I am Tara Ellis
I was born with multiple varied visible and non-visible disabilities. I guess you would call me a thriver, because from the very beginning I wasn’t supposed to live or function. My highschool even shredded my university applications without my knowledge or consent because “a special education student doesn’t belong in univesity.”
Despite numerous obstacles, I went on to earn three degrees including a Masters Degree in Social Work.
A number of years ago while I was at work I was struck by a tremendous pain in the back of my head. I needed immediate neurosurgery. This would be my 22nd surgery and 10th neurosurgery. This one went wrong, and I ended up unable to work a traditional job and stuck in healthcare and social service system that I already knew didn’t work, and now I had to experience that for myself. During the worst day, I found myself applying for disability benefits for myself, as I had done for thousands of others over the years.
I experienced the hardship of being broke by the middle of the month, of asking for pain medication and being made to feel like I was at fault for what happened to me, or they thought I would become an addict, of being surrounded by “specialists” who didn’t know and didn’t seem to care about my story or my perspective, of being made to feel stupid for any suggestion I made because it came from me. This is just the tip of the iceberg, as you can imagine, as I’m sure it is for you.
It was through these experiences and many like them that I vowed to somehow improve the systems that are supposed to help us, but often end up doing the opposite. I will do this in collaboration with you, as you tell me what you need, and I create programs that meet your needs and solve the problems that keep you up at night, as well as ones that get you closer to where you would like to go in like. I want to support your dreams too.