Cindy Bentley

Position title: Executive Director of People First Wisconsin

Cindy in a pink and white floral shirt, smiling in front of a brick wall

Cindy Bentley is the Executive Director of People First Wisconsin (PFW) and one of Wisconsin’s most inspirational leaders and activists. Born with an intellectual disability as the result of fetal alcohol syndrome, Cindy Bentley spent much of her childhood at the Southern Wisconsin Center for the Developmentally Disabled. No one expected her to learn the skills necessary to live on her own, but she did and then accomplished so much more. Cindy co-authored her book as part of the Wisconsin Historical Society’ Badger Biography Series. Spirit of a Champion is the story of Cindy’s life, from her childhood in the institution, to her adventures with Special Olympics to meeting presidents. Chosen as a Global Messenger for the Special Olympics International in 2000, Cindy had dinner at the White House with two different American presidents, traveled around the world, and gave speeches in front of thousands of people.

PFW is a non-profit, statewide advocacy organization, run by and for people with disabilities. Cindy is a fearless advocate who leads other self-advocates to make our communities more accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities. Cindy serves on several boards and works closely with other organizations that work for equal opportunities for people with disabilities. These include: Survival Coalition Member ● DRW VAWA Project Member ● Disability Vote Coalition Partner ● CCSB Board Member ● Life Navigators Board Member ● WI BPDD-partner ● SOWI Diversity , Equity and Inclusion Task Force Member ● Shirley Ryan Abilities Lab-Home and Community Participant Council Member ● Milwaukee Mental Health Task Force● TASH Employment CoP Member

Presentation Title: Disability Justice in Voting Rights Panel