Get to know Katrina (Female, Veteran, Physical Disability, Chronic Illness)

Katrina is an outdoor loving, Veteran, with a physical disability and chronic illness, who will always ask you to hold the capers. A persistent, tough, fighter; Katrina is a strategic development officer on a mission to change conditions for people with a disability.

Summary: Katrina, a veteran with a chronic illness, overcame significant challenges to receive a life-saving stem cell transplant. She now advocates for inclusive workplaces and representation, emphasizing the importance of understanding individual needs and providing accommodations without judgment.


00:02 Dr. Liz hosts a show focusing on diverse lived experiences, inclusion, and creating a world where everyone thrives. Katrina, a strategic development officer, shares her journey of fighting a chronic illness through a stem cell transplant.
-Katrina’s battle with systemic sclerosis and the impact on her day-to-day life before the transplant.
-The challenges Katrina faced in raising funds for her treatment and the urgency of the situation.


05:32 Katrina shares their journey of struggling with a rare medical condition, facing challenges in diagnosis, and the relief and support they found after finally getting diagnosed.
-The difficulty of diagnosing a rare medical condition and the emotional toll of feeling unheard by healthcare professionals.
– Katrina’s experience of deteriorating health, the impact on their daily life, and the support they received from family and friends.


10:10 Facing challenges with a disability, Katrina reflects on moments of help and pride, highlighting the beauty of human connection and empathy in difficult times.
-Reflecting on moments of vulnerability and assistance, the speaker shares a personal experience of feeling ashamed but later appreciating the kindness received from others.
-Discussing the impact of chronic illness on mental health, Katrina emphasizes the shift in priorities from physical fitness to basic daily tasks as markers of achievement.
-Navigating the challenges of re-entering the workforce after an extended gap, Katrina candidly addresses disclosing a disability and seeking support from charitable organizations for employment opportunities.


15:12 Believing and accepting individuals’ needs without requiring justification is crucial in accommodating those with chronic illnesses or disabilities, fostering a sense of value and inclusion.
-Importance of being a supportive ally and advocating for others in the workplace to create an inclusive environment.
-Discussion on language preferences when referring to disabilities and the significance of individual preferences in respectful communication.
-Challenges faced in physical access for individuals with disabilities, emphasizing the need for inclusive product design and clothing options.


20:19 Representation in media is crucial for the disabled community, as it allows for awareness, identity, and acceptance, challenging stereotypes and fostering inclusivity.
-The importance of choice for disabled individuals extends beyond basic decisions like where to eat or meet friends, impacting even transportation options, highlighting the need for accessibility and autonomy.
-Challenges faced by individuals with visible conditions like Scleroderma in media representation showcase the societal norms around beauty standards and the need for acceptance and awareness.
-The significance of accurate and diverse representation of disabilities in TV shows like ‘The Good Doctor’ is noted, emphasizing the importance of moving beyond stereotypes to promote inclusivity.


25:24 People with disabilities often feel limited by assessments focusing on what they can’t do, hindering their potential. It’s crucial for organizations to individualize policies and believe in accommodation requests to empower people with disabilities.
-Challenges faced by people with disabilities due to assessments emphasizing limitations, impacting their confidence and opportunities.
-The importance of tailoring policies to individuals in organizations to enable better job performance and inclusivity.
-Encouraging a culture of belief and acceptance towards accommodation requests to maximize the potential of individuals with disabilities in the workplace.

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