Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Disability Public Speaker, DEI Consultant & Content Creator
Catarina grew up in a Cuban and Puerto Rican family, and Spanish was her first language. She learned the value of diversity from her family. She also developed a passion for making the world a better place. As a young child, she began wearing hearing aids. At 17, she was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, which includes progressive vision loss. Currently, she has about 5% of her vision remaining. Read More >
After graduating from Duke University as a Roberton Scholar, Catarina became a bilingual elementary school teacher in the Bronx through Teach for America. She earned a graduate degree in education from Bank Street College.
After 4 years in the classroom, Catarina became passionate about health and nutrition. She started a community health program in her uptown Manhattan neighborhood. She worked for two large nonprofit organizations and earned a second graduate degree in public health from CUNY School of Public Health-Hunter College where she was the valedictorian of her class.
While her disability was difficult for her in the past, she has now developed disability pride and is empowered by sharing her story. In 2020, Catarina founded Blindish Latina, a platform smashing disability stigmas. She launched a business as a public speaker and DEI consultant focused on disability inclusion in the workplace. She has been featured in Nasdaq, Authority Magazine, and as a top 21 DEI influencer of 2021. She was also named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices on Disability Advocacy for 2022. Past clients have included HarperCollins Publishers, LinkedIn, Hachette Book Group, Whole30, Grant Thornton, ColorStack, and BCG Digital Ventures. Catarina is a TEDx Speaker and spoke at TEDxRolandPark in June 2022. Catarina is committed to social justice. Catarina is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (IAAP). Read Less ^
Creating Inclusive Workplaces for All | Catarina Rivera | TEDxRolandPark
Activist uses social media to fight stigmas on blindness, deafness l ABCNL
Inclusive Future | Catarina Rivera
The Future of Work
Six Easy Ways to Prioritize Disability Inclusion
With the future of work rapidly taking shape, savvy leaders need to recognize that disability inclusion is imperative. While more than 15% of the world is disabled, disability awareness and inclusion are often not seen as priorities. In her keynote, Catarina addresses 3 myths blocking leaders from focusing on disability, explores the emotions surrounding disability, and articulates a vision for the future of work that centers on disability inclusion. Catarina will also share tips for how you can influence other stakeholders to care about disability inclusion and accessibility. She uses her own story as a disabled Latine woman to ground you in real-life examples and to create urgency around the imperative for inclusion.
· Learn what ableism is and the role it plays.
· Grow in awareness about disability overall, including the definition of disability.
· Understand how to avoid microaggressions and use inclusive language.
· Be able to name and define ableism, including examples.
· Understand the historical context of ableism in our society.
· Understand how ableism shows up in the common language we use.
· Talk through why inclusive managers make a difference.
· Define disability inclusion.
· Understand barriers to achieving disability inclusion in the workplace.
· Discuss the issues most managers need to address when it comes to disability.
“Catarina’s perspective will benefit you and any team as you adapt to a future that’s inclusive, accessible, and embracing diversity."
“I would recommend Catarina for any size of company in any industry. She is absolutely fantastic to work with."
“The way Catarina mixed in her own experiences into the session really hit our goal of driving empathy and ‘human understanding’ within our organization. I highly recommend working with Catarina.”
“Catarina came highly recommended by a colleague and…was incredibly professional, prompt at responding, and a joy to work with. Her presentation exceeded our expectations. She offered tangible advice in a way that was easy to understand and implement immediately. I would absolutely work with her again and would recommend her to other companies looking for a dynamic disability public speaker + DEI consultant speaker.”
“Catarina delivered two outstanding webinars for our leadership teams and our employees at LVMH Perfumes & Cosmetics on the topic of Disability Awareness and Inclusion. She took a very thoughtful approach to telling her story and providing useful and relevant ways to be more inclusive of people with disabilities within our workplace and for our customers, and our teams walked away with intense insight on this topic. I look forward to working with Catarina in the future to continue to spread awareness and help make our workplace more accessible to all, and would recommend her to any organizations looking to do the same.”
“Catarina is the representation that an organization needs. Her thoughts, experience, and network result in well-crafted training sessions which are an asset for any organization to bring in. I continue to attend and benefit from her workshops and recommend her to everybody I know.”
Intentional Conversations with Dr Nika White and Co-host Catarina Rivera
Able-Bodied Privilege: Understanding Ableism
Episode 85: What leaders get wrong about disability awareness
Embrace It with Lainie & Estela - Smashing Disability Stigmas
Catarina Rivera | Unapologetically Embracing Disability Identity
LinkedIn Top Voices in Disability Advocacy: The 12 creators to follow
Activist uses social media to fight stigmas on blindness, deafness
7 Blind Women Of Colour Blazing A Trail
Catarina Rivera of Blindish Latina: 5 Steps We Must Take To Truly Create An Inclusive, Representative, and Equitable Society
Catarina Rivera Is Advocating for Disability Inclusion in the Workplace. Here’s How.
29 Business Leaders Share the Most Impactful Things They’ve Done for Building Their Personal Brand
HonestCulture’s Top 21 DEI Influencers of 2021
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