10 #disabilityawareness influencers you should be following
In the last few years influencers who educate viewers by raising awareness and furthering their knowledge on various conditions have become much more common on social media. The ways this can be leveraged have perhaps been overlooked, but could provide insights that empathy-led research lacks.
Having a glance at social media right now, hashtags like #disability #disabilityawareness and #disabilityadvocate take you to accounts of influencers with disabilities or influencers advocating for people with disabilities.
The great thing about these channels is that viewers ask questions which influencers often dedicate a video to or answer in the comments. In ways, it can be very informative to researchers and designers who are struggling to find new avenues to do disability research or finding experts on specific conditions.
We’ve listed below ten online influencers that bring a unique perspective to the challenges they face. They all have one thing in common, they share their experience in order to help educate others, acting as catalyst for the change we need for a more accessible society.
Molly Burke @Mollyburkeofficial
Canadian YouTuber, Motivational Speaker, Author, and Commercial Model. Molly has been blind since the age of 14. We love Molly’s positivity and her work in amplifying other marginalized voices.
Rae Green @Raegreen135
19 year old Rae has built a loyal following on social media, for sharing her life living with blindness. Rae is not afraid to challenge societal norms, questioning why accessibility isn’t part of everyday life.
Raising awareness of Keratoconus Eye Disease, Samy is a writer, filmmaker and photographer. She shares her experiences through moving captions and photos that will help you see from her perspective.
Damion Gross @itsdamion
Having amassed over 2.5 million followers on TikTok, Damion is a model who also has Cerebral Palsy. Truly accepting of who he is, Damion isn’t afraid to call out and address any negative comments he receives, and does this with humour.
With an impressive 1.7 million followers on TikTok, it’s clear to see why Genny is so popular. Documenting her and her daughter’s life and sharing the judgments they receive, goes a long way in educating people about Crouzon syndrome. It certainly hasn’t held her back from living her best life.
Tina Beauvais @disabilityinclusioneducator
Tina’s work online addresses the opportunity to teach children to be kind, and that differences are not bad or scary. In sharing her life experiences with her family, she also does a great job of educating adults too and we are sure will go a long way to eradicating existing negative attitudes to people with disabilities.
Jessica Stadler @medical_misfit
Self-confessed ‘Genetically rare, autoimmune, invisible, chronic illness club member’ Jessica shares her experiences with humour, helping her followers gain an insight into the challenges she faces, that are often invisible. Jessica’s account is a timely reminder to remember that we can’t always see someone’s disability.
Disabled Culture @disabledculture
A neurodivergent artist, challenging society about the onus falling to disabled people to change the systems that oppress them. We’d recommend time to read their posts to understand the changes you could make to the way you speak to and about disabled people and act towards helping them improve their experiences within society.
Disabled but not really @disabledbutnotreally
An organisation that aims to create inclusivity and accessibility for a community that lacks representation. We love their tagline ‘don’t let your struggle be your identity’. The Facebook page has so many inspiring examples of people doing great things, well worth a follow.
Haben Girma @HabenGirma
A truly empowering disability rights lawyer, author & speaker. Haben has written a book about her experience’ Haben The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law’. This statement from Haben really got us thinking: “Inclusion is a choice. When you choose inclusion, you role model it for everyone around you.”
Finally, for those working in the research industry, hear from our own team member, Cheyenne Ritfeld, on her experiences as a person hard of hearing and her thoughts on the future of accessibility in research, here.