I pride myself on being an advocate of many things including disability rights and justice. As a person with multiple disabilities, being an advocate for yourself and telling your story your way is important, so others can’t create a narrative about who you are and what you’re all about. That was exactly Vicki Kelly’s thinking when she put her three young triplet sons — Dom, Sean, and Paul, all diagnosed with cerebral palsy — in front of a room full of high school students to talk about their disability. That was Dominic Kelly’s first taste of disability advocacy but it would most certainly not be his last.
Since then he has had a pretty impressive resume with Stacy Abrams for her organization, Fair Fight, where he was both strategic advisor for disability and senior fundraising manager. Then when Abrams was running to become governor of Georgia, Dom worked on her campaign continuing his work as senior advisor for disability and also took on the role of Georgia Fundraising Director. I recently was given the opportunity to talk with Dom about his new nonprofit organization New Disabled South and what it is all about.
Larissa: What inspired you to start New Disabled South and what is it, for people that don’t know?
Dominic: New Disabled South is a disability rights and disability justice organization working in 14 Southern states. We’re the first regional disability organization in the United States, and we are working to create both policy change and narrative change around disability in the South. I started working on my idea for New Disabled South three years ago, and over that time, the idea evolved. I knew that we needed to build power in our community and that the same old things weren’t working, but I wanted to make