ILRCSF’s approach to service delivery reflects the Independent Living (IL) philosophy. Implicit in our consumer driven services is an expectation of consumer ability. Our staff, over 90% of whom are people with disabilities, operate under the premise that persons with disabilities are experts on their own needs, and must therefore take the lead in collaborating with staff to identify needs, options and the strategies necessary to achieve the most beneficial outcome.
Brandie Sendziak, Staff Attorney
Brandie received a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2005, with a major in Legal Studies, and a minor in Film. Then in 2009, Brandie graduated with her J.D. from John F. Kennedy University School of Law. Following that she was admitted to the California State Bar in December 2009.
While in law school, Brandie completed over 1500 hours of public interest legal work. After graduating Brandie began practicing law, focusing on all aspects of immigration, criminal defense, and civil litigation. Brandie has substantial experience representing clients. Her experience includes Social Security/benefit matters, requests for reasonable accommodations, pre-eviction matters, immigration matters, and criminal and post-conviction relief.
Brandie joined ILRCSF in September 2018. She supervises ILRCSF’s legal services program. ILRCSF’s legal services program offers full scope and pro se representation for individuals with disabilities between the ages of 18 to 59 who reside in San Francisco. Our legal services program focuses primarily on Social Security matters, pre-eviction issues, and reasonable accommodation requests.
Brandie is passionate about advocating for under-served and marginalized individuals and educating people about their rights.
Kimberly Armstrong, Administrative Director
As Administrative Director, Kimberly oversees ILRCSF’s Legal Services Program, provides support and staffing to the Executive Board, supervises administrative staff, serves as liaison with funders and contractors, and manages many of the day-to-day operations at ILRCSF.
Bridgett Brown, Economic Empowerment Coordinator
The Economic Empowerment Coordinator helps consumers learn about their options with regards to disability and their finances – whether they are considering getting on or off benefits, going back to work, or going back to school. Via benefits workshops, monthly Economic Empowerment events, and one-to-one consultation, Bridgett provides consumers with information so that they will be equipped to make informed decisions about their own lives, with regards to finances. Bridgett also also helps people procure funds for back rent and security deposits via the Season of Sharing fund. Bridgett is a long-time mental health advocate, and has led workshops to train people in law enforcement in working with members of the public who have psych disabilities.
Marisol Ferrante, Assistive Technology Educator
Marisol helps consumers identify the tasks they wish to perform, and the barriers to access they encounter. She provides them with different Assistive Technology options, and helps them find ways to fund the AT they want and need. She works with both individuals and groups, and conducts outreach, so that the wider public becomes more acquainted with the ways that technology may be used to bridge gaps in accessibility. She runs the Nick Feldman Device Lending Library and Demonstration Center, which lends out over 100 pieces of equipment to consumers, every year.
Fiona Hinze, Systems Change Director
As the Systems Change Director, Fiona Hinze dedicates her time to the development of strategies around ILRCSF’s systems change and advocacy efforts by tracking key state and local advocacy issues and by attending community committee and task force meetings. She works to ensure consumers are aware of advocacy opportunities in the community, such as calls to action on various issues. She serves on the State Independent Living Council and is a member of the Disability Organizing Network.
Jerome Lourme, Finance Director
The Finance Director works closely with the Executive Director, and the Board Finance Committee. Jerome helps develop ILRCSF’s annual budget, manages the day-to-day finances of the agency, prepares for our annual financial audit, and helps ensure that we operate with full transparency.
Lana Nieves, Executive Director
As the Executive Director of ILRCSF, Lana Nieves works to protect the rights of people with disabilities, as well as to expand and nurture opportunities for society to become ever more accessible to all people. She has worked in the not-for-profit sector, both domestically and abroad, for 30 years, and been with ILRCSF since 2006.
Maria De Lourdes Richardson, Latino Community Services Coordinator
The Latino Community Services Coordinator’s work often involves helping Spanish-speaking consumers navigate the various service delivery systems in San Francisco so that they are better able to obtain affordable housing, transportation, and benefits. Maria takes a special interest in working to reduce isolation and social stigma among consumers with disabilities by encouraging them to get involved in their communities. Maria is also a HICAP counselor, certified by the state of California, and counsels consumers on Medicare benefits.
Willia Tong, Chinese Community Services Coordinator
The Chinese Community Services Coordinator works with the Chinese community and people from other Asian countries who speak Cantonese, Mandarin, or English. Willia provides information and referral services, support and advocacy to consumers regarding benefits and services, such as San Francisco Paratransit. Willia has regular out-station days at City College’s Chinatown campus, at the Chinese Newcomers’ Center, and in the Sunset district. Her outreach also includes facilitating workshops/presentations for people with disabilities and seniors in the community, as well as to partner agencies.
Brianna Sendziak, Communities Activities Coordinator & CalFresh Enrollment Coordinator (She/Her/They/Them)
In her role as the Communities Activities Coordinator, Brianna plans social and recreational events for adults with disabilities, while establishing relationships with individuals with disabilities and other organizations working with this population, in an effort to engage consumers in ILRCSF’s social and recreational events, peer mentor/mentee opportunities, and workshops/training opportunities.
As a CalFresh Enrollment Coordinator, Brianna coordinates on and off–site clinics and one-to-one services aimed at supporting consumers with disabilities to determine their eligibility for CalFresh benefits, and apply for these benefits.