Kaitlin A. Kerr is a disabled artist and advocate. She holds degrees in English Literature, Nursing, and Nursing leadership (MSN, RN). She had to leave the profession after her disabilities progressed several years ago. On her better days, Kaitlin focuses on running a Shakespearean theatre company with her partner, Jonathan. She is also a published poet, as well as an actor and model.
Kaitlin serves on several committees and teams for organizations and groups working toward more equitable healthcare. She also volunteers for PAAR (Pittsburgh Action Against Rape) as a sexual assault counselor and is a trained intimacy choreographer/director for theatre – a role grounded in boundaries and consent. Much of her artistic work grows out of the reality of living with a rare chronic pain disorder and finding meaning in art, beauty, and connection with others.
When asked why Kaitlin supports employment for people with disabilities, she said: “I personally am on SSDI as a result of my inability to work due to severe pain and chronic illnesses/disabilities. I used to work as a nurse manager until my disabilities progressed rapidly. With SSDI, I am limited in the amount I can earn; it must be below SGA (substantial gainful activity, which is $1,310 currently), but I still need to work some to make ends meet. I am lucky to have a job I enjoy that gives me a part-time position from home to supplement my income and allow me to be independent. Medical Assistance for Workers with Disabilities (MAWD) was a crucial part of that, providing Medicaid and a path to prescription assistance since I take over 30 meds per day, most of which are not covered by insurance or are very costly without Medicaid through MAWD! These recent changes to MAWD will allow me to save money and have assets, while also ensuring that a spouse’s income or our combined assets won’t disqualify me from MAWD. Now I can marry the love of my life!”
If you’d like to learn more about Kaitlin, please click here.