Champions of Change
Zoe Gross is a senior at Vassar College and the 2013 Patricia Morrissey Disability Policy Fellow at the Institute for Educational Leadership. She became involved in disability advocacy through her work with the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network. In 2012, Zoe created the annual Day of Mourning vigil, a national, cross-disability event which commemorates the lives of disabled people murdered by their family members or caregivers. She continues to oversee and coordinate the event as a collaboration of the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network, Not Dead Yet, and the National Council on Independent Living, taking place annually with more than a dozen cities participating in holding local events. As part of the American Association of People with Disabilities summer internship program, Zoe interned on Senator Harkin's staff in the Senate HELP Committee Disability Policy Office. She is the co-president of ACCESS, Vassar's disabled student union. She is a Disability Studies major and is currently writing her senior thesis on the societal attitudes reflected in media coverage of murders of disabled people.