Rick Heitz - building up the advocacy network in Montana
The Rural Institute for Inclusive Communities is looking forward to working with Rick Heitz. Rick is the Montana State Coordinator for Pacific Alliance for Disability Self-Advocacy (PADSA), visit: http://autisticadvocacy.org/chapters/padsa/
Here are Rick’s own words about himself: “I became involved in the disability community when I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called Sjogren’s in April 2008. I have many of the symptoms of MS (Multiple Sclerosis) which is a slow degenerating disease.
“During the 3 years it took the doctors to figure out what was wrong I noticed that there was a lack of resources and the ability to find those resources. As I began looking for those resources I found Summit Independent Living Center where I became a peer advocate. I took part in the Living Well and Working Well with a disability programs (visit: http://livingandworkingwell.org/default.cfm) and then began to teach them as a facilitator. Since then I started a men’s disability support group, I volunteer at the Lighthouse Christian Home for the Intellectually Disabled, and sit on the Vocational Rehabilitation Council Board, among other things.
“As the Montana State Coordinator for PADSA I bring my passion for disability awareness to help support local self-advocacy organizations. I look forward to identifying and building up the advocacy network in Montana.”