Hello I am Wenona Lee Gardner one of the Founders of White Knights of Artists with Disabilities. My disabilities are Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Bipolar, and Physical Handicapped due to Osteoarthritis. When I went to UW-Milwaukee for BFA in Fine Arts in Drawing & Painting I felt like I was living my dream. I worked with the Disability Services Office to help me set up a Disability Accommodations Letter so I could received Disability Accommodations. Initially, for the first almost couple years everything was fun, exciting, and great! I had a solid straight A average. I felt like a success. However, my disability worsened and I was forced into a wheelchair with severe pain down both my legs and right arm. I had to withdraw from the art school I treasured and loved because my pain in my right arm would not allow me to hold a pencil or even paintbrush to do my artwork.
After some time I decided to give higher education a try. So I enrolled in the MBA program at Crown College and discovered that their Disability Services Office were a joke! First, the Disability Director violated another disabled student’s HIPPA privacy by sending me her medical records and disability accommodations letter. Then my professor decided to ignore my disability accommodations letter and I realized I was in the wrong college for people with disabilities. Because they denied me my disability accommodations I saw there was no way I could ever succeed in that college. So I was forced to withdraw. I also experienced disability accommodations discrimination from the Mohican Tribe. So now Disability Rights said to me that the college and the tribe broke federal laws and I am forced to file a US Civics Office US Higher Education Discrimination Complaint.
I am also a Disability Rights Advocate. I was a State Certified Peer Specialists where I helped disabled people find and live recovery. I was a Board of Directors members for a State Certified Non Profit Disability Rights Organization for two years empowering disabled people to know their rights and stand up for themselves. I worked for recovery centers with disabled people leading them in their own Self Employment Group and Artist’s Way Circle to encourage Artists with Disabilities to follow their hopes and dreams. I have been a worldwide Artist’s Way Facilitator for 18 years. I specialize in helping Artist’s with Disabilities.
Today, my husband Brandon Humphrey who is legally blind and I are partners under White Turtle Rainbow as YouTube Partners/Artists. We each have our own YouTube channels for our personal expression and a YouTube channel combined listed as White Turtle Rainbow Gaming where we work together. I am happy to finally living my dream as a self employed artist that I finally am getting the chance to use my BA in Business & Management from Alverno College.
Thank you for believing in yourself. As Artists with Disabilities we need to stick together and help us live our Divine Purpose. To share our art, resources, and information. Mostly important we need to stand up for each other. Death threats against any person let alone an Artist with Disabilities is not acceptable. I refuse to accept unacceptable behavior.