Speaking Topics

Meet our Speakers

Daman Wandke, the CEO of AbiliTrek, and Kyann Flint, the Director of Accessibility and Communications.

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.

Daman sitting on a disability lead panel. He is the third from the left. Daman is wearing a grey sweater with a black collar. Barry, the first man on the left, is wearing a black, zip-up jacket, and is speaking. Conrad is second from the left; he is wearing a dark blue sweater with a white collar and is looking at his laptop. Melissa is sitting the fourth from the left.
Daman on theTEDx stage!

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.

Kyann, with Ms. Wheelchair America board member, Stephanie, at the Ms. Wheelchair America 2018 Crowning Night. Both ladies are smiling. Stephanie is wearing a yellow, high-necked, sleeveless formal dress. Kyann is wearing a strapless, turquoise, formal dress. She is wearing her Ms. Wheelchair Washington sash as well as holding her Second Runner-Up and Emerging Leader Award plaques.
Stephanie and Kyann at Ms. Wheelchair America 2018

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 with five others all moving toward the camera. Daman and three others are in their cap and gown, the fifth person is in a suit.
Daman on graduation day!

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 learn about the rich history of disability policy.

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.

Kyann and Daman on the Trolley in San Diego, CA. Kyann is in her manual  wheelchair, wearing dark-blue, ripped  jeans, pearly pink heals, a black tank-top, and sunglasses on her head. Daman is next to her in his power wheelchair. He is wearing a black AbiliTrek t-shirt and shorts. They are both smiling.
Kyann and Daman on the Trolley in San Diego, CA.

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!

Daman and Kyann sitting in their seats on a plane, Daman on the left, Kyann on the right. They are both smiling.
Daman and Kyann on a flight.