Elizabeth Harrington, disabilities community hero.

Community Heroes

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Community Heroes:
They Inspire Us to Aspire

The community of people with disabilities is not short on heroes. There are people who, by letting nothing stand the way of achieving their goals, inspire others to meet their own obstacles head on. There are people who take action on behalf of others in need, or in defense of cause worth fighting. more

NBA Star Develops Device to Help with Chronic Pain

November 18, 2016

His knees may have truncated Jonathan Bender's NBA career, but they were also the impetus for an invention to help people with chronic joint pain and mobility issues.

Got Lemons? Make LEMONADE

November 18, 2016

Catch Fusion's new series about people with disabilities who have achieved greatness, obliterating all obstacles in their path.

Becoming Invictus

October 8, 2016

The life of Steve Simmons went sideways when a degenerative illness resulted in SCI. With the support of family, he is back and fighting for his country again, this time as an athlete.

Hawaii Five-0 Casts Kanya Sesser

October 7, 2016

Kanya Sesser—actor, model, surfer, skateboarder, sit-skiier—has joined the Hawaii Five-0 cast for tonight’s riveting episode. Watch it on CBS at 9:00 pm!

Dylan Kuehl Dances for the Jacksons

September 14, 2016

Dylan Kuehl is not just any Michael Jackson fan. In an ultimate wish-come-true, this 33-year-old with Down Syndrome paid tribute to his hero by performing for the Jackson family.

Celebrating Our Unique Abilities

August 4, 2016

Adam Farris has a fundamental issue with the word "disability." As he looks at his life and accomplishments, he sees only ability and promise. He thinks you should, too.

Talented Service Dog Helps Partner Overcome Challenges of RA

June 30, 2016

In Tswana, 'Neo' means gift. In Texas, the incredible service dog Neo is the greatest gift a woman with Rheumatoid arthritis could ask for.

Cycles of Life: A Dream Re-Purposed

June 23, 2016

At first, author and avid cyclist Alice Teisan, thought her debilitating disease had driven her completely off track. However, through her work bringing mobility devices to developing countries, she realized it was more of a course correction.

Cowboy is a Girl’s Best Friend

May 18, 2016

The accident changed Katie Mathews life forever. Then Cowboy, her assistance dog, changed it again.

My Last Good Day

April 28, 2016

Though life’s clock winds down for us all, those with progressive illnesses are frequently reminded of its ticking. Author and advocate with SMA, Steve Spohn, encourages new dreams and goals instead of lamenting your last good days.

Eric LeGrand Featured in AT&T Beyond Limits Campaign

April 28, 2016

Though a tackle gone wrong put an abrupt end to his NFL aspirations, Eric LeBrand has forged a new path to author, motivational speaker and corporate spokesperson.

Podcast Gives Voice to the Small Fish in a Big Pond

August 31, 2015

From his motorized chair, Small Fish Radio's Michael Herzovi delights podcast audiences with theater performances in the tradition of an old-style radio show.

New Film Highlights Incredible, Hard-Earned Recovery Post SCI

June 11, 2015

Doctors said he would never feed himself again. Now he's completely independent and walking with a cane. Good thing Aaron Baker didn't listen.

Wheels with Wings: Healing Takes Flight

May 29, 2015

Natalie’s aspirations to facilitate the specialized medical care of others was crucial to her own post-injury healing.

TV Talent Show Star with Epilepsy Dares To Dream

May 12, 2015

Connor Doran speaks from experience when he says, "If you can dream it, you can do it." Despite epilepsy and anxiety, he touched millions with his indoor kite flying on America's Got Talent and since.

Post-Amputation Strategy: Be the Inspiration You Seek

April 27, 2015

Diabetes cost Thomas Morris part of his leg, but not his attitude. Propelled by Mom's no-pity-party advice, he now advocates and inspires others like him.

Trevair Snowden: Once Extreme, Always Extreme

April 20, 2015

In the years since his accident, Trevor 'Trevair' Snowden has created a new wheelchair, invented a Paralympic-style sport, published a hip-hop album and continues to stay extreme.

Loving the Living Skeleton

April 8, 2015

Greg Smith, Sr. is a 65-pound force of nature. And while the sound of his voice booms from his slight frame, his message about positive body image truly resonates.

Abilities Expo Ambassador Stars in BuzzFeed Video

April 2, 2015

Santina Muha—former New York Metro ambassador—was recently featured in a candid, very funny BuzzFeed piece called "Ask a Woman in a Wheelchair." Watch the video and you'll understand why we just love her!

