D: What is your favorite way to pass time?
R: Reading books about movies and movie stars. Also, listening to Broadway showtunes!
D: What is something people generally don’t know about you?
R: I have Dystonia a movement disorder in which a person's muscles contract uncontrollably.
D: Who is Rob?
R: As an actor and a writer.
D: What gets your fired up about the disability movement?
R: That we can be productive members of society. We are not victims, but victors! Also, I think inclusion and acceptance is so important!
D: What barriers or challenges do you face in this movement?
R: I see a lot of division within the disability community and I hope the work I do is so positive can bring those divides together.
D: What do you want those who do not identify with disability to know?
R: My hand writing so bad that people assume certain things about me. Society sets limits on me based on those assumptions. I try not to set limits on myself and hope that others will not either…especially based on their assumptions. I think sometime people think I maybe shallow, but I actually am a really deep person. I think people think I am only ever happy when I still have many feels.
D: Who was the person/role model who inspired you to look into disability advocacy? Why/how did they inspire you?
R: Bill Sackter. He lived in Iowa City and ran a coffee shop there. He had intellectual disability. They made a TV movie about him and Mickey Rooney played him! The Movie is called “Bill.“ He was institutionalized for most of his life because of this intellectual disability. He had such a dignity about him. Through knowing Bill, I got back into theater – specifically disability theater.
D: When people look at you/up to you, what do you hope they see?
R: An actor and a writer! I don’t want people to see me as victim or person of pity.
D: What are your next steps?
R: I work on Adapt Chicago Productions. This show airs once a week on Saturday on Public access channel (Also on youtube). This show covers unfair institutionalization, arts, attitudes, legislation issues, all disability hot topics.
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