All People, including those of us with disAbilities, have the inalienable right to live and participate in our society free of discrimination or harassment and be provided equal access and equal opportunities to every aspect of society including employment, housing and participation in politics.
I have been an advocate and champion for the rights of individuals with intellectual, developmental, physical, emotional/social, psychological, neuro/sensory, and other disAbilities for over 25y by promoting inclusion, working with local/state/national organizations to advance inclusive communities through advocacy, research, professional development, & policymaking. I also train people with disAbilities to be self-advocates to help each realize and increase their political and economic power, train them on public speaking, then escort them to Sacramento and Washington DC to speak with legislators regarding disAbility Awareness, WIOA, and the AbilityOne Program.
People with disAbilities, including our Veterans/Wounded Warriors, also have the right to living in the integrated community setting of their choice. As well, we have the right to access quality supports and services based on personal preferences and needs to assist with being fully included in the greater community, for example (a) to ensure accessibility of polling places and voting technology which permit us to fully participate in the political process or (b) housing policies which provide access to affordable non-segregated, non-provider-owned housing.
In addition to advocacy, I have +18y experience as a certified compliance officer ensuring agencies are fully compliant with all
programmatic, fiscal, and administrative contract requirements, especially those concerning ADA, ADEA and EEO regulations.
I am most concerned with ensuring human rights protections and inclusion for people with significant disAbilities and supports needs are met for those most vulnerable to segregation, abuse, neglect and marginalization. Other examples include ensuring (a) equal access to transportation services for people with disAbilities including improved accessibility in public transportation and substantial investment in accessible transit options and transit-oriented development; (b) that all people with disAbilities have the right to equal opportunity in employment, to be economically self-sufficient, and to earn and save without jeopardizing access to the types of services and supports that allow them to live and work independently; and (c) comprehensive access to education from preschool through post-graduate work including advocacy, partnerships with educational institutions, and programs designed to break down barriers to education. This last point being very important as education is the cornerstone of realizing the ADA’s goals of People with disAbilities' full participation in society, independent living, economic self-sufficiency, and equal opportunity.