As a 44-year-old black man with autism, Curtis serves as a self-advocate and champion for advancing issues related to the disability community. At the age of 4, Curtis was diagnosed with autism and predictions from ”experts” for his life were grim. His family and he ignored these predictions and he became the ﬁrst student with autism to enroll in the Chicago Public Schools system in January of 1984. After graduating from Chicago Public Schools system in 1996, he attended college for a span of 10 years.
Curtis currently serves on the Illinois Council on Developmental Disabilities, is a member of Access Living’s Racial Justice Advanced Your Leadership Power (AYLP) and other advocacy organizations at Access Living that focus on Housing and Home Services Attendant. Curtis is a Board Member of the Chicagoland Autism Connection (CAC) and Vice President of a self-advocacy organization called CAC Trailblazers. Curtis is passionate about teaching us to treat individuals with respect and dignity and to get past the misunderstanding and stereotypes that many have about disability and to develop supports based on each individual.