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Advocate Profile: Rob Rotman

Updated: May 3, 2019

Rob and Nicole stand together and smile at the camera.

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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