Dondra R. Lopez is a native Santa Barbarian, currently assisting in the management of an agency that provides independent living skills instruction to adults with developmental disabilities. Dondra graduated from Santa Barbara High School, spent a few semesters at SBCC taking classes and then dropping them before attending UCSB where she did not get her degree in Clinical Psychology! It wasn’t until many years later, while living and working in Washington State, that she went back to school and (finally!) got her B.A. in Political Economy and a Master’s Degree in Counseling Psychology.
Dondra has been involved in disability advocacy for many years. Her first mindful experience involved researching and classifying accessibility in Santa Barbara in a project with the Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC). Since that time she has gone on to provide training and technical assistance to state employees, job seekers with disabilities, employers and other interested parties on a variety of disability-related issues, including; Accommodations, the ADA, increasing Awareness, Assistive Technology, and the Recruitment and Retention of Qualified Individuals with Disabilities in the Workplace.
In conjunction with her disability advocacy efforts, while in grad school, Dondra mentored under Leticia Nieto, Ph.D. learning, embracing, and eventually, teaching the Adressing Model of Anti-Oppression. Since that time, she has with deliberation applied her desire for social justice to her interactions with others.
“The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you can alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change the world.”
~ James Baldwin