Meet Board Chair India Ochs

Meet CommunicationFIRST Board Chair India Ochs, a lawyer, social justice advocate, parent, avid soccer player, fan of musical theater, and student of karate, not necessarily in that order. She was also born with a speech-related communication disability and is a life-long AAC user. India has been active throughout her adult life as a volunteer in the international AAC community, including serving on the Boards of ISAAC and USSAAC. Currently she is employed as an attorney for the US government. We are thrilled she agreed to lend her talents and experience to lead the launch of CommunicationFIRST!

Why did you decide to join our Board of Directors? Advocacy is just a part of who I am, and I wanted to ensure Communication First would approach things from multiple perspectives to ensure that all individuals—regardless of their level of verbal communication—have a voice in society.  

What do you consider to be your greatest personal achievement? What are you most proud of? My son. And scoring the winning goal in sudden death double overtime in the intramural soccer semifinals in college. 

What’s one thing about you that most people might be surprised to learn? I sang in the school chorus in elementary school. 

Choose a movie title for the story of your life. Touching the Void. 

Have you ever had a poem or a song written about you? Yes. Tell us more! My father is a folk/blues musician and wrote a song long ago called "1, 2, 3, Look at India Li," which he has played at times in public. 

The most important thing I learned before high school was …? To keep records of everything! Please explain. In elementary school I learned about the Calvert Cliffs nuclear plant case in which the defendants lost because they failed to keep records. Later on, I learned the case was actually one of the groundbreaking rulings for the National Environmental Policy Act.  

Who is your least favorite superhero? The Teen Titan version of Robin. 

When I was 5, I was pretty sure I'd be a _____ when I grew up: Lawyer 

What is your personal motto? My high school yearbook lists veni, vidi, vici. Decades later, not much has changed, but I would add “In veritate victoria” (In truth is victory).

Who would you most like to swap places with for a day? The Commissioner of Major League Baseball so that I could reinstate Shoeless Joe Jackson and know I accomplished at least one legal victory in my lifetime.