Our Story

FixPat is a Black-led start-up nonprofit organization established in May 2021 and operates exclusively for charitable activities which promote caregiver education via providing emotionally intelligent products and services for family self-advocates and/or caregiver advocates in the District of Columbia as well as Prince George’s and Montgomery counties in Maryland, which have some of the larger populations of displaced Washingtonian families in the region. In recognition that the disability rights movement in the United States more often affirms the needs of White people and families, leaving Black and Brown families at the margins, FixPat is aligned with the disability justice movement, which goes beyond the aspirations for simply disability rights and addresses the inseparable coupling of ableism and racism in shaping.

 

The name FixPat is a combination of the names Felix and Patience, who are the parents of the founder and servant-leader, Chioma Oruh. Chioma and her parents are first generation Washingtonians. They were originally from Nigeria and moved to the United States in 1989. Shortly after this move, their oldest son, and Chioma’s oldest brother, would start showing signs of schizophrenia and would be diagnosed as a young adult. As a new immigrant family, they would encounter many barriers in navigating the mental health systems of care. This early youth experience shaped Chioma, as she observed her parents’ fierce love for all their children, as well as the impact on their health and finances with little to no systems or support to help with managing her brother’s mental health condition. These experiences would shape Chioma’s own mothering, mental health self-advocacy, and caregiver advocacy as she became a mother of two brilliant autistic sons and remains a caregiver for her brother. FixPat was founded to honor the legacy of courageous and loving caregiving  in the history of Black and Brown families advocating for disability rights and disability justice in the United States, which include her own parents, Felix and Patience.

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