It would be hard to find a more accomplished self-advocate in Florida than Dr. JR Harding of Tallahassee. Harding has spent most of his adult life as an advocate for people with disabilities, having worked tirelessly to improve access to things like transportation, employment, assistive technology, higher ed inclusion, financial independence, and other resources that assist people with disabilities to live as independently as possible, regardless of their limitations.
Harding was an accessibility pioneer in Florida. After breaking barriers at universities in other states, while working on his doctorate in education and public policy at Florida State University, he contributed to the university’s Master Plan in 1998, which included accommodations for persons with disabilities for the first time. He also became the first student regent with a disability on the state board of regents (the body that governed all state universities at the time, now known as the board of governors).