Jan 21, 2021
Join Maria Matzik, a proud disabled woman, and Education and Advocacy Specialist at the Access Center for Independent Living in Dayton, OH.
Disability is a natural part of the human experience. Disability can occur at any point in life, and range from mild to severe. The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes that what defines individuals with disabilities, their abilities, and their health outcomes more often depends on their community, including social and environmental circumstances. What makes someone "disabled" is not their medical condition, but the attitudes and structures of society. People with disabilities have less access to health care services, for a variety of reasons, and therefore experience unmet health care needs. A diagnosis of a disability should not define us, our talents and abilities, or health behaviors and health status. People with disabilities are a diverse group who share the experience of living with significant limitations in functioning and, as a result, often experience exclusion from full participation in their communities.
Maria Matzik is 50 years old and identifies as a proud, disabled woman. Maria’s pronouns are: she, her, her’s. Her disability is Muscular Dystrophy, specifically Spinal Muscular Atrophy Type II. She uses the assistance of a ventilator to breath and a reclining motorized wheelchair for mobility. Maria has been a Disability Rights advocate (local, state & national) for over 25 years. She has been a self-advocate for as long as she can remember. Maria has participated in over 28 state and national committees advocating for home and community-based services. Maria is a graduate of Wright State University in Dayton with a Bachelor’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling. Currently, Maria is the Education and Advocacy Specialist at the Access Center for Independent Living in Dayton. Maria has been employed by the Access Center for more than 20 years. In Maria’s personal life she lives in her own home, owned by her and her partner of 25 years. They both share a passion for animals, cooking and the disability rights movement. Maria is a consumer of the Ohio Home Care Waiver program. She is currently enrolled on the MyCare Ohio Dual Eligible program through Molina.