Testimony by Anjanette Shelby

Co Chair DC Developmental Disabilities Council Advocacy and Public Policy Committee

FY22 Budget Hearing for the DC Department of Human Resources

Committee on Labor and Workforce Development

June 21 2021

It was my pleasure to represent the DC Developmental Disabilities Council (DC DDC) and the DC residents with disabilities  and their families during the FY22 Budget Hearing for DC Department of Human Resources Committee on Labor and Workforce Development on Monday, June 21, 2021.

You may view my whole testimony at The Belifield, and/or at The DC DD Council Facebook page.


Since I have been using a Powered Mobility Device (PMDs), that I call Lexus, I have been faced with a few challenges. And I understand that I am not alone in facing these and other challenges.

One of the biggest challenges that I have come across is when trying to cross the street. Whether the driver is driving the speed limit or speeding when on the PMD the PMD driver may become totally invisible to other drivers. This may cause quickly applying the brakes by the other drivers and/or having the PMD driver swirl in order not to be hit.

Another challenge many PMD drivers come across is pedestrians. There are times when PMD must swirl I order not to hit a pedestrian that has jump right in front of them. There are times when their pedestrians who are traveling in a small group are not willing to share the sidewalk and will not or make impossible for the PMD driver to pass. Sure, the PMD driver can have the facing front seats in most buses puled up to accommodate their scooter, but the challenge comes with the larger scooters there is not enough space to turn around to fit in the space provided.

The author of this article understands that drivers, pedestrians and others recognize that they have opposing viewpoints to the challenges in this article, but she wrote on her experience since getting her own PMD. She also welcomes opposing viewpoints as we learn to understand and respects each other’s experiences and viewpoints.


Through Amazon Food Stamp recipients can get their groceries online.


The staff at Belifield would like to encourage everyone to stay in compliance with the "STAY AT HOME" emergency order. Disobeying this order could cause you your  freedom in some towns, cities, states..


Have no plans for this weekend, come down to the Washington Convention Center for the NBC 4 Health & Fitness Expo. Visit The Linner Foundation table located in the yellow section booth 228, where you can get information on Diabetes Awareness. January 18 - 19 2020, Saturday and Sunday 9 am - 5pm


I will serve on the Developmental Disabilities State Planning Council (DD Council) until March 18. 2022. I was sworn in today, November 18. 2019 at The Washington Convention Center by Mayor Murial Bowser.

The 12th Annual Mayor's Disability and Diversity Expo

In recognition of October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month the Office of Disability Rights (ODR) in partnership with several agencies will host the 12th Annual Mayor's Disability and Diversity Expo. The purpose of this free event is to advance the conversation on equal opportunities and inclusive environments for people with disabilities, complete with informational sessions and over 40 exhibitors. The District of Columbia is home to over 116,000 people with disabilities and this year more than 500 consumers, caregivers, advocates and students are invited to attend.

This year’s Expo will highlight the important initiatives and programs offered throughout the District including a graduation ceremony of this year’s cohort of certified ADA Coordinators. Learn from experts during a panel discussion on service animals, entrepreneurship, benefits counseling, and transitioning from school into the workforce.

This all-day event will happen on Thursday, October 24th from 10:00 AM through 3:00 PM. Doors will open at 9:30 AM with a 1-hour program beginning at 10:00 AM.

Lunch will be served.


It was my pleasure to have been invited today to the Center for American Progress to help in celebrating the 29th year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Acts with quest speaker Claudia Gordon, the first black female attorney in theUnited States and a panel of disability leaders. Which was moderated by Rebecca Cokley, Director of Disability Justice Initiative, Center of American Progress.

The panelist consisted of Taryn Williams, Managing Director, Poverty to Prosperity, Center for American Progress. Carrie Wade, National Programs Director, American Association of People with Disabilities. Crosby Cromwell, Flexability, Neal Carter, Senior Partner, Nu View Consulting.

Special thanks to Masi Sithole for the picture


Today, I had the pleasure of attending Capitol Hill Annual Summit. The theme of the event was From Washington to Hollywood and Beyond: The Future of Americans with Disabilities. 

Topics included but not limited to Proven Strategies for Creating Large and Influential Networks, Public Policy &Jobs for People with Disabilities, Disability, Creativity and Purpose, Ending the School to Prison Pipeline for Students with Disabilities.Special thanks to Jennifer Laszio Mizrahi, President & Co-Founder of RespectAbility, and Steve Bartlett Chair of RespectAbility for making me and my guest for feeling comfortable and welcomed.RespectAbility is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that understand we are a stronger community when we live up to our values when we are welcoming, diverse, moral and respect one another. RespectAbility fights stigmas and advances opportunities for people with disabilities.

