Changemakers is a dynamic traveling exhibition of over 50 portraits of Disability Changemakers living or working in the San Francisco Bay Area. Over 50 people were nominated and all of their portraits are in the exhibition. Explore their portraits, their work, their diversity, and their creativity. Find out how people with disabilities are making the world better for all of us.

The portraits are grouped by field: Activism, Arts and Culture, Business, Education, Leadership, Science and Technology and Sports.

Audio file
A white man with a high-tech prosthetic right leg sits on a gym bench, drawn with bold outlines and gentle, energetic colors, in a busy gym.
Max Conserva by Andrew Lee Felt pen, 16 x 20 inches, 2019

Each portrait was created by an artist either working independently or participating in a program for artists with disabilities: Artful Steps, ArtReach, Creativity Explored, NIAD, and the Pomeroy Center.

A bold painting of the head and shoulders of a smiling white woman with short brown hair, a pair of glasses on her head, a bright blue top, and a string of beads.
Corbett O’Toole by Ranjit Dhillon Acrylic paint on canvas board, 11 x 14 inches, 2019

The traveling exhibit includes digital copies of all the portraits, a large print reference binder, a Braille reference binder and several tactile versions of some of the portraits. Audio description of the portraits will be available on the website soon. The exhibit will tour San Mateo County and other Bay Area libraries, throughout 2019. The original portrait artworks will be displayed at the San Francisco Main Public Library in 2020. For more details of dates and locations, visit the “Exhibition Dates” page.

For more information email info@disabilitychangemakers.org


The exhibit is funded by an LSTA Grant to San Mateo County Libraries, and San Francisco and San Jose Public Libraries to provide more inclusive programs and services for people with disabilities. The Friends of San Francisco Public Library generously donated additional funds.

Many people were involved in the creation of this project. In no particular order we would like to thank everyone who contributed and supported the project as it evolved and developed. From San Mateo County Libraries: Elizabeth Karr, Library Manager of Millbrae, and Kayla Figard, Senior Librarian at Portola Valley & Woodside branches for hosting and coordinating the traveling exhibition in San Mateo County. From San Francisco Public Library: Michelle Jeffers, Chief Community Programs & Partnerships, Marti Goddard, Access Services Manager and ADA Coordinator, Joan Jasper, Curator, Hannah Gribetz, Graphic Designer, and Everett Erlandson, Preparator for the careful organizing and facilitating of the exhibition. Thanks also to Elizabeth Phillips from the Talking Books and Braille Center at SFPL for the impeccable Braille.

From the Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability at San Francisco State University, Associate Director Emily Beitiks and Longmore Student Fellow Monica Joy for advisory and administrative input. 

To all the artists and support staff at the art programs including Missy Brooks and Sonja Ameroso from Artful Steps, Alexandra Williams and Keenan Saiz from ArtReach, Tim Buckwalter and Liam Golden from NIAD, Francis Kohler, Paul Moshammer, Cléa Massiani and Michael Korcek from Creativity Explored: Judy Goodman and Armagh Cassil from The Pomeroy Recreation & Rehabilitation Center.  

Heidi Seretan, Jen Kabbabe and Linty (Linden Cady) for details of the Access Happy Hour photo for AccessSFUSD: The Arc. Bernard Manning from Ace Monster Toys in Oakland for his expert guidance and contribution to the tactile elements.

We hope that this project will continue to expand and provide a valuable resource in the coming years. Funded by LSTA and Friends of SFPL Grants. 

San Mateo County Libraries Logo

Fran Osborne, Independent Curator for Changemakers, 2019.