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From the Field

Highlights of past blog posts interviewing people with disabilities in the field.

Interview With Nick Wilkie

It was such a pleasure to talk with Michelle and learn about her position as an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist--specifically an ADA Coordinator--with the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Her unique perspective certainly made for a fascinating interview full of heart and wisdom!

Interview With Michelle Maloney

It was such a pleasure to talk with Michelle and learn about her position as an Equal Employment Opportunity Specialist--specifically an ADA Coordinator--with the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. Her unique perspective certainly made for a fascinating interview full of heart and wisdom!

Interview With  Thabiso Rowan

Currently employed by Disability Hub MN, Thabiso assists people with disabilities -- and their caregivers and family members -- in finding resources from housing to healthcare. His free spirited nature and out-of-the- box thinking is evident in his interview! 

Interview With Diego Mariscal

As the Founder, CEO, and Chief Disabled Officer behind the nonprofit startup 2Gether International--Diego's company directly supports entrepreneurs with disabilities. In addition, he has created a disability education program (Limitless Prepa Tec), is a Paralympian, and has been recognized worldwide for his outstanding disability advocacy and entrepreneurship.   

Interview With Peter Berg

Some of you may recall my interview with Peter Berg a few years back where he detailed his position of Project Coordinator at the Great Lakes ADA Center. He was gracious enough to allow me to ask him a few more questions this month. 

Interview With Deb Holz

As my former Disability Services advisor in the early part of my undergrad, Deb is an extraordinary human with a wide array of experience and background working with and for individuals that fall within the disability spectrum. She admits that having a disability herself—fibromyalgia-allows her to be a better ally and advocate for those she supports.

Interview With Ross Baker

A current graduate student in the University of Minnesota Architecture program, Ross also has dyslexia. He attributes a lot of his success to his heightened spatial awareness and his ability to think outside the box.

Interview With Ancel Montenelli

Since 1996, Ancel has been employed by the Great Lakes ADA Center within the Department of Disability and Human Development. He is recognized as a leader in advocacy for Latinos with disabilities in the United States and in Latin America.

Interview With Nikki Abramson

Educator, actor, teaching artist, author, and speaker, Nikki is a dynamic individual with many talents. She is employed by Upstream Arts, a Minneapolis-based arts organization that helps individuals with disabilities project and cultivate their voices by way of the creative arts.

Interview With David Shaw

Employed by the Metropolitan Center for Independent Living, David holds the title of Personal Assistant Services (PAS) Administrative Assistant. In his position, he makes sure that everything goes smoothly between Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) and consumers, among other things.

Interview With Jen Onsum

A true Jen-of-all-trades, Jen is a consultant who works in PR, Marketing, as well as part-time job at a concert hall. Recently, she started s position working on two Department of Human Resources projects as an Olmstead interviewer.

Interview With Cliff Weitzman

As one of Forbes’ 30 under 30, Cliff is the creator of Speechify, a marvelous technology that specifically caters to individuals with dyslexia. As a person with dyslexia, his main goal for Speechify is to make sure that reading is never a barrier to learning.

Young Professional Feature: Brandi Bernoskie

As a freelance coder, Brandi comes from a diverse background. She has experience in theatre, physics, philosophy, and religion—areas of study that provide her with a well-rounded foundation for helping others with their digital dreams and endeavors.

Young Professional Feature: Ted Moorman

Coming from a family of attorneys, Ted seemed to be destined to follow the path laid out for him. Instead, he chose to focus on what he was passionate about and accept all the challenges that would come his way by doing so.

Young Professional Feature: Matthew Griffin

A Veteran Army Ranger, Matthew is the CEO and Founder of Combat Flip Flops, a company that has been designed to give back. His company’s mission is “To create peaceful, forward-thinking opportunities for self-determined entrepreneurs affected by conflict…”

Career Profile: Retail Associate

When her workshop job wasn’t fulfilling enough for her, Allison set her sights on the Crate & Barrel store at her local mall. Through preservation and dedication, she held a job for several years due to her own devotion and the support of her coworkers and management.

Career Profile: Scott Lang

Co-Founder of Ardent Real Estate Advisors, Scott is passionate about working directly with his clients and identifying their needs and helping to identify innovative solutions. As an adult, he learned a major aspect of his own identity—that he had been living with ADHD his whole life.

Career Profile: Project Coordinator

At the age of 26, Peter began to lose his vision. Instead of dwelling on this new reality, he chose to enter the State of Illinois program for the adult blind and learn useful skills to help him continue on his journey in life. He currently is the Project Coordinator of Technical Assistance at the Great Lakes ADA Center.

Career Profile: Dancer/Artistic Director

Growing up, Kitty loved to dance—and that continued to be the case even after she became a paraplegic as an adult after falling down a flight of stairs. She went on to be the Founder and Artistic Director of Infinity Dance Theatre, a non-traditional dance company that is home to dancers with and without disabilities.

Career Profile: Entrepreneur

After sustaining a spinal cord injury during a flight in an aircraft he had designed, Mark (an engineer/inventor) didn’t let his new life with quadriplegia limit his ambitions. He created several life-changing technologies: the Vocalize system, PowerGrip, the Comfort Carrier, and more.


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