As a proud member of the disability community, Ari is committed to advancing disability justice and is thrilled to be part of an organization that shares that goal. After struggling to navigate inaccessible housing and coursework throughout college, Ari is determined to help build a world where disability inclusion is the norm rather than an afterthought. As the Operations and Development Associate, they’re excited to support this work through effective fundraising and strong systems.
Outside of work, Ari loves to spend time outside biking, hiking, or just sitting in the sun. Ari is also an avid knitter and aspiring sewist and hopes one day to have made most of their clothes. Ari grew up in the Chicago suburbs, has a BS in Geology and Environmental Studies from Haverford College, and is currently pursuing their MA in Disability Studies online at CUNY SPS.
What does it mean to you to be Disability-Forward? Why does it matter?
I understand disability-forward as accessibility without sacrificing community. I think the frequent segregation of accessible housing really highlights a tendency to reduce people with disabilities down to their disabilities, instead of seeing us as full people who want to be immersed in society. Yes, many people with disabilities require accessible housing, but housing is so much more than just a physical space to live. A disability-forward approach enables us to ensure access for people with disabilities, while also making housing better for everyone.
What part of The Kelsey’s mission are you proudest to be part of / support?
The Kelsey’s core value of “Transparent and Iterative” stands out to me the most because a single organization can’t solve the housing crisis alone. We need to share what works and what doesn’t, learn from each other, and collaborate to inform future housing policies and build more inclusive housing.