How does society see disability?

Kurt Hoffman @TEDxVirginiaTech photo: Danielle Lusk

Kurt Hoffman at TEDxVirginiaTech (Photo: Danielle Lusk)

In these six talks, TEDx speakers address society’s perception of disability — and the experience of living with one. Watch them all:



How much do you know about intellectual disabilities? | Matthew Williams | TEDxVancouver

Special Olympian Matthew Williams shares his story as an athlete, a champion, and someone who has an intellectual disability. In his powerful talk, Williams demands that respect and equality are given to those with intellectual disabilities. “I was proud to represent Canada on the world stage,” he says at TEDxVancouver.

At First Glance | Kurt Hoffman | TEDxVirginiaTech

At TEDxVirginiaTech, Kurt Hoffman talks about what it is like to live with a visible disability. Hoffman was born with phocomelia, the absence or malformation of limbs. In his talk, Hoffman lets his personality shine: “You have to believe that this person wants many of the same things in life as you do,” he says.



We can all be someone’s hero | Chris McCord | TEDxPeachtree

At TEDxPeachtree, Chris McCord discusses what it’s like to grow up with a learning disability. McCord reveals the hardships he faced in school — with teachers calling him stupid — and outside of school, in a landscape full of drugs, gangs and crime.



Capturing necessary brilliance: Learning differences unleashed! | Rick Fiery | TEDxAmoskeagMillyard

Often, those with disabilities are viewed as unable to work in innovative environments. Rick Fiery has created a business incubator for people with learning disabilities and offers them a platform to engage their passions and change the world.

Sound of Tennis | Sejal Vallabh | TEDxYale

Sejal Vallabh is a college student passionate about tennis, and bringing the game she loves to those who thought playing it was impossible. At TEDxYale, Vallabh shares how she altered the game of tennis to better suit the visually impaired, and how we don’t need our eyes to play.

You can call me… | Sinead Burke | TEDxYouth@TheSpire

What is it like to live in a world that was not designed for a little person? In her inspiring talk at TEDxYouth@TheSpire, Sinead Burke calls for people not to just view her as just a little person, but as a teacher, an award-winning blogger, or “the most stylish person you’ve ever seen.”

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