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Tammie Stevens, Policy Apprentice

National Leadership Program, Fall 2021

Tammie Stevens smiling headshot

Tammie Stevens

Tammie Stevens is a Policy and Civic Engagement Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Fall 2021. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community. Stevens’ apprenticeship was funded by the Fox Family Foundation.

Stevens was born in Archer City, Texas, but she was transplanted as a baby to California. She lives in Merced, which has a large and diverse disability community, and is geographically near the center of California.

Stevens earned her Associate of Arts Degree in Early Childhood Education, and then a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Studies at Cal State Stanislaus. She then completed coursework in the Visual Impairment Program at San Francisco State University. After her studies, Stevens worked for eight years at a nonprofit organization that provided instruction to those who were newly experiencing blindness. Stevens taught skills for independent living, vocational exploration, and awareness of accommodations and adaptive technology. Stevens then returned to school and completed the Master of Arts Educational Entrepreneurship degree program at University of the Pacific in 2021.

Stevens was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) at the age of thirty-six. RP is a progressive eye disease that has left Stevens with no functional vision. Her eye disease progressed from having clear central vision with no peripheral vision, to no functional vision and only light perception in a few short years. Throughout this progression, Stevens learned that stigmas are the enemy – not vision loss.

Stevens has joined the RespectAbility National Leadership Program because she wants to fight stigmas and increase employment opportunities by using knowledge building tactics. By using information sharing, presentations, coalition building, and the development of training tools, she hopes to normalize and remove the mystery of disabilities in the workplace.

Stevens lives with Mike, her husband of thirty-five years, and their all-black Labrador-hound mix puppy named Kacie. Stevens and her husband Mike are empty nesters after launching two daughters into their own successful family and professional lives.

JOIN OUR TEAM!

RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact BenS@RespectAbility.org for more information.

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Tammie Stevens
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