Delores Sallis adopted Albert a child with special needs, when his joy for school started to fade away, she refused to suffer in silence. She challenged the department of public-school instructional practices dealing with disabilities, creating a pathway to include thousands of people who live in limbo without the chance to live their best life.
Including people with disabilities in everyday activities and encouraging them to have roles like their peers who do not have a disability is disability inclusion.
This year, Sallis, a longtime advocate for people with special needs and founder of Parent University makes sure that adequate policies and practices are in effect in Milwaukee communities got the opportunity to talk with White House officials about her longtime service in an often-underserved community of Milwaukee. Parent University, which serves as a resource for Black and other families of color and their loved ones with disabilities in the Milwaukee area has served as a bridge to a higher quality of life for many even after her son’s death in 2021. “We just feel so strongly about the importance of supporting people in their communities, who really know their communities well, and have that trust, and that ability to deliver right in the community,” Beth Swedeen, the Executive Director of the state-run program, told Spectrum News. “And Dolores is solid gold that way.”
Disability affects approximate 61 million, or nearly 1 in 4 (26%) people in the United States living in communities. Disability affects more than one billion people worldwide. According to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, people “. . . with disabilities include those who have long-term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory [such as hearing or vision] impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.”
Delores Sallis was one of a room full of VIPs in Washington for the Communities in Action event. The half-day forum brought local elected investments made under the administration and their impacts in communities throughout the country.