Community Involvement

Governor Appointed Board Member of North Carolina Statewide Independent Living Council

April 2021 – Present

I’m so honored to be appointed by North Carolina Governor Cooper to the federally-mandated, not-for-profit NCSILC. We focus on developing state plans for the state independent living services (SPIL), statewide network of Centers for Independent Living (CILs), and monitoring, reviewing, and evaluating the implementation of the State plan.

Ready for Change! — https://ncsilc.org/

Board Member for Alliance of Disability Advocates of North Carolina (ADANC)

August 2020 – Present

ADANC is one of 400 Federally Recognize Centers for Independent Living in the United States, which focuses on ensuring individuals with disabilities have the opportunity they need to live inclusively in a community of their choice. ADANC partners with state leaders to create equal opportunities for people with disabilities by creating programs to empower individuals rooted in the values of: service, advocacy, and dignity.

Raised over $10,000 within several months of joining the organization

This is a passion that is near and dear to my heart as I was injured in a shallow water diving accident in 2010 leaving me in a wheelchair. People with disabilities all deserve equal opportunities to shine in their communities and have the respect to live their best lives. I joined the board as a passionate advocate and in part of the Resource Development Committee responsible for raising outside funds for the organization to create programs with non-restricted funds.

http://www.adanc.org

Repeated Guest Blogger, Podcast Guest, and Volunteer at United Spinal Association

June 2019 – Present

United Spinal Association is the largest nonprofit organization in the country focused on enhancing the quality of life of all people living with spinal cord injuries and related disorders.

I was honored to be part of a consortium of advocates, individuals, doctors, nonprofits, and other leading organizations to lead the charge in working with Medicare to have specific pieces of medically necessary equipment approved.

I’ve also had the distinct pleasure to be a repeated guest blogger for New Mobility Magazine, owned by United Spinal Association, the largest print disability magazine in the country.

My advocacy efforts focus on teaching individuals with disabilities to be their own best advocates in their life with respect to fighting for equipment and services that are medically necessary to improve their lives and live it with independence, and dignity. It’s very challenging to live a life with a disability when you’re constantly fighting for your right to survive. My efforts in teaching people how to navigate the insurance appeals system, speak up, research, and be their own best advocates is grounded in personal experience over the last 10 years since my spinal cord injury. I also focus on mentoring individuals with disabilities, and right on the topic, about intimacy, sex, medical challenges, among others.

http://www.unitedspinal.org & http://www.newmobility.com

Advocate, Ambassador & Guest Blogger at Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation

August 2020 – Present

The Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation is a nonprofit spinal cord injury organization dedicated to advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals, and families impacted by paralysis.

I was honored to be part of a consortium of advocates, individuals, doctors, nonprofits, and other leading organizations to lead the charge in working with Medicare to have specific pieces of medically necessary equipment approved.

The Reeve Foundation asked me to be a two-part guest blogger on the topic of self-advocacy and how to navigate the Health Insurance Appeals System.

I continue to work with the Reeve foundation on advancing forward the right of individuals with disability to improve their independence through continuous health insurance work in the industry.

http://www.christopherreeve.org

Push Living Magazine Columnist

2017 – Present

Push Living is a publisher, retail, digital image library, travel operator, educator/trainer, business marketing expert, and professional speaker service with the mission to elevate disability culture beyond charity and inspiration, to one of real inclusion and opportunity.

The owner of Push Living Magazine invited me to be a regular columnist for Push Living. My advocacy efforts focus on teaching individuals with disabilities to be their own best advocates in their life with respect to fighting for equipment and services that are medically necessary to improve their lives and live it with independence, and dignity. It’s very challenging to live a life with a disability when you’re constantly fighting for your right to survive. My efforts in teaching people how to navigate the insurance appeals system, speak up, research, and be their own best advocates is grounded in personal experience over the last 10 years since my spinal cord injury. I also focus on mentoring individuals with disabilities, and right on the topic, about intimacy, sex, medical challenges, among others.

http://www.pushliving.com/author/ali/

North Carolina Spinal Cord Injury Association Volunteer

January 2019 – Present

Being a wheelchair user I joined the North Carolina Spinal Cord Association to become more involved in the community, understand the needs of those in wheelchairs, and propel forward the mission of equal rights for those with disabilities in our community.

http://www.ncscia.org