PROFILES IN INCLUSION
DENIAL OF DIAGNOSIS AND MEDICAL SELF-ADVOCACY
Jacqueline Cuevas talks about the trauma that occurs when family and doctors deny your disability, the self-advocacy it took her to get a correct medical diagnosis and the treatment she needed and her feelings of not having a place, because she was “too abled for the disabled and too disabled for the abled”.
Stephanie Laird deeply values her independence (even when it entails doing the housework). She discusses the stigma and condescension she faces: people assume that because she uses a walker, she has an intellectual disability as well. Though she says that “Transportation is the biggest barrier of all,” she dedicates the majority of her time talking about the significance of her husband to her and the urgency of eliminating marriage penalty.
THE MARRIAGE PENALTY
“Treat us like people: don’t treat us like we’re different.” (Lilah). Despite being widely known in their community as a couple, Jason and Lilah Baker face the marriage penalty. Additionally they discuss the compensation of their direct support personnel.
“I feel like this is my calling: to help others with disabilities explore their potential.” Frank Vaca discusses his work on employment and as a sexual self-advocacy trainer.
You can learn more about Green Mountain Self-Advocates at https://gmsavt.org/. You can learn more about the Elevatus Sexuality and Developmental Disabilities Training at https://www.elevatustraining.com/.
EMPLOYMENT AND FAITH
Erin Oldaugh discusses the importance of her faith and how much she enjoys her role providing A/V support in her church services. For more information on Erin, see the Fox 2 News profile of her.