A live interactive Zoom to meet and learn from international personalities in an effort to raise awareness, and inclusion for people with disabilities.
Monday, February 22
John and Mark X. Cronin - John’s Crazy Socks
John and Mark are the co-founders of John’s Crazy Socks, a social enterprise with a mission to spread happiness.
In three years, they bootstrapped their start up into a multi-million-dollar company with sales in over 80 nations. John may have Down syndrome, but he always says, “Down syndrome never holds me back.”
More than half their employees have a differing ability and every day, John & Mark show what their colleagues can do. They are fierce advocates for the rights of the differently abled and have testified twice before the U.S. Congress and spoken at the United Nations. John and Mark are winners of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year and the Monsignor Thomas J. Hartman Humanitarian of the Year Award. They are members of the U.S. State Department’s Speaker’s Bureau and they have addressed audiences across the U.S., Canada and Mexico speaking before social service agencies, fundraisers, universities, and corporations (e.g., Microsoft, EY & Bank of America). They are professionals who come ready to delight your audience.
Tuesday, February 23
Bill Morris – Blue Star Recyclers
Bill Morris co-founded Blue Star Recyclers in 2009 after discovering people with autism and other disabilities possess innate skills for tasks involved in the recycling of electronics. Today Blue Star is an internationally recognized social enterprise with a mission of recycling electronics to create jobs for people with disAbilities.
Bill has been named Colorado Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Small Businessperson of the Year, ARC Employer of the Year, and Recycler of the Year. Blue Star was named Colorado Top Business of the Year, Social Enterprise of the Year, Social Venture of the Year, and has twice been awarded Colorado’s highest environmental honor: The 24-Karat Challenge Award.
Wednesday, February 24 – 1 PM EST
Yariv Bash - SpaceIL
Yariv founded SpaceIL, a $100M mission that made history by sending Beresheet - the 1st private Israeli unmanned spacecraft to the moon.
Yariv continues to push the barriers of flight with his new ventures.
HOST: Jamie Lassner – Executive Friends Of Access Israel | EXECUTIVE PRODUCER: Sharon Kessler – Access Israel
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1
Pascale Bercovitch is a Paralympic champ, a leading motivational speaker, film maker, author, model and TV personality. Currently she is training for the Gold in Kayak at the Paralympics in Tokyo Summer 2021. Pascale holds a Guinness Record being the only Olympic athlete who participated in 3 Olympic Games in 3 different sports, all for the State of Israel. When Pascale was 17 as she traveled to school she lost both her legs in a terrible train accident. To most this would be a great detriment, but to Pascale it was the challenge to a better life. She decided to become a serial dreamer. Pascale is a wife to Oz and a mother to Eden and Mica, and has huge fan base in the FAISR Family.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 2
Yuval Wagner is a former helicopter fighter pilot of the Israeli army that became wheelchair bound during an accident in his military service. When Yuval realized that Israel was not accessible at all for people with disabilities at the time, he founded Access Israel in 1999 to create a change. In the last twenty years, Yuval Wagner and Access Israel created a social change and awareness for accessibility and inclusion. Yuval received national and international prizes for his efforts to create an accessible and inclusive society for people with disabilities.
Michal Rimon Adv. is the CEO of Access Israel since 2011. Prior to joining Access Israel, Michal was the spokesperson for Ambassador Dore Gold and Dr. Yehuda Lankri at the Israeli Mission to the UN. She later worked as a lawyer for M-Systems and SanDisk. In 2007, Michal joined Access Israel as a General Counsel and later established the Education and Training Department in the organization before she became the CEO of Access Israel.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 3
With her mantra of ‘Breath In Peace, Breath Out Fear’, Rebecca Alexander is grateful for every sound, sight, and sense. Despite having Usher Syndrome Type III, Rebecca refuses to lose her drive and zest for life and rises above and beyond every challenge she faces. Rebecca is an award-winning author, psychotherapist, keynote speaker, group fitness instructor, disability advocate, and extreme athlete whose Joie de vivre and sense of humor is infectious.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 4
With his license plate ILLWALK, the upbeat Alan T. Brown is always on the move to help others. As a board member of Friends of Access Israel and the Director of Public Impact at the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, nothing has stopped Alan since he was injured in 1988, when his neck was crushed by an ocean wave at a Club Med in Martinique. Alan has participated in three New York City Marathons, 2 triathlons, skydiving, and scuba diving, but his proudest accomplishment is becoming a father to his two young sons, Max and Sam.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 10
The Watson Family better known to the world as #TeamAngelWolf has a dedicated fan following in the FAISR Family.
