Terre Haute — Terre Haute native Kristin Fleschner, will be a guest speaker on March 7 for Ivy Tech Community College Wabash Valley’s celebration of Disability Awareness Month. The event is free and open to the public, and begins at 2 p.m. in Oakley Auditorium on Ivy Tech’s main campus, 8000 S. Education Drive.
Fleschner has worked on gender, peace, and security issues for the federal government since 2008. She is also an advocate for the rights of people with disabilities and she herself first began experiencing vision loss in 2008 and is now legally blind. Fleschner recently joined the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor as a foreign affairs officer covering human rights issues.
She is a 2014 graduate of Harvard Law School and a 2004 graduate of Vanderbilt University, where she graduated summa cum laude with degrees in anthropology and human and organization development. She was the 2004 Vanderbilt University Michael B. Keegan Traveling Fellow, which enabled her to travel to Southern and Eastern Africa to study sexual violence against women and children. Those experiences deepened her interest in international relations and gender issues.
She has served on U.S. Government interagency working groups on disability issues since 2010 and in 2014 she was awarded one of Harvard Law School’s Leadership Awards for her work on disability issues. She was the 2013 National Federation of the Blind’s National Scholarship winner, which recognized her scholarship and advocacy work. In 2013 she directed a documentary, “Blind Ambition,” (https://vimeo.com/69119995) about her experiences and those of other Harvard Law students who are blind or visually impaired.
In conjunction with the guest speaker, the Disability Resource Fair is planned from noon-2 p.m. in the lobby of Oakley Auditorium. The event is also open to the public.