Living a New Dream

March 18, 2015

Advice can seem trite and cliché, unless it comes from someone who has been there. Meet Chris Malcom, a C-7 quadriplegic who became both husband and father after his injury.

The Inspirational Ainsley Rossiter

February 27, 2015

Without ever speaking a word, without ever taking a step, 11-year-old Ainsley Rossiter has been an inspiration to the disability community and beyond.

Making a Difference: Bobbi Jean Tanberg of KnowBarriers

February 27, 2015

Remaking a life following a life-altering injury or diagnosis is a daunting one. Bobbi Jean Tanberg of KnowBarriers has made it her life's mission to help others adjust and, ultimately, thrive in their new normal.

Newly Injured Overcomes and Reconnects in College

February 27, 2015

College student Ather Sharif had a choice: Live as a victim of his life-altering injury or adjust to life on wheels and thrive in the process. Read his sage advice for others who want to join him in picking what's behind door #2.

The 'Backbones' to Living Fully with SCI

January 27, 2015

After Reveca Torres found healing through connection, she went on to found a community where people with spinal cord injuries can interact with kindred spirits—others uniquely familiar with their life experiences.

Vintage typewriter Art: One Keystroke at a Time

September 27, 2014

A closer look at Mona Lisa's smile reveals something amazing. Artist Paul Smith achieved the Renaissance diva's amused visage using…parenthesis? Dashes? On a typewriter!?! His severe cerebral palsy was no match for his artistry and social media fanatics everywhere should be truly humbled by what he could do with a hashtag.

My Gimpy Life Gets Funding for Season Two

Updated September 18, 2014

Teal Sherer, an actress with a disability who was tired of waiting on Hollywood roles, created one for herself last summer when My Gimpy Life premiered to critical acclaim on YouTube.

Director Ben Lewin Explores Disability, Love and Sexuality

Updated September 18, 2014

Ben Lewin, director of Fox Searchlight’s new film, The Sessions, spoke with fellow polio survivor Jennifer Gorman of The Mobility Resource about his cinematic tale of another polio survivor, Mark O’Brien.

A Random Act of Kindness Changes a Family's Life Forever

Updated September 18, 2014

That Sunday will live in the hearts and minds of everyone whose tears of joy followed 5-year-old Alexzander Prado’s amazing feat at the Southern California Abilities Expo in the Anaheim Convention Center.

A Look at the Extraordinary Life of Bryan Anderson

Updated September 18, 2014

Thousands of people long to be published authors and actors, but in most cases their dreams never come true. However, that was not the case with Bryan Anderson, who lost both legs and his left hand in 2005, while serving in Iraq.

If You Can’t Stand Up, Stand Out

Updated September 18, 2014

Last summer, audiences were mesmerized as the Sundance Channel debuted a daring new series about four dynamic women who live in L.A.

Handicap This!

Updated September 18, 2014

It all started in the spring of 2001 when Tim Wambach stopped by a school district office on a whim. He put in an application to be a substitute teacher and that’s when the wheel of fate began to roll.

We find inspiration and heroism in the actions of people of all abilities—Paralympians, teachers, caregivers, scientists, performers, activists, innovators, families, artists, medical professionals and in regular people making extraordinary gestures.

Mountain climber Mark Wellman was the first paraplegic to scale Half Dome and El Capitan and now brings the adaptive climbing equipment that helped to make the feat possible to Abilities Expo where anyone can use it to scale a rock wall. Filmmaker Narcel Reedus created a poignant documentary to raise awareness that, even today, children with developmental disabilities are institutionalized. Karen Kain of Lorrin’s World, devoted mother to a unique child, now teaches others how to thrive as parents to children with special needs.

Elizabeth Harrington, disabilities community hero.

At Abilities Expo, one of our favorite inspirational stories is the one of young Alexander, an adorable five-year-old with Cerebral Palsy who visited the Expo with his mother and uncle. As they perused the aisles, the bright green KidWalk from Prime Engineering caught their eyes. This pediatric walker is designed to support much of the body weight, allowing a child to walk hands-free.

Alexander had to try it and, once he was strapped in, there was no stopping him. His mother was in tears as she watched her son walk hands-free for the first time. Everyone lucky enough to witness was moved by sight, including the guys from Sleepsafe Beds in a nearby booth who went ahead and bought the walker for little Zander.

Who are the heroes? The gentlemen from Sleepsafe who recognized the opportunity to make a profound difference in child’s life and acted without hesitation? The unstoppable Zander who, undaunted by his physical limitations, couldn’t wait to try something that would open up this world? Or Zander’s family whose love and support created new possibilities for their little guy.

We say all of them are heroes. It’s why we like the story so much.