Introducing: Students for Access!

The Longmore Institute is proud to announce the talented students hired for our newest development opportunity: Students for Access. This internship is designed for passionate, social justice-minded students at SFSU eager to make a difference in diversifying Silicon Valley. The Students for Access project hired two interns and one lead student assistant to advocate for getting disability on the radar of Silicon Valley companies and tech journalists. Thanks to the generous support of donor Mark Potter from Potter & Handy LLC, these incredible paid positions will provide a unique professional development opportunity for students seeking to develop their advocacy skills. If you know anyone with a disability working in tech or have any ideas for these students, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. We cannot wait to watch the project take shape now that the students are diving in!

Ellie Gordon Ellie is smiling in front of a white wall. A close portrait features a black shirt and large, stylistic earrings with stars inscribed in a circle. Ellie Gordon - Students for Access graduate assistant

Bio: After I graduated Hampshire College with a bachelor’s degree in creative writing, I went on to pursue direct service and I am now a soon-to-be second year Masters of Social Work student. My primary passions are exploring the intersections around disability rights, racial justice, queer theory, feminist theory and social work practice/ policy. When I moved to Oakland a year ago, I became further inspired by the Bay Area’s pivotal role in the disability rights movement. I was extremely excited to discover the Longmore Institute through the Students for Access Project, where I will work with Dr. Beitiks as a lead student assistant advocate this summer. With the help of two incredible undergraduate interns, our project aims to change tech industry hiring practices of people with disabilities from compliance based to a strength based model that showcases the value in genuine diversity. I also work at the East Bay Community Law Center where I serve as a housing and mental health advocate. I look forward to joining with the Institute to build community and press for change.  

Asa ArnoldLucy is photographed in front of a bookshelf in a library. Lucy has tousled brown hair, glasses, and is smiling with braces. Asa Arnold - Student for Access intern

Asa Arnold is a queer disabled student at SF State University, currently pursuing a double major in English and History. Disability has been a part of their life in one way or another for as long as they can remember, although they only realized this and began to identify with it recently. They are particularly interested in the intersections and complications of identity, social change, and the way we understand and tell stories about ourselves. When not writing essays or doing assigned readings for classes, you can find Asa doing fiber crafts, playing video games, or doing even more reading. 

Danny Thomas Vang 

 Danny is photographed in front of City Hall at sunset. He is wearing business casual clothing with a pop of pink and is holding a white cane.

Danny Thomas Vang - Students for Access intern 

Danny Thomas Vang is an undergraduate student majoring in Social Work and minoring in Economics who wishes to combine the two disciplines to explore poverty, sustainable housing, and gainful employment.  With a passion for policy analysis and program evaluation, he analyzes employment/disability legislation as an intern for the USDA Food and Nutrition Service and a representative on the DOR Blind Advisory Committee.  Danny lost his vision at the age of fifteen and is passionate to contribute to the cultivation of an inclusive environment that is accessible to all communities.  You might find him exercising at the gym, watching anime, and spending time with family and friends on his spare time.      

We would like to extend a very special thank you to our donor, Mark Potter, for making this valuable experience possible!