John D. Kemp became the fourth President & CEO of Abilities! of Albertson, NY, a national disability service and education organization, on February 7, 2011. He is widely respected for his many achievements, both in the corporate and non-profit worlds. As a person with personal disability experience who uses four prostheses, John inspires others to achieve the impossible through knowledge, experience, vision, personality, and persistence. Mr. Kemp graduated from Georgetown University in 1971 and from Washburn University School of Law in 1974. Mr. Kemp was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Law from Washburn University School of Law in May, 2003.
In March 2006, Mr. Kemp received the Henry B. Betts Award, widely regarded as America’s highest honor for disability leadership and service. Presented jointly by the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the Betts Award recognizes a person’s work and scope of influence that have significantly improved the quality of life for people with disabilities in the past and who continues to be a force for change in the future.
With more than 45 years of direct experience in the disability movement, John D. Kemp has partnered, worked for and served on the Boards of Directors of some of the leading disability and nonprofit organizations such as: United Cerebral Palsy Associations, Very Special Arts, Half the Planet Foundation, Independent Sector, The Abilities Fund Inc., Disability Service Providers of America, Easter Seals, Goodwill Industries of America, and the U.S. International Council on Disabilities, to name a few. In 1995, Mr. Kemp co-founded the American Association of People with Disabilities with Paul G. Hearne. In 2001, Mr. Kemp became a partner in the Washington, DC Law Firm of Powers, Pyles, Sutter & Verville, where he developed an active federal legislative and lobbying practice.
Kemp has served on the Medicaid Commission as well as the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on Persons with Disabilities which guided the Secretary of State and the Administrator of the Agency for International Development (USAID) in the formulation and implementation of U.S. foreign policy and assistance with respect to people with disabilities.
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