Spring 2021: Honoring Our Disability Rights History

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Presented by: Vicki Cuscino and Hailey Thoman

Date: 05/07/2021

We, people with disabilities, have always comprised the largest minority group and been part of American history. Yet, most of the stories and events never make it into the history books or classes. Join us on a journey through time of the untold disability story so we can explore the Disability Rights Movement’s past, present, and potential. We will celebrate our rich history and make the important connection between then and now, and the importance of continuing to shape our future. Vicki Cuscino, M.S.W., has dedicated most of her career to social justice, focusing on disability rights, eliminating health disparities, and ending violence against women. She has worked in disability rights for the past 21 years and currently serves as Executive Director of Direct Advocacy & Resource Center in Tucson, AZ. Vicki holds a Master’s in Social Work from Temple University. She is a national ADAPT organizer and community involvement includes the University of Arizona Rehabilitation & Mental Health Counseling Program Advisory Board, Sonoran UCEDD Advisory Council, Pima County Health Department Ethics Committee, City of Tucson Commission on Equitable Housing and Development, and the Pima County Financial Wellness Partnership. Hailey Thoman has worked in disability rights for over 10 years. Most of her work has been focused on eliminating barriers to employment for people with disabilities while Executive Director for Linkages. She expanded her advocacy efforts when joining Direct Advocacy & Resource Center, where she currently serves as their Associate Director. Community involvement has included serving as a Commissioner on the Tucson Mayor and Council’s Commission on Disability Issues, founding board member of the AZ APSE Chapter, and a former Board Member for the Autism Society of Southern Arizona.