Recognizing Latinos with Disabilities in Honor of Hispanic Heritage Month

While National Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes the contributions and the important presence of Hispanic and Latinx Americans to the US and celebrates their heritage and culture, it is important to note that this includes nearly 5 million Latinos living with a disability in the US. We would like to honor Latinos with disabilities who use their platforms to voice their stories and, in the process, educate others about visible and invisible disabilities. Notable examples of Latinos with disabilities include:

  • Christina Sanz, the first Latinx with a disability to win an Emmy Award. You may recognize Ms. Sanz from her work in the A&E docu-series Born this Way.
  • Gina Rodriguez, star of Jane the Virgin, uses social media to discuss her anxiety and her struggle with body acceptance regarding her Hashimoto’s disease.
  • Salma Hayek Jiménez, actress and producer, uses her voice to share her story of learning and living with dyslexia. The first film that her production company, Ventanarosa Productions, produced was about Frida Kahlo, who also had a disability.
  • Selena Gómez, pop singer and actress, uses her platform to share her story and raise awareness about lupus. She has used her experiences with the media and her disability as inspiration for a recent album.
  • Jeison Aristizábal, a nonprofit founder with cerebral palsy, grew up in one of the most impoverished areas in Cali, Colombia. The nonprofit organization that he founded and runs helps to provide educational and medical support for kids who live in the same conditions that he grew up in.
  • Victor Pineda, PhD, is the youngest government delegate with disabilities to have participated in the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. He continues to work as a disability scholar and advocate.

Studies have shown that people within the Latinx and other minority communities may hide or try to hide their disabilities due to stigma. The people mentioned above are just a few who are sharing their stories and defying statistics. If you would like to learn more about research on minorities and disabilities, please contact our information specialists via email, chat, or by calling 800/346-2742.

About mpgarcia

I'm the Bilingual Information/Media Specialist at NARIC.
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