A Conversation with Morgan Duffy
DRA is excited to welcome Morgan Duffy to our board of directors!
Morgan is a proud disabled woman currently working in health technology. She is the Strategy Lead at OneFifteen, a learning health system for addiction treatment and the Sr. Program Manager for Behavioral Health at Verily, an Alphabet Company.
How did you first learn about DRA?
A dear friend and former Member of the Board of Directors, Srin Madapalli, told me about DRA and the incredible work that the team was doing to make travel and commuting more accessible. As two wheelchair users who travel, Srin and I were drawn in by that work and completely impressed by the breadth of other topics the DRA team is tackling.
Why did you decide to join DRA’s Board of Directors?
I firmly believe that change happens best when it is grounded in grassroots movements, fueled by personal experience, and addressing problems at their source. DRA is doing all of that and I’m excited to support its mission however I can. Additionally, I’m thrilled to see the representation of disabled people on the Board and across staff.
What do you think are the most important issues facing people with disabilities that DRA is uniquely poised to tackle?
There are two areas of advocacy that became more critical in the last two years: access to work and in healthcare. While working at Google, I joined forces with other self advocates to expand healthcare benefits to include critical services like care attendants at work. As we emerge from the pandemic, employers should seize an opportunity to hire people with disabilities as they grow their teams, providing reasonable accommodations and beyond. Also, COVID-19 has shown how critical it is for people with disabilities to have equal access to healthcare and services, especially during crises. Too many disabled people were neglected during the pandemic or refused services on the basis of their disability.
What role does technology/do tech companies play in making the world more accessible for people with disabilities?
Technology levels the playing field in so many ways for some people with disabilities. In my own life, social media has connected me to friends and peers with vital information that I wouldn’t have learned from my able-bodied family and friends, my iPhone is my connection to help in emergencies, and Google Maps makes planning a journey predictable instead of stressful. But, there’s more that tech can do, both with products and within companies to make the world more equitable and accessible. As more of our lives are lived online, whether it’s working remotely or connecting with those we love from afar, we must ensure that those platforms are accessible to everyone and that tech enables connection for everyone.
Any other details you’d like to share about yourself?
I’m currently completing my Masters Degree at the London School of Economics in Social Entrepreneurship, and hope to one day start my own organization with a focus on improving the lives of teenages with disabilities transitioning to adulthood!