Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE) and the partners of the Self Advocacy Resource and Technical Assistance Center (SARTAC) are pleased to announce the 2022-2023 SARTAC Fellowship Award recipients.
Six Fellows were chosen through a competitive application process to carry out independently designed self advocacy leadership and policy-related projects. This is the fifth group of SARTAC Fellows. Fellows are listed below with their hometown, brief biography, title and summary of their project, and Host organization.
To learn more about the SARTAC Fellowship, these outstanding self advocates, and the previous class of Fellows, click here.
SARTAC Fellows 2022-2023
SARTAC Fellow from Auburndate, Wisconsin
Fellowship Project: Medicaid Policy Changes
Jordan Anderson is 19 years old and a 2021 high school graduate. Jordan is a strong advocate and currently co-leads the Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice project on Supported Decision-Making for the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities. Through his participation in Project SEARCH, he just started his first, full-time job at Marshfield Clinic Health System as a Patient Care Assistant in Gastroenterology. He enjoys sports, hunting, and politics. Jordan loves to connect with other self-advocates across the United States through his advocacy work.
Project Summary: When people with disabilities need durable medical equipment, there are a lot of challenges such as the length of time the process takes, lack of providers, and insurance denials. This project will examine the process for getting durable medical equipment to find ways to streamline the time it takes from needing new equipment to having the equipment. The project will also look at the training required for rehabilitation specialists and develop ideas to attract more people to the field to better manage the volume of repairs that can leave people with disabilities stuck at home waiting for extended periods of time. When people with disabilities need durable medical equipment, there are a lot of challenges such as the length of time the process takes, lack of providers, and insurance denials. This project will examine the process for getting durable medical equipment to find ways to streamline the time it takes from needing new equipment to having the equipment. The project will also look at the training required for rehabilitation specialists and develop ideas to attract more people to the field to better manage the volume of repairs that can leave people with disabilities stuck at home waiting for extended periods of time.
SARTAC Fellow from Lakeland, Florida
Fellowship Project: A formal Approach for Self-Advocates
Eddie Hall was paralyzed 45 years ago due to an auto accident at the age of eight. He worked at Publix Supermarkets 26 years and Home Depot 10 years to present. Eddie is the former President of FLSAND (2 years), former Representative of Polk County Transportation for Disadvantaged (8 years), former Commissioner of Lakeland Housing Authority (8 years), former Board Member of Family Café (2 years), former President of Polk County Coun-cil PTA (2 years), and former Board Member of Florida PTA (2 years). Eddie the current Vice Chair of the Florida Development Disabilities Council, current Vice Chair of Florida Center for Inclusive Communities CAC at USF, current Treasurer and Secretary of Florida Alliance for Assistive Services and Technology (FAAST), and current advisor to Polk County Self Advocacy Alliance.
Project Summary: For this project we will 1) establish a new non-profit called Expedite Life for self-advocacy thru adaptive recreation 2) put on an event for self-advocacy thru adaptive recreation and 3) write guidelines and make a presentation on the procedures for starting a non-profit and putting on an event based on adaptive recreation.
SARTAC Fellow from Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Fellowship Project: Disability Advocacy Podcast: Exceeding Expectations with Kenneth Kelty
Kenneth Kelty graduated from The Western Carolina University UP Program in 2014. He was a North Carolina LEND Trainee in Self-Advocacy and is a motivational speaker and advocate on his life with disabilities. Kenneth now works for The Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities. Kenneth’s project will be to use podcasting as a way for people to have more disability awareness. The podcast is about all types of people with disabilities who want to go above what's expected of them and want to live their own lives. Kenneth wants to highlight people who are blazing the trails both on a national level and in their own community
Project Summary: Kenneth aims to interview people and organizations who are the movers and shakers in the field and making innovative inroads in disability advocacy. In Kenneth’s words, “The podcast is about all types of people with disabilities who want to go above what's expected of them and want to live their own lives. Kenneth wants to highlight people who are blazing the trails both on a national level and in their own community.” Examples of potential interviews and topics: Liz Weintraub and Judith Heumann, a Think College professional, students in post secondary education programs and policy makers. Possible topics could be related to COVID vaccinations and efforts, and the federal Olmstead Decision.
