CPC Member – Eli Ettinger

My name is Eli Ettinger. I am a Human Services Board Certified Practitioner, credentialed with an Undergraduate degree in Family and Human Services as well as a Master’s in Special Education, with a focus on Adolescent Transition. That being said, my most significant credential is that I was born with a condition known as Spina Bifida, which occurs early during pregnancy when the spine fails to form correctly and results in nerve damage. I have been an active advocate from an early age and found success navigating the higher educational system. Over the years, I found the stories of others with disabilities so inspiring that I have chosen a career that focuses on guiding and supporting students through their educational transition. I am specifically interested in ensuring the success of “at risk” populations and students with disabilities as they transition from high school to higher education.

I have always been passionate about being involved and creating inclusion opportunities for people with disabilities. As a long time wheelchair track athlete, I founded the 1st ever Club Sports for students with disabilities at the University of Oregon and later founded the 1st ever student union for students with disabilities, called the AccessABILITY Student Union. I am a new member of the Community Partners Council where I feel I can continue to grow and contribute greatly to the vision and direction of Disability Research.

I recently had the opportunity to speak on a panel at the “All Born In” conference sponsored by the Northwest Down Syndrome Association. All Born “In” is a parent-driven, best practices initiative created by the Northwest Down Syndrome Association in partnership with Portland State University and many other innovative parents and professionals. The title of the workshop that I presented at was called; Transition: The Path toIndependenceand Wellness. I recently contributed to guiding Mobility International USA (MIUSA) students through a tour of downtownPortlandandPortlandState. As a former MIUSA intern I am familiar with the needs of exchange students with disabilities. I have partnered withPacificUniversitystudents in the Physical Therapy program, offering the individual’s perspective on issues related to Spina Bifida and Physical Therapy. I am always open to new ideas and community engagement around topics related to educational transition for at-risk students and students with disabilities.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Judi Wingard on September 20, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Hi Eli, I was just thinking of you so googled your name. It’s wonderful to hear about your accomplishments and the field you have chosen. I’m sure you must be an inspiration to all who know you. I’ve always remembered and treasured the time I worked with you at Cedar Park (how long ago was that!!). Please give my best regards to your mom and dad. And if we meet up again, Merv promises to take you flying; he remembers how much you enjoyed that.
    If you have time, send a hello. We still spend part of our year in NE Oregon and the winters in Tucson, Arizona.
    Many warm affections, Judi Wingard


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