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White House Honors Autism Activist Zoe Gross ’13

Diagnosed on the autism spectrum at age four, honoree Zoe Gross now helps others understand the needs of autistic people.

Zoe Gross ’13 was honored by the White House as one of eight Champions of Change: Americans with Disabilities Act for her advocacy and leadership efforts on behalf of the disability community. The 2013 Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership has distinguished herself by fighting for the needs and rights of autistic citizens.

White House officials say the honorees “embody the spirit” of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), which promised equal access in workplaces, educational institutions, and transportation; full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for those living with disabilities; and avenues to pursue legal remedies to safeguard those rights. 

On July 25, the White House commemorated the 23rd anniversary of the ADA with a program that recognized the Champions. Leaders from federal agencies were on hand to speak about work being done to protect the rights of, and participation by, people with disabilities.

The Champions of Change program was developed as part of President Obama’s “Winning the Future” initiative, which salutes “ordinary citizens doing extraordinary things in their communities.”

Read about the Champions of Change: Americans with Disabilities Act on the White House website. To learn more about Zoe Gross, see the Fall 2012 issue of the Vassar Quarterly.

—Elizabeth Randolph

Photo ©Vassar College-Evan Abramson ’00