Undaunted by her disability, Mikelle pursued a regular education pioneering inclusion in the Denver Public School system graduating as an Outstanding Senior from East High School in Denver, Colorado.

Her speaking career leads her to an invitation to speak in front of Congress fighting for the rights of people like her to work and make money. Mikelle was then selected to speak at the National Press Club as an Honored Guest Reactor for the Ticket to Work Sunset Panel.

Mikelle has accomplished so much in her life as a pioneering advocate, homeowner, author, speaker and small businesswoman. With her electric smile, hearty laughter and the feel of freedom being her own boss, she demonstrates how access to technology puts meat on the bones of self-determination and inclusion.

Now Mikelle speaks to many people across the country with her mom, Katherine.

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From the time Mikelle flew into Katherine’s life, she set her sights on the good life for Mikelle, which meant a regular education in the best schools Denver had to offer. The problem, those schools had never educated a student with a communication and mobility disability. Undaunted, Katherine helped the schools do what they had never done before, and Mikelle ended up graduating outstanding senior from Denver’s prestigious East High School.

Those early years were tough. It was before Medicaid waivers and insurance refused to cover Mikelle’s therapy and equipment needs. But, Mikelle never went without. Even though Katherine had little experience in fundraising, she successfully raised money for wheelchairs, communication devices, and therapy bills until Mikelle finally at the age of eleven was placed on Colorado’s Medicaid Waiver Program.

After graduation, Katherine supported Mikelle’s desire to move out on her own, helping her purchase her condo, start her own business, and build a vibrant community that shines beautifully. Katherine’s early vision for Mikelle came true, in part, because she and Mikelle believe if you are going to “doubt anything, doubt your limits.”

Currently, Katherine is the co-chair of Colorado’s innovative Employment First Advisory Partnership and currently serves on the Colorado State Rehabilitation Council as a representative of parents of individuals with disabilities.

Ms. Carol is a recognized subject matter expert by the US Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy. She serves as a Director on the Board of the Washington Initiative for Supported Employment, a co-founder of Families on the Forefront of Technology and former organization consultant at the University of N. Colorado. Ms. Carol served as Chair of the Colorado Development Disabilities Council for two years and two terms.

Katherine is a frequent keynote speaker and conference presenter across the country.