DeAnna Gaines has worked with individuals with disabilities for almost two decades. She is both her daughter’s mother and her advocate. She graduated from Langston University, an HBCU. She worked as Senior Probation and Parole Officer for the State of Oklahoma prior to transiting to teaching. In addition to her co-advocate, Courtney, she has three older children and nine grandchildren. They are active in church and politically within their community.