James J. Weisman
United Spinal Association
James J. Weisman is a disability rights lawyer and President & CEO of United Spinal Association, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people living with spinal cord injuries.
Eleven years before the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Weisman sued New York City’s transit system and won bus access, key subway and rail station access and the creation of a paratransit program. He also sued Philadelphia’s transit system yielding similar results by 1988. Weisman was a key negotiator with Congress promoting the passage of the ADA. The Act’s transportation provisions applied the agreements in NYC and Philadelphia to the whole country. He was a founding board member of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). His suit against the City of New York for curb ramps has resulted in a $300 million expenditure to date, and over 1 billion dollars during the next ten years. United Spinal was also successful in getting NYC’s yellow cabs to be 50% accessible by 2020.
Weisman routinely consults industry leaders seeking to include people with disabilities in their workforce, programs, and as customers. He graduated from Seton Hall University Law School in 1977.