Disability Law Expert Chosen As Obama Adviser

By Christina A. Samuels — February 19, 2009 1 min read
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From the Seattle Times via Patricia E. Bauer’s Disability News blog: University of Washington law professor Paul Steven Miller, who has expertise in both disability and employment discrimination law, has been appointed as a special adviser to President Obama.

Miller ... will help the administration make certain political appointments, including those in the Department of Justice, the Department of Education and a host of regulatory agencies.(emphasis mine)

Miller has achondroplasia, a genetic disorder that results in dwarfism. This article mentions how Miller was rejected from employment at 45 law firms, including one that said they would be accused of running a “circus freak show.”

This 2004 article from the University of Pennsylvania alumni magazine offers some insights into Miller’s thinking.

If he could snap his fingers and make his dwarfism disappear, he would not do so, he says. A genetic mutation created his achondroplasia, but he does not think that gene is bad or something that needs to be cured. And most people with non-life-threatening disabilities would agree, he believes. “People generally like who they are, and that it is a part of their identity,” says Miller. “And just because it is harder to be different doesn’t mean that you want to erase that difference or that identity. Just because it is harder to grow up and live in America being a person of color, doesn’t mean that all people of color walk around wishing they were white....

A version of this news article first appeared in the On Special Education blog.