Wanda did not seek out leadership, but her actions and attitude have propelled her into that role. Her philosophy is that “Leadership is about encouraging cooperation and information sharing. It is the ability to empower others.” She will often hear from others in the Deaf community that they wish they had the opportunity to attend workshops or could participate in an event. Wanda is one who says, “Why not?”
Wanda was excited to participate in New Ventures Maine Business Basics and My Money Works classes. She benefited from them herself, but is now able to share the information she learned and knows that NVME is an accessible place for her peers to go. It was, in part, her efforts that led to a very successful My Money Works class that was designed for and solely attended by Deaf Community members.
As Deaf Advocate for Disability Rights Maine, Wanda models the solutions and creates pathways by finding ways to improve communication with medical providers, businesses, organizations, and anyone she meets! It can be intimidating or tiring to have to fight continually for clearer communication. She empowers and inspires her peers to not let communication be a barrier, whether it be obtaining interpreting services, better captioning, or clearer written information. Knowledge is power and her goal is to promote access to knowledge. Her passion and drive is to see those in her community succeed and to promote awareness of the needs of her community, in compliance with the spirit and letter of the now 25- years old Americans with Disabilities Act.