Jessica Rothe is a mom to a young man with duchenne muscular dystrophy and multiple learning disabilities. Rothe is an advocate with PTC, where she helps newly diagnosed families navigate steroid treatments. She spends most of her time advocating for dyslexia, ADA accessibility, and inclusion in education at her son’s university. She also advocates in the community for her son who uses a power chair to get around.
Rothe has a degree in business marketing, a real estate license, and had a baby clothing business before her son’s diagnosis. In addition to advocacy, she enjoys attending concerts, movies and traveling to new places
Initiative to Increase Accessibility at Businesses and in the Communities in Texas
Rothe is starting a non-profit to help businesses become fully accessible. Currently, it is very hard for people in wheelchairs to go to colleges, go to restaurants and bars, stores, venues, tours and events due to the space either not being accessible to enter and exit easily, access large enough accessible restrooms, roll under tables at restaurants efficiently, be able to navigate around the business with a power chair, be able to get into accessible vehicles for tours, be able to park close and get the van ramp out, and more. This project aims to get everyone on the same page for accessibility. This will allow more individuals with disabilities to come out and enjoy their communities instead of staying at home because they cannot get around. This will help address ableism the community faces as well. When everyone sees you, they are more likely to accept you. While many businesses are not following the ADA 2010 guidelines, those are just minimum requirements for restrooms and ramps. The project will address the need for furniture that wheelchairs can get under and making stores accessible for wheelchairs to move around in. Rothe hopes to be able to obtain federal, state, and city funding for this initiative in Austin.