In honor of National Hispanic Heritage month, which kicks off today and runs through October 15th, we wanted to share about some of the Hispanic disability advocates who are doing great things in the community for disability rights.
Andrea was born with Spina Bifida lipomyelomeningocele, one of the least common forms of Spina Bifida, as a result of her father being exposed to Agent Orange while in the military during the Vietnam war. Growing up her family always encouraged her when she wanted to try something. She began to self-advocate while in elementary school where should would take opportunities to teach other students about her disability. In college she began to advocate for the disability community and started her own YouTube Channel as a means to educate non-disabled people. Her channel now has over 12,000 subscribers and has morphed into a resource for other disabled people.
Andrea proudly identifies as a Disabled Latina because she wants people to understand that she can be both and that her culture should not want to hide disability. Growing up and even today, there are no words to describe disability in the Spanish language. Through her activism she is working to show that the two identities can coexist with each other and they are something to be proud of.
Daphne is a 23-year old youth activist and she is unapologetically Latina. Daphne has Cerebral Palsy, and uses a wheelchair to ambulate. She is fiercely proud to be a loud champion for the disabled community. As a person living with Cerebral Palsy, Daphne is an advocate for disability rights, particularly on how the climate crisis will disproportionately affect disabled communities.
Daphne got her start in activism when she helped bus 100+ fellow college students to the nearest March For Our Lives (MFOL) event after the Parkland shooting. She was appointed the New York State Director for MFOL in 2019. Since then she has founded her own Non-profit, Box the Ballot, which aims to harness the power of absentee ballots. She is committed to creating change in her community and spends time speaking at colleges, summit and panels that highlight the voices of the Gen-Z, disabled and Latinx communities.
Follow Daphne on Twitter.
When Annie was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome at 26, she began vlogging her experiences on her YouTube channel. Her videos focus on accessibility for all, body positivity, LGBTQ+ and greater representation for BIPOC communities. She created a t-shirt with the words “The Future is Accessible” after attending the Women’s March in 2017 feeling that it lacked visibility/accessibility for disabled individuals. Since then she has created numerous other shirt designs focusing on accessibility and disability.