All posts by Felicity House

This month we are learning more about our Self Advocate Advisory Board (SAAB) member, Brigid Rankowski. Brigid is a disability advocate, writer, artist, and fire spinner and breather.  Along with seven other women, Brigid joined our SAAB last year and we are thrilled to have her guidance and support.

Bio: Brigid Rankowski is a disability advocate and performer located in Maine. She works with the Maine Teaching Artist Leadership Initiative to help teachers and professionals learn how to better educate students with disabilities by using different artistic methods. She also heads the education committee for the Autism Society of Maine, helping to create new material for her state. She continues to work as a disability advocate at the state and local level with a vested interest in women’s issues, LGBTQA issues, and promotion of the arts as a creative outlet as well as a career path. In her free time she breathes fire.

What excites you most about joining the Felicity House Self Advocacy Advisory Board?
I am so excited about spreading the awareness of Felicity House as it is a wonderful space I think so many people will benefit from.

What advice would you give your younger self?
The biggest piece of advice I would tell myself is to not try too hard to make friendships with those people who treat me poorly. There will be many people who can see how amazing you are that won’t ask you to be put in uncomfortable situations because they already like you as a person.

What do you embrace most about your autism diagnosis?
For me, I embrace my ability to create grand plans by thinking outside the box. I have been able to do amazing things because the thought of limitations stopping me never crossed my mind.

Who inspires you and why?
I’m inspired by my peers who constantly are chasing their dreams and working on improving themselves as well as improving the world around them. I’m in awe at some of the people in my life who do dream big and work towards those dreams.

Who is your favorite fictional character?
This is VERY difficult. If I had to choose only one character, my choice would be River Tam from the short lived TV show Firefly. She’s a very complicated person with a past who tries her best to live her life. She’s a strong woman who has been through so much, yet has not let the past harden her which I very much admire.

Maine Fun Fact: Maine produces 99% of all the blueberries in the country making it the single largest producer of blueberries in the United States. Also, nearly 90% of the nation’s lobster supply is caught off the coast of Maine.

Meet Julia Bascom, a Felicity House Self Advocate Advisory Board (SAAB) member. Julia joined the SAAB last year along with seven other autistic women who are all leaders within their communities working on a national level to empower others living with autism.

For the next few months we will introduce all of our SAAB members and highlight their communities. This month we are getting to know Julia and her community in Washington DC.

Bio: Julia Bascom is the Executive Director at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network. Previously, she did state-level work in her home state of New Hampshire, where she served on the DD council and co-led an inter-agency team to revitalize self-advocacy within the state, in addition to her work with ASAN. Julia edited Loud Hands: Autistic People, Speaking, an anthology of writings by autistic people, and currently serves on the Disability Equality Index advisory board, the Centene National Disability Advisory Council, and the board of Advance CLASS, Inc. She writes about autistic identity, community, and language; disability rights; theory vs. praxis; and autism acceptance on her website, Just Stimming.

What excites you most about joining the Felicity House Self Advocacy Advisory Board? Felicity House is the kind of space I always wished I’d had when I was younger. I’m so excited to be able to be involved in it now.

What advice would you give your younger self? You are going to really like stage managing. Start earlier.

What do you embrace most about your autism diagnosis? Echolalia.

Who inspires you and why? Judy Heumann, the mother of the disability rights movement. She always spoke up, even when it seemed impossible.

Who is your favorite fictional character? Hermione Granger.

Washington DC Fun Fact: There is an empty crypt beneath the Capitol building. George Washington was supposed to be buried there but he wanted to be buried at Mount Vernon so the crypt is empty.

Women in Comics was held on Thursday, April 27, 2017 to bring forth three leading women working in the comic industry: Amy Chu, comic writer most notably known for her work with DC Comics and Marvel; Kristina Rogers, Events Manager at Comic Con; and Hope Nicholson, comic book editor, publisher and owner of Bedside Press. The event was a panel discussion exploring topics such as women superheroes, writing inspirations, and sexism in the comic book industry. The panel was moderated by the hosts of the popular Comic Book Club Podcast, Justin Tyler and Alex Zalben.

To listen to a recording of the panel visit the Comic Book Club Podcast here.