When it comes to financial and legal matters, individuals with disabilities often find themselves dealing with a web of challenges that extend far beyond the boundaries of accessibility. There is a disconcerting reality that there are pervasive issues that demand immediate attention and systematic reform.
The Money & Legal Matters priority action area at Disability Expo 2024 will offer expert guidance, resources, and insights to navigate financial aid, legal services, and effective money management.
Meet Terri-Louise Brown: Founder of Talks With M.S., Disability Advocate and Money & Legal Matters Champion. Discover, in our exclusive interview, her personal journey as a Black disabled woman, navigating corporate challenges, and the inspiration behind her involvement in this particular area of the event.
What are the main issues faced by people with disabilities when it comes to Money and Legal Matters? What do you think the root causes are and what are some of the solutions?
Terri-Louise Brown: Individuals with disabilities often confront considerable challenges when navigating financial and legal realms. Accessibility to financial services, like banking and insurance, faces hurdles due to both physical and digital barriers, limiting their ability to independently manage financial matters.
Employment disparities arise from discriminatory practices and a lack of awareness, contributing to financial instability among people with disabilities. Additionally, legal proceedings may be rendered inaccessible due to physical barriers within legal facilities and inadequate accommodations.
Fundamental causes include societal stigma, limited accessibility infrastructure, and the absence of inclusive policies. Addressing these challenges requires promoting financial inclusivity through accessible banking services, stringent enforcement of anti-discrimination legislation, enhancement of employment opportunities, and the establishment of legal frameworks that comprehensively accommodate the diverse needs of individuals with disabilities.
Cultivating awareness and fostering an inclusive mindset are integral components of dismantling systemic barriers.
What inspired you to get involved in Money and Legal Matters at Disability Expo? Are there personal experiences or stories that motivated your involvement in this area?
Terri-Louise Brown: As a Black disabled woman navigating the corporate world, my journey into the realm of Money and Legal Matters at the Disability Expo is deeply rooted in a commitment to breaking down barriers. Throughout my career, I’ve encountered challenges accessing financial services and facing legal complexities due to both disability and racial factors. These hurdles have motivated me to actively participate in initiatives that promote inclusivity and equity.
My involvement is fueled by the desire to amplify the voices of those facing similar challenges, advocating for accessible banking services, fair employment opportunities, and legal systems that understand and accommodate diverse needs.
By sharing my own stories and experiences, I hope to contribute to a more inclusive and understanding corporate environment for people with disabilities, particularly those who, like me, navigate the intersectionality of disability and race.
Can you share a bit about your background and experience, particularly in relation to supporting individuals with disabilities?
Terri-Louise Brown: In addition to my corporate background, I take pride in having founded a multiple sclerosis-based charity. This organization not only serves as a support system but has also evolved into a thriving community of over 1,500 individuals diagnosed with MS and their allies. My personal journey with multiple sclerosis has inspired me to create a space that goes beyond traditional support structures.
This community fosters connection, understanding, safe space and empowerment among those facing the challenges of MS.
Through my work in the charity, I’ve been able to combine my professional skills with my personal experiences, advocating for inclusivity not only in corporate settings but also within the broader community.
I am dedicated to making a positive impact by providing resources, fostering connections, and advocating for the unique needs of those living with multiple sclerosis.
Please tell us more about the charity you founded, Talks With MS, and its mission.
Terri-Louise Brown: Talks with M.S. acts as a big brother/big sister platform/registered charity that aims to support and empower people with Multiple Sclerosis, it allows people with MS to speak freely with others that know exactly what they are going through based on lived experiences. Our vision is to enhance the prominence of multiple sclerosis (MS) within the UK, with a particular emphasis on the underrepresented black community.
We strive to promote greater representation and inclusion, ensuring that we are actively part of this ever-expanding and inclusive world. Our mission is to enhance awareness and understanding of multiple sclerosis (MS) while offering valuable advice and support based on lived experiences. We accomplish this through a comprehensive range of services, which include:
• Peer support groups
• Information and advice on MS via webinars & in person events
• Advocacy and campaigning
• Research participation
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