Meet Independence Now’s newest board members!

Three new Independence Now board members smiling together in front of a white wall. Joe Aukward, an older White man, wears a gray suit and blue tie, Reggie Pratt, a middle-aged Black man, wears a blue collared shirt and black pants. Kish Stover, a middle-aged Black woman and wheelchair user, wears a denim jacket and black shirt.

Joseph P. Aukward ”Joe” (Montgomery County)

Joe is the Low Vision Resource Navigator with the Prevention of Blindness Society Low Vision Learning Center in Bethesda, MD. He was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in New Carrollton, MD, now residing in Bethesda, MD. Joe attended Gonzaga High School in Washington D.C., received a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Loyola University in Baltimore, MD, and a master’s degree in Public Financial Management from American University Washington, D.C. His current personal goal is to improve the quality of life for Persons with Disabilities through advocacy, encouragement, and personal accountability.

Joe represented the United States in the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games as the Co-Captain of the Ambulatory Track and Field team. He has been married to his wife, Betty, for 31 years wife and has three young adult children: Maria, age 27; Joseph, age 24; and Michelle age 20. He enjoys running, going to the beach, and audible books and movies.

Reginald Pratt, Jr. (Prince George’s County)

Reggie is the former President and co-Founder of I3S Foundation, Inc. established in 2014, and is currently serving as a governing board member. He began as one of the facilitators of the Inspirational 3 Support group program. Initially, the program started with 10 participants once a week. Now the program has grown to 2 nights a week and services 30 to 40 persons a week throughout the country.

Reginald, along with I3S Foundation, supports many programs within the blind community. These include technology training and support, independent life skills, and advocacy. In 2017, he started a blind golf program at the Paint Branch Golf Complex in College Park, Maryland, a program encouraging no boundaries for Persons with disabilities to engage in sports.

Reginald graduated from the Foundations Adjustments to Blindness program in 2013. In 2014, he received training from Workforce Technology Center in assistive technology. He received certifications for Job Access with Speech (JAWS) and ZoomText from Freedom Scientific. He also received nonprofit management and business writing certifications from Montgomery Community College. Reginald is currently the president and co-owner of C and R Assistive Technology Consulting and is the Director of Assistive Technology located in Suitland, Maryland. Reginald is also employed by National Industries for the Blind as an Ecommerce Customer Care Representative located in Alexandria, Virginia. He resides in Suitland, Maryland. He is married and has three daughters and two sons.

Kisha Stover (Prince George’s County)

My name is Kisha Stover I am 41 years old. I was born and raised in Prince Georges County, MD. As a child, I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. I have been educated through the Prince George’s County public school system. I graduated from Friendly High School in 1999. I received my associate’s degree in General Studies and Marketing Management in 2012 from Prince George’s Community College. As a person with a disability, I desire to be a role model to others with a disability and let them know they can achieve with their skills and abilities and have a sense of independence in the process. In my spare time, I enjoy reading, writing, listening to music doing arts and crafts, and volunteering. As the current Ms. Wheelchair Maryland, it is my hope that every person with a disability will find the voice within to make change.

Meet Independence Now’s newest board members!
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