Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights activist and digital communications expert whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. A native of Long Island, New York, Emily graduated with a B.A. in English from Adelphi University in 2013. She is dedicated to harnessing the powers of communication and social media as tools for people of all abilities to become informed and engaged about disability and social justice issues.
Emily works for Concepts, Inc. supporting key U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy initiatives. She is also the Editor in Chief of the Rooted in Rights Blog, a platform focused on disability rights issues. Additionally, Emily runs an independent business through which she manages online presence and communications for multiple disability-related organizations.
Emily maintains a website, Words I Wheel By, through which she focuses primarily on dismantling discrimination and exploring disability representation in mainstream media. Her writing has been published on websites including The New York Times, The Daily Beast, Salon, Vice, and Huffington Post, as well as in the Criptiques anthology. Emily has also been interviewed on a range of key disability issues for stories covered by NPR, The Washington Post, Self Magazine, and The Globe and Mail. Alongside her work as a writer, Emily has spoken before numerous audiences, ranging from a panel about the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the U.S. Department of Education, to students of the occupational therapy program at New York University.
All of Emily’s activism is driven by her firm belief that if we want the world to be accessible to people with all types of disabilities, we must make ideas and concepts surrounding disability accessible to the world. Follow Emily on Twitter, @emily_ladau.
Clinton Courts Voters With Disabilities
NPR [September 22, 2016]
Storytellers: Make this election count with Emily Ladau
Rooted in Rights [August 3, 2016]
#CripTheVote This Election Year
Huffington Post [June 25, 2016]
Spare me, "Me Before You": Hollywood's new tearjerker is built on tired and damaging disability stereotypes
Salon [May 24, 2016]
Storytellers: A Mother's Day message from Emily and Ellen Ladau
Rooted in Rights [May 2, 2016]
Olivia Wilde's Down Syndrome PSA Gets It So Wrong
The Daily Beast [March 21, 2016]
Fix Discriminatory Attitudes and Broken Sidewalks, Not Humans
Vice [April 8, 2015]
Dear Parents: No, I Won't Run Your Child Over With My Wheelchair
Huffington Post [December 24, 2014]
One Daughter, One Mother, Two Wheelchairs and Nothing Remarkable
New York Times [May 16, 2014]