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Catarina  Rivera

Catarina Rivera

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 ^

Speaker Videos

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

Speech Topics

The Future of Work Must 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.

A Practical Introduction to Disability Awareness

· 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.

Unpacking Ableism in the Workplace

· 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.

Disability Inclusion for Leaders

· 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.