The RespectAbility National Leadership Program gave me an opportunity to learn and collaborate with experts in the field of disability advocacy and inclusion. I was able to learn about how my experience in the field of special education intersects with other areas of work that advance opportunities for individuals with disabilities. During my time in the National Leadership Program, I worked alongside a team of talented Fellows and staff with wide-ranging expertise to create an Educational Resource Guide to support distance learning for students with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of your support, our guide was extensively covered by national press, including The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times. The guide also was downloaded more than 5,000 times via RespectAbility’s website, helping parents of children with disabilities and special educators cope during this pandemic. This experience allowed me to hone my research skills and collaborate with others to ensure the guide was accurate, accessible and user-friendly for individuals with and without disabilities.
Overall, the RespectAbility National Leadership Program gave me an opportunity to connect with individuals around the country who share my passion for disability advocacy and inclusion. RespectAbility also helped open my eyes to ways in which we can all work together to ensure that individuals with disabilities have a voice in education, advocacy, policy and beyond.