Jo Anne Simon
Ms. Simon has been fighting for the inclusion of people with disabilities her entire career. Through her Brooklyn, NY based law firm she represents people with disabilities across the country, concentrating on discrimination in standardized testing, higher education and employment. A graduate of Fordham University School of Law, Ms. Simon is known for her expertise on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), particularly as it relates to higher education, high stakes testing and professional licensing bodies. She acted as lead counsel for the successful plaintiff in Bartlett v. New York State Board of Law Examiners, from the landmark case’s inception. Ms. Simon is also an adjunct Associate Professor at Fordham Law School and previously served as staff attorney at Hofstra Law School’s Disabilities Law Clinic from 1992-1996.
Ms. Simon testified before the U.S. Senate in support of the proposed amendments to the ADA. She was instrumental in securing passage of California’s AB-2122, advising the Assembly and testifying before the Senate in support of the bill to ban the “flagging” of the test scores of test takers who received disability accommodations on the LSAT. Her work was also instrumental in the U.S. Department of Justice’s decision to bring pattern and practice claim against the Law School Admission Council in DFEH v. LSAC.
Disability rights advocacy precedes her career in the law. Ms. Simon holds an MA in the Education of the Deaf from Gallaudet University and a BA Speech pathology from Iona College. She has worked as a teacher of deaf and deaf-blind students, as a postsecondary disability services provider and as a certified sign language interpreter. She is a founding member of the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD). She regularly advises student with disabilities, their parents and school administrators and regularly associates with colleagues around the country in pursuing disability rights matters.
She is a member of the New York State, New York City and Brooklyn Bar Associations, and formerly chaired the New York City Bar Association’s Committee on Legal Issues Affecting People with Disabilities. She is also a member of the National Employment Lawyers Association/New York. Long active in civic affairs, in 2014 Ms. Simon was elected to the N.Y.S. Assembly for the 52nd District.« Back to Staff