Can you speak to the difference community has made in navigating your journey?
Over the years, I’ve had an incredible support network that understood my limitations and helped me navigate around them. Since my corrected diagnosis, things are much better. I have accommodations and the right words to communicate what I’m experiencing.
For me, the costume and play (cosplay) community has been so open and welcoming. Growing up, I didn’t fit in. I was a geek; smart, quirky, and didn’t connect well with my peers. Putting on that costume is like putting on armor—sometimes literally, depending on the character. I get to be someone else, take on the confidence of that character, and engage with the people around me.
Since 2005, I’ve attended more than 30 cosplay conventions and I’ve made some friends along the way. I met my spouse at an anime convention. I’ve had incredible experiences with strangers that I wouldn’t have outside of it. When I walk through those convention doors, I look around and I say, “I’m home.”
How is the Disability BRG making a difference at Moss Adams?
In the 2021 Inclusion & Diversity (I&D) Annual Report, the year the Disability BRG was launched, 2% of Moss Adams team members self-identified as living with a disability. One year later, that percentage rose to 3.5%. I doubt we hired that many professionals with disabilities in one year. I think people feel more comfortable disclosing that they have a disability. The Disability BRG is young, but I’m excited for what we have planned. I believe we’re making a difference.
The adult population living with a disability in the United States is 27%, so I’m willing to bet the percentage at Moss Adams is much higher than 3.5%. As the Disability BRG is more visible and present at the firm, we strive to become advocates for those who can’t raise their voice.