Coping in Isolation: Jennifer – COVID Video Series

A woman with curly brown hair and glasses smiles.
JENNIFER, 55, New York   Jennifer lives with spina bifida and secondary lymphedema. She enjoys volunteering at animal shelters, where she also adopted her cat, Twiggy. When she isn’t in isolation, she spends time with family and friends, goes out to eat or shopping. In her video, Jennifer talks about the struggles of living ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Jason – COVID Video Series

JASON, 30, Toronto, Canada Jason is a podcaster and disability advocate who lives with fibromyalgia / postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS). He was born and raised in Toronto, Canada and is the youngest of three kids and the proud uncle of his nephew and niece. He currently lives at home with his Mom and Dad. ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Gabriel – COVID Video Series

Gabriel, a non-binary person with curly, short, brown hair, large, white, round glasses and a fluffy cat.
GABRIEL, 27, Toronto, Canada Gabriel is a non-binary podcaster, drag king/gender performer named “Can-I-Bliss,” a disability rights advocate and educator. They have an undiagnosed neuromuscular illness as well as a multitude of syndromes, including orthostatic intolerance, chronic pain, and chronic fatigue. Gabriel uses art and drag to demedicalize themselves and the multiple aids they ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Heather – COVID Video Series

A woman with black hair bound at the top of her head and red lips smiles.
HEATHER, 47, Boston Heather is a Boston-based disability rights advocate who lives with muscular dystrophy. She identifies as a black disabled woman and is an author and mother, who loves reading, daydreaming, and chocolate. Her blog Slow Walkers See More includes reflections and insight from her life with disability. In Heather’s video, she speaks about her ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Raúl – COVID Video Series

Raul, a man with short, brown hair, glasses and a hat sits in a wheelchair and smiles slightly.
RAÚL, 37, Berlin, Germany Raúl is a disability activist from Germany, who has been working in the online and media world for more than 15 years. He founded the non-profit ’Sozialhelden’ and invented ‘wheelmap,’ a crowdsourcing, online platform to find wheelchair-accessible places around the world. Raúl regularly protests against German laws affecting people with ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Sarah – COVID Video Series

A woman with chin-length, black hair is looking out of a window.
SARAH, 43, Oakland, California Sarah is a librarian by day and a patient advocate by night. She is 43 years old and works as the director of the digital library in Oakland. She has been diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome fifteen years ago, and additionally lives with many other conditions, including an immunocompromising mold toxicity ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Shelly – COVID Video Series

Shelly, a woman with light brown hair sits on a bench. She smiles and wears a pink jacket and perl earrings.
SHELLY, 48, Los Angeles, California   Shelly is 48 years old and lives in Los Angeles. Immediately after moving to LA in January, she has found herself in self-isolation. Shelly works for ABILITY, specifically on abilityE, the disability casting resource for the entertainment industry. She lives with a condition called cavernous angiomas, small, raspberry-like ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Emily – COVID Video Series

Emily, a woman with long, brown hair sits on a couch smiling. In her arm is a fluffy, white puppy.
Emily, 31, California   Emily is a 31-year-old occupational therapist who focuses on helping other people with disabilities gaining independence living skills. Emily herself is living with a rare condition called Ehlers-Danlos syndrome that has  a major effect on her life. Because of EDS, Emily has had strokes, spinal cord injuries and developed adrenal ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Nancy – COVID Video Series

Nancy, a woman with chin-length brown hair stands on a hill. She smiles and uses green crutches.
NANCY,62, San Jose, California   Nancy is 62 years old and works as a physical therapist with people living with rare diseases. She also has two herself. Nancy lives with complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS2) from a nerve injury to her foot and ankle, as well as with a genetic condition called BRCA2, a ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Leroy – COVID Video Series

Leroy, a bald man wearing a black suit sits in a living room.
LEROY, California Leroy is the founder of the Krip-Hop Nation and has been writing the ‘Illin-N-Chillin’ column for POOR Magazine since 1990. He is also a founding member of National Black Disability and activist around police brutality against people with disabilities. Leroy is an activist for disabled people of color and lives with cerebral ... Read more

Coping in Isolation: Jacob – COVID Video Series

Jacob Fraker, a young man with short brown hair is standing in a park. He has a beard, wears a blue sweater and smiles. It's a sunny day.
JACOB, 27, Sacramento, California Jacob is a 27-year-old graduate student from California living with cystic fibrosis (CF). He was born and raised in the small rural town of Sonora, CA with his older brother, who also has CF, and his two sisters. Jacob spent most of his early adulthood working in nonprofits engaged in ... Read more

Eileen Grubba – Feisty, Fun, Fabulous

Eileen Grubba - close up image of Eileen Grubba head tilted, smiling with locks of blonde hair.
If Eileen Grubba’s name isn’t familiar, there’s a reason. She’s built a strong television career playing edgy characters in shows like Game of Silence, Sons of Anarchy, The Mentalist and HBO’s Hung, plus others. Her thespian roots stretch back to Atlanta and New York, where she acted in musicals, plays, commercials and independent films. ... Read more

“Born This Way” — The Cast

Title: Born this Way. Image: The Talented Cast of A and E's Hit show with a backdrop of a brick wall.
On a beautiful summer afternoon in Los Angeles at John Paizis’ Performing Arts Studio West, the cast of TV’s Born This Way met up with David S. Zimmerman, an ABILITY contributor and founder of Meet The Biz, and actress Jamie Brewer of American Horror Story. Later in the conversation, the cast’s families joined them as they talked about life, love, and the ... Read more

Liu Fusheng–Living Large with Tourettes

Liu Fusheng When I Paint
Professional painter Liu Fusheng had the distinction of winning a prestigious Young Artist Award in his native Singapore. Both museums and private investors have collected his work, and he’s been the subject of solo exhibitions in China and the US. Liu’s distinctive glasses, decorative crystal, and shoes hint he also might’ve made a compelling ... Read more

Richard Marriott — Bridges

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

United Nations CRPD – Comments

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, United Nations Building in background
Comments on the United Nations Convention on Right for Persons with Disabilities by Vladimir Cuk, International Disability Alliance; Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, RespectAbility USA; Marcie Roth, Office of Disability Integration FEMA; Stig Langvad, Disabled People’s Organizations- Demark and Alex Lebois, G3ict during UN conference.    

Meningococcal Septicemia

Shayne's World - Shayne sit outside under a palm tree with wide smiles
Shayne Smith contracted a potentially deadly condition, and underwent multiple amputations. But to whom much was taken away, much was also given. Today, Smith, 25, is powered by his high-octane confidence. Over the years, he’s made history as an athlete, crossed paths with tons of A-list celebrities, and now focuses on motivating young people ... Read more