“It’s a resounding ‘yes’— I’ll go!” said Menard Martinez of Adelante’s Document Destruction Services upon being selected to speak at the SourceAmerica advocacy conference, and to New Mexico’s congressional delegates in Washington, D.C., in June. “It was great…I was able to advocate for myself, and for people like me that I work with,” Menard says.
SourceAmerica is a nonprofit organization working with community rehabilitation providers to find jobs for people with disabilities, and its annual conference serves to both educate and encourage congressional delegates to support legislation promoting workplace inclusion and accessibility for people with disabilities.
Menard met with staff members from each congressional office that represents New Mexico, relaying his personal story and reminding our leaders about the importance of work in the lives of people with disabilities. “Some people underestimate what we can do,” he says.
“Menard is a very dynamic person, and is not afraid to speak up for his rights,” says Robin Johnson, Senior Director of Operations. “He’s got a great work ethic. I wish I had 10 more of him.”
“Going up there was quite an experience, and I hope I get to do it again someday,” Menard says. He and the Adelante personnel in attendance felt it was a successful endeavor, and were happy to be on Capitol Hill representing New Mexico.
Workers with disabilities from over 30 states attended the conference. “I’m glad I got the honor to go and speak for people with disabilities, advocate for us,” Menard says. “I hope my voice made a difference.”