Contributed by Alyssa Chan, Communications and Event Planning Intern
Are you hoping to learn more about the disability experience from individuals with lived experience, but don’t know where to start? Check out these blogs, podcasts, and social media accounts from self-advocates and their families to understand their perspectives firsthand. Not only are they sharing their lived experiences, but they strive to use their knowledge and experiences to empower others with disabilities.
Some say that autistic people shouldn’t become parents, but this is not the case! Kaylene George is the autistic mother of six (!!) neurodivergent children, and talks about autism-positive parenting, self-advocacy, and ableism through her blog, Autistic Mama.
In his self-titled blog, “the cerebral palsy vigilante” Zachary Fenell takes a humourous approach to telling his story of having cerebral palsy. 10 years ago, he wrote an autobiography called Off Balanced about the shame he used to experience and how he learned to embrace his condition. He is currently an entrepreneur, sought-after public speaker, and occasional marathon runner!
Hosted by Alice Wong, the Disability Visibility Project is “an online community dedicated to creating, sharing, and amplifying disability media and culture”. The podcast series takes an intersectional approach, highlighting how having a disability is connected to a variety of political, cultural, and social justice issues.
A commonly believed myth is that non-verbal individuals are incapable of any communication, but AAC Town Podcast proves otherwise! AAC stands for augmentative and alternative communication and includes body language, facial expressions, word boards, and speech-generating devices. Discover how non-verbal folks such as endever* (a non-speaking autistic) and Sam use assistive technology to express themselves through this podcast series.
Molly Burke is a YouTuber, public speaker, author, and former Miss Teen Canada International winner. She became mostly blind in her teen years after being diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa at four years old.
Alyssa from Community Engagement sees her as one of her role models and actually owns two of her books! Her mom bought Haley’s first book “Middle School: the Stuff Nobody Tells You About” for Alyssa when she was 11, and since then Alyssa was inspired by Haley to be more open about her autism with others.