When I first started getting involved with learning about advocacy I was a student in High School in a disability organization named “People First” I’ve gained in learning about leadership, team building, and speaking up for myself and I’ve participated in doing activities with the group in my class. After I finished high school I stayed connected with being a part of the People First Of Washington organization I was a member of the group for a while and I also was secretary of the chapter, and also I was president also. I’m also a part of the Office Of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds Advisory Committee Meeting as the Chair position of the meeting I was the secretary of the group. I’ve done presentations at conferences that I connected with organizations that I’ve been asked and offered.
Through the years I thought of ways to find that advocating with people with developmental disabilities is my passion and I started wanting to find other disability organizations to be connected to and I did like:
- The Arc Of Spokane
- SAIL (Self Advocates In Leadership)
- Developmental Disabilities Ombuds (Advisory Committee Meeting)
- WISE (Community Summit Conference)
- Informing Families Organization From Seattle,WA
- SARTAC Fellowship (Self Advocacy Resource Technical Assistance Center)
I also got to travel for meetings in Seattle,WA for a while to learn about different organizations and to participate in Advocacy Days in Olympia, WA and also participate in leadership meetings at The Arc Of Spokane and also attended the Leadership Beyond Retreat in part of the Seattle, WA area. I also got to help prepare for The Community Summit Conference in Wenatchee, WA for 2 years.
From the years that I’ve been doing advocacy it felt great for me to find something that I’m good at doing and that impresses me and getting to learn to communicate with legislators. I’ve done some advocacy jobs like with the SARTAC Fellowship, also working with People First Of Washington as a “Student First Staff” to work with special education High School Students. One of my dreams thatI thought of was running my own business working with people with developmental disabilities. My SARTAC Fellowship is called “Empowering Advocates Through Video” resources that help understand how to share advocacy through video in ways to communicate to your legislators. I’ve also participated in The Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, DC to get to learn about advocacy bills and about the updated policies. I was also nominated at The Arc Of Spokane for Self- Advocate of the year.
In partnership with Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed.
Author: Beyond Awareness: Bringing Disability into Diversity Work in K-12 Schools & Communities, and children’s book Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights, ADA 30th Anniversary Edition https://www.dianapastoracarson.com/store
DURING THESE UNCERTAIN AND STRESSFUL TIMES, ABILITY Magazine is providing FREE Premium Memberships that include all Content, Digital Flip Page ABILITY Magazine, PDF versions, plus online interactive ABILITY Crossword Puzzles. SIGN UP HERE FOR YOUR FREE MEMBERSHIP