Micaela Connery is co-founder and CEO of The Kelsey, a nonprofit organization that co-develops accessible, affordable, inclusive multifamily housing; advocates for policy changes that promote disability-inclusive housing practices; and provides tools and templates for others who want to build housing based on The Kelsey’s award-winning model.
Connery’s lifelong advocacy for people with disabilities stems from her relationship with her late cousin and close friend, Kelsey Flynn O’Connor. The Kelsey co-founder and chief inspiration for the organization, O’Connor lived with multiple disabilities. As the two grew up together, Connery saw firsthand the obstacles many disabled people face in accessing the same resources as their nondisabled peers. Determined to work on solutions, Connery realized there was no cohesive model for housing that would allow people like her cousin to live independently in an integrated community, so she set out to build one.
Prior to founding The Kelsey, Connery published leading research as a fellow at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University. Her findings identified what became the core elements of The Kelsey’s design and programming principles. Before that, she served for 12 years as CEO of Unified Theater, a nonprofit organization she founded at age 15 to foster inclusion and leadership among disabled and nondisabled students through the arts.
- How to Make Your Home Accessible (The New York Times)
- TRAILBLAZERS ’23: IGNITING THE SUPER POWER OF ‘CO’ IN HOUSING SOLUTIONS (The Builder’s Daily)
- How Funders Need to Change to Spark a Revolution in Accessible, Affordable, Inclusive Housing (Inside Philanthropy)