Seeing the Ability of People with Disabilities with Kimberly Tissot
Today in the guest chair is Kimberly Tissot. She's the Executive Director of Able SC, a non-profit organization that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities in South Carolina. Kimberly is a strong disability rights activist who is making a change in SC and beyond. She's a change-maker who is ensuring the disability voice doesn’t go unheard. She empowers everyone around her to meet their full potential. Her organization creates systems change to truly make our society accessible and inclusive. Kimberly was diagnosed at the age of two with a rare form of cancer which resulted in her having one of her legs amputated. She knows first hand the challenges and discrimination faced by people with disabilities. She knows that disability doesn't discriminate. It touches every population in our society. In the state of S.C., 1 out of 4 people has a disability which makes the work that she does as an activist and leader so important and necessary. Her ability to defy the stereotypes that many people have about people with disabilities enables her to be such an effective advocate. Her passion and commitment to her cause are evident throughout our conversation. As a wife and mom of a disabled child, she understands all too well how her efforts and effectiveness impact the lives of those she serves, herself, and her son. She's got skin in the game. In this episode, you will learn:
The perceptions held by the public that create barriers to opportunities for people with disabilities
The law that had to be changed in S.C. for her and her husband to adopt their son
Why parents of children with disabilities need to be honest with their child while at the same time encouraging their child to grow up and be independent
How her diagnosis of cancer as a child continues to serve as a compelling WHY for the passion she demonstrates toward her work
Tactics that parents can use to empower their child with a disability
What her vision of being capable and independent looks like for people with disabilities
Her main goal for people with disabilities
The #1 barrier to people with disabilities face in S.C.
Why it's important that lawmakers include people with disabilities in the conversation when they draft legislation that will impact them
How peer to peer modeling helps people with disabilities become more independent
Why her organization advocate for affordable and accessible homes in S.C.
The role that our society plays on the wellbeing of people with disabilities