Pictured: Anjie D. Shelby & Chairperson of RespectAbility Steve Bartlett, Anjie D. Shelby, Organizer of Disability Start-up Networkego Mariscal & Anjie D. Shelby, Vocalist and Fellow RespectAbility Adam Fishbein, & Director of Community Outreach &Impact, RespectAbility. & Violinist Debbie Fink. I would like to thank Founder/Chief Executive Officer of The Linner Foundation Oliver Linner Roy for taken the pictures


According to the Nola Network the main difference between Social Security Disability (SSDI), and Supplemental Security Income is that SSDI is available to workers who accumulated enough work credits.

Whereas, SSI disability benefits are available to low-come individuals who have either never worked, or who have not earned enough work credit to qualify for SSDI.

Both are managed by the Social Security Administration (SSA) SSI is a program that is strictly need-based, according to income and assets, and is funded by general fund taxes. SSI benefits will begin on the first of the month when your first submit your application. Most people who qualify for SSI will also qualify for food stamps and Medicaid from the state they live in.

On the other hand, SSDI is funded through payroll taxes. SSDI recipients have worked and have contributions to the Social Security trust funds in the form of FICA Social Security taxes. SSDI recipients must be younger than 65 and earned a certain number of work credits. After receiving SSDI for two years a disabled person will become eligible for Medicare. For more information please contact your local SSA office or SSA at 1- 800 – 772- 1213. TTY 1 – 800 – 325 – 0778.

The Nola Network is one of the web’s largest libraries of consumer-friendly legal information.


Dear Colleagues:

2018 has come to a close and I wanted to take a moment to say: THANK YOU. We close out with WELL WISHES for exiting D.C.C.P.D. Commissioners Derrick Smith and Commissioner Vencor Cotton, for their next big adventure. We welcome Commissioner Mary Wade, Commissioner Edward James, and Commissioner Jeremey Mann as well as welcoming our new Auxiliary Board Members, Jennifer Mclaughlin, and Anjie D. Shelby.


I would like to thank Evan Davies and Alisha Ali for their support today at the 11th Annual Mayor's Disability and Diversity Expo held at UDC where I was one of the Ambassadors. I would also like to give a very special thank you to Oliver Roy of The Linner Foundation making this fantastic video.

Pictured Anjie Shelby with Oliver Linner Roy of The Linner Foundation, Anjie Shelby with David Rydzeski of the DC College Saving Plan/ ABLEnow, Anjie Shelby with Matthew McCollough, Director at The Office of Disability Rights, Anjie Shelby with Michelle Hawkins. Community Liason Specialist, Intake and Outreach Rehabilitation Service Administration Department on Disability Service.


  Join me on October 23, 2018bat the 11th Annual Mayor's Disability and Diversity Expo at my alma mater The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Student Center located at 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008. Doors Open at 9:30 am Event : 10:00 am - 3:00pm.. Register: 2018DisabilityExpo.Eventbrite.Com


According to the National Organization on Disabilities, more than 54 million Americans have a disability. Have you wondered how to interact with someone with a disability? Well, let’s start with the Golden Rule, treating everyone as you would like to be treated. Try to always ask before giving assistance. People with disabilities are capable of doing many amazing things despite their limitations.

People with disabilities can contribute and be a value to society. Some people see persons with disability, and immediately think that because this person with a disability are not capable of having feelings and/or are intelligent. Especially, when they start talking and treating the person with a disability in a childish matter. I am sure you have seen someone ask a “translator” how the disability person feel and/or thinks about a certain topic when the disabled person is right beside them.

Some people with disabilities like myself, do not mind you genuinely asking a question about their disabilities, while others feel like these questions are intrusive. The best thumb of rule is to get to know the person first before you decide whether to ask these types of questions,

Just like “all blacks” do not look like, not all people with disabilities think, feel and like in the same matter. In addition, just because a person has a disability does not mean they that they were cursed by God for theirs and/or their parent’s sin.

Many people uncomfortable around people with disabilities. Treating each person as an individual with respect and consideration and in the way that you would wasn’t to be treated. Belifield will continue to encourage people to see the whole person and not their disability.


2018-2019 BEACON Grant Program. Cast your vote from now until 11:59 pm on August 25, 2018 at:: bit.ly/beacongrantvote.

Belifield was honored to help The Linner Foundation at their table at The DC Center for Independent Living (DCCIL) Community Day on Wednesday, May 30th, 2018 located at 1400 Florida Avenue, Washington, DC 20002.

The Mission of DCCIL is to maximize leadership, empowerment, and independence for individuals with significant disabilities by working to integrate and create opportunities for these citizens to be mainstream into society.


