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Celebrating icons who blaze the trail
in a quest to create a barrier-free world
By Pauline Mackenzie

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Rick Hansen
Founder, The Rick Hansen Foundation

Rick Hansen is a Canadian Paralympian and advocate renowned for his relentless efforts to create a barrier-free world. Best known for his Man in Motion world tour in the 1980s, during which he wheeled over 40,000 kilometers across 34 countries to raise awareness about spinal cord injury and accessibility issues, Hansen has been a driving force in promoting inclusivity and accessibility. Through his Rick Hansen Foundation, he continues to work tirelessly to remove physical and social barriers for people with disabilities, advocating for universal accessibility in infrastructure, transportation, and education. His commitment to making the world more inclusive and accommodating to all individuals has inspired countless others to join the movement towards a more accessible and equitable society.
Photo Credit: The Rick Hansen Foundation


Tarryn Tomlinson
Founder, Able2Travel Accessible Travel Concierge

South African Tarryn Tomlinson, a passionate social justice advocate, has devoted over 12 years to empowering marginalized communities, particularly youth and persons with disabilities. Beyond her advocacy, she is a writer, TV presenter, entrepreneur, public speaker and an expert in accessible travel. Tarryn’s commitment to social upliftment and responsible tourism has earned her multiple awards for responsible tourism such as the WTM-Africa Responsible Tourism Awards for Diversity and Inclusion. As the newly elected board member of Cape Town Tourism, she will continue to shape positive change and inclusivity in her city and country, leaving an indelible mark on the landscape of social justice.
Photo Credit: Tarryn Tomlinson


Fred Maahs, Jr.
Founder, Maahs Travels

Fred Maahs Jr. is an American who has dedicated his life to the noble pursuit of creating a barrier-free world. With unwavering determination, he tirelessly advocates for accessibility and inclusion, working to break down physical and societal barriers that hinder the lives of individuals with disabilities. Through his advocacy, leadership and involvement in various organizations and initiatives, Fred inspires countless individuals and communities to embrace the principles of universal design, equal opportunity and diversity. He believes that everyone, regardless of their abilities, deserves the chance to thrive in a world that is truly inclusive and accommodating. He is also the co-founder of Journeyable.org
Photo Credit: Fred Maahs, Jr.


Alvaro Silberstein
Co-founder, Wheel the World

Alvaro is a remarkable individual who co-founded Wheel the World, an innovative and inclusive travel company, breaking down barriers to accessible travel. Through Wheel the World, he is empowering people with disabilities to explore the world’s most beautiful destinations, making travel a reality for all and opening doors to new adventures for countless individuals who once thought it was out of reach.
Photo Credit: Wheel the World


Jennifer Allen
Owner of blog, Wonders within Reach

Jennifer is the parent of a child with a disability. Through her blog, she passionately shares her family’s journey of travelling together while navigating the challenges and joys of life with a disability. Jennifer’s heartfelt and informative posts not only provide valuable insights and tips for other disability families but also showcase the incredible adventures and experiences they’ve had. Her blog shares that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can explore and discover the wonders of the world.
Photo Credit: Jennifer Allen


Maayan Ziv
Founder and CEO of Access Now

Through Access Now, Maayan has harnessed technology and community engagement to empower people with disabilities to navigate the world with greater ease. Her unwavering commitment to breaking down barriers and fostering an inclusive society has earned her global recognition and admiration. Maayan’s innovative leadership and advocacy have not only transformed lives but also inspired a new wave of awareness and action in the pursuit of a more accessible and equitable world.
Photo Credit: Max Kopanygin


Kristy Durso
Owner, Incredible Memories Travel

Kristy understands the unique challenges that people with disabilities face when exploring the world so through her Incredible Memories Travel, she crafts for them unforgettable travel experiences. Her passion for inclusivity and accessibility shines through in every aspect of her work, from designing accessible itineraries to advocating for better accommodations in the travel industry. Kristy is currently TravelAbility’s Ambassador of Accessible Travel.
Photo Credit: Kristy Durso


Dr. Rosemarie Rossetti
Founder and CEO of Rosemarie Speaks

With a passion for educating, Dr. Rossetti teaches about disability inclusion within the built environment, meetings, events and destination marketing organizations. She is committed to promoting inclusivity in her quest to help create a more equitable and accommodating world. Her expertise and dedication make her an invaluable resource in breaking down barriers and ensuring that every individual, regardless of their abilities, can fully participate and enjoy all aspects of life.
Photo Credit: Dr. Rossetti

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