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This profile was last updated on 2/5/16  and contains information from public web pages and contributions from the ZoomInfo community.

Mr. Anil Lewis

Wrong Anil Lewis?

Executive Director; Jernigan Inst...

Phone: (410) ***-**** ext. ****  
National Federation of the Blind incorporated
1800 Johnson Street
Baltimore , Maryland 21230
United States

Company Description: About the National Federation of the Blind (NFB) With more than 50,000 members, the NFB is considered the largest and most influential membership organization of...   more

Employment History


  • s degree , public administration
    Georgia State University
  • BBA
    Georgia State
  • bachelor
    Georgia State University
151 Total References
Web References
Who Are The Blind Who Lead The Blind - 2007 Update, 3 Sept 2015 [cached]
Anil Lewis
Anil Lewis
Anil Lewis was born in 1964 in Atlanta, Georgia. He is the third of four children. Both his older brother and older sister became legally blind at an early age from retinitis pigmentosa. Lewis was originally labeled educably mentally retarded but eventually became the first member of his family to attend a four-year college. He has excelled academically, received many awards, participated as a leader in many extracurricular activities, and received several college scholarships. Although he was finally diagnosed at age nine with retinitis pigmentosa, his vision was fairly unaffected until age twenty-five.
As a sighted man he fairly easily found respectable employment with wages high above the minimum wage. Then in 1989, while pursuing his bachelor's of business administration in computer information systems at Georgia State University (GSU), he became blind from retinitis pigmentosa. "All of a sudden doors that had been open to me slammed shut. At that point, although he had always considered himself socially aware, he became personally acquainted with actual social injustice and discrimination. "I am ashamed that only personal experience brought this awakening and decision to take action. But I am proud that I did take action and remain committed today to making a difference in the lives of others."
Lewis received blindness skills training while completing his course requirements for his degree at GSU. He quickly learned the alternative skills of blindness, including Braille, activities of daily living, assistive technology, and use of the white cane. He capitalized on them to graduate from Georgia State in 1993. "It was a struggle to regain the life that blindness had appeared to take from me. Almost everyone who had once respected me now pitied me, but I was determined not to be redefined by my blindness. Armed with these new skills and this new determination, he quickly became committed to ensuring that others in similar situations could get appropriate training and unlimited opportunities.
Lewis got a job as a Braille and assistive technology instructor. Within a year he was given the greater responsibility of job development/placement specialist, helping clients develop employment skills and get jobs.
Lewis went on to develop and manage a job placement program for people with disabilities as the manager of the Disability Employment Initiative with Randstad Staffing, one of the largest employment staffing companies in the world, during the Atlanta Olympic and Para-Olympic Games in 1996. From then until early 2006 he was employed by the law offices of Martin and Jones as the Georgia Client Assistance Program (CAP) counselor/advocate, representing people with disabilities every day. He is currently a disability consultant working with companies in Georgia.
He became president of the Atlanta Metropolitan Chapter of the NFB of Georgia in 2000 and was elected president of the NFB of Georgia in 2002. In that year he also received the Kenneth Jernigan Memorial Scholarship, the NFB's most prestigious award presented to a blind student, which he used to obtain his master's degree in public administration with emphasis in policy analysis and program evaluation from GSU in 2003. That year he was also elected as a member of the National Federation of the Blind board of directors. He received an Outstanding Alumnus award from GSU and was also a 2003 GSU Torch Bearer of Peace Award recipient. In 2006 Lewis was named alumnus of the year by Leadership Dekalb, a community leadership development organization in Dekalb County, Georgia.
Lewis has dedicated his leadership skills to the development and growth of disability rights organizations that promote independence and improved quality of life. He was appointed by the governor as a board member and is the current president of the Statewide Independent Living Council (SILC) of Georgia, an organization promoting independent living for those with severe disabilities. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Disability Law and Policy Center (DLPC) of Georgia, which uses a variety of methods to influence and enforce disability policy. All of these organizations recognize that people with disabilities are integral, necessary members of society and reflect the world's normal diversity. Further, each works to ensure that the policies and programs developed for people with disabilities are created and implemented by people with disabilities. By helping to develop and strengthen such institutions to serve as a cornerstone in protecting the rights of people with disabilities, he hopes to secure the commitment and support of others. He also hopes to reduce the barriers disabled people face by encouraging the implementation of public policy securing the rights and promoting the responsible participation of people with disabilities as productive citizens.
Lewis volunteers as a teacher and mentor for blind kids, working with promising blind students who, because of limited resources and lack of trained professionals to teach them, are inappropriately encouraged to pursue special education diplomas. He wants blind students to set higher goals for themselves and to receive the training and tools they need to acquire the skills to reach their full potential.
Speaking of his personal life, Anil Lewis says that his proudest accomplishment is his bright, ambitious son Amari, born in 1997. Balancing his many civic responsibilities with his personal life as a father is undoubtedly his greatest challenge. His greatest success, he thinks, has been overcoming the temptation to subside into becoming an unmotivated, self-pitying person with a disability. He thinks his greatest contribution so far has been to encourage other people with disabilities to believe in themselves and to understand that they can make a difference.
Lewis says that lack of awareness of individuals with traits outside society's accepted norms promotes extreme ignorance, which in turn results in unjustified fear, negative stereotypes, and discrimination. In an effort to combat that ignorance, he aggressively recruits, refers, and supports other like-minded people to become active in the National Federation of the Blind and other organizations in the disability rights movement. He hopes to promote social change by fostering the active participation of more people with disabilities in every facet of society, thereby replacing ignorance with understanding, fear with awareness, and negative stereotypes with mutual understanding. In the process he believes that we will eliminate discrimination.
Our Board, 20 Oct 2015 [cached]
Anil Lewis, Executive Committee At Large Member National Federation of the Blind
Anil Lewis, executive ..., 26 Aug 2015 [cached]
Anil Lewis, executive director of the National Federation of the Blind Jernigan Institute, has experienced a complicated interplay between race and blindness. Blinded by an illness at 25, he grew up in a largely African American community in Atlanta, and did not feel he was in a minority until he went to the Georgia Institute of Technology.
While he thinks he's pretty good at distinguishing by voice whether Southerners are black or white, he can't do it with New Yorkers. He is often the only black person in a room, but knows it only because a sighted person tells him.
He likes to have as much information as possible about people, because it helps him deliver his message effectively. But, he said, it generally works just fine to be himself.
"The only time race matters is when there is an obvious issue around race that requires a degree of sensitivity," he said.
Lewis said he is just as capable as sighted people of making quick decisions about others, but his are based on tone of voice and word choice. "I can make the same snap judgments," he said.
• M-Enabling Summit - Conference and Showcase 2015 •, 1 June 2015 [cached]
Anil Lewis, Executive Director, Jernigan Institute, National Federation of the Blind
Home, 4 Oct 2014 [cached]
Anil Lewis and the National Federation for the Blind for volunteering their assessment of our accessible web design
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