Elanah Sherman has been involved in the disability rights movement for about thirty-five years. As Project Director of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coalition of Connecticut, an Advocate at the former State Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, and a freelance consultant, she has provided ADA training and policy/structure access audits for private nonprofits, municipalities, and agencies of State government. As a volunteer, she led successful initiatives to increase accessibility at Connecticut’s domestic violence shelters and to develop one of the first and most effective ‘Medicaid buy-in’ programs in the country, enabling people with disabilities to work and retain their Medicaid coverage. Until recently, Elanah was Chair of the Norwich Commission on Persons with Disabilities.
In the environmental domain, Elanah organized a grassroots advocacy project called Out-Of-Doors that paired State park personnel with local people with disabilities. For about 20 years, she has served on the Open Space, Natural Heritage, and Watershed Land Acquisition Review Board as the point person on disability access and ADA, a position mandated by state statute. She is currently Secretary of the Review Board.
As both a supporter of the environmental movement and a disability rights activist, Elanah is deeply drawn to the mission of the Trust for Public Land, especially its commitment to community engagement. As an Advisory Board member, she hopes to help infuse TPL’s work with a heightened awareness of disability access issues, to the end that, whenever possible, accessibility is seamlessly incorporated into planning and projects.
Elanah graduated from Trinity College (CT) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Religion. She is an active hiker, library volunteer, and organizer of events related to arts and social history. She recently completed training to become a Certified FrogWatch Citizen Scientist, a designation that greatly appeals to the nine year old who lives within her!