Founder & CEO, AccessNow
Sector: Private Sector
Magic Moment: A proud and transformative moment in my journey occurred when I had the privilege of meeting a newcomer to Canada who relied on a wheelchair. This individual expressed deep gratitude upon discovering how AccessNow could empower him to navigate his new home and community with newfound independence. This encounter highlighted the profound impact our work can have on improving the lives of others and reinforced my commitment to fostering accessibility and inclusivity.
My Mom – Orli Ziv: One of my major influencers and mentors is undoubtedly my mother. As an immigrant who faced numerous challenges, including raising a child with a disability without prior knowledge or guidance, she demonstrated incredible resilience and determination. Despite the lack of external support, she managed to instill in me unwavering confidence and the belief that I could achieve anything, even when societal norms didn’t necessarily reinforce those convictions.
Next Big Challenge As An Industry: As an industry and successful city-region, one of the next major challenges we must tackle is the need to confront and overcome our unconscious biases regarding the value of disability. It is essential to recognize that accessibility is not just a compliance issue but a transformative design approach that fosters inclusion for individuals of all abilities. To meet this challenge, we should shift our mindset from a focus solely on compliance to embracing possibilities and driving innovation through inclusive design. By actively seeking and incorporating diverse perspectives, leveraging technology, and promoting inclusive practices, we can create a more inclusive and equitable society that values and empowers individuals with disabilities.
On Championing Others…: As a champion in the industry, my primary role is to challenge individuals to adopt a broader perspective on the significance of investing in accessibility and applying a disability lens to all aspects of our work. I advocate for the inclusion of people with disabilities at every decision-making table to ensure our voices are heard and our unique perspectives are considered. By promoting awareness, fostering dialogue, and actively engaging stakeholders, I strive to create a culture where accessibility and inclusivity are valued and prioritized. Through these efforts, I aim to empower and uplift others within the industry, fostering an environment where everyone can thrive and contribute their diverse talents and perspectives.
Secret Talent: One skill that often surprises people is my knack for improvisation. Whether it’s in a creative project, a problem-solving scenario, or even during spontaneous conversations, I thrive in adapting on the spot and finding innovative solutions. The ability to think quickly on my feet has served me well and added a sense of adventure to many aspects of my life.
One word that captures you: The best word to describe me is ‘tenacious’ because I am persistent, determined, and unwavering in pursuing my goals. I embody a never-give-up attitude and consistently strive to overcome challenges with resilience and passion in what I believe in.