Disability Alliance

The Disability Alliance strives to create space for connection and advocacy for university employees who self-identify as having a disability. The group will work to build an inclusive community where individuals feel safe self-identifying as having a disability, and influence policies to support this group in their work at the university.


The Disability Alliance strives to build an inclusive, connected, empowered community among and within the broader Northeastern University community. The group works to create connections and support among those with disabilities and advocates for policies and practices that support this group in thriving at the university.


Faculty and staff who join and participate in the affinity group will benefit in the following ways:

  • Increased social and professional connections across the university
  • Increased visibility of individuals with disabilities
  • Increased opportunities to educate the university on disability best practices related to policies, procedures, and overall experience
  • Increased opportunities to advocate for the upward mobility of faculty and staff with disabilities
  • Increased sense of community and belonging for individuals with disabilities
  • Increased ability to support efforts leading to the recruitment and retention of students, faculty, and staff with disabilities
  • Increased understanding of the benefits and challenges of self-identifying as an individual with a disability at the university
  • Exerting influence and encouraging participation of the disability community at Northeastern University, both in terms of disability concerns and the total environment of the university
  • Improving the visibility of the disability community by supporting the enrollment and retention of students with disabilities and the employment of more faculty and staff with disabilities
  • Encouraging the university to provide equal educational and career opportunities for professional growth and upward mobility for all members of the university community with a disability
  • Serving as a resource and support for members of the disability community
  • Educating the university on improving accessibility and equity across the physical and virtual campus spaces
  • Educating and building allies across the Northeastern community
  • Supporting the work of Allies for Learning, Inclusion, and Education of Disabilities

Committees to promote the goals and objectives of the group include the following:


  • Lead: Andrew Gillen
    • Assist with website upkeep, developing marketing/branding materials, social media exposure, and other duties as assigned.

Community Relations

  • Open Role (message for more details)
    • Assist in forming relationships with internal communities and other affinity groups in addition to developing partnerships with the local external diverse communities of Northeastern, and other duties as assigned.


  • Lead: Shannon Alpert
  • Deputy Lead: David Paquette
    • Assist with the development of programming and/or workshops, mentoring, onboarding of new participants within the group and Northeastern at large, and other duties as assigned.

Connect with us: Join the Disability Alliance on Microsoft Teams.
This is the space to share resources, provide input and build community.

Affinity Group Leadership

Sara Ewell
Sara Ewell
Affinity Group Chair; Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs for the College of Professional Studies and Teaching Professor, Graduate School of Education
✉︎ s.ewell@northeastern.edu
Andrew Gillen
Andrew Gillen
Affinity Group Vice Chair; Assistant Teaching Professor, First Year Engineering Program
✉︎ a.gillen@northeastern.edu
Shannon Alpert
Shannon Alpert
Faculty Lead and Assistant Teaching Professor, Project Management, College of Professional Studies
✉︎ s.alpert@northeastern.edu