What Are Your Abilities? Kessler Foundation Launches National "Abilities" Campaign
Visit Kessler Foundation on Facebook and Tell Us Your Abilities
Limitations. We all have them. But the people who focus on what they can do, instead of what they can’t do, find success in life. When we find ways to overcome our limitations, we find fulfillment.
There are 54 million Americans with disabilities, but aren’t their abilities what matter? In recognition of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Kessler Foundation released a nationwide public service announcement (PSA) campaign that highlights two men who defeated the odds after they were paralyzed. They discovered new abilities and went on to achieve great things.
Through the “Abilities” campaign, we at Kessler Foundation invite everyone to visit us on Facebook and tell us your abilities. Despite disability, everyone has special abilities and make contributions to their families, communities, and workplaces. Too often in society, people with and without disabilities are divided, when, in reality, we all share similar experiences. By creating an inclusive forum, Kessler Foundation hopes to create a positive place where everyone can come together and realize that “only abilities matter.” The two remarkable men exemplify the power of abilities.
Actor Daryl “Chill” Mitchell had leading roles in films, including House Party and Galaxy Quest. In 2004, a motorcycle accident that resulted in a spinal cord injury changed his life. From a wheelchair, he had to relearn how to care for himself, but he worked hard and inspired others along the way. Knowing he wanted to go back to work, “Chill” was unsure of the roles he would get in a wheelchair. Instead of waiting for jobs to come to him, he took an offensive approach and also became a director and producer.
He appeared in numerous TV series, including Ed, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers—for which he won the 2010 Image Award for Best Male Actor in a Comedic Series. In addition to his work, “Chill” is a disability advocate who promotes focusing on abilities instead of disabilities. Back home in Georgia, he’s a loving husband and father of three beautiful children. Listen to "Chill's" 60 second and 30 second radio spots.
Lt. Ian Brown, a retired Air Force officer, found new passions and goals in life after he was paralyzed from the waist down. As he benefitted from advancements in spinal cord injury research made prior to his injury, Lt. Brown believes he has a responsibility to promote further research so that people who come after him can benefit from new discoveries. He enrolls in as many research studies as possible—at Kessler Foundation, the VA, and other institutions—so that new treatments can help others.
As an active and athletic person prior to his injury, Lt. Brown was determined to find a way to participate in sports from his wheelchair. He taught himself water skiing, archery, and off-roading, utilizing custom wheelchair equipment. His passion led him to an executive position at a wheelchair and adaptive sporting equipment company. While he already changes lives for people with physical disabilities, Lt. Brown has goals of attending medical school.
What are your abilities? Tell us on Facebook!