by Laura Antranigian
"I was really surprised to learn that I had won the Dare to Dream award that Center for Community Inclusion presents yearly, I had no idea I had been nominated.
For vision and leadership that promotes social change to advance the rights of people with disabilities.
|I was really honored to receive this award; it makes me want to work even more for self advocates and to continue making social changes for people with disabilities.|
What I do does not feel like work to me, it is something that just comes natural."
Maryann Preble a board member of CCI nominated Laura. She had this to say about why she nominated Laura: “I thought of workshops Laura has done with SUFU about Independent Living, Community inclusion, the ADA, and Rights. Laura teaches people how to take charge of their own lives and teaches staff how to treat us with respect. She wants to let other people know - especially self-advocates– that they need the same kind of respect and relationships as others do. “ A few years ago, it was hard for her to tell her story. She thought they wouldn’t listen because it was hard to get things out. Once she got used to doing it, she really changed and she started getting out there and speaking up! She told legislators she did not want to go to a nursing home and told them how she would lose her independence. She went to Washington to talk to Senator Snowe and Collins and Congressman Allen about issues for people with disabilities. Laura also goes out dancing with her friends. It shows people out in the community that people with disabilities can get out there and do the same things that people without disabilities can do.
She even gets out there on the floor in her motorized chair and drives and dances around. She’s not afraid to get up out of her chair and dance with a little support, too. Some people would be afraid to get up, but Laura is not! Laura gets out there to do all the things that she wants to do-even though she’s in a wheelchair. It doesn’t stop her; she knows she can do it! When she is out in the community, people see who she is, not just a person in a wheelchair. She is smart, bright, talented, wild and funny. She is teaching others who she is from the inside out.
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