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Meeting of February 25, 2009 - on Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Implementation of Title II of the Genetic Information Non-Discrimination Act of 2008

Statement of Andrew J. Imparato
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Association of People with Disabilities

Andrew J. Imparato is the first full-time President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), a national non-profit membership organization for the political and economic empowerment of all people with disabilities in the U.S. With more than 100,000 members, AAPD is the largest cross-disability membership organization in the U.S. and is based in Washington, DC.

Imparato recently organized and led a coalition of more than 200 disability, civil rights and employer organizations to enact the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act, which was signed into law by President Bush on September 25, 2008. The bill overturns four problematic U.S. Supreme Court decisions interpreting the ADA and restores protections under the ADA to millions of Americans with epilepsy, diabetes, depression, cancer and a wide range of other disabilities. Imparato testified before the House Education and Labor Committee in support of the bill, played a key role in the negotiations that led to the employer-supported legislative language, and oversaw the political strategy to get the bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support.

In September 2005, Imparato was honored by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce (“Jaycees”) as one of “Ten Outstanding Young Americans” who are selected annually for their contributions to American society. In 2006, Imparato was honored by US Secretary of Transportation Norman Mineta for his efforts to promote universal accessible transportation and by US Secretary of Health and Human Services Mike Leavitt for his leadership at AAPD.

Prior to joining AAPD, Imparato was general counsel and director of policy for the National Council on Disability, an attorney advisor with the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, counsel to the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Disability Policy, and a staff attorney/Skadden Fellow with the Disability Law Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

Imparato, whose perspective is informed by his own experience with bipolar disorder, is frequently called upon to write, speak or provide testimony about disability issues. His essay on the U.S. Supreme Court’s rulings relating to disability rights appears in The Rehnquist Court: Judicial Activism on the Right (H. Schwartz, ed., Hill and Wang, 2002). He co-authored an article in 2003 for the Stanford Law & Policy Review that laid the foundation for the ADA Amendments Act, “Redefining ‘Disability’ Discrimination: A Proposal to Restore Civil Rights Protections for All Workers” (14 Stan L & Pol Rev 2, with Claudia Center, 2003). Imparato is an advisor on corporate social responsibility, consumer, disability market, equal employment opportunity and accessibility issues for Verizon, Time Warner, AT&T, Microsoft, IBM, SAP, Wal-Mart, and other leading businesses.

Imparato graduated with distinction from Stanford Law School and is a summa cum laude graduate of Yale College. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons, ages 15 and 10.