Jennifer Weigand of Jefferson County has been nationally recognized with a nomination for the prestigious Tom Miller Award through SourceAmerica. This esteemed acknowledgement is only given to those individuals who demonstrate outstanding achievement and remarkable passion for self-advocacy on a local or national level. SourceAmerica is a national nonprofit and leading source of employment opportunities for people with significant disabilities. Each year they recognize individuals who are trained and employed through a national network of over 500 community-based nonprofit agencies.
Weigand qualified for this respected honor due to her exemplary efforts in promoting the rights and preserving the independent choices of those who may have limited ability or life barriers. As a participant in Opportunities, Inc.’s vocational training program; Weigand knows firsthand the obstacles and achievements of those with special needs.
As a founding member of A TEAM Wisconsin, a self-advocate and family grassroots movement that works diligently to protect all services for people with disabilities; Weigand has positively influenced change worthy of recognition. Her strong voice for choice has been heard by many influential leaders and policy makers. Weigand has met with several Wisconsin legislators over the past three years, including, Representatives’ Jorgensen, Kleefisch, Nass, Horlacher and Jagler. Additionally, she has visited with Lt. Governor Kleefisch and the Governor’s office staff to deliver an important message for the protection of a full array of employment services in the state of Wisconsin. Furthermore, Weigand has traveled to Washington D.C. twice on behalf of national grassroots advocacy through Source America. On her travels, she has presented her testimony in front of hundreds of people and has held meetings with federal Representatives’ Sensenbrenner, Ryan, Moore, Duffy, and Pocan, as well as, Senators’ Baldwin and Johnson.
Weigand has made many significant impacts as a self-advocate for individuals with disabilities; however it is her own self-dignity, purpose and personal advancement that have been the most remarkable achievements deserving of recognition.
“I’ve learned that I have a voice, a voice for those who can’t speak for themselves. People, including legislators need to hear from us,” said Weigand.
Barb LeDuc, President/CEO of Opportunities, Inc; Jennifer Weigand, national award nominee, and Robin Kennedy, Director of Agency Relations of Opportunities, Inc.