Ability slogan image

About Michele

Michele and Maddie visit San Antonio

One of Michele's favorite expressions is "Give me diversity or give me death" and she has certainly practiced it with quite a diverse and distinguished biography professionally and personally.

 

Highlights:

  • Proud Mother of four & Grandmother of five
  • Professionally sang, played and taught piano, guitar and organ.
  • Worked as receptionist, accounts receivables, and other office support areas

Early Professional:

  • Certified Respiratory Therapist with a total of eight years experience.
  • Certified Hospital Chaplain including working for a home health agency in this capacity.
  • Certified Personnel Consultant / business owner placing clients nationally
  • Writer of Common Sense Manuals employment manuals for both employers and candidates
  • Held all day training seminars in the tri-state area for employers and candidates

Post ADA Professional

Even before the ADA was finalized, Michele closed her successful Certified Personnel Consultant business and reopened as a non-for profit firm placing only those with disabilities on Temporary to Full Time positions.

Michele found that most employers were hesitant to hire those with disabilities for fear of not knowing how to fire them if they did not work out.  By using this innovative approach Michele was able to achieve an 80% placement success rate.  During this time she found out how many employers were lost on how to retrofit or adjust a job site with often simple, basic approaches available.  This led her to an awareness of the need for training for architects, engineers, contractors, owners, and operations managers on what constitutes accessibility and how to achieve accessible solutions using a practical approach.

The rest is history.  Since 1991 Michele's list of consulting and training clients is well beyond 200 or more and continuously grows.   Because of her passion and common sense, people turn to her on a daily basis for assistance and guidance.  Her message has taken another step forward in that many are looking to Michele for motivational and keynote presentations.

As a wheelchair user with a beautiful Hungarian Vizsla "Maddie" as her service dog, Michele travels around the country by either plane or preferably using her own specially retrofitted Tahoe sharing her passion and solutions with professional organizations, public agencies, private firms and advocacy groups.  Michele's goal when training or presenting is for everyone involved to walk away realizing that life is exciting, solutions are available and moving forward is the only way to live a full satisfying life.  Success for Michele is not based on win or lose outcomes, but inclusive and practical solutions for everyone.  Even her logo which she designed has the motivational message "ABLE" on it and her license plate is "ABLE".

Author:

Michele is the author of the book "The ADA & Accessibility - Let's Get Practical" which is in its 2nd Edition and is on the best seller on the publications list of APWA (The American Public Works Association) the publisher.   She has also authored numerous articles for national and local publications related to employment, facilities, public right of ways, disability awareness and diversity.  She had her own weekly cable TV program related to disability issues for a year.

Personal:

Michele believes we must LIVE, LOVE, LAUGH, LEARN AND SHARE.   Her deep faith in her creator not dependent on a specific denomination helps her live with her 24/7 continuous pain and multiple disabilities.   Her infectious smile and fast moving power wheelchair with Maddie at her side has her labeled as "THE WILD WACKY WOMAN OF WHEELCHAIR LANE!".   Michele has stated she will have to live until at least 125 years just to accomplish all she still wants to do including writing a daily thought book.

Just a few Boards and Commissions either Serving On or Served on.

  • US Access Board Public Rights of Way Advisory Committee
  • Governor's Council on Disabilities
  • Governor's Training and Employment Council
  • MARC Special Transit, Transit, and Bicycle/Ped Committees
  • Missouri State Rehabilitation Council
  • APWA National Facilities and Grounds Committee
  • KC Riverfront Heritage Trail
  • APWA KC Metro Chapter Board
  • Coalition For Independence Board
  • Easter Seals Project Action Training Review Committee
  • MO Elevator Safety Board
  • State Vocational Rehabilitation Committee
  • State Protection and Advocacy Board
  • Missouri Protection and Advocacy Services
  • MOSILC - Missouri Statewide Independent Living Centers

Some of Her Awards

  • Bishop Sullivan Award for Disability Services
  • First Woman Award
  • APWA National Diversity Award
  • Service Animal Awareness Award
  • Kansas City Police Board Recognition
  • Goodwill Industries Recognition

For more details feel free to contact us