Thursday, May 31, 2012

My Advocacy, by Alec Frazier


Alec Frazier Speaking at UB’s 1st Annual UB Diversity in Disability Symposium
·         Organization: WNY Independent Living Inc. (WNYIL)
§ Position: Public Policy Community Advocate
§ When: June 10, 2013 to Present
§ Where: Buffalo, New York
§ Description: WNY Independent Living Inc. is a catalyst for systems and individual change, enhancing the quality of life for persons with disabilities, while respecting diversity, and promoting choices and alternatives for independent living in our societies.

Mission
WNY Independent Living Inc (WNYIL) is a multi-cultural, grassroots, peer directed, civil rights organization that provides a full range of assistance, programs and services to enhance the quality of life for all individuals with disabilities. The WNYIL Board of Directors, Independent Living of Niagara County Council, Native American Independent Living Services Council, Mental Health Peer Connection Council, staff and volunteers, comprised of a majority of persons with disabilities, operate a professional and efficient organization creating opportunities for choice, independence and community participation. This is accomplished by eliminating physical and attitudinal barriers and facilitating transportation and communication access in our community. The WNYIL assists persons with disabilities to realize their life choices through information and referral, independent living skills, individual and systems advocacy, peer counseling, advocacy empowerment programs, self-help, leadership development, support to families and community education and partnerships.
§ Projects:
  o   Legislative Brunch
  *  When: Starting June 24, 2013
  *  Where: Buffalo, New York
  *  Description: Presenting WNYIL’s agenda to politicians to help further our goals.

·         Organization: US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®)
§ Position: Student Advisory Council (SAC) Member
§ When: January 1, 2013 to Present
§ Where: Amherst, New York
§ Description: The US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) is a national non-profit, non-partisan business to business network promoting workplaces, marketplaces, and supply chains where people with disabilities are included. The USBLN® serves as the collective voice of over 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN® Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation’s leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including service-disabled veterans.

BLN affiliates are business organizations headed by a lead employer who exemplifies these practices and shares experiences with other members-employers-within the state or region. These activities include career fairs, disability mentoring and internship programs, and training programs including disability business etiquette, accommodation, and other disability issues deemed significant to employers. Businesses join BLN affiliates to learn how to expand their diversity recruiting efforts to include people with disabilitiesnot as a social model but as a business case to recruit talent and better serve their customers. BLN successes serve the workplace, marketplace, supply chain and the economy.
The USBLN® believes the inclusion of students with disabilities in its projects is essential to assist business in preparing a workforce ready to take on tomorrow’s challenges. The national Student Advisory Council (SAC) informs, educates, advises and assists the USBLN®, its corporate members and affiliates on the ways in which to effectively engage youth with disabilities. They provide insight and direction on advancing the inclusion of students with disabilities in corporate programs and activities affecting the workplace, marketplace, and supply chain.

SAC members are able to use their work and school environments, as well as their life experiences, as context for examining the barriers facing students with disabilities in gaining meaningful employment upon graduation. Their understanding and appreciation of the goals and interests of students with disabilities seeking to work and develop careers, enables them to better advise the USBLN® in establishing nationwide goals and objectives for advancing services to business, affiliates and students. The SAC is an opportunity for future leaders to work as a team to enhance career opportunities for aspiring professionals with disabilities through information, education, and partnerships with employers.

·         Organization: The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
§ Position: Advocate
§ When: September 23, 2011 to July 18, 2013
§ Where: Amherst, New York
§ Projects:
o   ASAN Autism Campus Inclusion (ACI) Summer Training
*  When: August 12-17, 2012
*  Where: Baltimore, Maryland
*  Description: The ACI Summer Institute is a week-long training for Autistic college students. The training is meant to prepare students to engage in self-advocacy and pro-neurodiversity activism on their college campuses. With curriculum based on our collaboration with the Daniel Jordan Fiddle Foundation in the Empowering Disabled Leaders handbook and materials produced and developed with the help of University of New Hampshire’s Institute on Disability, the participants will learn how to engage in activism and advocacy activities on their college campuses.
o   The DJF-ASAN Empowering Autistic Leaders Project
*  When: September 23, 2011 to January 3, 2012
*  Where: Amherst, New York
*  Description: Developed booklet for teaching Autistic college students how to engage in policy advocacy through their college campuses by addressing how to form effective student groups, educate participants about disability history and disability laws, and provide examples of strategies to bring about systems change in higher education.

·         Organization: UB Diversity in Disability Planning Committee (DDPC)
§ Position: Co-Chair
§ When: September 30, 2011 to Present
§ Where: University at Buffalo, Amherst, New York
§ Projects:
  o   1st Annual UB Diversity in Disability Symposium
*  When: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. April 14, 2012
*  Where: Center for Tomorrow, University at Buffalo, Amherst, New York
*  Description: When one thinks of diversity what comes to mind? Usually, we think of race, religion, and ethnicity. This symposium, appropriate for students, faculty, and professionals, will explore “Diversity in Disability.” Disability is not an obstacle; it’s a difference! Hear from national level presenters, question panel participants, and see exhibits from Buffalo’s Museum of disABILITY History as we explore and grow to understand and appreciate these differences.

·         Organization: VSA, the international organization on arts and disability
§ Position: Knowledge Group Member
§ When: November 10, 2011 to July 2012
§ Where: Amherst, New York
§ Description: Born out of meeting with JFK’s sister, the Hon. Jean Kennedy Smith, to advise her on marketing for her charity, VSA, the international organization on arts and disability. At the end, she gave me a standing ovation.
§ Projects:
o   Knowledge Group
*  When: November 17, 2011 to July 2012
*  Where: Amherst, New York
*  Description: Advised on policy, publicity and marketability for VSA in a modern world by using new and diverse methods of information dissemination.

·         Organization: Adaptive Services Division, DC Public Library
 § Position: Intern
 § When: May 2011 to August 2011
 § Where: MLK Library, Washington, District of Columbia
 § Description: Helped manage collections and contacts, contributed to the library’s book club, webpage and teen group, and helped lead a summer camp for blind kids.
 § Projects:
o   Web Development
*  When: July 2011 to August 2011
*  Where: MLK Library, Washington, District of Columbia
o   Business Card Transcription
*  When: May 2011 to July 2011
*  Where: MLK Library, Washington, District of Columbia
o   Collections Management
*  When: May 2011 to July 2011
*  Where: MLK Library, Washington, District of Columbia

·         Organization: The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
             § Position: Intern
             § When: May 2011 to August 2011
             § Where: Washington, District of Columbia
 § Description: Each summer, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) hosts a summer internships program in Washington, DC for students with all types of disabilities, providing travel to and from DC, accessible housing, and living stipends.
             §  Projects:
o   NCIL Annual Conference 2012
*  When: July 2011
*  Where: Washington, District of Columbia
*  Description: Attended the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)’s Annual Conference. Pleaded rights of the disabled before Representatives and Senators, and met in person with local Rep. Kathy Hochul. As a result of my lobbying Congress, I am one of the people responsible for the creation of the U.S. Administration for Community Living.
o   No Pity Presentation
*  When: May 2011
*  Where: Law Offices of K&L Gates, Washington, District of Columbia

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