The effects of poverty can start as early as conception. A child that is exposed to constant stress always has their stress mechanism on through their lifetime, which can cause health problems like high blood pressure.

Poverty can cause depression. Those in poverty are constantly worried about how, and when their next meal is coming from and other stresses that come trying to survive in poverty. Parents can unintentionally pass down their depression to their children, which can have long-term lifelong effects, which they can pass down to their children creating a never-ending cycle of poverty.

There are some who believe that there is more violence among those who live in poverty. Violence can worsen someone’s depression. Then it those who feel that depression causes poverty, because it can keep from working and/or interact with people. There have been studies that show as one’s financial status improves so does one’s mental health. There is not enough data to suggest mental health invention can make a tree dent in poverty.

If you or someone you know needs help, you can call 24/7 Mental Health Hotline at 1-866-427-2058.

NPR, Inc. http:/www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2016/10/30/49977541/can-poverty-lead-to-mental-illness


The most important part of interacting with someone who has a disability is seeing that person for whom he or she is, and not what disability that person has. What it boils down to is having a sense of disability awareness and disability etiquette. And to help raise awareness Vantage Mobility has created some useful tips to remember:

1,Find commonalities before thinking about differences. Common ground is the base of all human connections; once you’ve found something in common, then you can deal with the differences. For example, a person in a wheelchair may use a wheelchair lift and hand controls to transport into a car and drive. Rather than thinking about how you and this person drive differently, focus on the commonality: both of you drive. In this instance, the difference doesn’t matter.

2. Do not victimize people with disabilities. Referring to someone as a “spinal cord injury victim,” or “cerebral palsy victim,” takes away that person’s power. It abdicates them of their strength and ability to overcome because the emphasis is on what happened to them, as opposed to what they did about it. It would be more appropriate to refer to someone with a disability as a “survivor.”

3.Don’t assume they see their disability as a tragedy. Many people with disabilities have worked through the tough emotions to be happy and content with their lives. A seemingly harmless statement like, “I’m so sorry that happened to you,” or something of that nature can make a person with a disability feel sad and sorry.

4. Adjust posture to be eye-level. The height difference between people in wheelchairs and able-bodies can create an unspoken feeling of superiority and inferiority. To be safe, sit or stand at eye-level with the person who has a disability when it is appropriate and possible. Finding a table to sit at is a great option because it can eliminate any visible differences, such as a wheelchair. Sitting in a chair (with or without a table) is also better than kneeling, which may cause the person in a wheelchair to feel like a child.

5. Make eye contact; never avoid someone with a disability. People who fear they could do or say something unintentionally disrespectful toward a person with a disability will sometimes default to ignoring that person altogether. Never do this. People with disabilities are human, and their existence deserves acknowledgement. Any human would feel terrible being ignored; it’s never the right choice.

6. Ask if he or she needs assistance before providing it. Don’t try to accommodate every last need of someone with a disability in attempts to be respectful. The better choice is to ask, “Is there anything I can help you with?” or, “Do you want me to get the door?” Helping before asking implies he or she is incapable and can offend the person, especially if they’ve worked hard to be able to care for themselves.

7. Do not underestimate the abilities of someone with a disability. Many people with disabilities are capable of caring for themselves without any assistance. They’ve spent a long time adjusting to a different way of life – be it purchasing wheelchair accessible vehicles for transportation, calling ahead to make sure a restaurant is wheelchair accessible, installing tile in their homes to avoid wheelchair friction on carpet, etc. They understand what they’re capable of and what their limitations are, so don’t worry about taking care of them.

8. Seek to understand the person and his or her disability before expecting to be understood. There may be times when you try your best to be respectful of a person with a disability and it backfires. You may be perceived incorrectly or perhaps offend someone unintentionally. Before getting angry and thinking, “They should understand I wasn’t trying to be rude,” step back from the situation and understand there could be many contributing factors to why that person got upset.

9.Speak to the person before his or her caregiver. Someone with a distorted figure or speech impediment as a result of a physical disability is often ignored because people assume he or she has a mental disability and won’t understand. Always speak to the person with a disability before approaching the caregiver; it’s the respectful thing to do. By approaching the caregiver first, the person with the disability assumes you see him or her as unequal or incapable; it damages the relationship immediately.

10. Be cautious of using outdated, offensive terms. Words like “handicapped” or “wheelchair bound” are not acceptable terms to use today. Many wheelchair users don’t like the word “bound” because of its negative connotation, meaning they’re tied down to the chair. Wheelchairs allow freedom and mobility. “Wheelchair accessible” is the more appropriate term to use. Handicapped is a broad and general term that many people think implies a helplessness. Disabled is more appropriate.

