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Employee Spotlight - Rebecca Rabatin

Photo of Rebecca Rabatin wearing glasses in front of a blue wall

Photo of Rebecca Rabatin wearing glasses in front of a blue wall

Meet Rebecca Rabatin, the Community Access and Legistlative Policy Analyst at Independence First. Rebecca is a self-described "newbie" here, having started on April 3rd, 2023. When asked what she's looking forward to in her new position she responded, "I look forward to working with and educating public entities and places of public accommodations on the importance of and obligation in providing accommodations for persons with disabilities from the start of any program, service and/or activity. Also, I would want to emphasize that 'nothing about us without us' should be a norm during the development and planning stages of any project or program, not a catchphrase. Who better to offer insight on accessible design than a person with disabilities?"

Rebecca grew up in Portage, Indiana about 25 miles east of Chicago on Lake Michigan. "I grew up with a dune a half block from my childhood home and spent many summer days rolling down the dunes." Rabatin received a BS degree in construction engineering from Purdue University Calumet. She worked for several consulting and construction firms before working with the City of Milwaukee. While at the City of Milwaukee she held various positions over 18 years with different departments; a construction inspector in The Department of Neighborhood Services (DNS), a facilities project manager in Department of Public Works - Building and Bridges and the last seven years as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Coordinator in the Department of Administration.

Her background in disability rights is as a caretaker, ADA Coordinator and one of the founding members of the Wisconsin ADA Coordinators Association, and as a person with a disability. 

When asked what she likes most about the mission at Independence First, Rebecca said, "The alignment of my belief of fighting for change in systems that stand in the way of equal opportunity and inclusivity. How can you not like that?"