Kylie Moore meets with Georgia Representative, John Lewis
“Your disability is your superpower”, says Kylie Moore, ambassador program coordinator at the Bobby Dodd Institute.
Born with cerebral palsy, Moore teaches individuals with disabilities how to address questions about their disability and share their stories while boosting their confidence. In her eight-week training program, the curriculum’s topics leave lasting impressions because the teacher is speaking from experience.“Self-advocacy needs to be part of the school curriculum,” Moore said.
Yet, most schools in Georgia have not made any progress with incorporating a self-advocacy course into their curriculums, Dekalb School system being the exception.
In 2013, Moore secured a job as a Special Projects Assistant at All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD) before its merge with the Bobby Dodd Institute. There, she designed a curriculum that emphasized self-esteem, life skills, public speaking and a recipe for a two-minute elevator speech to explain their disability – all skills that can be applied in job-related interactions.
Moore recently attended the SourceAmerica Grassroots Advocacy Conference in Washington, where more than 50 U.S. nonprofit agencies gathered for a three-day event which highlighted the importance of public policy regarding employment of individuals with disabilities.
Their theme: the “Power of Inclusion; Every Job. Every Story. Everyone.” Their goal was to educate members of Congress and remind them that what they do and the policies they pass, impact the economy and the livelihoods of constituents (including those with disabilities) in their districts.
Moore met with assistants to Senators Johnny Isakson and David Purdue, and Representatives John Lewis and Lucy McBath. “It was a successful trip,” Moore said, “because by sharing personal stories about yourself and your work, the message comes across clearer, and it’s more powerful.”
To improve the work environment for disabled employees, Moore emphasizes that companies must step up and take a chance by creating more meaningful jobs based on strength assessments and adapt positions based on skills and abilities. Individuals and companies, according to Moore, must engage and educate employees to be successful.