Today we’d like to introduce you to Alycia Anderson.
Hi Alycia, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
My story started at birth, as all of ours do. Yet, unlike most, I was born with a disability called sacral agenesis, which has led me to live my life in a wheelchair. I was also born an identical twin alongside my completely non-disabled sister in the mid-70s, and this is where my journey in inclusion started that has led me to you, here today. The disability rights movement was forming and gaining traction just at the time I was being born. This movement stemmed from a world that had offered little opportunity for living entirely independent lives for people with disabilities. A law, The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, was passed that opened the door to education, transportation, and employment for people with disabilities. This law mandated accessibility to all government-funded buildings and infrastructure. Still, the actual work of this law was beginning, and I would be the first generation to benefit from and discover what this law would truly provide. The real work of normalizing this law and its intent was beginning. As a result, I became a trailblazer on the path forward to inclusion in every facet of my life, with very few, if any, examples to follow before me. Out of this was born a strong self-advocacy and a sense of belief that my young parents would instill in me that: I can, I should, and I will live in this life! They believed that anything was possible for me in my life, as long as I was willing to try, and I would learn to believe this myself. This would become the foundation of all the success I have found in my life. Through my lifetime of experiences in disability inclusion and a true feeling that I have been called to share all I have learned with the world, a speaking career has blossomed. And I now give talks globally to a clientele consisting of corporations, organizations, and educational institutions, knowing this knowledge is helping advance the work of inclusion in today’s society. My message is a core and, most times, missing piece of the diversity, equity, and inclusion discussion as accessibility and disability are often left out due to their varying and complex nature, but they are a great uniter. Accessibility and disability supply common ground for all of us in the DE&I discussion as they cross all cultural and gender lines that may divide us. Because of this, disability inclusion through accessibility is genuinely for everyone.
To briefly wrap up on this question, I’m Alycia Anderson, and I’m on a mission to motivate and evoke change through the power of inclusion for all.
Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
If you are asking me if living a life with a disability is hard? The answer is yes, and It can be hard sometimes. However, I have found that overcoming the hard things in life is what makes life so interesting. Whether it be the blatant exclusion in physical navigation in our environments, overcoming societal bias, or even overcoming medical challenges, these obstacles have shaped who I am. Overcoming anything shapes each of us in our way as we turn struggles into triumphs. The biggest challenge I have faced in starting my speaking business is, again, not having many examples that I have been able to follow in this effort. So I have had to find my voice and use my voice to demonstrate what is possible. And through this, my business was born!
Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
I’m on a mission to motivate people through the power of diversity and inclusion. My goal is to deliver the perfect blend of energy, humor, and real-world stories that will tug at your heartstrings and make you laugh out loud the next. I inspire people worldwide to achieve their fullest potential – and am passionate about helping people and organizations understand the real bottom-line benefits inherent in a diverse and inclusive society. I’m a TEDx motivational speaker, corporate Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Accessibility consultant, advocate, and the founder & CEO of The Alycia Anderson Company, LLC. I’ve studied Adapted Physical Education at California State University, Chico, earning a bachelor’s degree and continued to receive my Master’s Degree from KU Leuven, Belgium in Adapted Physical Activity emphasizing the benefits, practices, and principles of inclusion. My authenticity and charisma draw others to me, and I naturally connect with them to inspire, mentor, champion, and support them. I started speaking because I’m a bridge for all to see how to care about, practice, and learn to be inclusive, and this is my biggest life work. I share with people who don’t know and are curious about how it is to live a life with a disability and how to overcome, adapt and believe in what we consider impossible to be possible. For me, it’s all about past, present, and future and the collective progress along the way.
I’m a tennis player, cyclist, identical twin, and a wheelchair user since birth. I share my journey globally to help communities and companies understand the actual benefits inherent to building a diverse, inclusive, and accessible workplace and society. Shining light on how our diversities are core to the qualities that make each of us uniquely qualified and able in life. I right-size everyday obstacles to open your mind to a world of possibility. And that’s how I roll!
Any big plans?
The future’s looking bright. I am booking appearances regularly live and virtual into 2023 with nationally, and internationally recognized brands and have a ton of fun sharing my message of disability inclusion and disabling ableism in the workplace.
Our big news is that we are about to launch our first training product, Disabling Ableism®, The Modern Pathway to Inclusion Microlearning Series. This training series is designed to introduce the inherent benefits of disability inclusion, lessons on ableism, accessibility leading to innovation, the importance of language, understanding microaggressions, and how to move forward on the modern pathway to inclusion in the workplace. The release is coming this summer! For more details and early sign-up, please visit my website 👉🏼 https://alyciaanderson.com/disabling-ableism-microlearning-series/.
- Contact me for Booking Questions
- Contact me for Microlearning Series Pricing
- Website: alyciaanderson.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/alyciaspeaking/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alyciaspeaking/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/alyciaspeaking
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXCcsHc2guyzv7waaN6EVag
- Other: https://alyciaanderson.com/disabling-ableism-microlearning-series/
TEDx images, credit: Dan Walisch Other recent images: Christina Best Photography No credit on the kid one.