Self-Advocate Profile: Krystal Johnson

By SourceAmerica Staff 06/06/2022
2022 Grassroots Advocate Krystal Johnson

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 Krystal Johnson!

Whether she's competing in the Special Olympics or supporting our nation’s troops, Krystal Johnson knows how to get a job done.

Krystal has spent 11 years working on several AbilityOne® Program contracts with nonprofit Fontana Resources in California. As a self-advocate with a disability, she has a clear message for policymakers - "I want people to understand that people can work, with or without a disability. It doesn’t matter what kind of disability people have; they can work."

Krystal first supported a Fontana Resources qualifications badge contract. She has worked her way up and is now assigned to a janitorial contract at a military facility. Krystal cleans, sweeps, and makes sure that everything is fully stocked. Her three-person crew and job coach work alongside the military men and women at the reserve center. Krystal says her AbilityOne job has helped her gain independence, and she now does her own shopping and banking. She hopes to continue to advance at Fontana and "work my way up to going out in the community on my own."

Supporting the troops means a lot to Krystal. "I get to help the military people have a clean workplace and make sure the doors are sanitized. It makes me feel good that I can help our armed forces, and I like that they appreciate what we do."

Like several other 2022 SourceAmerica® Grassroots Advocacy Conference attendees, Krystal takes care of business in more than one of life’s arenas. In addition to her successful career, she is a well-rounded Special Olympics athlete, competing in track and field, floor hockey, bowling, and tennis -- both doubles and singles. She has won many medals throughout her 21 years competing in Special Olympics, including a gold in the 200-meter dash, a silver in shot put, and a bronze in volleyball. She earned two bronze medals in tennis in the 2019 Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi. Krystal's favorite tennis player is Venus Williams because she "plays hard and always comes out winning."

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