Mind, Love, BRB Gone Viral, Wellness

10 amazing disabled leaders and activists you absolutely need to follow on Twitter

Raising awareness about disabilities is important, and these people are here to help.

While social media definitely has its drawbacks, there are definitely good things that come out of it as well. One good thing about social media, particularly Twitter, is that there are many disabled folks who use their platform to raise awareness about their experiences with being disabled. As someone with a chronic illness and has a hearing loss, it can also make me feel less isolated.

A common critique that I hear about social media activism is that it’s inferior to other forms of activism, such as protests. Yet for disabled people like myself, we’re sometimes limited to social media activism.

For example, due to an autoimmune disease flare, I wasn’t able to attend a local Women’s March. That didn’t mean that I despised the Trump presidency any less – it just meant that I had to find other routes to voice dissent, which was done via social media.

If you are disabled and or an ally and want to see what disability activism is happening online, here are a few incredible people you absolutely need to follow:

1. Coffee Spoonie (aka Zipporah Arielle)

Coffee Spoonie's Twitter bio.
Image Description: A profile photo of Coffee Spoonie via Twitter,

Coffee Spoonie (@coffeespoonie) is an “elephant-loving disabled Jewess with ink-stained hands” (according to her Twitter bio), who regularly tweets about chronic illness (she has an autoimmune disease), her journey training a service dog, and politics. She regularly tweets reminders to her followers to take their medication and had an article published by Bustle about Selma Blair becoming a disabled icon overnight.

2. Nyle DiMarco

Twitter Profile of Nyle DiMarco
Image description: [Profile shot of Nyle DiMarco] via Twitter
Nyle DiMarco (@nyledimarco) is a deaf activist, actor, model, and Dancing With The Stars champion.  He tweets about his daily life as a deaf man and calls out ableism that he encounters and sees online.

He’s also easy on the eyes.

3. Emily Ladau

Emily Ladau
Image description: [Profile shot of Emily Ladau} via Twitter
Emily Ladau (@emily_ladau) is the Editor-in-Chief on Rooted in Rights and co-host of The Accessible Stall podcast.  She shares projects that she’s working on and the importance of inclusivity of disabled people. 

4. s.e. smith 

Image of s.e. smith.
Image description: [Profile photo of s.e. smith] via Twitter
s.e. smith (@sesmith) – not to be confused with S.E. Smith, a different writer – is the Deputy Editor at Talk Poverty – in addition to being a journalist and essayist – and runs Disabled Writers, a database that strives to help editors connect with disabled writers and journalists, and journalists connect with disabled sources. If you like cats, journalism, and care about disability issues – s.e. smith is a great follow.

5. Alice Wong

Image of Alice Wong
Image description: [Profile image of Alice Wong] via Twitter.
Alice Wong (@SFdirewolf) is the founder and director of the Disability Visibility Project, which creates and amplifies disability media and culture. Wong is also one of the partners of the #cripthevote campaign, which encourages disabled people to vote and confronts barriers that disabled people face when voting. 

6. Vilissa Thompson

Image of Vilissa Thompson
Image description: [Profile shot of Vilissa Thompson] via Twitter
Vilissa Thompson (@VilissaThompson) is the founder of Ramp Your Voice, which fights for “equality and justice for all abilities” and is the creator of the #DisabilityTooWhite hashtag on Twitter. Thompson advocates for black disabled voices to be included in conversations about disability.

7.  Crutches & Spice (aka Imani Barbarin)

Crutches & Spice
Image description: [Profile shot of Imani Barbarin] via Twitter
Crutches & Spice (@Imani_Barbarin) is a Twitter account run by Imani Barbarin. She has created numerous viral Twitter hashtags, including #AbledsAreWeird, #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow, and #DisTheOscars. She often talks about the challenges that black disabled people face and her experience with discrimination.

8. Judy Heumann

Image of Judy Heumann
Image description: [Profile image of Judy Heumann] via Twitter
Judy Heumann (@judithheumann) is a Senior Fellow at the Ford Foundation, a disability rights advocate, and a former diplomat. She actively shares articles that discuss disability issues. For #womencrushwednesday, she often highlights women who are making a difference in the disabled community.

9. Alexander Hardy

Alexander Hardy
Image description: [Profile image of Alexander Hardy] via Twitter
Alexander Hardy (@chrisalexander_) is a mental health advocate, writer, and lupus warrior. He tweets regularly about mental health, including barriers that people of color face when trying to get help, and his experience with being a freelance writer.

10. Sarah Blahovec

Sarah Blahovec
Image description: [Profile image of Sarah Blahovec] via Twitter
Sarah Blahovec (@Sblahov) is a chronically ill disability activist based in Northern Virginia with expertise in civic engagement. While she mainly tweets about disability issues, she also shares cute photos of her dogs.