The number one thing to remember is to treat someone with a disability how you would want to be treated. Everyone appreciates respect and etiquette, not just people with disabilities.  


National Social Security Month shines the light on online services. Questions to ask yourself as you plan for retirement. How you can grow your social security benefits beyond retirement age.

For more information on these topics and information on getting stated and/or maintaining disability benefits go to: www.ssa.gov/onlineservices/ or call 1-800-772-1213.


On Saturday, April 14, 2018, help me support The Linner Foundation at the Way of the Cross Community Health Fair at 1800 Hazelwood Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743, from 10 am - 3 pm


Brain Awareness Week is a global campaign that aims to increase public awareness of the progress and benefits of brain research. And it’s happening right now! Here are 10 fun things you can do right now to celebrate Brain Awareness Week.

Boggle your brain with a bunch of fun brain teasers and tricks.

Browse recipes so you can cook up a brain healthy meal.

Treat yourself to some dark chocolate.

Find a brain healthy book to dive into.

Watch an informative brain video or listen to a brainy podcast.

Debunk some common brain myths and get the real facts.

Learn about different kinds of memory and how you can improve yours.

Brush your teeth with your non-dominant hand for a week.

Sign up for our monthly newsletter so you can always get the latest neuroscience news in your inbox.

Call a friend and plan some time to socialize.

Test your knowledge by doing a brain-themed crossword puzzle.

Don’t worry too much about being grumpy – it might be good for your brain.

Have that second cup of coffee.

Learn about some super strange brain facts.

Improve your memory just by taking a break.

Sign yourself up for music lessons.

Find out what happens to your brain when you fall in love.

Boost your math skills by practicing your object rotation skills.

Get your heart rate up and get the blood flowing to the brain.

Work on a complicated jigsaw puzzle.

Read about weird brain disorders like believing you’re a cow or being afraid of your own hands.

Play a practical joke on someone you love – it’s good for the brain.

Pour yourself a glass of bubbly.

Refine your foreign language skills.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or Pinterest for BrainHQ updates, nerdy jokes, neuroscience news, and more.

Train your brain with BrainHQ!




I have been asked numerous times to explain my experiences being a person with a disability. In August 1964, I was born with polio, but like many persons with a disability, I did not know until I was 28 years old that I was entitled to apply and eligible for disability checks along with other services designed for persons with disabilities.

Hard to believe in the year 2018, persons with disabilities are still being discriminated against in employment, housing, medical services, disability support, among other services. After being denied many of these services with very bogus excuses. Doing a lot of researching and networking, and with the aid of a very good dear friend, I started Belifield to be an advocate for persons with disability. With the main goal to EDUCATE INDIVIDUALS ON HOW PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES WANT AND SHOULD BE TREATED!!!





The American Association on Health and Disability (www.aahd.us) is accepting applications for the Frederick J. Krause Scholarship for undergraduate (junior/senior status) and graduate students with disabilities who are majoring in a field related to disability and health. Please feel free to distribute to your colleagues.

SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM CRITERIA: The AAHD Frederick J. Krause Scholarship on Health and Disability is awarded annually to deserving students with a disability,pursuing undergraduate/graduate studies (must be at least enrolled as a Junior in college) in an accredited college or university. Preference is given to students majoring in a field related to disability and health, to include, but not limited to public health, health promotion, disability studies, disability research, rehabilitation engineering, audiology, disability policy, special education and majors that will impact quality of life of persons with disabilities.

Applicant must have a disability Applicant must be enrolled FULL TIME as an undergraduate student (junior standing and above) or enrolled PART TIME or FULL TIME in a graduate school Preference is given to students majoring in a field related to disability and health (see Scholarship Program Criteria above) Applicant must be a US citizen or legal resident living in the US and enrolled in an accredited United States university Funds are limited to under $1,000

FUNDING INFORMATION: Funds are limited to under $1,000. The AAHD Board of Directors Scholarship Committee will evaluate each of the applicants and make a decision in December of each calendar year. The 2017-2018 Scholarship Award will be awarded January 2018. It is the discretion of the Scholarship Committee to determine how many scholarships will be awarded each year and the amount of each scholarship.


Applicant must provide a Personal Statement (maximum 3 pages, double spaced), including brief personal history, educational/career goals, extra-curricular activities, and reasons why they should be selected by the AAHD Scholarship Committee. This statement must be written solely by the applicant

Applicant must provide two (2) Letters of Recommendation (One must be from a teacher or academic advisor). Letters may be sent by U. S. Mail or by email attachment as a pdf and should include the signature of the teacher or advisor, and the name of student should appear in the subject line of the email.