SARTAC Fellow from Londerry, New Hampshire
Fellowship Project: New Hampshire Disability: History Revisited
Nathaniel is a graduate of the New Hampshire Leadership Series and Assumption College where he graduated with a degree in theology. He has served as a member of his local Partners in Health Family Support Council since he turned 18, and has served as a co-chair on the council. He served in a leading role at his college disability advocacy group where he worked to promote awareness of best practice and advocated against ableism. He is always looking for opportunities to meet with others and work with them to learn more about advocacy and figure out how to best advocate for themselves, their family, or their friends.
Project Summary: The New Hampshire Leadership Series has for many years used the Lost in Laconia documentary film to springboard a discussion on the history of disability within the state. However, this leads to both an incomplete picture of the history of how people with disabilities have lived and been treated throughout the years and also contributes to a discussion among many attendees that the current situation is not any better than it was previously, only different. The goal of this topic is to highlight the changes of how people with disabilities in their communities have lived their lives, both from communal and legislative aspects. The topic aims to educate the community with a comprehensive history; it does not intend to highlight a singular moment. It does not want to promote dialogue that will belittle people with disabilities, continuing the dialogue that their lives can only be fulfilling if they have direction for most of their day-to-day actions or choices. By conducting a thorough evaluation in the evolution of disability policy, education, and culture, this project will enable self-advocates and the family members of people with disabilities to have more knowledgeable discussions about the subjects they wish to advocate for. After creating a comprehensive collection of materials, Nathaniel will work with the New Hampshire Leadership Series to revise their history session’s materials. By doing this, self-advocates and the family members of people with disabilities will be more prepared to advocate whenever there is a need.
SARTAC Fellow from St. Peters, Missouri
Fellowship Project: Advocates with Determination — Charting My LifeCourse
Susan Parker encourages advocacy through her daily work as a Self-Determination Instructor at Easterseals Midwest, President of the St. Charles People First Chapter, Ambassador of Charting the Life Course, member of the Gateway Coalition and being an inspiration to others with a disability. Susan has used her voice for over 15 years to create a lasting impact on Missouri Legislation regarding the “R” word, accessible parking signs and allowing parents with a disability to have the right to raise their children successfully without harassment. Susan has dedicated her adult life to speak-ing up for others with disabilities and advocating for their rights.
Project Summary: The Charting the LifeCourse™ (CtLC) framework and tools, developed by individuals with disabilities and families, are being used across the country for person-centered practices. A new training ‘Charting My LifeCourse™, is designed to teach individuals with disabilities how they can use the tools in their own lives, including facilitating their formal planning process (for services), and helping them to achieve their goals outside of the formal service systems. This project will focus on developing and piloting training materials and creating a professional development path for CtLC self-advocate leaders.
SARTAC Fellow from Holland, Ohio
Fellowship Project: Enhancing Control and Choice with Personal Care Services through Self-Direction
Nathan “Nate” Turner has spent more than 15 years advocating for justice, accessibility and equal rights in the disability community. He was educated at Wright State University and is deeply passionate about creating leadership opportunities for people with disabilities. He regularly gives presentations on safely interacting with law enforcement, money management, the impact of work on public benefits, effective communication, problem-solving and community employment for people with disabilities. He shares his lived experiences as a black man with cerebral palsy through his membership on the Board of Directors for the Ohio Self-Determination Association, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality/Legal Aid of Western Ohio, The ABLE National Resource Center, the Ohio Advocacy Task Force and Lucas County Board of Developmental Disabilities, where he became the first person eligible for services in this role. Nate is employed as a Senior Web Quality Rater for Telus International AI and consults with the Ohio Tech Ambassador Network helping other people with disabilities use supportive technologies to live more independent lives.
Project Summary: Nate believes peer support is critical to educating people with disabilities, promoting self-direction with direct care services. His project is called Enhancing Control and Choice with Personal Care Services through Self-Direction. It will generate an accessible toolkit of documents and community presentations talking about best practices for building successful relationships with providers. The presentation and documents will encourage individuals with disabilities to teach their peers, learn from their personal experiences, help others solve problems and have more control and dignity with their services.
If you would like to contact the SARTAC Fellows, please email Teresa Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org).