A lady side profile, with a blind fold over her eyes and hands about to feel the blind fold fabric

A Little About me 


     My career history is somewhat untraditional.


I began my career 40 years ago at Access Living as a case manager and independent living counselor. I took a leave from the work force to raise my 3 children.  Wanting to be home with my children, but also wishing to be active in my community I began my second “career” as a lay leader holding almost every position on multiple not for profit boards over the next 30 years. I have held   the position of president, development chair, chair of board governance, I’ve been on strategic planning committees, compensation committees and outreach committees on the boards of schools, camps and social service agencies in Chicago.

I then took my mental health background in another direction becoming certified as a life coach, helping people transcend the limitations and barriers in their lives to achieve their goals. 

Harnessing all that experience, and the experiences and knowledge as a woman who is blind, I began speaking to school age children from preschool to high school, organizations and anyone who would have me, on disability awareness. This then led me to the writing of my book Close Your Eyes, a children’s’ book about a young girl who is blind.

Now I am taking my 30 years of expertise and knowledge of board leadership, my passion for disability awareness and advocacy and my skills as a leader   to bring disabled representation to organization’s tables of power and influence.

I continue serving on boards, currently I am on the board of  Keshet as the board chair, and am the immediate past Vice president and development chair of The Institute for Therapy Through the Arts.  I continue to work as a life coach.   I continue speaking in schools , write articles on disability related issues and I’ll always be a passionate disability advocate and as a member of Disability Lead I am committed to working with communities and organizations to bring disabled representation to the tables of power and influence, and create a more inclusive and just world for my children and grandchildren!

- Michelle Friedman