June 30, 2021
WASHINGTON—The National Council on Disability (NCD) remembers former Executive Director Michael C. Collins, 75, who died June 14.
Mike served as NCD's executive director from June 2007 to his retirement in January 2010. During this time with NCD, he and his staff supported a Council comprised of 15 members appointed by the President and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Before coming to NCD, he was the first executive director of the California State Independent Living Council.
Mike was a long-time disability advocate who was very familiar with disability and long-term care-related programs and services, the wide variety of disability civil rights laws, and vocational rehabilitation practices and regulations at the federal and state levels.
He became nationally known as a "boundary spanner" for bringing information about disability and independent living to the attention of organizations that have never considered the concept. He served as a consultant and trainer on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), accessibility and disability awareness. He also served as a Governor's appointee to the Governor's Committee on Disability Issues & Employment and the Independent Living Advisory Council in Washington State.
He was a key participant in California's efforts to implement changes in state policies resulting from the Supreme Court's Olmstead decision that increased the demand for community-based services. He was an expert in emergency preparedness and homeland security for people with disabilities—active at local, state, and national levels.
He was a prolific writer, published in magazines, newspapers, and professional journals on subjects as diverse as living with a disability; healthcare; emergency preparedness; rehabilitation; air travel; cost-effective compliance with the ADA and event management.
For more on Mike’s life, visit his memorial webpage.