Opinion | Foster inclusion by clicking ‘follow’


March is the month for women, but women with disabilities are often still not highlighted. Although hidden in the shadows, fearless women living with disabilities are helping to reform inclusion. The best part is that these women are right under our fingertips on social media. To further all women this March, please give these women a follow!


Madeline Stuart is shaping the catwalk with diversity. She is the first professional adult model with Down syndrome. Since eighteen, Stuart has helped to fostered inclusion in the modeling community. Stuart has been featured on CNN, the Cosmopolitan, the New York Times, Vogue, and People.


Mia Mingus is a physically disabled woman with a blend of humorous and serious content on her Instagram. Mingus lives and supports the motto, “Accessibility is love.” If blogs are more of your interest, Mingus educates readers on transformative and disability justice in her blog, Leaving Evidence.


Haley Moss is a lawyer with Autism in Florida. Although a busy role on its own, Moss is also an artist and author of two books. At the college level, her book Freshman Survival Guide for College Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Stuff Nobody Tells You About, is a valuable resource for students. Moss does public speaking events to share her story and encourage hope in individual’s with Autism.


Samantha Dwyer lives with Friedreich ataxia, a progressive disease that causes nervous system damage and movement problems. Dwyer’s undaunted spirit is seen with her smiling and motivating Instagram photos. She spreads awareness for disability rights by proving people wrong with all she accomplishes from the seat of her wheelchair.


Imani Barbarin is a disability representative and inclusion activist. Barbarin has Cerebral palsy, which affects her posture, movement, and balance. She is a communication professional, a writer, and a public speaker. Barbarin helps to promote recognition, empowerment, and inclusion for underrepresented groups. She aims to break stereotypes and misconceptions that plague the abilities of people with disabilities.


Although not a specific woman, the President’s Commission for Disability Issues (PCDI) at Slippery Rock University is a good account to follow. The idea of the program is to create a college campus that is free of discrimination and barriers. The PCDI is starting to break free of these barriers by celebrating women with disabilities this March. Consider PCDI for a Slippery Rock exclusive take on women’s month.


In a social media culture, activists are easy to find. Whatever your interests, use social media in a positive light to help further our society towards a world of inclusion, diversity, acceptance, and support. This idea can continue well beyond March and women.

Feel free to join Best Buddies at Slippery Rock on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month during common hour (12:30-1:30) to further inclusion at The Rock. Check it out on Instagram at @bestbuddies_attherock!

Sources: Aruma and Study Breaks

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Kaitlyn is a junior professional writing major with a minor in gerontology. After her time at SRU, she hopes to do content writing and advocate for older adults. This is her second semester on staff and her first serving the copy/web editor. Around campus, Kaitlyn is a member of SPARK club, Best Buddies and is on the e-board for the Honors College. In her free time, she can be found listening to music, reading or working out.


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