“There’s a saying: ‘See our abilities, not our disabilities.'”

I've got a cognitive disability and I went to special ed all my life, through high school and graduated. But sometimes people don't understand where I'm coming from.

Photos by Megan Monday

Lynn | Appleton, WI

“They don’t know how to read me, or they’re afraid to talk to me and they try to speak for me. That’s not what I want. I am an adult, I can speak.

So now I work with adults with intellectual disabilities, and I help them to change their lives. I want them to know that there are brighter opportunities out in the community.

I want to let other people know that they should accept people of differing abilities. In fact, there’s a saying: ‘See our abilities, not our disabilities.’ I’m just a person, just like everybody else.”

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“I’m a self-advocate, and I’ve been one for 19 years. Self-advocacy has really helped me speak up for myself, and it’s my hope that others with disabilities can speak up for themselves and be treated with respect and dignity. 

I just had someone at my job, after 24 years working with this person, just look at me and tell me that he has more respect for me now than he ever did before. He found out about my advocacy work. It felt really good.”

-Lynn | Appleton, WI

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