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“I have always worked”

I have always worked My first job, the first waitress in a wheelchair. An experiment on inclusion WAY before inclusion was a thing. It took an openminded forward thinking company to embark on such a journey and a huge part, my willingness to try. I would stun my guests carrying 15 margaritas on my lap as I weaved through tables delivering them. Every day I chose to go to work I had the massive opportunity to show the public “possible.” This story proves that people with disabilities could do any type of job even the jobs no one ever thought we could. Inclusion in the workplace is collaborative, it’s creative, it’s something we do together. It takes communication, adaptability and believing 100% in what we think is “impossible” to be “possible.” From waitress to VP of Sales at Knock to Motivational Speaker. Always proving to be a valued part of the team as a woman and more importantly a woman with a disability who can get the job done. We can’t assume what someone can or cannot do unless they say. These types of moments empower the workplace where inclusion and diversity lend itself to be valuable and hopefully widen the doors of opportunities for those that follow me are some my proudest moments. This post in honor of National Disability Employment Month!

 #nationaldisabilityemploymentawarenessmonth

Grace Hill – All Hands Meeting Virtual Speech “Inclusivity Removes Invisibility”

This has been a week to remember. Two speeches, in my own industry, in front of my peers and a successful jam packed work week. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude. Today I was asked to speak at GraceHill’s all hands meeting to celebrate National Disability Employment Month…an absolute honor beyond words. A quick 25min speech. And to receive back so much love and encouragement from their team, on a message that is so important to all of us collectively I’m at a loss in words as I reflect. My heart, my soul is SO full! To have the opportunities in my lifetime to impact change and progression even in the smallest of ways… Im speechless. And to receive real emotions back … gratitude is not enough to describe how thankful I am. The power in this is SO beyond me. To receive message like “Alycia, thank you for such a moving presentation. You are a beautiful human being! This really hit home today. Thank you thank you thank you!” #hithome OMG WOW! This is the validation that drives me! And its not about me. It’s about us and who follows us into a better tomorrow. Grateful ♥️🙏🏻

“The Empowerment of a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace”

3…2…1…action!

Looking forward to spending some time virtually for a keynote at the Apartment Association of Metro Denver FORWARD: 2020 HYBRID Education Conference and Trade Show this week! My next speaking opportunity on “The Empowerment of a Diverse and Inclusive Workplace!” Excited to speak in front of my peers, in an industry I have found a happy home and amazing career and hopefully have a positive impact even if in the smallest way towards the progression of inclusion professionally!

Living Inclusion in a Diverse World

I had the great privilege to be interviewed on the JuvoHub podcast. This podcast’s goal is to promote career growth and self-education in the property management realm. We discussed diversity, inclusion, and the responsibility that leaders have in the work-force and in life. We need to begin to strip away the barriers and get to the heart of the matter.

Come hang out with me and host Jonathan Saar as I continue my mission to motivate and invoke change through the power of diversity and inclusion.

“The Heart of Inclusion”

I was asked in an interview recently: 

If our country went to a 4-day work week, how would you spend your 5th day? My Answer:I would use the extra time to write more, speak more, and share my story more. I feel a calling to be a role model in inclusion, diversity, and belonging. This is my side hustle! Finding places to share my message and fine-tuning it to be impactful and poignant is something I feel could cause a lot of good.

This weekend on a very fitting Labor Day 3-day weekend, I decided to nestle in and write and create and explore content. The more I write and the deeper I am able to go, the content overtime seems to get richer and more impactful. I’m on a very personal journey in hopes to write that “ONE” speech. You know, the one that you see the most famous speakers of all giving over and over again. That most important speech which will stand the test of time. That one speech that even when you read it quietly on your-own, you get goosebumps and you’re affected and inspired in the moment yourself.  

Imagining the potential impact if I’m lucky enough to be hired to deliver it, feels like it could be profound.  But, even if no one ever hears my speech somehow that doesn’t matter because in the process I have grown again and developed even more in my own understanding and craft by digging deep and putting pen to paper.  

“The Heart of Inclusion” Coming soon!

“It’s these quiet personal triumphs that give strength”

Most people assume the tough part of my life is that I will never, ever walk. That a full and happy life is defined by walk vs roll. And though pushing through life instead of skipping has it’s challenges and unforeseen obstacles on the regular, this is actually often the interesting part of my life.

The hardest part of my life is the stuff that no one sees other than my totally awesome husband, who takes such good care of me when it does and Milo my puppy that will literally snuggle me for days back to health.

When that occasional kidney infection knocks on my door and completely takes me out of the normal busy major hustle of everyday career progression and dream chasing… like a total thief over night.

I’m not complaining at all. This is a road I’m required to travel, part of my journey into tomorrow and I’m fully aware of its magnitude and I’m grateful. But my point I guess is we all have stuff that is so much harder than the next person will ever see or know and we can’t assume what is visible on the outside is the most difficult all the time.

It’s these quiet personal triumphs that give us the strength, know how and confidence to completely overcome the other stuff that seem so giant in the moment.

P.S. back to work tomorrow ☺️

Be the Change You Wish to See in the World

On the 30th Anniversary of American’s with Disabilities Act, I’m thankful for the advocates that bravely crawled up the steps of the Capitol building when there was no access demanding to be seen and heard. Demanding for the equality of basic human rights for all. For them…I can go to work without being discriminated against and earn livelihood the same as you. I have access to education, medical care, services and infrastructure. I can park my car and have the space I need to put my wheelchair together (and yep that’s what that space is for) I have access to public bathrooms with space for my wheelchair to close the stall door and have equal privacy just like you (yep that’s what that was built for also) I can drive. I can fly. I can travel. I can study abroad on scholarships. I have access to mobility equipment, wheelchairs, sport wheelchairs, hand cycles and adapted sports programs. I can access life just like you. It’s not ok to excluded me or place judgement on what you think I can or cannot do. That’s up to ME to decide. It’s not ok to tell me no and leave me on the sidelines and offer me less than another. I was 15 years old when this powerful and most important civil rights legislation was finally passed …1990! Why did it take us so long to care about me…to care about WE. ADA is here for ALL of us. If ever you find yourself in need of it for a moment or forever like me, it’s here. Let’s celebrate today the freedom ADA gifts us as Americans. I will “be the change I wish to see in the world” There is still so much work to do but I’m so hopeful and grateful and I will continue to do my part everyday single day! ♥️