How does change happen? Who creates change? Sometimes it’s hard to know if things are moving in the right direction but there is no doubt that the lives and work of people with disabilities make our world better.

A three quarter portrait of a woman of color wearing a bright green top, wearing elegant jewelry, gazes to our right. Behind her a vibrant tropical background with palm trees and a bright pink building.
La Mesha Irizarry by Fitu Petaia, pen and colored pencil, 11 x 14 inches, 2019

The Changemakers exhibition highlights individuals in the local disability community. Below is an alphabetical list of the 2019 Changemakers. Explore their portraits and profiles to find out more. We can only scratch the surface of who they are, what they’ve fought for, and what they’re up to. Please explore their websites and follow them on social media to know them better.

Many of the Changemakers work in more than one field. The themes in the exhibition and on the website grew out of the nomination process. You can also explore within each theme: Activism, Arts and Culture, Business, Leadership, Science and Technology and Sports.

Nomination process: through community outreach and online social media, we asked for nominations via a google doc. We asked the public to nominate people who have had a personal impact. We received almost 100 nominations for over 50 people with disabilities who are making change. Some of the nominees declined to participate and some we could not find.

A double portrait of two white men on a laptop screen created with shiny acrylic paint. One man holds a hand puppet. A toy zebra sits on the left of the keyboard and on the right is a toy rabbit.
Jonathan Murphy and James Sullivan by Yukari Sakura and Chris Rosales, acrylic paint on canvas, 20 x 16 inches, 2019