Applicant must provide an official copy of college transcript, which should be mailed to AAHD in a sealed envelope.

Applicant must agree to allow AAHD to use their name, picture and/or story in future scholarship materials.

Applications are due November 15, 2017.

APPLICATION FORM: PDF Please attach your application, supporting materials, etc. and email to: [email protected] Place “2017-18 Scholarship” in subject line. (Please use MS Word for your personal statement and MS Word, if at all possible, and/or PDF for all other documents that are emailed as attachments). If this is not possible, please mail documents to:

Scholarship Committee, American Association on Health and Disability 110 N. Washington Street, Suite 328-J Rockville, MD 20850

Only completed applications will be considered and must be postmarked and/or received by email no later than November 15, 2017.

AAHD is a national non-profit organization located in Rockville, MD dedicated to advancing health promotion and wellness initiatives for children and adults with disabilities.


The more I read about people reactions and challenges to becoming disabled whether due to a war injury, an accident, or some else, I find myself thanking God. After all, I have had my disability (polio) since birth. I know no other life to compare my disability to. And the only time I really experience any form of depression was when I had my five miscarriages and my father’s death.

But for many people with a disability there are many challenged that they are face to deal with in their lives. None bigger than the negative social and tacit exceptions and ideas that may be a leading factor in a person with a disability to consider suicide.

Belifield mission is to educate people on how to interact with people with disabilities. One of the first lessons non-disabled community must understand is having a disability is NOT an illness, and that people with disabilities can lead independent productive lives.

Research has shown that people with disabilities become more depressed and the issue of suicide presents itself when their relationships, financial security, and/or challenges at work. How ironic since it is very difficult to find statistics on suicide regarding people with disabilities. Other than those members of the military who become disabled serving their country who attempt suicide.

Believe it or not, there is a belief that a disability is a legitimate reason to wish for death. Educating the non-disabled community on how they can become an active part with the disability community is the beginning on creating a world that is fully accessible and inclusive for all.

Ten Commandments of Etiquette for Communicating with People with Disabilities

1. When talking with a person with a disability, speak directly to that person rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter.

2. When introduced to a person with a disability, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands. People with limited hand use or who wear an artificial limb can usually shake hands. (Shaking hands with the left hand is an acceptable greeting.

3. When meeting a person who is visually impaired, always identify yourself and others who may be with you. When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking.

4. If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted. Then listen to or ask for instructions.

5. Treat adults as adults. Address people who have disabilities by their first names only when extending the same familiarity to all others. (Never patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulder.

6. Leaning on or hanging on to a person’s wheelchair is similar to leaning on hanging on to a person and is generally considered annoying. The chair is part of the personal body space of the person who uses it.

7. Listen attentively when you’re talking with a person who has difficulty speaking. Be patient and wait for the person to finish, rather than correcting or speaking for the person. If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers, a nod or shake of the head. Never pretend to understand if you are having difficulty doing so. Instead, repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond. The response will clue you in and guide your understanding.

8. When speaking with a person who uses a wheelchair or a person who uses crutches, place yourself at eye level in front of the person to facilitate the conversation.

9. To get the attention of a person who is deaf, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand. Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively to determine if the person can read your lips. Not all people who are deaf can read lips. For those who do lip read, be sensitive to their needs by placing yourself so that you face the light source and keep hands, cigarettes and food away from your mouth when speaking.

10. Relax. Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use accepted, common expressions such as “See you later,” or “Did you hear about that?” that seems to relate to a person’s disability. Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re unsure of what to do.

The definition of disability under Social Security

The definition of disability under Social Security is different than other programs. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or for short-term disability.

"Disability" under Social Security is based on your inability to work. We consider you disabled under Social Security rules if:

You cannot do work that you did before;

We decide that you cannot adjust to other work because of your medical condition(s); and

Your disability has lasted or is expected to last for at least one year or to result in death.

This is a strict definition of disability. Social Security program rules assume that working families have access to other resources to provide support during periods of short-term disabilities, including workers' compensation, insurance, savings and investments.

Our Story

We’ve loved every minute of our journey

 Mayor's Annual Disability Awareness Expo.

I had a wonderful time learning, advocating, and networking on behalf of person with disabilities at the Mayor's Annual Disability Awareness Expo.

DC Parent & Family Engagement Summit

I was proud to have been given the opportunity to have had my voice heard and counted at the Third Annual Parent & Family Engagement Summit on Saturday October 22, 2016. It was also my honor and pleasure to advocate for persons with disabilities in areas such as: education, employment, and homelessness.