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Wrapping Up Women's History Month

Photo of Carol Schaufel

While there were local days and weeks celebrating the contributions of women in our country since 1978, it was in 1987 that Congress designated March as "Women's History Month."

Society's Assets Board member Carol Schaufel, Kenosha, is a voice for women with disabilities like herself. Since childhood she realized that she was different and that people treated her differently because of her Muscular Dystrophy. Her parents encouraged her varied interests. She pursued a career as an educator, teaching math and life skills to junior high students.

After returning to college to receive her master's degree, Schaufel became a vocational rehabilitation counselor. Recalling her first years on the job, she said, "I was ready for some of the questions that clients asked me. Some of them felt sorry for me, because I was in a wheelchair. My response was, 'But I am working and you are not. What is it you are thinking about doing?' She focused on their disability, abilities, and interests. She always remembered how she felt the first time on the other side of the desk.

What would Carol say to girls with disabilities? "You don't know what you want to do until you try. So try, If you fail, you fail." She shares more insights about growing up, school, camp, family, career, independent living, advocacy, and retiring from the workforce in her autobiography.

Society's Assets staff provide direct services and resources for people with disabilities. Services include advocacy, supportive home care/personal care, home/vehicle modifications, assistive technology (partially supported by WisTech), technical assistance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act, independent living skills training, peer support, benefits counseling, and transitions to life after high school or returning home from the nursing home.