About Keith Murfee DeConcini
Disability rights has always been my passion, even when I wasn’t consciously aware of the term.
Born into a disabled body due to premature birth, my mind was always fueled by an inner determination for curious exploration. As a child, I began to write before I could speak. As a student in my formative years, I was blissfully unaware (for the most part) of my educational needs being any different than those of my peers, despite having a speech impediment.
Growing up disabled made me realize that people very often fear what they don’t understand, yet it was only recently that I began to study those services and the complex histories behind them.
As an adult, I learned to use my speech impediment as a tool for uncovering social injustice and discrimination, hence propelling my career ambition as a Disability Advocate. Obtaining a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Arizona with a concentration in Disability Advocacy led me to a Master’s degree in Disability Studies from the City University of New York (CUNY), School of Professional Studies.
Professionally, my past experience includes advocating through public speaking and creating advocacy content for unique organizations, ie: Young Adult Institute of New York (YAI), Santa Fe Trails of New Mexico, The National Office of United Cerebral Palsy (UCP). At YAI, I created advocacy content for a weekly article entitled “Voices” for the YAI web site, three of which were later published in the Huffington Post.
In addition to being a disability advocate and writer, I am also an actor. Occasionally performing in theater and small productions, most recently, I participated in Theater Breaking Through Barriers‘ virtual production of “Teacher’s Pet” (2020), “Mended” (2021), “Strength in Numbers” (2021), and “Epidermis” (2022). I was inspired to pursue the opportunity to work with the organization after seeing a performance of an actress with cerebral palsy on stage. This theater production experience further expanded my professional efforts to advocate for disability rights through various performance mediums as I previously appeared in a New York MTA’s 2019 employee training video. By authentically partnering with organizations that advocate for disability rights, I discovered the ability to use my unique voice to further educate and advocate.
All of my successes would have not been possible without the tireless support of not only my family members, but also of the efforts of the disability advocates who fought for a better future for individuals with disabilities before me. Being disabled from birth makes me more aware of the sense of empathy that should be innate in the human experience. Making the world a more accessible place now, both professionally and interpersonally, benefits both the present and the future of humanity.
This site will further the importance of seeing the vital work of advocacy as an ongoing narrative… one that we can all play a part of in shaping for the benefit of others.