UW-Green Bay Student Spotlight: Kaylee Mueller
October is the National Disability Employment Awareness month, so this week we are showcasing Kaylee Mueller, a psychology major and new office assistant in Student Accessibility Services.
Say hello to Kaylee, UW-Green Bay sophomore and fierce advocate for people with disabilities. Her on-campus position as office assistant for UW-Green Bay’s Student Accessibility Services places her in the perfect spot to inform, educate and advocate for her peers with disabilities on campus. Kaylee was part of the Career Accessibility Program (CAP) last spring and received a scholarship from the Wisconsin Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired.
Kaylee was interviewed in this 2022 Student Spotlight, where she spoke about growing up with congenital achromatopsia, which affects the cones (light-sensitive cells for perceiving color) in her retinas. In the spotlight she talks about how she grew up. “I have two older brothers and for about seven years, we lived with my grandmother as well. Between them all, there were lots of ways things were taught to me,” she says. “‘You can’t do this because you’re blind,’ wasn’t something anyone ever said. Instead, it was, ‘We’re going to find a way to do it.’”
Kaylee has great advice for students, faculty and staff about addressing the stigma that can affect people with disabilities. “In my experience, the biggest reason for these stigmas is a lack of knowledge. Think back to our history classes, there’s typically very little covered on the Disability Movement. A great way to help reduce these stigmas is to keep an open mind, get involved in the community, and learn! There’s books and documentaries out there that give a great perspective on living with a disability, but in todays world I find the best way to connect is via social media. I’ve found countless advocacy accounts on both Instagram and TikTok, run by people with disabilities, giving an insight into some of the barriers we face.”
In addition, Kaylee shares her favorite things about living on campus, and being part of the UW-Green Bay community. “I’ve found a lot of great things about being at UW-Green Bay. From an accessibility standpoint, I love the tunnels. For the most part, they have great signage and eliminate the brightness from going outside that my eyes cannot handle. Come winter, I know they’ll be great to avoid the many obstacles that come with having snow on the ground. Even when it comes to a lot of the people I’ve met, whether it be students or staff, they’ve all been very lovely in helping me if I needed it. Working on campus has been great as well, and not just because the SAS staff are amazing. Being an office assistant has helped me learn the layout of the campus, what resources are available to me should I need them, and make more connections with others.”