Coleman, JD, MBA
Director of Advocacy
Center for Disability Rights, Inc.
497 State Street
Rochester, New York 14608
(585) 546-7510 (Voice)
(585) 546-7512 (TTY)
(585) 546-7577 (Fax)

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