National Leadership Program, Fall 2022
Erica Mones (she/her) is an Entertainment and News Media Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program for Fall 2022. RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so that people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.
Mones is a writer, YouTuber, and disability advocate. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Disability Studies from the CUNY School of Professional Studies. She earned her Bachelors in Writing and Classical Civilizations from Loyola University Maryland in 2020 where she interned at the school’s Center for Community, Service, + Justice; and served as a research assistant for a professor designing a disability history course. She was disappointed to see that among the various clubs students could join, there were none led by disabled students for disabled students, so she decided to found such a club, called “Disability Is Diversity.” She ran for student government and was elected as a class senator with the goal of improving accessibility on campus and keeping disability on the radar of both student leaders and school administrators.
Mones has written for publications including The Progressive, Well + Good, PopSugar, Planet M, Rooted in Rights, New Mobility, and the National Eating Disorders Association blog.
As a woman with cerebral palsy, Mones is passionate about disability representation in the media and hopes to pave the way for disabled people through screenwriting. She sees a gap in disability representation currently and wants to see more representation of people with speech impairments in the media since her speech impairment affected her self-esteem growing up.
Aside from school and her work at RespectAbility, Mones has recently started modeling. She was in a campaign for Aerie and will walk the runway at the Runway of Dreams during New York Fashion Week.
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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 [email protected] for more information.