An Interview with Disability Advocate Liz Weintraub
This guest blog post is written by Think College intern, Rachel Adams-Duffy. Rachel is a student at Turning Point at Bergen Community College and will be graduating in May 2022. Rachel is interested in writing and advocacy and has been an intern at Think College, working closely with Rebecca Lazo and Sheila Johnson throughout the Spring of 2022. Below, Rachel shares her thoughts based on an interview with Liz Weintraub at AUCD.
On February 23, 2022 I had the opportunity to interview Liz Weintraub. Meeting and interviewing with Liz meant the world to me. Liz is such an open-minded person that has an amazing outlook on life, Liz never allows anything to get her down and that is one of the many things I admire and personally love about her.
Liz works for the Association of University Centers on Disabilities. AUCD is a membership organization that supports and promotes a national network of university-based programs. Liz runs Think College Emerging Advocates calls via Zoom to educate individuals in the community about disabilities, policy advocacy, and awareness.
I learned so much from Liz on the day I interviewed with her. The interview made me so happy and has changed my perspective on how I view the world and my life in so many positive ways. Liz has her own YouTube channel and the channel is called “Tuesdays with Liz''. On this channel, Liz herself interviews with so many different individuals that have all different types of disabilities. I get so much joy out of hearing Liz speak to each individual person. Liz’s perspective and her own personal view of life is truly empowering and inspiring. Hearing about Liz and her childhood experiences really opened my eyes and has shown me how strong I could be as an individual who has a physical disability. What I learned and took away from interviewing with Liz is to never give up on my dreams and to continue to fight for what I believe in because nothing is impossible. Liz’s drive, determination, passion for disability advocacy, and zest of life is truly amazing. Liz’s words mean so much to those who get the opportunity to connect with her and that in itself is a beautiful thing to see.
In my opinion, Liz is one of the most hardworking people. Liz is an inspiration to all who meet her. Liz’s dedication to support and help the community is incredible. Liz is so uplifting, encouraging, and positive. Liz’s heart is so pure and she is a great mentor for her community and she puts her heart into the work she creates. I hope to be as passionate as Liz is about advocating for myself as time goes on. I am truly grateful for the opportunities and experiences I have had since I began advocating for myself on a professional, educational, and personal level. Advocating is a true gift and a great thing to learn. Additionally, advocating for myself hasn’t always been easy, but it is so worth it in the end, and feels so rewarding.
The experience with interviewing Liz had to be one of my most favorite days. I learned so much from Liz hearing about her personal life and how she grew up truly meant so much to me. Speaking, interviewing, and interacting with Liz truly made my day and her experiences were so meaningful. Liz is personally one of the sweetest and strongest people I know. I am so grateful for the opportunity to get to connect with her. I have been told by individuals that I inspire them, I am not here to inspire more to show the world and my community that I am capable and resilient. I appreciate and honor Liz’s struggle more because I can relate to it and to know how much time and effort it takes for me to get through the physical obstacles of my daily life. Phases of my own personal journey and struggles have taught me more about myself and what I can persevere through. All I ask is that people respect my experiences and feelings and to be there if needed. Talking to Liz affirmed my feelings and she can truly understand and relate to what I am going through.
You can read more about Rachel in this article and in the Spotlight Student interview.
About the blog author: My name is Rachel Adams-Duffy and I am in my final year at Bergen Community College in the Turning Point Program. I attended a variety of academic classes during my experience at Bergen. I am overwhelmingly excited to graduate and enjoy my summer with my family and friends. I live with my mom, dad, two sisters, and brother. I hope to return to school and receive a bachelor’s and master's degree in Child Social Work.