Hear our Stories
Our digital storytelling series highlights the lived experience of individuals with mental health conditions and developmental disabilities. This effort aims to raise awareness and educate the public on best practices when it comes to working with this population.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Brian's StoryBrian Treece is a 39-year-old autistic man living in southwestern Pennsylvania. He has consistently proven wrong the expectations placed on him as a kid, becoming an independent adult with a job, a car, and an apartment. He has earned a position as a Certified Peer Specialist at Auberle Social Service Agency in McKeesport, where he serves youth with disabilities in helping them reach goals, gain confidence, and advocate for themselves and each other. Brian believes that staying positive and keeping realistic expectations is the formula for finding opportunities to do what one loves in life. He continues to pursue higher education and plans to obtain a master's degree in Social Work or Therapy.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Laura's StoryLaura is a retired Special Educator living in East Texas, and has experience in parenting a child with a unique diagnosis. At the time David was growing up, there was not much information on his condition, presenting many obstacles through adulthood. Like many parents of children with disabilities, Laura dedicates her expertise and understanding to what she has learned with her son over the years. Despite negative perspectives from certain professionals during David's youth, he works at a job he loves, ran competitively and still runs as a hobby, and enjoys an active lifestyle with supports from his friends and family.
MHDD EDI Digital Storytelling Series: Mustafa's StoryMustafa Rfat is a 35 year old living in Missouri, who is originally from Iraq. He shares some of his experiences as a refugee with disabilities, and his perspectives on how providing disability and mental health services for individuals like him may be improved.
Connect with Mustafa on LinkedIn!
MHDD Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Digital Storytelling Series: Maria's StoryMaria Delrosario is mother to an autistic son. In this episode, she shares their experiences as a Filipino American family navigating school, upcoming transition to employment, social gatherings, disability and mental health services, and more. Listen to gain a better understanding about cultural differences and learn from her recommendations for families and professionals.
MHDD Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion Digital Storytelling Series: Eileen's StoryEileen Quintana is the mother of a son who has Down's Syndrome. She shares details about how the American Indian culture enriches their understanding of living a full life with a disability.
MHDD Digital Storytelling Series: Michael's StoryMichael Gilberg is an Attorney At Law living in Westchester County, New York, whose practice serves mostly children with disabilities who do not currently receive what is considered an appropriate education at the cost of the state in which they reside. Below is a portion of the bio from his website, https://www.michaelgilbergesq.com/
As an attorney who went through the special education system growing up with misdiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome I will put my heart and soul into your case, because I know what you are going through. My personal experience gives me a level of insight and empathy into your situations that many attorneys do not have. I am passionate about helping people with disabilities because I have walked in your shoes. Contact me about how I can help you with any legal problem related to Special Education or Disability Rights because justice moves slowly while injustice moves quickly.