The Rooted in Rights Storytellers Series features videos by and for people with disabilities. Storytellers work with the Rooted in Rights team to write scripts, direct videos, edit the final product and share them with the world. Since 2016, videos on a range of disability rights topics have been produced by Storytellers from around the world. Check them out here.
In 2017, Rooted in Rights teamed up with the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) to create a Disability Rights Storytelling Fellowship. The Fellowship is open to all U.S. residents and fellows can work from anywhere. During the six months of the fellowship, the Fellow will create two Storytellers videos and share them with followers on the Rooted in Rights and AAPD social media channels. Additionally, the Fellow will participate in trainings on disability history and contemporary issues, video production, and video chats with media makers. More on the fellowship here.
2017 Disability Rights Storytellers Fellow
Jensen Caraballo is a disability rights activist who is passionate about the equality, civil rights, and freedom of people with disabilities. He is a member of a grassroots advocacy group called National ADAPT, where he engages in nonviolent direct action and civil disobedience. Jensen is also a member of the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) and recipient of the 2015 Diana Viets Award for his dedication and commitment to improving the lives of young people with disabilities. Jensen’s Storytellers Video.
Arbi Chouikh obtained his Master’s degree in Decisional Computing and Intelligence Applied to Management, with a specialty in Decision Support, and is submitting for a PhD in Organizational Information Systems. He focuses on Computer Science and Technology and his research area is Electronic Government. Arbi has conducted research related to the new possibilities of co-production and co-delivery through social media of platforms for emerging public service interactions led by citizens. Moreover, Arbi has advanced experience in disability rights advocacy, outreach and inclusive policy design. In 2011, Arbi worked with the Tunisian Organization for Defense of Rights of Persons with Disabilities to advocate for the right to equal access to the society as a part of the Tunisian New Constitution of 2014. Arbi now works on local inclusive development, political participation, information and physical accessibility, web accessibility and more. Arbi’s Storytellers Video.
Emily’s leg was amputated when she was two years old because she was missing the fibula bone in her left leg. She always knew she wanted a career where she could help people and was drawn to the disability rights movement while on the Civil Rights Law Journal at George Mason University School of Law. Emily is now a staff attorney and program coordinator at Disability Law Colorado. She also serves on the board of two nonprofits – LIM359 and Cycle of Hope – and is an ambassador for Skirt Sports and their REAL women move campaign. In her spare time, Emily enjoys training for triathlons, reading, and spending time with her husband, friends, and cats. Emily’s Storytellers Video.
Mizuki lost her ability to walk since she was 2 years old and started using wheelchair since she turned 7 years old. She was born and raised in Kyoto, Japan. Despite her mobility impairment, she went to The University of Wisconsin River Falls in the U.S and received her B.S. in Communication Studies and International Studies. After returning to Japan, she worked with three companies in Tokyo and volunteered at a non-profit which publishes a magazine for women with disabilities. Now she is a Visiting International Research Fellow at Burton Blatt Institute in Syracuse University to research employment of people with disabilities. Mizuki’s Storytellers Video on Employment. And her video on the Sagamihara Massacre.
Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights activist and digital communications consultant whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. A native of Long Island, New York, Emily graduated with a B.A. in English from Adelphi University in 2013. She maintains a blog, Words I Wheel By, and her writing has been published on websites including The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Salon, Vice, and Huffington Post. Alongside her work as a writer, Emily has spoken before numerous audiences, ranging from a panel about the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the U.S. Department of Education, to the occupational therapy program at New York University. All of Emily’s activism is driven by her firm belief that if we want the world to be accessible to people with all types of disabilities, we must make ideas and concepts surrounding disability accessible to the world. Emily’s Storytellers Video on parents with disabilities. And her video on the portrayal of people with disabilities in election ads.
Noah Seidel is a disabled advocate who currently works at The Arc of Washington state as the self-advocate coordinator. Noah studied at the University of Washington where he received a degree in Disability Studies, Political Science, and Comparative History of Ideas. Noah lives in Lacey Washington where he enjoys playing wheelchair basketball and reading comics. Click here for Noah’s Storytellers video.