Leadership Awards Dinner
Board Chair, American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
“The Disability Equality Index (DEI) has quickly emerged as the nation’s leading corporate benchmarking tool for disability equality and inclusion. As a cancer survivor, amputee and life-long advocate for people with disabilities, I want to recognize organizations that have made employment and accessibility among their top strategic priorities. These companies know that disability inclusion is not just the right thing to do, but produces measurable results to their bottom lines.”
Ted Kennedy, Jr. was first elected to the Connecticut State Senate in November 2014, and again in 2016, to serve the communities of Branford, Durham, Guilford, Killingworth, Madison, and North Branford. Ted brings with him a wealth of experience in the private and public sectors. Ted received his Bachelor’s degree at Wesleyan University and graduated from the Yale University School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. He received his law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.
In early 2014, Ted joined the national law firm of Epstein Becker & Green as a partner, working in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice. He advises health care providers, commercial insurers, and life science companies on critical issues related to health care reform policies. Prior to joining Epstein Becker & Green, Ted co-founded the Marwood Group, a leading healthcare-focused strategic advisory and financial services firm.
Ted began his legal career at the law firm of Wiggin & Dana in New Haven, focusing on state and federal regulatory and reimbursement issues affecting hospitals, home care agencies, long-term care providers, physician practices and mental health providers. Ted also represented individuals with disabilities and created an ADA compliance practice to help businesses develop effective policies and guidelines. In addition, he served as the Director of Legal and Regulatory Affairs at the Connecticut Hospital Association, counseling acute care providers and policy makers on a wide array of emerging healthcare issues.
Ted’s commitment to healthcare issues began at an early age. Ted was twelve years old when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and needed to have his right leg amputated. Ted underwent months of intensive physical therapy and was eventually able to resume an active life including learning how to ski using adaptive equipment. As a teenager, Ted trained with the U.S. Handicapped Ski Team and won several national medals. After his experiences with surgery, two years of chemotherapy and learning how to walk with the use of a prosthesis, Ted understood how people like him faced a two-part struggle: the personal challenge of recovery and the public challenge of living in a society that did little to include people with disabilities.
Since then, Ted has been a committed advocate for the self-determination and civil rights of people with disabilities. He served on President Reagan’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, working with businesses to expand jobs. He has lectured nationwide and served as a study group leader on disability policy at Harvard University. He has worked with the bipartisan coalition of organizations in fighting for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.
Ted has also served on the boards of numerous cancer and disability organizations, including Special Olympics International, the Connecticut’s Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and, for the past 15 years, the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country’s largest disability civil rights and public policy organization. Ted has presented keynote addresses both nationally and internationally on topics related to disability law, cancer and healthcare policy.
Ted has lived in Branford for over 17 years with his wife, Katherine “Kiki” Kennedy, M.D., an Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Yale University and environmental activist, and their two children, Kiley and Teddy.