Shannon Edam is the Research Associate at National Disability Institute. Ms. Edam has experience analyzing and presenting data on disability projects related to employment and financial empowerment. Shannon has worked on employment initiatives related to WIOA including the Workforce Innovation Technical Assistance Center (WINTAC), the Vocational Rehabilitation Technical Assistance Center for Quality Management (VRTAC-QM), and National Center on Leadership for the Employment and Economic Advancement of People with Disabilities (LEAD). She currently conducts annual reviews of policies and legislation related to disability employment in 50 states, DC and five U.S. territories, posted in the State Specific Policies and Data section of the LEAD center website. She served as Project Coordinator for several years, supporting efforts to advance initiatives in inclusive Career Pathways, Apprenticeships, Performance Measures and programmatic access.
Shannon previously worked on a Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant funded by SAMHSA through her work at Pathways to Housing, DC. She worked with individuals experiencing homelessness and severe mental health disabilities, securing subsidized housing and Medicaid-funded mental health services. She also worked as a Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) service coordinator at Pathways, providing community-based mental health care to individuals after they were housed. Shannon helped her clients access medical care, psychiatric care, apply for benefits such as SSI, SSDI, SNAP, housing vouchers and to transition from living on the streets to living in their own apartment. She has experience building relationships across a wide range of service providers, benefits systems and vulnerable populations.
Ms. Edam has experience in education, reasonable accommodation and policy. She taught youth with learning disabilities in DC middle schools as part of her graduate studies in Education. She developed lesson plans and curricula, worked with small groups on reading and writing, and led whole-class instruction in integrated classrooms. Ms. Edam also worked closely with a human rights professor with a disability for three years as reasonable accommodation during her graduate studies at American University.
Shannon earned a master’s degree in human rights and social justice from American University’s School of International Service (SIS) in 2014 and a master’s degree in Education from Lesley University in 2016. She studied abroad in Ghana, Cuba and Belgium, speaks several languages and is committed to diversity, equity and inclusion. Shannon is a person with a disability and brings her lived experience to her advocacy.