Conor O'Brien

Conor O'Brien

Conor O’Brien is facilitator of the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disability’s Consumer Advisory Committee, the Sherlock Sentinels. He joined the Sherlock Center in this role in March 2021 and said his organization, communication ability and vast experience in the disability community are assets in his work.

“It is not just those qualities that make me the facilitator of the Sentinels. It is also because I am autistic and was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder at age 3. Autism gives me a unique perspective into not just my own concerns but the concerns of the disability community at large,” he said.

O’Brien graduated from Coventry High School in 2015 and from Rhode Island College magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in political science.

“My passion lies in disability policy. I hope to achieve so much as the facilitator of the Sentinels. But my most important achievement has already happened – rebuilding and strengthening the Sentinels as the voice of the disability community that the Sherlock Center serves.”

O’Brien has been heavily involved in disability community organizations including the Autism Project of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island College Advocacy and Beyond Club, Advocates in Action, Rhode Island LEND, RI Cross Disability Coalition and the Developmental Disabilities Council.

His hobbies include reading – preferably nonfiction – playing trivia, singing in the Chorus of Kent County, playing video games and watching his favorite sports teams, the New York Giants and the Boston Bruins.

He said a quote that represents his passion for disability advocacy comes from a U.S. president with a disability, Franklin Delano Roosevelt: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”