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Anjali J. Forber-Pratt, Ph.D. is a disability activist, former faculty member, 2-time Paralympic medalist and the Director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR). As a faculty member, her primary area of research relates to disability identity development and is author on over 40 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous chapters. As a wheelchair-user herself for over 35 years, and a two-time Paralympian and medalist, Dr. Forber-Pratt is also nationally and internationally recognized as a disability leader and mentor.
Outside of the academy, Dr. Forber-Pratt was also a member of Team USA at the 2008 and 2012 Paralympic Games. As a Paralympic medalist in the sport of wheelchair racing, she has dedicated her life to helping others recognize their potential. Globally, she is involved with disability advocacy efforts related to access to employment, education and sport through public speaking and media appearances. She has been actively involved to help create inclusive sport opportunities for individuals with disabilities in Bermuda, India, Zambia and Ghana.
Dr. Forber-Pratt presents regularly at state, national, and international conferences. She was honored by the American Psychological Association along with Division 22 (Rehabilitation Psychology) with the inaugural Citizen Psychologist Award for Advancing Disability as a Human Rights and Social Justice Issue Award in 2020. She was also recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as a 2018 Emerging Scholar. The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has also recognized her leadership abilities by awarding her the prestigious 2013 Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, given to emerging leaders within the national disability community. She was honored in 2021 with the Harold Scharper Achievement Award from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign for alumni who have attained outstanding success and national or international distinction in their chosen business, profession, or life’s work. Dr. Forber-Pratt has appeared on several television programs and radio shows including: NPR; The Stream; and Sesame Street; and has been quoted in the national print press, including The Boston Globe, The New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post, USA Today, and Runner’s World. She was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change in 2013 and had an opportunity to participate in a roundtable discussion with President Obama about disability policy issues.