This episode features an interview with Ileana Rodriguez. Ileana was born and raised in Matanzas, Cuba where she was diagnosed at the age of 13 with a malformation of the spine that left her paralyzed from the waist down. In the year 2000 she moved to United States with her family looking for better medical treatments than those offered in Cuba.
Ileana shares her story of going to college and eventually pursuing her passion of swimming and participating in the London Paralympic Games in 2012.
Today Ileana is the founder of I Design Access, LLC, a design and accessibility consultancy for architects and clients that see inclusion and accessibility at the core of their business.
In the first part of a 2-part conversation, Debra is joined by her producer, Doug Foresta, as they discuss the impact of disruption on the conversation about accessibility. Discover some of the positives and negatives of disruption and how companies are adapting to change.
Alexander Hauerslev Jensen, CCO of Be My Eyes joins the program. Be My Eyes is a free mobile app designed to bring sight to the blind and visually impaired. With the press of a button, the app establishes a live video connection between blind and visually impaired users and sighted volunteers and company representatives. With over 2.2 million users across 150 countries, Be My Eyes has grown to become the largest online community for the blind and visually impaired.
Jeff Wissel, Co-Lead of the Fidelity Office of Customer Accessibility at Fidelity Investments, joins the program to discuss the impact that Fidelity Enable Employee Resource Group has had for helping employees with disabilities to find their inner voice. He also shares takeaways and lessons learned from his experiences so far.
This episode features an interview with Frances West, an internationally recognized thought leader, keynote speaker, strategy advisor and women-in-technology executive. Discover what it takes to integrate technology and humanity.
Neil Milliken, Global Head of Accessibility for Atos, and co-founder of AXSChat, joins the program to discuss the social and economic cost of failing to make products and services accessible to persons with disabilities. He also reveals why we should treat a lack of accessibility like pollution, and what that would mean for companies.
Ruh Global Impact COO Richard Streitz joins the program to discuss the successful efforts to delay CA bill AB1395, a bill regarding the collection of information from smart speaker devices. There was concern that the bill would potentially have a negative impact on people with disabilities and that further study was needed before potentially passing the bill.
Debra is joined by her producer Doug Foresta as they discuss virtual relationships, and the pros and cons of connecting with others online. Listen in as Doug and Debra share their thoughts on whether virtual relationships are "real".
Steve McEvoy has lived with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy and learning disabilities since birth, and currently works as a consultant helping persons with and without disabilities. In this episode, Steve shares his conviction that economic empowerment, proactive support, a solid professional network and education, are the four tools people with disabilities need to secure benefits-eligible employment.
Speaker, Educator, and Disability Inclusion Advocate, Edmund Asiedu, joins the program, to discuss disability inclusion in higher education. Edmund is the Assistant Director of Career Services for Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health.
In this episode, Debra and Doug Foresta, producer of Human Potential at Work, discuss trends in mental health, and challenges that arise both in and out of the workplace. They also share their thoughts about what employers can do to encourage mental wellness and some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that technology poses to our emotional well-being.
Sarah P. Hancock, psychiatric recovery consultant, certified rehabilitation counselor, podcaster and author, joins the program to discuss her own mental health journey, and the work she does today helping others to move beyond stigmatizing labels and achieve recovery.
Deb Russell, founder of Deb Russell, Inc, joins the program to discuss a model that bridges the gap between disability and business, and how to create a win for everyone involved. Discover how to create productive partnerships between business and the disability communities.
Garry Turner joins the program to discuss his journey of being bullied when he was younger, and how that helped him develop more empathy for himself and others. He reveals the power of vulnerability and explores what it means to be truly human.
Tanya Sheckley joins the program to share her powerful story of how her daughter Eliza inspired her to found UP Academy, a progressive elementary lab school in San Mateo, California. The school will have a mix of students with and without disabilities, and encourages students' sense of wonder and curiousity by focusing on their academic, emotional and physical growth through a differentiated learning and project-based curriculum.
Jason Swenk joins the program to discuss the connection between ADHD and creativity, and the mindset shift that we need to make when it comes to how schools respond to students with ADHD. He also talks about the power of social media and his journey of growing his own multi-million dollar agency, and the work his does today helping digital agency owners grow their business.
Peter Torres Fremlin joins the program to discuss the work that he does internationally on disability rights, as well his interest in languages, equality, and culture. Peter also reveals why having a disability makes him great at his job.
Detective Sergeant Shelton Newsham joins the program to discuss the innovative work that they are doing in the UK around cybercrime prevention. He has over 17 Years’ experience in law enforcement and is currently a manager at the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Cyber Crime Unit.
Shelton works alongside UK Government agencies, international law enforcement and investigation teams dealing with new attack vector’s. He works at identifying new social engineering tactics and provides Cyber security advice for staff and decision makers alike. Shelton works alongside academia and the community to identify the gifted security experts of the future with a view of educating, developing, supporting them to enhance their skills.
Sarah Todd Hammer joins the program to discuss her journey, which includes becoming paralyzed from the neck-down at age 8 due to a rare neuroimmune disorder called Transverse Myelitis that damages the spinal cord. Since that time, Sarah has recovered the ability to walk and partial use of her arms and hands, and has gone on to write 3 books and is a dancer and choreographer.
Susan Scott-Parker, CEO and Founder of Business Disability International, joins the program to discuss the pioneering work that she has done, including the creation of a benchmark that measures corporate performance on disability as it affects an entire business. Discover the "Valuable 500", the global movement putting disability on the business leadership agenda.
This episode features an interview with Brandon Farbstein. Diagnosed with a rare form of dwarfism at the age of 2, Brandon stands at 3’9” – making his life’s journey full of adversity, strength, and impact. after feeling invisible and without a purpose for the first 15 years of his life. He discovered his calling on the tedx stage, and suddenly realized his life’s meaning: to change the lens through which people see their world. Brandon discusses the lessons he's learned from his journey so far and his vision for the future.
This episode features an interview with David James Boyd & Chad Kessler, co-creators of the play Stepchild, along with producer Kori Rushton and associate producer Shelly Guy.
About the play:
Inspired by the classic tale of Cinderella, “Stepchild” tells the story of Orella, a deaf girl coming of age during the Italian Renaissance. After a mysterious fortune teller teaches her how to communicate using sign language, Orella discovers a joyous new world. Her bliss is soon shattered by the ignorant and fear-mongering King Octavio, who ruthlessly punishes anyone that dares to embrace what makes them “different.” With her kingdom rapidly succumbing to prejudicial fears, Orella must dig deep for inner strength to combat darkness and save her people from tyranny.
It is believed that American Sign Language (ASL) is the THIRD most commonly used language in the United States. However, the long, grim and extraordinary path towards modern Deaf culture is hardly common knowledge. Through the eyes of a Deaf heroine, this underrepresented historical topic is given a Gothic folktale spin in this sweeping story of empowerment.
Rob Neuhauser, EVP and Global Head of Seimens People and Leadership, joins the program to discuss the challenges and opportunities that come with leading 5 generations in their workforce, and the work that they have done around unconscious bias.
Kirk Adams, American Foundation for the Blind's President and CEO, joins the program to discuss how they are expanding possibilities for people with vision loss. He reveals the shift away from a medical model of serving people who are blind and vision impaired, and how their efforts fit into the larger conversation about inclusion in the workforce. Discover the benefits of developing a diverse talent pool.