This event, in partnership with The UP Experience, features presentations from three extraordinary speakers that will open a window into the world of disabilities with both intimacy and urgency. The event celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act
J.R. Martinez is an Army veteran, burn survivor, actor, best-selling author and Dancing with the Stars winner. While deployed to Iraq, his Humvee hit a roadside bomb and he suffered severe burns to 34% of his body. J.R. has traveled the world speaking with troops at various bases, as well as major events spreading his message of resilience and optimism. His story may be unique, but his message is universal; change isn't bad ifyou are willing to adapt.
Rebecca Alexander is an author, psychotherapist, group fitness instructor, advocate, and extreme athlete who is almost completely blind and deaf. Born with a rare genetic disorder called Usher syndrome (type III), Rebecca has been simultaneously losing both her vision and hearing since she was a teenager. Day after day, challenge after challenge, Rebecca stresses how important it is to be grateful for every sound, every sight, and every sense.
Darrius Simmons fell in love with the piano at a young age. He was born with three fingers on his right hand and one finger on his left. He was also diagnosed with a rare congenital lower-limb anomaly. At 18 months old, his legs were amputated below the knee. None of these things stopped Darrius from following his passions. From mastering music to beating physical challenges, he sets out to inspire the world, one listener at a time.Speakers sponsored by Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, Cornerstone Home Lending, and MasterWord, the official ASL interpreting service of ReelAbilities Houston.