Speaking to the World
Boston | Chicago | San Diego | Atlanta
Disability Advocate, Educator & Best-Selling Author, Sitting Pretty
Rebekah Taussig will challenge everything you think you know about disability as she invites us into her experience of living in a body that looks and moves differently than most. “What would it mean for disabled folks if society saw us as acceptable, equal, valuable parts of the whole?” she writes in her memoir, Sitting Pretty: The View From My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body (HarperOne). Read More >
Taussig, who has been paralyzed since the age of three, is a mom, wife, author, disability advocate and educator with a Ph.D in creative nonfiction and disability studies. Before pivoting to writing, speaking, and consulting, Taussig taught passionately for almost a decade from freshmen in high school to upper-level college classes and continues to offer writing workshops.
She is also one hell of a fighter on a mission to show that disabled people have incredible value; as she argues, a more inclusive world is a sturdier, kinder, more imaginative world for all of us.
A storyteller at heart with a great sense of humor, Taussig invites us to think bigger and more critically about who has a seat at the table and the barriers that bar others from inclusion. She’s held talks and workshops at the University of Michigan, Davidson College and Yale University on disability representation, identity and community, and her writing appears in publications from TIME to Refinery29. She’s been a guest on a myriad of podcasts and also runs the Instagram platform @sitting_pretty, where she crafts “mini-memoirs” for her more than 50,000 followers to contribute nuance to the collective narratives being told about disability in our culture. Taussig is the recipient of the Hefner Heitz Kansas Book Award in Literary Nonfiction for Sitting Pretty. Read Less ^
TEDx: The Complications of Kindness
On Disability and Body Neutrality | Feisworld
The Stories That We Choose to Tell Matter
On the Americans with Disabilities Act
Art Works Podcast | National Endowment for the Arts
Accessibility and inclusion for disabled people is so much more than just plastering a ramp on the backside of a building. In this keynote address, Rebekah Taussig gives an intimate glimpse into her experiences navigating the world as a disabled woman and invites us to look critically at the structures on which our communities are built. Who was this setup made for? Who is still waiting to be included? And what can we change to provide more access for more people? Taussig provides a new lens to look through, where access and inclusion is an ongoing conversation — something to revisit and rethink collaboratively.
Accessibility is so often framed as a side conversation for disabled people, when it's a fundamental human conversation that benefits everyone. Rebekah Taussig brings her experience as an educator and disability advocate, as well as a lifetime of navigating an inaccessible world, to the conversation. She shares why accessibility and inclusion are important to all of us, reframing the conversation from “special needs” to “human needs.” This is a truly groundbreaking talk with moving and entertaining stories that will motivate anyone — disabled or non-disabled — to rethink how they show up for their communities.
If there is one thing that the pandemic has taught us, it is that the old model of unbending and unaccommodating leadership is in desperate need of an overhaul. It has compelled managers and executives to become more flexible, take a deeper look at who they hire and promote, and to change the conversation about access and inclusion in the workplace. In this talk, Rebekah Taussig makes the case — through research and her own journey — why access and inclusion are so critical for success in today’s business world. Disabled folks are not just a group of people who need help. A lifetime navigating a world that wasn’t built with you in mind can reap unique resilience, creativity and innovation. And right now, this demographic has a wealth of untapped talent to offer. It’s time to rethink leadership and who we’re hiring onto our teams.
Paralyzed after childhood cancer, Rebekah Taussig has spent most of her life interacting with physicians and healthcare systems. She’s felt the impact of being seen as a medical object to study, and she also knows through her bones what a difference it makes to be treated as a whole person. Relying on a rich history of personal stories and research on the patient experience, Taussig makes a compelling case for patient-centered care.
"It was amazing! She is lovely and did an excellent presentation!"
"It went really well! She was thoughtful, engaging, honest and candid about her experiences. We loved how she gave just enough history in order to provide context into what she was discussing, but knew when to pull back so that it was never boring. Finally, I loved how she promoted other people with disabilities and was very honest about what she knew and did not know. Wonderful all around. Thank you so much for all of your help. It was definitely a success!"
"Dr. Taussig’s visit was a huge success! We had great turn out for all of her events. Her teaching/presentation style was interactive and engaging. The students and our staff got to know her and we truly feel like we have a new friend! She is an amazing teacher, speaker, and human. We miss her already."
"Advocate, educator, writer. Rebekah Taussig wears many hats, and her engaging presentation at the University of Pennsylvania’s 20th Annual Disability Symposium embraced the significance of the work undertaken by disability advisors, activists, and educators. I discovered Rebekah through her book, Sitting Pretty: The View from My Ordinary Resilient Disabled Body. After reading her book, I knew that she would be an ideal speaker for the Symposium, and indeed, Rebekah radiated in her presentation. As the final speaker, Rebekah concluded the Symposium on a high note, inspiring attendees to look at disability through a different lens. Although I have not had the pleasure to meet Rebekah face-to-face, I feel that I know Rebekah and my hope is for Rebekah to be part of a future Penn Symposium. Rebekah symbolizes a change agent. I wish that I could be a student in her class!"
"It was a pleasure working with Rebekah Taussig on our Common Reading Program virtual author visit this summer! The students loved her energy and had so many questions for her! In her book, Sitting Pretty, she addresses disability and accessibility by sharing her experiences, and gave our students a greater sense of awareness. We are all looking forwarding to meeting Rebekah in person when she comes to campus for our Fall author visit!"
"Rebekah is a phenomenal speaker! Our community really enjoyed her presentation and appreciated her responses to their questions. She prompted so many questions from the audience which is a sign that a talk was really stimulating. I only wish we had more time to address them all. As co-organizer for this series I was grateful for how she directly addressed the theme of the series and addressed the prompts in her presentation. Finally, I know just how successful Rebekah's visit was by the fact that our Director for Accessibility praised the program and asked for the event transcript. Many thanks for representing Rebekah and helping us bring her to the CC community."
"Rebekah was amazing! Everything went really, really well and are still hearing great things from everyone! We will want to work with her again in the future for sure! Thank you for helping to put this together."
"Rebekah was a delight to work with! In additional to having a great story to share, she is such an authentic and engaging speaker, and her presentations were well received, both online and in person! Working with APB has been such a pleasure, and I look forward to working with you again!"
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