Celebrity Interviews

Katie Porter — Congresswoman Making a Difference

U.S Rep. Katie Porter (CA-45) of Orange County, CA grew up in Iowa watching Sen. Tom Harkin and learning about the ADA. Rep. Porter sees the rights of people with disabilities that have yet to be fully realized. Serving her second term in the House, Rep. Porter is known for whipping out her dry ... Read more

“What?” — An interview with John Maucere

John Maucere deaf actor, comedian and film maker, known for “No Ordinary Hero: The SuperDeafy Movie”, just celebrated his latest project called “What?” This is Maucere’s latest movie! Wait, what? Yes, “What?” The name of the movie. The movie is modeled after the slapstick silent films of Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin. “What?” takes ... Read more

Vint Cerf Recovers from COVID-19

Related: Vint Cerf — Father of the Internet ABILITY Magazine reached across the internet, via Zoom, to talk with Vint Cerf after hearing he had COVID-19. Cerf, often called the father of the internet, shared his COVID experience and other insights with Chet Cooper, as they both pondered how different life would be without ... Read more

Sheila Houlahan — an Indian-American actor, singer, producer, writer and mental health advocate

Sheila Houlahan, is an Indian-American actor, singer, producer and writer who recently played a supporting role in Warner Bros.’ “The Little Things” with co-stars Denzel Washington, Rami Malek, and Jared Leto. Houlahan had leading roles in “Beloved Beast”, a Lionsgate film in which she played the older version of leading character Nina, and “Wallflower”, ... Read more

Congressman Ted Lieu — A veteran supporting veterans plus cybersecurity, environment, mental health, reliable media, anti-Asian crime and more.

In one of the most difficult times in modern history, the Covid-19 pandemic caused great inequities and great need to bubble up into the public view. These disparities are not new; they just became more pronounced in a country on pause. Americans count on their elected officials to take these issues from their communities to ... Read more

Jennifer Goodman – Actor, Producer, Autism Activist, and Collaborator Ryan Atkins

Jennifer Goodman Karum is shifting perceptions of people with disabilities in entertainment. Goodman, an autistic actress, writer, producer and creator, collaborated with Ryan Atkins, himself a producer and creator, to found Lakefront Pictures. This Chicago-based production studio aims to amplify unheard voices. In their work, diversity and disability are evident in the talent, both on ... Read more

Jameela Jamil: Advocate First, Actress Second

Jameela Jamil, known in the UK as a TV and radio presenter, gained popularity in the US for her role as Tahani Al-Jamil in NBC’s The Good Place. In disability circles, she is recognized as an advocate for disability rights, LGBTQ rights, body neutrality, and her work around social justice. Jamil lives with several chronic ... Read more

Judy Heumann

Judith Heumann has devoted her life to fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, herself included. She’s not only been at the forefront of great strides in the disability rights movement, she’s led the charge. Born in Brooklyn in 1947, she was paralyzed after contracting polio as a toddler. Denied the right to ... Read more

CJ Jones — comedian, actor, writer, director, producer

? For the entire world, 2020 brought new challenges. For CJ Jones, 2020 brought opportunity to live his passion. Having a decades long career as a deaf comedian, actor, entertainer, writer, director and producer, Jones is using his wealth of knowledge and experience in the entertainment industry to give back. He’s seen the need for ... Read more

Lachi

Circa 2010-11 — Born with congenital visual impairment, musician Lachi brings sweet sounds to the masses. Lachi’s band, which shares her name, is made up entirely of musician’s with vision-related disabilities. Lachi has been touring the East Coast and lighting up venues like The Knitting Factory, Ella Lounge, and New York University, where she ... Read more

Howie Mandel Interview

Jun/Jul 2011 Howie Mandel may be fashionably bald now, but as a teenager he brushed his hair in the girl’s bathroom (where we met his future wife), used a blacklight to scour his room for germs, and took thousands of showers, owing to Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Today Mandel says his off-kilter adolescence helped pave ... Read more

Vint Cerf — Co-creator of the Internet and Email

Related: Find out how Vint Cerf Recovered from COVID-19 Chances are you are reading this article online. Are you on the Internet? Or are you on the World Wide Web? Is there a difference? For our younger readers, you may feel like these things have always been around. For the rest of us who ... Read more

John Lawson — Actor, Pilot, Scuba Instructor and Advocate

What do pumping gas and painting water towers have in common? Neither are glamorous exertions, and neither rise to the occasion of being called an aspiration. Both are a means to an end- a task to be accomplished so that something else, maybe something great, can happen. In the world of John Lawson, both of ... Read more

Toby Forrest — the Man

In 2010, ABILITY Magazine interviewed Tobias Forrest. The article started: “I was twenty-two, and I was diving off of a waterfall in the Grand Canyon,” Forrest said. “The water was too shallow where I had jumped, I shattered my fifth vertebrae—and I realized I was going under. I thanked God for my life, and ... Read more

Pulling Back the Curtain with Judy Heumann

When I was five years old, I was deemed a fire hazard. Like millions of American children that year, I was entering kindergarten. It was 1952 in Brooklyn, NY and my mother was taking me to my neighborhood school to make sure everything would go smoothly on the big first day. It didn’t. The ... Read more

The Peanut Butter Falcon — Actor Zack Gottsagen & Advocate Shelley Gottsagen

An actor with disabilities is born to a disability rights activist. It seems like a far-fetched Hollywood script, but, in reality, it’s 100% true. Meet the Gottsagen—Zack whose breakout role in Peanut Butter Falcon has put him on the map and his mother, Shelley, whose activism for disability rights predates her son. ABILITY Magazine ... Read more

James McEachin — Actor, Author, Silver Star & Purple Heart Recipient

James McEachin is a Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient, veteran of the Korean War, an accomplished actor, and an award-winning author. McEachin is perhaps best known for his roles on Perry Mason, Matlock, Play Misty For Me, and his NBC series Tenafly. He enjoyed an illustrious career and eventually retired. Since retirement, McEachin ... Read more

Itzhak Perlman — Musician, Maestro, Advocate

Tune in to your local classical radio station anywhere in North America, and it won’t take long for someone to mention the name Itzhak Perlman. It is rare for a musician in the classical genre to become the rock star that Perlman has become. Known for the tremendous emotion he exudes through each string he caresses, he has taken ... Read more

Zach Anner Interview

YouTube phenomenon Zach Anner became a household name five years ago when he co-won Oprah Winfrey’s Reality TV competition, Your OWN Show: Oprah’s Search for the Next TV Star. Though his wheelchair travel series, Rollin’ With Zach, was short lived, Anner has kept it moving. His YouTube channel has more than 300,000 subscribers, and ... Read more

Richard Marriott — Bridges

The Marriott Foundation’s Bridges – from School to Work program is celebrating its 25th anniversary. The famous hotel chain’s altruistic wing was inspired, in part, by the late Stephen Garth Marriott, the founder’s grandson. He was diagnosed with a terminal degenerative disease as a teenager, yet went on to enjoy a successful career. The ... Read more