40 Years of Dedication:
Independent Living Specialist
I have worked at ACCESS for the past 40 years in various positions. I started as a volunteer when I first moved to Madison from central Wisconsin, where I grew up on a small dairy farm. I currently serve as an Independent Living Specialist, as well as providing leadership for Information and Referral services. My educational background is in English, psychology, and sociology. I became a Certified Peer Specialist in 2011, and help facilitate a local networking group for Peer Specialists.
For several years, I coordinated housing services at Access, and developed some expertise in the area of Fair Housing. After the Federal Fair Housing Act was amended to include people with disabilities as a protected class, and require physical accessibility in new construction, there was a need for more education. I helped to plan and implement one of the first training conferences ever offered on the topic of Fair Housing and disability, in 1992. I also assisted with a Fair Housing Initiatives Project to educate Wisconsin’s independent living centers on the new Fair Housing law.
I own a small home on the east side of Madison where I live with my two cats. The rest of my remaining family live in Milwaukee and Osaka, Japan. In my spare time I enjoy music, gardening, hiking, and reading.