Executive Bio and Mission Statement
Daniel W. Garcia
9930 Owensmouth unit #6
Los Angeles California 91311
H: (818) 701-0911 M: (818) 421-5294
There is a relatively small segment of leaders in the disabilities communities; individuals who seem able to build relationships, trust, and rapport with almost anyone, and then are able to the relationships and make connections between people, creating partnerships and alliances, and motivating forward momentum to ‘get things done.'
I believe that I am one of those people, who ‘getting things done’ and driving results—through collaboration, partnerships, and relationships—as a systems change advocate in the disability community, is what I am all about. With an enthusiastic and genuinely friendly attitude, I can radiate a sincere passion for delivering value and benefits for my community.
A former Assistive Technology Specialist, computer instructor and now a Systems Change advocate, I earned my B.S. in Psychology at Cal State University Northridge in 1996, and spent 2 years as an alcohol and drug substance abuse intervention programs as peer counselor in CSUN. Before making the life-changing decision to become a systems change advocate. I made a larger, positive impact on more people with disabilities when I created and presided a social club in Santa MonicaCollege called Common Boundaries and serving more than three years on the Inter- Club Council. After a successful and self-sustainable club for and by people with disabilities, I began to do same at CSUN. During my years in higher education I was able to get much needed tools for the Office of Students with
Disabilities and went Washington D.C. to obtain much needed information for the peer counseling substance abuse programs about the little known subject of people with disabilities using alcohol and substance abuse.
My Careers of working for people with disabilities has accelerated over the next 18 years to the advocacy level, and has expanded far beyond in understanding of the need for people and other direct related disabilities leadership issues such as: Assistive Technologies, Transportation and Housing affecting local, county, state, federal policy.
Being recognized among advocate for my leadership roles; from getting the street permit to parade on the street of downtown Los Angeles where approximate 1,000 people participated, to improve quality services for people with disabilities on transportation. My contributions centered on spearheading development of policy and enforcement of the law such the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) leads on creating cost effective programs to improve activities. But more importantly, they focused on building long-lasting, policy in transportations and housing, developing policy to meet people with disabilities demands and help empowered the people with disabilities, and on coordinating teams of communities advocate in, strategic business partners, policy executives, and community activity performance and member relations staff to deliver programs, services, and tailored to empowered people with disabilities.
Throughout it all, I have repeatedly proved my ability to lead through diverse and challenging situations. As a member of Metro Advisory Accessibility Committee, I am an excellent agent of change and have a documented track record of accomplishments that include the turnaround of chaotic and struggling operations; start-up and mnagement of new transportation policy; creation and launch of new and improved educational, and community empowerment.
I attended and participated at the disABILITY SUMMIT on June 30 2011, where I received a Continuing Education Certification through Department of Rehabilitation. Some of the contents that were discussed at the conference included, but not limited to, a) Inspiration, Discovery, Principal - looking at the process of cutting edge design in relation to Disability design; b) Physical Access, Transition Plans and the New Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act; c) Designing Housing and Public Accommodations; and d) The Accommodation Process: Delivering Sound Decisions.
I also received a Certificate of Appreciation on December 10 2008 from the California Foundation for Independent Living Center System Change Network for One Year of Outstanding Leadership as Vice-Chair of the SCNetwork Transportation Committee where we worked to keep transportation ADA Compliant throughout the state.
When I was working for the Indenpendent Living Center as a Systems Change Advocate, I have been conducting ongoing investigations of ADA violations in areas such as public events, restaurants, as well as sidewalk curb cuts. I wrote letters of complaint to the Boyle Heights Neighborhood Council, Public Works and the Mayor of Los Angeles.
I investigated ADA violations committed, by Metrolink, against people who are blind. The Metrolink did not have clear audio and visual signage, to help people be more aware of upcoming stops. I reported these violations and pursued resolution by going to the Southern California Regional Rail Authority's Board of Directors and the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor and I collaborated with The Transit Coalition. At this time, the audio part of the announcer has been modified, however, the visual part is still in being investigated.
I investigated and proposed the idea, to the Los Angeles County Commission on Disability, Access Services and Los Angeles Metro, to designate an accessible pick-up location for the Los Angeles County paratransit, Access Services, at LAX as well as LA Live. Worked in collaboration with Los Angeles County Paratransit system to put their pick up/drop off locations on their website for easy access to riders.
As an Assistive Technology Specialist and Instructor, I assessed my students with disabilities to see, based on their needs, what hardware and/or software would give them the qualifications needed to be employed or otherwise successful in their goals. An example of this, a person who need to speed up his writing because he type with a mouthpiece. Since the mouthpiece was slowing him down, it was my job to find him technology that would allow him the opportunity to achieve his goals and prove his skills through a reasonable accommodation so that he could get his work promotion. I showed him a software that he could speak naturally and the software will write for him, allowing him to be promoted.
When I was the president of the Disabled Students Organization at California State University, Northridge, I had participated in ADA evaluation for California State University, Northridge where a group of students with disability and campus ADA compliance officer walked along CSUN. In this way students with disabilities were the one who were assessing the campus and making the suggestions on programs, services, and facilities. After the evaluation, we were given a list of ADA violations and we were allowed to prioritize which one will be top of the list ADA compliance.
Today, I reside on Chatsworth, California, with my wife and son. I am seeking my next opportunity and step in my community building career. As I have top-notch qualifications working across the entire community with disability continuum—advocates, policy makers, and consumers with disability—it is challenging to put my skills and life experiences in a “box.” But what is absolutely clear, is that I have a great deal of value to offer to anyone in the disability community, and while the actual job title may vary, it will almost certainly include some combination of strategic planning, operations, partnership and alliance building, constituent relations.In the meantime I am tutoring computer to whomever need that one-on-one with Assistive Technology. If you like more information about my fees, you can click on