FCDR welcomes Cal’s new ADA Compliance Officer, Ella Callow

The FCDR welcomes UC Berkeley’s new ADA/504 Compliance Officer, Ella Callow, who started her position on October 17th, 2018.

Ella Callow received her BA from UC Berkeley in Native American Studies and Social Welfare and her JD from UC Berkeley Law. She is well known in national disability circles for her tireless work as the Director of Legal Programs for the National Center for Parents with Disabilities and their Families. This was a federally funded grant run from 2004-2017 through the disability non-profit, Through the Looking Glass, that helped both directly advocate for disabled parents, who often lose their parental rights to their children; as well as conduct critical legal research on ensuring parental rights. Ella wrote a significant portion of Rocking the Cradle: Protecting the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Families, which is aimed at changing state and federal law to ensure the parental rights of disabled adults.

After the NCPDF grant ended, Ella worked as the Disability Services Specialist for the City of Berkeley, ensuring ADA compliance for the city.  She also served as a Litigation Consultant for the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Civil Rights Sector. Ella has also worked closely with Native American communities and has published a number of legal journal articles about issues that face Native American communities.

In the last year, Ella co-authored with Prof. Sue Schweik and Lucy Sirianni a major policy brief for the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society titled State of Change: State-Level Actions to Protect the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and their Children.

UC Berkeley’s hiring of Ella Callow, who identifies as a disabled person, represents the culmination of a sea change that the FCDR has seen in administrative attitudes towards the disability community.  There has been almost a 100% turnover in the leadership of units responsible for disability issues on campus: Carol Christ is the new Chancellor, Oscar Dubon is the new Vice Chancelor of Equity and  Inclusion, Karen Nielson now heads the DSP, and Marc Fisher is the new Vice Chancellor of Administration. Each comes with a significant commitment to changing the climate around disability on the UC Berkeley campus.

The FCDR is looking forward to working with this new leadership to ensuring that the rights of all members of the UC Berkeley disabled community are protected, respected, and included.