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Advocate Profile: Jessica Vittorelli

D: What is your favorite way to pass time? J: Unfortunately I am pretty boring. Passing time for me is watching TV. Now, how my time passes is by being a Mom of 4 girls!

D: What is something people generally don’t know about you? J: Most people don't know that I can type about 65 words a minute.

D: Who is Jessica? J: Jessica is an outgoing, fun-loving, adventurous Mother. Mom really being the word that defines me.

D: What gets your fired up about the disability movement? J: What fires me up about the disability movement is that it's not as big of a movement as other movements! I see so many organizations such as Suicide, LGBTQ, or Immigration and everyone supporting them, but rarely do I see a social movement for disability. I AM NOT saying that these movements shouldn't be recognized or supported or that one is better than the other. I just feel that the disability movement should have a bigger spotlight, it shouldn't be limited, and less marginalized.

D: What barriers or challenges do you face in this movement? J: My challenges that I have faced in life is ignorance of people because of my disability. I have dealt with it in society, school, and work, but I refused to let it bring me down or hold me back.

D: What do you want those who do not identify with disability to know? J: I understand that having a disability is different, but we're all different! Whether it be what I have, SHFM or your one toe is longer than the other, different is different. Just because it may be odd or weird, that doesn't give anyone the right to ridicule or judge! Be respectful, be polite, have empathy!

D: Who was the person/role model who inspired you to look into disability advocacy? Why/how did they inspire you? J: I've seen a few people on social media over the past few years like Jordan Wiseley, Nick Santonastasso, or Isabelle Weall and I thought to myself, why haven't I spoken out about my "disability"? I think that for so many years I've thought of myself as "normal" because I am able to do just about everything, so I don't identify as disabled. In all reality I have a disability, but I am not disabled.

D: When people look at you/up to you, what do you hope they see? J: I hope people see a strong, independent, capable woman!

D: What are your next steps? I am hoping that I can find more platforms like Disarmingdisability, Thoughtsondifference, and the Lucky_Fin_Project to share my story, experiences, or struggles to help others understand, learn, or to just not feel like they are alone!

D: How do we follow you?! Instagram: jessiicalynnv

Facebook: Jessica Vittorelli

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