COE Faculty and Staff > Center on Disability Studies > Patricia
- Center on Disability Studies
- 1964 AA Liberal Arts Harford Community College
- 1966 BA Psychology Stetson University
- 1971 MEd Special Education Penn State
- 1974 PhD Special Education Penn State
Brief BiographyShe is President of the U.S. International Council on Disabilities (2014-2016).
In March and July 2015 she was part of a team that provided disability policy training in Istanbul to Iranian activists.
She was Commissioner of the Administration on Developmental Disabilities (ADD) from August 2001 till January 2009. Prior to that position Morrissey was a senior associate at Booz Allen Hamilton where she provided consulting services to federal agencies, especially on accessibility in technology.
Morrissey came to Washington, D.C. in 1976. Her career includes stints in both the public and private sector. She worked for the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions for five years prior to joining Booz Allen. She played a central role in the drafting of major disability legislation – the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Amendments of 1997, the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act Amendments of 1996 and 2000, the Rehabilitation Act amendments of 1998, the Assistive Technology Act of 1998, the Education of the Deaf Act Amendments of 1998 and the Ticket to Work and Work Incentive Improvement Act of 1999.
She worked for the U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and Labor, also drafting disability legislation, including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She has written four books and assisted in the production of training videos on the ADA. After leaving the House committee staff before joining the Senate committee staff, she served as a consultant to Fortune 200 companies on ADA compliance.
Morrissey was a member of the U.S. Delegation to a United Nations Committee while it drafted the Convention on Civil Rights for Persons with Disabilities. She was a keynote speaker on special education at an international conference in Beijing, June 2004.
In addition to being on the Board of the United States International Council on Disabilities, she is a member of the Government Affairs Committee of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America, and is a published author of Gradual Descent, a thriller based in Washington, D.C.
In August of 2013 she launched social media projects to promote the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and civic engagement on disability policy.
Dr. Morrissey views herself as a problem solver and persuader. She believes the “American Dream” belongs to everyone, and her commitment, through varied venues and innovative strategies, is to make it happen for individuals with disabilities.