Stories

Meet people behind ThisAbility project. Read stories from around the world. Find out what their experience is, learn how to raise awareness and make our planet more accessible.

Nina

Nina

NYC, New York, USA

Nina Naval is an actor, writer, director, producer, stress-baler and a dog mom. During the studies Nina's disability started to be more visible, leading to the diagnosis of Postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) and Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS). Nina recently graduated with two additional minors in Disability Studies and Anthropology while doing her best to fight ableism along the way.

Jon

Wales, United Kingdom

Jon Luxton talks about the importance of studying social model of disability by all of us. He is a Disability Equality Specialist Advisor for Welsh Government and highlights an importance of disabled people to be seen in high profiles roles. Jon also comments on discrimination towards people with impairments and gives idea what we could all do to help with that problem.

Jon
Iryna

Iryna

Wales, United Kingdom

Iryna was diagnosed with SMA (Spinal muscular atrophy) when she was only six months old. Shortly after that, Iryna moved out from Ukraine with her mother in hope for a better healthcare. She is now, together with her mom, sharing their endless experience of seeking life saving treatment in the United Kingdom.

Shane

Canada, New Brunswick

​Shane lives with spinal cord injury since year 1998. He has never allowed a disability to stop him and wants to share with others to "Take one day at a time. It can get better if you want it to."

Shane
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Jo

England, United Kingdom

Jo Hodson is a full-time Vanlifer, designer and writer with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). She shares her experience here talking about "doing things differently" moving whenever and wherever she wants, and living with ADHD.

Trevor

Wales, United Kingdom

Trevor Palmer, a full-time wheelchair user has spent decades working with people with disabilities in Wales. He loves to work and integrate with people. Being creative to improve the lives of others keeps Trevor smiling. "Accessibility issues, equality issues and fairness are all things I’m passionate about."

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Kerry

South Africa

Kerry Walsh was born in a set of fraternal twins. Around the age of one her parents had realied that she wasn’t developing like her sister was. Shortly after Kerry received a Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) diagnosis and given five year life expectancy. Giving up was never an option.

Kerry
Nico

Nico

Philadelphia, USA

Nico Meyering loves to make the world a better place for disabled people. He became a Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS) advocate. What helped him to do that was growing up with close support of CCHS Family Network when he saw how much good can come from people coming together and sharing resources.​

Katherine

Hawaii, USA

Katherine is an inclusive business consultant and accessibility advocate for small business owners and entrepreneurs. After disability ended her classical music career, she worked in a variety of creative spaces, each sharing one theme: they were wildly inaccessible. Katherine saw an opportunity to change that and today she works to empower small business owners to grow their business inclusively. 

Katherine
Stabitha

Stabitha

Wales, United Kingdom

Poetry has a lot of advantages when it comes to our mental health. Stabitha is a poet who struggles with schizophrenia.

She talks about an impact poetry has on her and how it might help others.

Kirsten

Oregon, USA

Kirsten has recently moved across the country to live on her own. She originally wanted to be an American Sign Language interpreter but along the way through college she lost more hearing so that became a career impossible to do. Kirsten is now chasing new dreams, "trying to be the person I needed when I was younger".

Kisten
Jeremy

Jeremy

Canada, Prince Edward Island

“If there is something you really want to do, or you have a goal you really want to pursue, go after it! You may have to do things a bit differently and get a bit creative, but there is often a way.” With this positive mindset Jeremy MacDonald shares his experience with cerebral palsy.

Jay

Jay

Virginia, USA

Jay lives with a rare disability called Congenital Central Hypoventilation Syndrome (CCHS) which was diagnosed in 2000 patients worldwide. 

He is everyday overcoming challenges "One breath at the time".

Jessica

Georgia, USA

Jessica has been through 27 surgeries in the last five years to help with cerebral palsy, postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS), Ehlers-Danlos syndromes (EDS) and mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS). She is now a mom to her two year old daughter and even though there are still things that she struggles with, Jessica learns what works best for her body while giving her child all of the love, care, and attention needed. 

Jessica
Seth

Seth

Alaska, USA

Seth became a below the knee amputee after an accident with a train when he was 14 years old. He had strong support network that helped him realise that the life of amputee didn’t mean not being able to make the most of his life. Seth is now sharing this message with others while also serving on the board of directors for Access Alaska, a center for independent living in that state of USA.

Armin

Mannheim, Germany

Armin Oberlaender doesn't let his disability limit his ability to experience life joyfully. After 30 years in his career as an engineer, Armin felt a pull towards true calling. He made it a mission to help people with disabilities overcome adversity, experience more joy and achieve their goals in spite of their limitations. That’s how his life coaching practice and first book ‘From Frustration to Joy’ was born.

Armin
Gail

Gail

Philippines

Gail's favourite motto is to never give up what you can clearly see in her actions. She became a Cerebral Palsy advocate, has created a podcast in which she fights ableism, shares disability awareness and her own experience. 

Paul

New Brunswick, Canada

Paul Cambell used to be a talented hockey player before an accident. After tragic car crash and waking up from the coma he started his journey to recovery which last until this day. Paul is now a motivational speaker, father, book author and so much more.

Paul
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Avi Golden

New York, USA

Avi Golden was an emergency medical technician and paramedic. Situation transformed 14 years ago after he had a stroke resulting in Aphasia. What didn't changed, is his attitude and desire to help others. Today, he makes it his mission to educate others dealing with aphasia.

Karolina

Poland/Wales, United Kingdom

Karolina is the author of ThisAbility project. The inspiration came from her own experience with scoliosis and the thought that reading other people stories is not only helpful and filled with tips but also very comforting. It felt like there is someone out there going through similar problems. That's how the idea of ThisAbility was created, feeling the need of creating a community sharing people's stories on their disabilities and ideas on how to make our world better, more inclusive and accessible place.

Karolina thisability author