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Advocacy and Services Across the Life Span Part 1


Join Dr. Holmes as she interviews Isleen Giminez Morales, JD in a two-part series on advocacy and legal issues and services across the Life Span. Talking points of the segments will include Education Rights and COVID Impact, Reducing Barriers to Employment for Individuals with Disabilities, and Other Legal/Advocacy Consideration Through the Life Span. These will include introductory discussions for parents and caregivers to consider such as early intervention, education planning, the transition to adulthood/aging (independent living, employment, transportation, financial planning). Whether a person in your life is newly diagnosed or an adult, Isleen shares information for consideration across the Life Span.

Isleen Gimenez Morales is an attorney by training, advocate at heart – a disabled veteran and mother to four children with special needs. She moved to Kansas City just 7 years ago to access a coordinated care clinic for one of her children who has medical complexities. Isleen understands both personally and professionally how challenging it can be to navigate resources for individuals with disabilities and the caregivers who serve them. Isleen has 14 years’ experience in the nonprofit sector reducing barriers to employment for employees with disabilities. She recently served as the Director of SpecialCare at HighPointe Financial Group where she helped individuals with disabilities and their caregivers develop financial special needs planning strategies and as the Assistant Director for Emma’s Place for Exceptional Children – once the only therapeutic childcare facility in Overland Park that served students K-12 throughout the KC metro.

Isleen founded Advocate at Heart ( to empower individuals with disabilities and their caregivers through education, strategic person-centered, strengths-based planning, and plan implementation in partnership with an extensive community-based resource network that Isleen has painstakingly identified and vetted herself with the help of many other special needs families in the community.

Isleen also serves on the board of directors for SOAR (, a nonprofit dedicated to helping the disabled community answer the questions of: will my special needs loved one be able to provide for himself/herself? What will happen to my loved one with special needs when I am gone? and Who will take care of me (the caregiver)? She currently is a trainee under Echo Autism (, expanding her commitment to better meet the needs of families/ caregivers particularly in the Autism community, and is a Leadership in Education for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Program graduate from Kansas University Medical Center’s Center for Childhood Health and Development (CCHD) program. Isleen graduated with a double bachelor of sciences major with honors in both Japanese and Political Science as well as a Juris Doctorate from the University of Iowa.

When not assisting individuals with disabilities and their families, Isleen is employed as an attorney at UnitedLex where she assists corporate counsel as part of the company’s legal team. She is conversationally fluent in Japanese and in Spanish. Isleen loves to cook and bake. She also enjoys master’s swimming and Latin dancing in her spare time.

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