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Twenty three smiling people holding up one finger to show they are united as one. Some of them are standing, some using wheelchairs.

Meet a Leader: Carolyn's Story

June 14, 2021 | by sau1admin

A smiling person with curly brown hair, wearing glasses, a patterned shirt, and black suit jacket, using a wheelchair.

Carolyn Morgan, SAU1 founder and trusted advisor is a true leader.

When Carolyn was young, her mother planned to send Carolyn to an institution because people told her mother it would be best. Then her mom heard about someone dying in the institution and changed her mind and history.

Carolyn speaks up for herself and others, and has for over 50 years! She has paved the way for people with disabilities throughout her life by example, by advocating for the rights of all people, and by teaching others about their rights and how to speak up for those rights.

Carolyn started in high school by telling people what she wanted in her life. Over the years Carolyn has used her voice and knowledge to teach individuals, families, providers and legislators about the needs, rights, wants and desires of people with disabilities.

“We want the same things everyone wants—our rights as human beings and individuals to live every day lives of our choice. I tell people you can live the life you want. Speak up in your own way, have people you trust in your life to support you,” she says.

Carolyn was married and has a grown son. She directed her own services for many years and was part of the first self determination project in PA. She was a founding member of Speaking for Ourselves years ago and is a founding member of SAU1, serving for nearly 10 years as its vice president.

Carolyn used a terrible experience from her own life to teach others how to try to stay safe and report abuse. In 2010 she received the Allied Professional award from the Department of Justice for her work with victims of abuse. It was the first time this award has been presented to a person with a disability. Ms. Carolyn (as she is fondly known) says, “If I can make a change, so can YOU!”

Click here to find out more about the award.

Left to right: A smiling person with shoulder length, blonde hair, wearing a black shirt, black suit jacket, and black skirt, standing next to a a smiling person with short blonde hair, wearing a white suit and red shrit, standing next to a  smiling person with short brown hair, wearing glasses, a gray suit jacket and black skirt, holding an award, using a wheelchair, next to a standing, smiling person with short dark hair and a mustache, wearing a white shirt, red tie, and dark gray suit.

From left to right: Acting Director for Office of Victims of Crimes, Joye E. Frost. Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs, Laurie O. Robinson, Carolyn with her award, and Attorney General Eric Holder.
April 16, 2010

A smiling person with short brown hair, wearing glasses, a gray suit jacket and black skirt, holding an award, using a wheelchair.

Carolyn holding her award.
April 16,2010

Carolyn made sure the voice of people with disabilities was heard at meetings where decisions about supports and services were made. She served as the co-chair of the Planning and Advisory Committee of the PA Office of Developmental Programs for many years. Carolyn traveled in and out of PA speaking up.

There is much more to Carolyn’s story. We are so glad SAU1 is part of it!

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