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APH Welcomes Montreece Payton-Hardy as Director of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity

A photo of Montreece smiling with a closed mouth while wearing a matching blue blazer and collared shitrt. Text reads "Welcome to the Team! Montreece Payton-Hardy, Director of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity." APH logo.

The American Printing House for the Blind (APH) is pleased to welcome Montreece Payton-Hardy as the new Director of Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity. In her new role she will lead initiatives to foster an inclusive and equitable environment for all employees and stakeholders. Responsible for developing and implementing strategies that promote diversity, Montreece wants to ensure that everyone’s voice is valued and heard by creating programs that support and celebrate the unique backgrounds and perspectives at APH.

Montreece says she is ecstatic about joining APH. “As a black disabled woman, my lived experience fuels my passion for inclusion and diversity. At APH I get to blend my background in advocacy and education with my personal journey, driving impactful changes in disability and blindness inclusion. It’s not just a job, it’s a platform to spark significant transformations in professional spaces, K-12 education, and society.”

Recently becoming blind or low vision due to advanced glaucoma from medications and physical trauma, Montreece’s lived experience gives her the ability to empathize with and advocate for those at the core of APH’s mission which is to empower people who are blind or low vision by providing accessible and innovative products, materials and services for lifelong success. At APH, we believe the future belongs to everyone.

Montreece brings a rich background in education and diversity initiatives. Her experience spans from leading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) programs and empowering visually impaired students, to developing disability inclusion strategies and providing coaching to diverse leaders and groups. Coupled with her passion for accessibility and intersectionality, these roles perfectly align with her mission to foster an inclusive environment at APH.

In her new role, Montreece looks forward to working with her esteemed colleagues with the goal to launch an APH-wide ABIDE (Accessibility, Belonging, Inclusion, Diversity, Equity) comprehensive evaluation, incorporating various accessibility and company culture assessments. The aim is to use the resulting data to develop strategic initiatives that promote restorative justice advocacy, foster trust, transparency, and support for all employees and stakeholders. “By amplifying unheard voices, enhancing employee resource groups (ERGs), and reviewing policies and training, we’ll tackle barriers, diversify innovation and leadership, and build robust partnerships,” she says. “We’re committed to celebrating a broader spectrum of cultures and identities and facilitating open, courageous, conversations.” Montreece says she is most looking forward to meeting team members and hearing stories that are the lifeblood of APH, and as such, collaborating with all who are interested and just as determined to create a psychologically safe and inclusive work environment, to drive meaningful change.

Born in Kentucky in 1982, Montreece  returned to her home state for the first time in 40 years in 2022 through a professional fellowship with the American Foundation for the Blind. She recently relocated to Louisville from Houston, TX, with her two children, Jeremiah and Hannah. In their free time they enjoy reading, theater, listening to audiobooks and music, and laughing.

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