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|Sean A. Maiwald||Law, Politics, Ethics, Disability Culture, Accessibility, Disability Rights, Education, Food, Technology, Travel||Deaf, entrepreneur, policy wonk, urbanist advocate, sign language rights, work as an editor at a federally funded research lab about deaf people|
|Enya Williams||Poetry, Education, Disability, Technology||My name is Enya "influenya" Williams. I write poetry a lot, I have been working on recording them to Soundcloud, which I included the link below. Right now I am working on a children's book called Sturtle: The Starfish and the Turtle, about well you the title says it all. I started teaching myself web and graphic design when I was 10 years old. I like to write copy for advertisements and also make graphics for them sometimes. I eventually want to publish a book with all the poetry I've written on Amazon and Audible so people can really hear the emotion in my work and the breaths and pauses instead of just reading words in a book.|
|NICOLE LEBLANC||Politics, Disability Culture, Accessibility, Disability Rights, Education, Americans with Disabilities Act, Disability, Technology||Nicole LeBlanc has a keen ability and interest in public policy and excels at communicating the needs of people with developmental disabilities to public officials. She worked for 8+ years at Green Mountain Self-Advocates (GMSA) in Montpelier, VT as Advocacy Director supporting her peers with disabilities to feel comfortable talking to their elected officials about what they need. While at GMSA, Nicole served as the Project Assistant for the Inclusive Healthcare Partnership project. For this initiative Nicole researched tools that would assist people with I/DD in getting their healthcare needs met. She additionally helped prepare the self-advocate team members for monthly meetings on topics such as transition from pediatric to adult healthcare providers, health and wellness, and healthcare policy. In 2012, Nicole completed a 10-week internship at the Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities through the Washington Center in Washington, DC and has earned a certificate of professional studies from the University of Vermont. In 2018 Nicole graduated the VT LEND program. She was the 1st self advocate to complete it. Nicole is a natural leader chosen by her peers due to her unwavering commitment to speaking the truth to power. She has presented keynotes on the dignity of risk at statewide self-advocacy conferences in Alabama, Missouri and Rhode Island. Since 2011, Nicole has consulted for Self-Advocates Becoming Empowered and the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network developing self-advocacy tools and curriculums, presenting webinars and video blogs on the topics of healthcare, what is Autism, presuming competence, self-managed services, voter access and employment of people with disabilities. In August 2016 Nicole moved to the DC Suburb of Silver Spring MD to for a 6 month Paul Marchand Public Policy internship at AUCD . Ever since the day I stepped foot in Washington DC with my mentor Chester Finn I have always wanted to live in the political universe. My hobbies are following politics, ice skating, reading, going to conferences, hiking, exercising at the gym, traveling, hanging out with my best friends and alternative medicine. Nicole is one who is not willing to shy away from taking on big challenges and new adventures. In 2017 Nicole traveled to Iceland & Ireland as part of the AAIDD delegation. Since November 15 2017 Nicole has been the Advocacy specialist for the Southern Region of MD where she assist self advocates in dealing with the challenges of the service system. From February 2018 to September 2018 Nicole served as the Dr Ruth Sullivan policy fellow. From March 1 2018 to March 2019 Nicole was the SARTAC-Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center fellow for NDRN where she created a booklet on advocating for policies that promote Competitive Integrated Employment . Otherwise known as Real Jobs for Real Pay. In April 2019 Nicole joined HSRI as the coordinator of the Person-Centered Advisory and Leadership Group (PAL-Group) in the National Center on Advancing Person Centered Practices. he will help to ensure that the PAL group informs and supports the direction of the efforts of the NCAPPS. In addition to supporting communication with the PAL Group, she will help with the development of cognitively accessible project materials and resources that reflect the experiences of people with disabilities. My Motto is Control Your Own Destiny or Someone Else Will.|
|Dr. Rachel Kallem Whitman||Media, Pop Culture, Disability Culture, Accessibility, Disability Rights, Education, Americans with Disabilities Act, Disability, Sexuality||Dr. Rachel Kallem Whitman graduated from Duquesne University with her doctorate in educational leadership and a focus in disability studies. Her dissertation, “Perceptions of Disability, Identity, Agency, Goal Attainment, and Young Adult Disability Programs” explored the relationship between disability, identity, narrative, and agency. Rachel was the recipient of Duquesne University’s School of Education’s Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2018. Rachel earned a B.A. in psychology from the University of Virginia and her M.S.Ed. from Duquesne University. Rachel's past work experiences include: serving as the Youth Leadership Coordinator at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh where she supported young adults with disabilities enrolled in a leadership development program, working as a special education advocate in the Pittsburgh public school system, and as a college-level disability services coordinator providing academic accommodations for students with disabilities. Currently Rachel is an adjunct professor at Duquesne University in the Psychology Department where she teaches courses in disability studies. Rachel is a proud member of the disability community. In addition to being a self-advocate, Rachel