Melinda Gabelman is a long-time self-advocate who has received multiple awards for her advocacy efforts. She has testified before Cincinnati City Council in support of accessible and affordable transportation, as well as supported and advocated for initiatives that benefit all citizens with disabilities.
“People need to try to understand people with disabilities and talk in their language so that they can understand you better. People need to try to understand their point of view and listening is very important,” she said.
Melinda is an eloquent spokesperson and enjoys teaching others about Prader-Willi Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that affects many parts of the body and may coincide with intellectual functioning.
Melinda also enjoys staying fit, she walks several miles each day and adheres to a rigorous diet. She is a long-time participant in the annual PigAbilities event, which is welcoming to athletes of all abilities.
“As a person with Prader-Willi Syndrome, it is important to me that people understand what it is and how it affects me and others,” she said. “I like to be treated with respect. I work on my communication skills and I work with others to help them to speak up for themselves in different situations.”