As a new staff member at Lutheran Services in America, my favorite part of the job, hands-down, is to meet our members. I don’t think there's a better way to understand an organization and how it operates than to visit in person. Recently, Alesia Frerichs, VP of Member Engagement, and I took a trip to Baltimore to visit the Kathryn's Kloset ministry of Diakon. Diakon, a member of LSA, is a social ministry organization that provides a range of senior services and programs and services for children, youth and families. They serve communities in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and annually touch the lives of 50,000-60,000 people.
With the blink of an eye, the 8 weeks of my fellowship with LSA have come to an end. This always seems to happen – I start out a semester or a summer thinking that I have all the time in the world, but when I look back on it I'm shocked at how quickly it ran by. I want to express my appreciation to the LSA staff for their immense support and guidance this summer, particularly my supervisors: Tania Hernandez-Anderson (Vice President of Marketing) and Deborah Hoesly (Vice President of Development).
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was created to ensure equality for individuals' with disabilities. I personally have a mild cognitive disability called Cerebral Palsy. While this affects my fine motor skills as well as my mobility/walking abilities, my disability does not stop me from accomplishing my daily tasks. Over the years, the ADA has helped me overcome issues dealing with employment, transportation, and self-advocacy. However, there are challenges that the ADA has not addressed.
Earlier this month, Bill Nolan from KenCrest Centers reflected on the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to the people our network serves and the work of disability ministry. Today, we are honored to share a reflection from Linda Timmons, the President and CEO of Mosaic, an organization based in Omaha, Nebraska that provides a life of possibilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities, supporting and empowering them in pursuit of their goals. Mosaic, a member of LSA, is an active member of the LSA Disability Network (LSA-DN). This post originally appeared on the Mosaic website on July 23, 2015.