Amira Rasheed is the SABE Region 3 Board member and is a member of New Mexico Allies, New Mexico Disability Young Disability Leaders and is the President of the People First of Albuquerque. She also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry and Psychology from the University of New Mexico. She is also a field producer for the local public access channel Quote Unquote.
Daniel Ekman has an MA Special Education from the University of New Mexico and won the 2013 Outstanding Student with a Disability Award from the Southwest Conference on Disability. He works at the New Mexico Center for Self-Advocacy as the Program Manager and Outreach Coordinator. He is a member of various self-advocacy groups including New Mexico Allies for Advocacy, People First of Albuquerque, New Mexico Young Disability Leaders and the Jemez Vocational Rehabilitation Advisory Council.
Adam Shand has worked at the New Mexico Center for Self Advocacy since 2012 as a Program Representative. He helps teach new advocates about how to speak up for themselves and presents on various topics in the community among other tasks. Adam also was the People First Statewide Advisor for The Arc of New Mexico from 2011 to 2014 and won the 2009 Robert LaCompte Award for Disability Advocacy from the Arc of New Mexico.
Ms. Nat Dean, a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico since 1993, is a survivor of traumatic brain injury (TBI) as the result of an automobile accident that occurred in 1984 at the age of 28… a time in life where we often feel as if we are ‘invincible’. She has had the benefit of being matched with four dedicated service dogs over the past 28 years (before the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed) to help her navigate the world in ways that would otherwise not have been possible. After a long and difficult 25 years she was fortunate enough to beat the odds and gain some significant recoveries from the TBI and vowed to try and help others have an easier journey than hers through the disability experience… a world that often seemed filled with secret lingo and fragmented difficult to access information, resources and programming.
Over the past seven or eight years she has become increasingly involved in New Mexico’s legislative process as an advocate, including more recently at the Congressional level, in an effort to protect, improve and increase programming and services for persons with disabilities, seniors, families and children at risk. She has played an instrumental role in the passage and/or introduction of numerous pieces of legislation in New Mexico both as an expert witness and a public citizen, including authoring several memorials and bills and researching and co-authoring a number of others. In addition, she frequently testifies at interim committee meetings in-between legislative sessions on a variety of issues. In all aspects of her advocacy work she seeks to include more neophyte cross-disability advocates into the process to increase the voices and presence of the disability community in the shaping of public policy.