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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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 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.
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".
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.
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.
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 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.
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.