Get to know the PDAC Members

Haley PassHaley Pass, STRIVE, Chairperson
Ken Shapiro

Ken Shapiro, UNUM, 
Vice Chairperson

John LeMieuxJohn LeMieux
Derek OBrien
Derek O’Brien, 
Alpha One




Haley Pass, STRIVE, Chairperson

I chose to get involved in the Portland Disability Advisory Committee because I would like to educate people on disabilities. I am someone who has a disability so I know what people with disabilities go through on a day to day basis.

The area of focus I am most excited for the Committee to devote time to is the closed captioning campaign because it is one of the most important aspects within the City of Portland to have.

The misconception that I would like to clarify about individuals with disabilities is they are not different, they are the same as everyone else all wanting the same thing; to be accepted to who they are.

Ken Shapiro, UNUM, Vice Chairperson

Ken Shapiro has been a Knowledge Management Consultant at Unum since 2007. In 2010 he suffered a brain hemorrhage and stroke which caused left-side weakness and mobility issues. His disability has also granted him the perspective and desire to lead Unum’s Disability Employee Resource Group, support other Unum employees with disabilities, and use their disability experiences to inform the way Unum as a disability benefits company conducts business.

Lisette Belanger

Bud Buzzell 

Rabih Dow 

John LeMieux

I chose to get involved in the Portland Disability Advisory Committee to help those who live in and visit Portland who have disabilities that may limit their enjoyment of all that Portland has to offer and to make sure that city government understands and addresses the points of view that the disabled may bring to any particular issue.  I also am the Board President of the Amputee Association of Maine.

The areas of focus I am most excited for the Committee to devote time to are related to mobility (sidewalks, streets, buildings) and recreation facilities (parks, paths, golf courses, courts).

The misconception that I would like to clarify about individuals with disabilities is that just because I am different doesn’t mean we are not the same.   “I was you, until I wasn’t”.

Jessica Russell

Michelle Ames, Disability Rights Maine

Steve Leighton, Woods-Oakdale Neighborhood Association

Derek O’Brien, Alpha One

Derek H. O’Brien, is from Portland, Maine. I am a quadriplegic. I broke my neck on July 23, 2005 at c6-c7. I had a diving accident. I did photography during high school and studied architecture at Catholic University of America until my junior year. I went to college at UMaine, studying New Media, and graduated in 2013. I work for Portland Media Center in Portland as a video editor. I also sit on the board for RTP (Regional Transportation Program) and Alpha One. There’s no better feeling than knowing you are being a voice for others.

Yura Yusai