Thursday, May 9, 2013

And sometimes it doesn't work out

I am a man on a mission. I'm hoping to get more attorneys interested in disability rights, because not many are involved in the field. My goal is to create a system that would educate people with disabilities about their rights while changing the public perception on what having a disability today really is like. That you can be successful and empowered, be like everybody else only... a little bit different. I was hoping that this process can start, and should start I must say, from within the legal profession. The Florida Bar believed that it was too uniform, that it lacked diversity and for those reasons I guess it launched a Leadership Academy. To forge the movers and shakers of tomorrow, to interject new blood and invest in people interested in public service. I thought that it would go perfectly with my ideas on educating the public and creating awareness. I'm both a foreigner and a person with a disability among other minorities I subscribe to. While I didn't think I was a shoo-in, I thought it was worth to try And I thought I could do so much good- the work cut out for me is now much harder.. Maybe it's not that bad- I would have to figure out how to get to the places they hold their classes  over the next year. But my commitment to the Florida Bar continues and I hope that one day I'll get to work with them on disability issues. I just hope they don't get overlooked in the meantime. My focus right now has to be on my new nonprofit, Florida Disability Access and Awareness Foundation, because one way or another I will get there. Bellow is the reply I've sent to the rejection email, that states my goals and desire to go forward.
I wanted to thank you for considering me for your Leadership Academy.
I understand the program's limitations, but I feel we share the common
goal of improving both the legal community and betterment of lives of
Florida citizens at large. In your letter you mention all the ways
that an attorney can get involved. Unfortunately this is not true of
all practice areas. When I first joined the Bar I wanted to focus on
ADA compliance and disability rights. There were no sections I could
join. In fact, I did not join a section and was assigned to
"Litigation" by default. Very few attorneys choose to practice in
areas involving disabilities (not disability benefits) and the needs
are great. There are no CLE's that I know of that deal with how to
proceed with  clients and counsels with special needs and fellow
attorneys turn to me, as the go to lawyer with a wheelchair bound
birth brain injury for guidance. I know of many people with
disabilities that aren't aware  of their rights or that they should
speak to someone or who to speak. In turn, the perception of people
with severe disability like mine, their productivity, ability and
accomplishments is very low.  Those problems will increase, not only
because Florida has an aging population, but also because of current
wars the number of veterans with physical or mental problems will

For that reason I have started the Florida Disability Access and
Awareness Foundation. I hope to work with you and the Florida Bar to
bring more ADA awareness, compliance and inclusion. I invite you to
visit the website:  my blogpost explaining the idea
and process behind the organization
and a video clip about my life long mission for disability inclusion. I also invite you to think
of ways and I invite you to think of ways our organizations can work
together through any programs we can devise. Workshops, lectures,
presentations, perhaps a clinic are some areas that would further our
information and education goal. I look forward to our continuing

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