By Emily Leclerc, Waisman Science Writer
Maria Nogueron, the UCEDD’s Constituent Advisory Committee (CAC) Chair at the Waisman Center, has been awarded the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities’ Diehard Award. The Diehard Award recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the advocacy work in Wisconsin.
As a parent of a young adult with a disability herself, Maria has dedicated the last several years to tirelessly advocating for inclusion and disability rights in her community, across Wisconsin, and nationwide. So far, Maria has served two terms as CAC chair, and in that time, she has participated in national conferences, garnered lead positions in national CAC committees, and become regional lead for the Midwest COLA (Council on Leadership in Advocacy) communities. Maria is a steadfast and unwavering proponent for the Latinx community and families of children with disabilities.
Julie Shears, a senior outreach specialist with the UCEDD who oversees the CAC and nominated Maria for the award, says that, “She always ends a conversation advocating for families and for more understanding of their challenges and barriers. Maria is very persistent and does not waver in her dedication. She has shone a light on the barriers that Latinx families face and has made engagement with diverse families a priority for the Waisman Center.”
Maria’s tireless advocacy work has led her to become a champion for inclusion and disability rights in her community. She is well deserving of this award and her Waisman Center colleagues could not be more thrill to see her recognized for all the work she has done.
“Maria is a diehard advocate,” Shears says, “Who will continue working on behalf of families from underserved groups and their children and adults with disabilities.”