Born with no arms as a result of the drug Thalidomide, Alvin was adopted by a family who taught him that he could be whatever he wanted to be, and that anything was possible with hard work and a proper attitude. Using his feet for hands, Alvin found a sense of freedom. Alvin learned to perform routine activities including eating, dressing, playing sports, and becoming a musician. He also learned to play the drums, piano, and trombone. Alvin is a trained broadcaster, fundraiser, motivational speaker, award-winning musician, and bestselling author of the book, Alvin's Laws of Life: 5 Steps to Successfully Overcome Anything.
Alvin has shared his story and his mission to spark a worldwide “Attitude Revolution” since 1981. Alvin uses his story to challenge and inspire people to rewrite the negative stories they tell themselves about themselves. Over 7,500 corporations, organizations and groups on five continents have used Alvin to ignite, engage, and transform their groups. He has earned the designation of Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), an honour possessed by less than ten percent of professional speakers worldwide. In 2009, Alvin was inducted into the Canadian Association of Speakers (CAPS) Hall of Fame.
Prior to his career as a professional speaker, Alvin worked for non-profit groups, in advertising and public relations, the civil service, and has even run for public office. He has appeared on countless telethons and media features, and has been the subject of two award-winning television documentaries. In addition, Alvin has played a direct role in raising over $175,000,000 for charity.
Interviewed by our Different & Able President and Founder, Alexandra Nicklas, Alvin talks about his failures and triumphs throughout his life. He also discusses in detail his 5 Steps to Successfully Overcome Anything; which Alvin believes are the secrets to meeting and conquering life's many challenges. Alvin proves that life may not be easy, but with the proper “road map” everyone with or without a difference can be victorious. “We all have obstacles in life. It is ultimately our attitude that determines whether they block our path to success, or strengthen us on our journey,” Alvin states.