I am very happy to be writing you from JJ’s List and Search! My name is Tricia Luzadder and I am the new Ventures Programs Manager at Search’s Evanston site. While I am new in this role, I am not entirely new to Search. I previously worked as a No Boundaries mentor and then as the No Boundaries trainer under the guidance of JJ Hanley. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to pick up where she left off, advancing a mix of truly innovative advocacy, training and direct support initiatives, including all of the important activities of JJ’s List. I am excited and look forward to the challenges of taking on a bigger role at Search and to providing new leadership to programs and social enterprises that offer essential training, self-advocacy opportunities and support for people with disabilities.
My passion and focus is helping individuals with disabilities reach their full potential, participate in the communities in which they live and have their voices heard. Since the birth of my daughter over 16 years ago, I have worked as an advocate for individuals with disabilities in several volunteer and professional capacities. I began at the National Association for Down syndrome before taking on a full time position with Chicago Public Schools as the Parent Advocate in the Office of Diverse Learners Supports + Services. All of this work taught me to work collaboratively with colleagues and advocates towards a common goal, and to be compassionate and understanding with individuals with disabilities and their families. These experiences also illustrated to me the need to educate others about the abilities and positive impact of inclusion of individuals like my daughter. It was after this experience that I ended up at Search.
I am thrilled to be back here, and have received a heart-warming and touching welcome back from those I know. I look forward to carrying on this important work and to advocating for people with disabilities through JJ’s List and No Boundaries! I hope to have the opportunity to connect with you through this work!