is an experienced public speaker who has presented at schools, colleges, foundations, and nonprofits about challenging ableism (disability oppression), framing disability rights as human rights, and the moral imperative of universal design (intentional inclusion of diverse brains and bodies). Rachel is also an avid writer who has published articles, short stories, poems, essays, and op-eds about the societal barriers and biases that marginalize the experience of living with a disability. Rachel is also the author of “Instability in Six Colors” a bipolar memoir that chronicles her experience with mental illness while combating stigma and sanism. Rachel’s work has garnered acclaim locally in Pittsburgh, across the country, and internationally. Throughout her career as a practitioner and educational leader, Rachel has effectively worked with and meaningfully engaged individuals with disabilities through authentic listening, prioritizing respectful and productive dialogue, cultivating opportunities for collaboration, providing programming that is relevant and informed by stakeholders, and by championing an intersectional approach in improvement science.|
|Jordan Wilson-Dalzell||Poetry, Politics, Accessibility, Disability Rights, History, Education, Feminism, LGBQT, Disability, Sexuality, Service Animals||Poetry is the first thing I believed in. Writer was the first name I called herself. Art is how I learned to be honest with herself; healing is a whole body process, one I begun by listening to myself, no longer pretending away chronic illness. Slam poetry taught me to stop asking permission to speak. I compete in slam to show young queer folks how powerful our voices are and show one survivor at a time, that there is at least one person ready to listen. Pre covid, I taught poetry in Bay Area schools giving younger generations the tools that I used to rebuild. I am a grant writer and teaching artist with Bay Area Creative which brings nationally ranked slam poets to local schools. Right now, I'm working on a chapbook about the mythology of disease and internal and external structures that impact chronically ill bodies. As an autistic disabled returned-from-exile-Jewish queer survivor, who is higher risk for Covid, I've been reflecting how many mutual aid network have been lifelines through this pandemic. Most are skeletons whose bones were carved by disabled communities, as we have derived our own structures to protect each other. I've been a community organizers for many years around intersectional feminism, dismantling systems of oppression, disability justice, Israel-Palestine, social justice education. I can offer sensitivity reading as well as consulting on accessibility for my visible as well as invisible disabilities, as well as accessibility for service dog handlers. I can also bring spoken word and page poetry workshops geared to a variety of demographics to a space. I consult in regards to social justice education.|
|James Frew||Media, Sciences, Books, Music, Politics, Disability Culture, Technology, Travel||James is a freelance writer from London, UK. After obtaining a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, he subsequently became ill with Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (PoTS). This chronic illness had a debilitating impact, but led to a new career in freelance writing. He primarily covers technology, especially the intersection between politics, society, and the internet. That said, he has a wide range of interests including mental health, music, mindfulness, politics, and science.|
|Katrina Janco||Media, Pop Culture, History, Disability, Technology||Katrina Janco is a recent Penn graduate, where she majored in communication and minored in Russian history and culture. While at Penn, she was an Annenberg in Washington fellow, an Alliance for Understanding participant, and an award-winning features writer at 34th Street, the undergraduate arts and culture magazine. She currently contributes to NJ Pen, and recently became a student volunteer for First Draft News, where she assists newsrooms across the country fight disinformation. She is currently looking for entry-level full time employment in journalism, and freelancing opportunities.|
|Fiona Robertson||Pop Culture, Sciences, Books, Poetry, Politics, Disability Culture, Disability Rights, History, Criticism, Feminism, Disability, Relationships||I am a disability activist living in Scotland, involved in politics, advocacy and evidence-based policy. I was studying Theoretical Physics before getting sick, and science is still important to me. I began a writing degree through the OU with the aim of doing more science writing, as I spend a lot of time translating research into non-scientist language, but I got sidetracked by necessity into politics as disabled people in the UK become more at risk. I am currently the SNP's National Women's and Equalities Convener.|
|John Loeppky||Media, Theatre, Sports, Disability Culture, Accessibility, Disability Rights, Criticism, Disability, Relationships, Service Animals, Technology, Lifestyle||John Loeppky is a theatre artist, newspaper editor, freelance journalist, and creator of things. He is currently studying for his Interdisciplinary MFA at the University of Regina. He is the former editor of the U of R's campus newspaper, the Carillon, where he was in charge of a staff of 20. John's goal in life is to have an entertaining obituary to read. Most of what he writes involves disability, creativity, sport, accessibility, and the political right for disabled people to live and work in their bodies.|
|Phillip Bramwell||Media, Sports, Accessibility, Education, Disability||I graduated from the University of Arizona with a Bachelor's degree in Print Journalism in December, 2019. In college, I learned how to fact-check, copy edit, and conduct interviews. My recent clips are business-writing, but I can cover other subjects. The samples below are from an internship at Tucson Local Media, in Tucson, Arizona. I know Associated Press style.|