September 19, 2017

Faces of ABLE: Sarah Sequenzia

Faces of ABLE: Sarah Sequenzia

Sarah Sequenzia learned a lot raising two children with disabilities; now, she uses those lessons to serve others as an advocate, lobbyist, and parent liaison.

Sarah Sequenzia is an informed, dedicated, and empowered advocate for her two children with disabilities. Her journey first began when her middle child was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect requiring more than a dozen surgeries, one of which resulted in anoxic brain injury and permanent cognitive impairment. Around the same time, her oldest child was exhibiting speech delays and was eventually diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.

“Raising children with disabilities can be challenging and often it comes with a lot of lessons learned,” said Sarah. Now she uses those lessons to help others.

For 17 years, Sarah has worked for the Orange County School District as a parent liaison for special education. She also serves on the State Advisory Committee for Exceptional Student Education and was published in a collection of essays called “Enabled in Words – The Real Lives, Real Victories of People with Disabilities.”

“As a parent, if I’m not protecting my child’s financial independence, I can really hurt her future.”

In her years of advocating on a state and national level, Sarah has met countless Florida residents with disabilities who could benefit from ABLE United, a new kind of savings account that preserves federal disability benefits. Her husband’s daughter has an account, and Sarah’s daughter, Eleana, will soon have one of her own.

“As a parent, if I’m not protecting my child’s financial independence, I can really hurt her future,” she said. “As an advocate for the disability community, I’m thrilled that ABLE United is a service offered in our state.”