We’re excited to welcome Sandra to our team as a Summer Associate and AAPD Intern.
Sandra Conley was exposed to civil rights issues through her ethnic identity (African American) as well as through her own challenges as a person with a disability. As a result, her parents demonstrated the importance of fighting for all through organizations such as the NAACP, as well advocating for herself when she chose to leave her designated school for the disabled to become “mainstreamed”, since her designated school no longer met her academic needs. As society became more inclusive, and her disability needs changed, she began to pursue social justice opportunities that served all, such as AmeriCorps. In 2021 Sandra completed her Master’s degree in Human Services with the intent on using that degree to serve others with disabilities who wish to seek to become economically self-sufficient.
What part of The Kelsey’s mission are you proudest to be part of / support?
I am most proud of the fact that The Kelsey has persons with disabilities in key leadership roles. The organization not only serves persons with disabilities but actively encourages the constituents to become leaders as well.
What does it mean to you to be Disability-Forward? Why does it matter?
I define Disability Forward as something that encompasses or at least considers that not all persons with disabilities require the same accommodations. This matters in many areas, for example as an amputee having access to a tub or shower with a bench is safer for me than a roll-in shower, since I don’t usually use a wheelchair. This is important when I am traveling and ask for an accessible bathroom; I usually have to specify that I need a tub rather than roll-in shower accommodation.