Close the Divide - Kirsten.jpg
Let's Close the Disability Divide
for Kristen

Understanding her rights is what it took for Kristen

to close the disability divide.

 

Kristen is now 39 and the mother of a 17 year-old daughter who also has a disability. She was born with a form of muscular dystrophy called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA. 

 

“I was born with it so I have never been able to walk and I use a power wheelchair for my mobility. I have grown into my identity as somebody with a disability.”

 

“I had a long journey through school…because of mobility challenges, transportation challenges, and needing physical care to get ready for classes, go to classes, et cetera. I didn't get to finish school as soon as I would have liked to.”

 

“My original contact with MI-UCP was when I was working in the public mental health system. I temporarily lost my Medicaid, which was really problematic because I depend on Medicaid services for direct care workers to assist me with my daily living needs such as getting out of bed and physical assistance with getting dressed and other daily functions. I couldn't work without these services.” 

 

“...they also guided me through the advocacy process. That was a really empowering experience. Learning how to self advocate and that whole spirit of self-determination is something that has carried on with me in my role and MI-UCP had a lot to do with that.”

“One of the things about the disability community that I think makes it unique and special, is the intersectionality of the disability community. It crosses all the other spectrums of marginalized, disenfranchised populations. It's also the only type of population that somebody can become a part of that they weren't a part of the day before. That is a reason why disability rights and closing the disability divide should be important to everyone. Even if you don't have direct contact with somebody that has a disability, you could tomorrow or it could be you tomorrow.”

 

“If you're somebody that cares about closing the disability divide, then you should support MI-UCP.”