I’m really happy to be a part of the Hire Learning blog. Think Beyond the Label asked me to participate based on my unique experience with disability policy in both a personal and professional capacity.
I experienced disability at the age of 16 after a sports-related spinal cord injury and realized early on the limitations of private insurance in regards to the need for access to long-term care coverage. This was a crash course in healthcare and public policy, which initiated my interest in a career in policy.
After receiving my master’s degree I began working at the Veterans Administration in Madison, WI, providing counsel around substance abuse and mental health. I then spent five years as a benefits specialist and employment consultant for ERI, Inc., which gave me a much-needed foundation of knowledge around the current status of public policy, particularly regarding disability and employment systems.
Since that time I have worked as a policy analyst for various employers including the University of Wisconsin, the state of Wisconsin and several national private businesses. At HDA, I work with/on everything from healthcare and employment policy to resource mapping and informatics.
My experience and background has let me view the world of employment and public policy through a global lens as someone who has utilized the services/support innovations and as someone who helps develop, analyze and implement policy. I certainly understand the ideas, issues and disconnects from both the world of business and the world of disability. It is this disconnect that fuels my desire to see a more cohesive connection between the two.
I look forward to sharing my thoughts and ideas around disability employment policy from the perspective of businesses, policymakers and the disability community alike.