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Why I Am A Disability Activist by Avery Olmstead

The following video was created by Avery Olmstead and posted on YouTube on November 4, 2012.

For closed captions, click on the “CC” button on the lower-right side of the YouTube window once you play the video.


Hi, My name is Avery Olmstead. I’m 43 years old and I live in Old Town, Maine. I guess I’d call myself a “Librarian, Activist, Reader, Writer, Public Speaker, Actor, Dancer, TV Fan, Troublemaker, etc.” I also use a wheelchair, due to Cerebral Palsy. I created this video a couple of years ago after I was honored with the “Social Change” award at the 20th anniversary celebration of Maine’s UCEDD (University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities).

I have a BS in Rehabilitation Services from the University of Maine at Farmington and an MLIS in Library & Information Science from the University of South Carolina at Columbia (through distance education).

Soon, I will be finishing up a 2.5 year stint at a job I’ve really enjoyed. I’ve been working on a grant as an Academic Librarian through the Department of Disability and Human Development at the University of Illinois – Chicago.

In September, 2014, I began a year-long educational fellowship as part of the LEND (Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and other related Disabilities) program, through the University of Maine & the University of New Hampshire: (http://ccids.umaine.edu/interedu/nh-lend/). LEND is a Maternal and Child Health workforce development program for graduate students and professionals aimed at improving the system of care for children with disabilities and their families.

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