About Joan

Joan Willshire, Consultant, Author, Speaker, Change Agent for Disability Inclusion

Joan’s passion and mission for disability inclusion and equity come from her many life experiences. Most important, Joan lives with a disability and understands the challenges.

Metropolitan Center for Independent Living Welcomes Mai Thor and Joan Willshire to its Board of Directors

The Metropolitan Center for Independent Living (MCIL) is pleased to announce two new
members have been appointed to its Board of Directors. They will join current board members,
providing strategic guidance, valued perspective, and expertise in oversight of the non-profit
organization. Guided by its mission of Removing Barriers, Promoting Choices, MCIL has assisted
people with disabilities in living their most independent lives for more than 40 years. Serving the
seven-county metro area through a wide range of services, programs, resources, partnerships, and
advocacy, MCIL is among the largest Centers for Independent Living in Minnesota.

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Barbie in the Box

Barbie has had many iterations during her 65 years as America’s favorite fashion doll. And yes, one was a Barbie using a wheelchair and Barbie’s dream house even had an elevator. That’s why I was thrilled to see a photo prop Barbie box at the movie theater where we could pose inside the Barbie box. I was determined to get inside that box if it killed me! It was barely accessible, but I made it work with my scooter. I looked like the next new Barbie doll on the shelf! Scooter Barbie here I come!

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Big Snowfall of 2022

As usual, the biggest issues I run into are curb cuts clogged with snow and access aisles of the disability parking spots not shoveled out completely.

There’s truly a lack of awareness about the access aisle in the disability parking area. Minnesota Building Code requires a 10-foot access in the disability parking area. This means the entire parking area must be cleared of snow and ice!

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