I am Jackie Armstrong, a self advocate for and advocate for *disabled people and autistic people in California. I am passionate about choice and person centered practices, and that includes my own experience with supported employment and supported living. I strongly believe that you have to walk the walk, not just talk the talk to be able to experience other people’s viewpoints, and that philosophy and culture of support affects each person’s perception of the other. To give one example, I have been labeled as loud and disruptive in one place, and lively and fun at another-I much prefer the latter!
I love to talk, and I've harnessed that drive to talk into a career of public speaking. I’ve presented on a multitude of subjects-Supported Employment, Supported Living, HCBS changes, Full inclusion in school. I’ve found that I am probably most passionate about supported employment, but I am passionate about everything I speak about, I feel that it kind of has to be-it’s hard to talk about something longer than 5 minutes that doesn’t completely interest me, usually then I'm listening rather than talking.
*Note: A lot of my peers prefer identity first over person first language, so to be respectful I will honor that request. I do tend to use both interchangeably and probably will in future writings.