Our Favorite TED Talks on Disability, Accessibility and Inclusion

CONFESSION: We LOVE a good TED Talk.  Even better…..we LOVE LOVE LOVE a good TED Talk on disability rights and inclusion of people with disabilities.

So….we thought we would share some of our favorites here.

Our fight for disability rights and
why we’re not done yet
Judith Heumann | TEDxMidAtlantic

It’s incredibly important for people with disabilities and advocates for inclusion to understand the history of the disability rights movement in order to know where we’ve been and recognize the challenges that still exist.  Judith E. “Judy” Heumann is a pioneer in the American disability rights movement.  There’s a page dedicated to her career in Wikipedia!  Here she tells her story about trying to get a teaching license, the impact of the disability rights movement, and the global issue of civil rights for people with disabilities.  If there is only one TED Talk on this list that you can watch, THIS IS THE ONE!

Why design should be for everyone
Sinead Burke | TEDTalk

“I often forget that I am a little person, ” says Sinead Burke, “it’s the physical environment and society that remind me.” Her Ted Talk speaks to the heart of the design issue, considerations for EVERYONE.

Michael Graves

“Be very careful when an architect calls himself an expert.  We are not very smart,” says world-renown architect and product designer Michael Graves.  In this Ted Talk, he shares the personal story of acquiring a disability later in life and the need for designing more accessible, patient-centered medical care facilities.

The illusion of inclusion
Tanvi Gautam | TEDxSingaporeWomen

It’s one thing to be a parent.  It’s an entirely different thing to be a parent of a child with a disability.  In this Ted Talk, Tanvi Gautam beautifully bridges the frustrations of a parent of a child with a disability and the power of the personal experience with disability that can make inclusion REAL.

Isn’t it a pity? The real problem with special needs
Torrie Dunlap | TEDxAmericasFinestCity

BIOPSYCHOSOCIAL MODEL.  What’s that?  In this Ted Talk, inclusion expert Torrie Dunlap explains the “medical” and “social” models of disability and shares why we need to change our thinking when it comes to special needs.

I got 99 problems… palsy is just one
Maysoon Zayid | TEDxSanFrancisco

Don’t we all just need a good laugh!?  Let’s just say Maysoon Zayid TOTALLY delivers on laughs while sharing her personal experience with disability and dreams of becoming a comedian.  Her talk has more than 4.5 million views and is considered one of the funniest of TED’s.

The Disability Conversation
Ben Myers | TEDxOStateU

Ben Myers is going to make you think twice about how we frame disability stereotypes as success stories.

Why It Is Time to Make Inclusive Development Inclusive
Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo | TEDxFoggyBottom

How is disability perceived globally?  Here Charlotte McClain-Nhlapo, Global Disability Advisor for the World Bank Group, explains how we can strengthen disability inclusive development, and make it truly inclusive.   Be warned….she’s going to challenge you to become a change agent too!

An Unlikely Benefit of Inclusion
Shannon Seymour | TEDxSevenMileBeach

Sheannon Seymour shares the common experience of every practitioner the first time they provide service for a child with a disability, that “I’m in way over my head” feeling.  More uncommonly, she shares how her team was able to grow a program to build a community more inclusive of people with disabilities.