Self-Advocate Profile: Alan Garrone

By SourceAmerica Staff 06/03/2022
Grassroots Self-Advocate Profile: Alan Garrone

Everyone has a story. When self-advocates with disabilities share their personal experiences with lawmakers, co-workers, and the public, they help raise awareness about the importance of creating career opportunities for this talented – yet underemployed – segment of the workforce. Meet Alan Garrone!

Alan Garrone's family has a history of serving their communities. His grandfather was a firefighter for 30 years, and he has firefighting cousins as well. It’s no surprise that Alan's dream is to be a professional firefighter.

Until he can make that dream come true, Alan serves as a volunteer firefighter and enjoys working on an AbilityOne® Program contract through Global Connections to Employment (GCE) in Pensacola, Florida. Starting at GCE in August 2010, Alan's first job was as a janitor, before he moved into a lawn maintenance position when one became available. Now working landscaping at the local courthouse, Alan enjoys his job because he gets to be outdoors. He cuts the grass and keeps the area looking sharp. He also offers extra customer service by helping members of the public find the right buildings in the complex.

Like a few other 2022 SourceAmerica Grassroots Advocacy Conference attendees, Alan is a Special Olympics athlete. He has been participating in the games since he was about 8 years old and now competes in paddleboard, surfing, bowling, and soccer.

As a self-advocate, Alan believes in letting policymakers know that having a disability doesn't mean someone can't have a job. "People with disabilities can still do their job and it might be tough, but once you give us a chance, we can do it."

Want to learn more about advocating for career opportunities for people with disabilities? Email or visit our Employment Advocacy webpage.