As a family, the Watson’s compete in sporting events, always including Rio despite all his disabilities. The Family is an incredible team. Tia guiding Rio around children fitness/sports competition, Nick completing triathlons with Rio, Delphine pushing Rio is a disability running chair around running races.
Rio was born with a rare chromosome disorder called ‘1q44 deletion denovo syndrome’, which means in short that he has seizures, is non-verbal, jas severe learning disabilities, gross/fine motor skills disabilities, sensory integration dysfunction….... BUT he is a very happy, loving boy.
#TeamAngelWolf is the official name of the team, as ‘Angel’ is Rio’s nickname, ‘Little Wolf’ is Tia’s nickname - the names are fitting to their characters!
The Watson Family do these challenges to help the goal of their foundation ‘reaching you’ to spread awareness and integration of children with special needs in United Arab Emirates and globally; and to promote sport, health and fitness within the community.
This is a family you want to meet!
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 11
Maggie is an outstanding and gifted leader with a very caring heart.
As Chief Operating Officer, Maggie oversees the day-to-day management of the Reeve Foundation. She works with staff across departments to achieve the organization’s strategic goals and provides the leadership, management, and vision necessary to ensure the effective growth of the organization. In addition, she oversees the Foundation’s national Paralysis Resource Center dedicated to improving the lives of individuals impacted by paralysis through grants, resources and information, peer mentoring and public policy.
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Maggie joined the Reeve Foundation in 2000 after a career in Washington DC, working for Witeck Combs Communications, Feld Entertainment and U.S. Senator Arlen Specter. For 13 years, she oversaw communications for the Reeve Foundation before becoming Vice President of Policy and Programs in 2014 and COO in 2019.
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 16 - 1 PM EST
FRED MAAH, JR.
JOIN US to learn from a passionate and recognized leader in the global disability community. He is a renowned champion for diversity and inclusion with a warm heart that is eager to make every day better than the one before.
After more than 30 years as a corporate executive, Fred founded FJM Solutions, LLC in 2019. As a consultant, Fred is focused on underserved and underrepresented populations, especially people with disabilities. He is an accessibility travel expert and internationally recognized keynote speaker who finds solutions for “Fostering Inclusion Universally.” In 2020, Fred was named Editor of a new and outstanding digital magazine: Melange Accessibility for All.
Fred has served on three panels at the White House regarding issues that impact the lives of people with disabilities. He has presented on the issues faced by people with disabilities when traveling by air to the United States Department of Transportation. Invited by the King Foundation, Fred delivered a speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 2013, along with Presidents Obama, Clinton, and Carter, as well as a number of renowned celebrities and civil rights leaders. On that day, Fred represented the nation's disability population during the "Let Freedom Ring" Celebration commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This was the first time that the disability population was included in the anniversary events.
Wednesday, February 17 – 1:30 PM EST*
Moran Samuel – Israeli Paralympian
A motivational speaker who inspires young and old to focus on the good things and how to face challenges and obstacles head-on.
Moran has won many championships in Wheelchair basketball. She has represented Israel in para-rowing in the London 2012 Paralympic games and won the Bronze medal in Rio 2016. She now has her eye on Tokyo 2021."
* Please note start time is 30 minutes later than others
Thursday, February 18 - 1 PM EST
Michal Rimon, CEO of Access Israel
Join us this Thursday, February 18, at 1 PM EST to hear from Michal Rimon the CEO of our collaborative partner Access Israel. She will be speaking on the timely subject of Israeli Influence on Disability Inclusion and Awareness
The panel is hosted by the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast and the Greater Atlanta Jewish Abilities Alliance.