A Philadelphia organization that provides housing and services for people with severe physical disabilities is getting more “insider’s insight” into improving the lives of their clients. Inglis Foundation just elected a new board chair, who is a wheelchair user.
As a kid, Philadelphia lawyer Lauren DeBruicker vaguley knew “Inglis” as a place for people in wheelchairs. When she was 19, DeBruicker was paralyzed from the chest down, the result of a car accident. She finished college, went to law school, became a partner in at Duane Morris lawfirm, and now she’s Inglis’ new board chair.
“As somebody with a disability, it’s important for me to know that organizations that work with this population really have that perspective,” said DeBruicker, who also plays wheelchair rugby in her spare time.
DeBruicker says she hopes to help the organization tackle a major issue affecting people in wheelchairs. “The availability of affordable accessible housing is a huge challenge. That is in such short supply. The current wait list for Inglis’ accessible housing is five years. It’s daunting,” she said.
The foundation’s president Gavin Kerr says having DeBruicker as board chair has offered his leadership team practical guidance. “Lauren is constantly able to ask us the question, not just from a strategic or operational point of view, but also as a person who says, gee – would this work for me?”
Kerr said Inglis is currently developing over one hundred new accessible housing units in the region.