Marilyn Golden

Senior Policy Analyst
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)


Marilyn Golden is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), our nation’s foremost national law and policy center on disability civil rights, with offices in Berkeley, California and Washington, D.C. She has been closely involved with the Americans with Disabilities Act throughout all the stages of its proposal and passage and now during its implementation. A highly lauded ADA trainer, she has directed and led numerous in-depth programs on the ADA which have given thousands of people comprehensive knowledge on how to make this law a reality. She is the principal author of the DREDF publication The ADA, an Implementation Guide (the “Bluebook”), DREDF’s highly–respected ADA curriculum.

Since the ADA’s passage, Ms. Golden has continued to play a key role in policy development on a federal level in the areas of transportation and architectural barriers. She was appointed by the President to the U.S. Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (also known as the Access Board) in 1996, and served on the Access Board through 2005 as a very strong and effective advocate for the interests of people with disabilities. She has also played a key role as a national transportation advocate, and has led the struggle for many of the policy victories during and since the ADA to provide better public transportation for people with disabilities.

Pursuant to DREDF’s position opposing the legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia, Golden has become nationally prominent in that struggle. She has represented the disability community in many debates and dialogues on the subject, authored articles explaining the issue, and worked in successful campaigns to defeat assisted suicide legislation in many states across the U.S.

Ms. Golden attended Brandeis University, from which she graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Soon thereafter she acquired a disability and became deeply involved in the disability rights movement.

She served for nine years as Director of Access California, a resource center on architectural accessibility for people with disabilities, and also as Co-Coordinator of the Disabled International Support Effort, which provided material aid and technical assistance to disability organizations in developing countries. Her involvement in international disability rights has continued since the ADA’s passage. She has been called upon to share her knowledge with audiences in South Africa, Germany, Austria, New Zealand, Australia, Switzerland, Spain, Costa Rica, the European Union, and at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, China.

Ms. Golden has authored many articles and received a number of awards for her efforts on behalf of the integration of people with disabilities into all aspects of society.