Michelle Eastman

Headshot of Michelle Eastman, smiling at the camera with a red gown and black stole that has the universal handicap symbol on it.

About Michelle

She/Her

Michelle Eastman is our first-ever Inclusion Concierge at The Kelsey Ayer Station! Hailing from Southern California, Michelle brings a unique perspective to her role because of growing up within the disability community. She has a graduate degree from Boston University and over a decade of disability advocacy experience both nationally and internationally. 

Michelle is certified as an accessibility specialist recognized by the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP). She has worked in a variety of educational, religious, and non-profit settings like the American Association on Health and Disability and Point Loma Nazarene University helping to train others on access and inclusion. Additionally, Michelle is a member of a disabled media company called Cripple Productions working to produce anti-ableist films.

Outside of work, Michelle is an avid adaptive athlete and proudly represents Team USA in the Paralympics for surfing. She is beyond thrilled to join The Kelsey’s first disability housing project, and for the opportunity to build a community with the purpose of disabled flourishig!

Questions

  • What does it mean to you to be Disability-Forward? Why does it matter? 

To be honest, it can be hard to imagine a future when you’re disabled, because for many in the disability community (and their families), it is hard to imagine since there are not many affordable, inclusive, integrated housing options that centers the experience of disability. So, for me, what it means to be disability-forward, is to help reimagine what it means to have “disabled futures,” one that will allow for more joy than fear – in other words, disability-forward matters because people with disabilities matter.

  • What part of The Kelsey’s mission are you proudest to be part of / support? 

I am most proud of The Kelsey’s undeniable commitment to radical inclusivity and innovation, because as someone with a disability who also has a sister with disabilities that has never quite had her housing or service coordination needs met, the Kelsey is working towards a solution which I believe will change the lives of many including me and my family.