Meet our Speakers
Having access is the key to an equal opportunity. The topic of accessibility is an overarching topic for so many other topics. Accessibility not only includes physical accessibility but web and social accessibility as well. Both Daman and Kyann have great knowledge and experience on accessibility. Both have physical disabilities which impact their mobility and dexterity and Kyann’s disability also impacts her vision.
Kyann held the title of Ms. Wheelchair Washington 2017 and went on to place second runner-up at Ms. Wheelchair America 2018 where she earned the Emerging Leader Award. She then was the first woman who uses a wheelchair to compete for the title of Miss Washington USA. Kyann is an advocate for seeing her disability as beautiful and living out her life in the manner that she would like others to perceive disability.
Daman and Kyann both pursued high levels of education: Daman completed his MBA at Western Washington University (WWU). While at WWU, Daman started Students for Disability Awareness which has evolved into the Disability Outreach Center. Kyann also graduated from WWU with a degree in Political Science and Social Studies. She noticed that the topic of disability was sorely lacking and tied it in whenever possible. Daman and Kyann are advocates for educational opportunities for the disability community as well as educating about disability.
Daman worked many jobs in both the public and private sectors prior to becoming an entrepreneur and founding AbiliTrek. Daman is an advocate for increasing employment opportunities for the disability community. The topic of employment is greatly interconnected with transportation and housing.
Daman and Kyann both understand the challenges that face those with disabilities when it comes to housing. They are advocates for more accessible and affordable housing. Housing is greatly interconnected with transportation and employment.
Disability is underrepresented in media and misunderstood in Hollywood. Daman and Kyann, as well as millions of others, have both grown up not seeing “themselves” in the limelight and hope to continue to change this for future generations.
Kyann has a BA degree from Western Washington University where she majored in Political Science. Throughout her time at WWU, disability was rarely a part of the curriculum so she continuously connected disability into what everyone was learning. Disability is a topic generally left out of not just curriculum but political talks and campaigns as well. Take the opportunity to l
Kyann has taught multiple classes and workshops on self-advocacy. This is an important topic for anyone to learn, but Kyann highly encourages anyone with a disability to learn about and practice self-advocacy as each individual knows themselves the best. The ability to advocate in the way that they best communicate is beneficial to their well-being.
Daman has grown up utilizing assistive technology (AT) as a means to navigate the world. He is an advocate for not just only access to technologies but the compatibility of these technologies within the web and apps. AT is a metaphorical ramp to the web; without access or compatibility, AT is rendered useless.
Daman and Kyann both understand the challenges that face those with disabilities when it comes to transportation. They are advocates for more accessible, affordable, and reliable transportation. Transportation is greatly interconnected with housing and employment.
Daman and Kyann have traveled extensively throughout the United States, and Kyann has traveled throughout Western Europe as well. From hotels to transportation and attractions, both Daman and Kyann have a plethora of stories that show the lack of accessibility in both the US and abroad. Innovation, advocacy, and a tinge of humor are some of the best ways to still have a worthwhile trip!