Tags: kayla mckeon | registered | lobbyist | down syndrome

Kayla McKeon Is First Registered Lobbyist With Down Syndrome

(YouTube/BBC News)

By    |   Monday, 11 June 2018 10:28 AM

Kayla McKeon is the first registered lobbyist with Down syndrome, and the 30-year-old New York native has been making massive strides in the short time she has spent working for the Washington, D.C.-based National Down Syndrome Society.

Armed with her catchphrase "I'm ready, willing and able," she spends each day advocating for laws that will protect the rights of people with disabilities, The Washington Post noted.

"I'm good at being a self-advocate, of letting myself be heard," McKeon said.

She proved this last December when she helped get a bill signed into law allowing people with disabilities to save more money without penalty to their Medicaid benefits.

The achievement came just two months after she started her part-time lobbying job with the National Down Syndrome Society, which promotes awareness and campaigns for the rights of people living with Down syndrome.

There has been a push to protect the rights of people with Down syndrome. In Pennsylvania's Republican-controlled House a bill to ban abortions based on a diagnosis — or even just a belief — that a fetus has Down syndrome, is being fast-tracked for a vote.

In New York, McKeon is paving the way for others by reaching out and making a difference.

It helps that she has been doing motivational speaking for several years, having honed her skills speaking at the Special Olympics since she was 18 years old.

She is committed to her job with the National Down Syndrome Society but she also finds time to squeeze in classes toward her associate's degree at Onondaga Community College in New York, according to her website.

And it was that determination and dedication that impressed Sara Hart Weir, president and chief executive of the National Down Syndrome Society.

"I wanted to put somebody on staff like Kayla who would influence members of Congress," Weir said, according to The Washington Post. "Kayla is one of the most impressive young vibrant individuals with Down syndrome I have ever met. She's spunky, she doesn't take no for an answer, and she's quite charming. She has all the characteristics of an exceptional lobbyist."

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Kayla McKeon is the first registered lobbyist with Down syndrome, and the 30-year-old New York native has been making massive strides in the short time she has spent working for the Washington, D.C.-based National Down Syndrome Society.
kayla mckeon, registered, lobbyist, down syndrome
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2018-28-11
Monday, 11 June 2018 10:28 AM
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