Tylia Flores

Tylia Flores is a multi-published author, advocate, activist, podcast creator and host. She was born with spastic cerebral palsy and as a child, Tylia noticed that there was little to no disability representation in her favorite television shows. Tylia used this realization to become the successful writer she is today. 

After publishing her first book at sixteen, Tylia continues to write in the hopes that her work can help bring awareness to those with cerebral palsy. She creates books and media that represent people with disabilities to combat the stigma of differences in society. Tylia published her autobiography and a five-part series called, Handi-capable Stomping on the Barriers that Come My Way. She is currently working on a children’s book called, Larry the Differently Abled Bear

As a Radio Disney fan, Tylia strove to be in broadcasting. Today, she is the host of her own radio show, Stomping on CP Radio, where she talks about her life journey behind the microphone. Tylia also co-hosts a podcast, Stompers in Love, with Joey Odum. In this podcast, Tylia and Joey talk about dating with a disability and how they conquer all stigmas surrounding relationships. Radio and music have always been a part of Tylia’s life. She is a huge fan of Blake Shelton and his song, Austin.

In the interview with our President & Founder, Alexandra Nicolas, Tylia discusses how she tackles stigmas and gives her take on life as a young woman with cerebral palsy. She also discusses her passion for creating books and being an integral part of the media community that represents people with disabilities. With her tenacious attitude, Tylia states, “When life gets tough you just got to keep on stomping.” 


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Kate Katulak & Brian Switzer of the Perkins School for the Blind

“Perkins School for the Blind, founded in 1829, was the first school for the blind in the United States. Even 175 years ago, our founders were committed to opening the doors to education, literacy and independence for people who are blind, visually impaired and deafblind.” Perkins School For the Blind

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In this interview, our President & Founder, Alexandra Nicklas talks with Kate Katulak and Brian Switzer, of the Perkins School of the Blind. Kate and Brian discuss the school's mission to unlock the tools and skills children and young adults need to realize their potential. Through the use of an Expanded Core Curriculum (ECC) students are introduced to a more inclusive world. The ECC pairs academics with a focus on independence, assistive technology, work skills, socializing and more to prepare students to lead their fullest life. Kate and Brain explain how the ECC prepares students for college and career readiness. Through transitional programming, such as Career Launch and Compass, students are able to reach their post-secondary goals and choose career programs that are effective and equitable. 

Kate Katulak

Kate Katulak is the Associate Director of College Success at Perkins School for the Blind, the Lead Coach for Perkins’ virtual transition program, and a certified Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments. She has worked in the field of blindness education and rehabilitation for a decade. Her career started as a Research Assistant at Yale University, where she contributed to the development of a social-emotional learning curriculum, and where she discovered her passion for teaching and curriculum development. She then worked as an itinerant TVI in Connecticut, before coming to Perkins as a classroom teacher and later, an administrator. Kate became blind unexpectedly as a teenager. Since then, she has dedicated her life to helping individuals adjust to vision loss and enabling people with disabilities to create paths towards their best lives. She is living her best life in Massachusetts with her partner, guide dog, and vivacious black cat. She enjoys spending time outdoors, and has completed several triathlons, one full marathon, and many other road races of varying distances. Kate has a master’s in education with a concentration in blindness and visual impairment from Columbia University’s Teachers College and a B.A. in Psychology from Wright State University.

Brian Switzer

Brian Switzer is an Access Technology Instructor in Career Launch, a career readiness program at Perkins School for the Blind. Brian started out his teaching career as a paraprofessional in a special education classroom, ultimately becoming a high school math teacher. As someone with a visual impairment, he brings to the classroom a lifetime’s worth of experience being visually impaired. He holds a master’s degree in Public Policy, focusing on disability policy and Brian holds teaching licenses in secondary and middle school Mathematics, Biology, and English with SEI endorsement. Outside of the classroom Brian is an avid athlete and consulted on the accessibility of fitness apps such as RunKeeper and Strava. He is a published author on a book about living with deaf blindness called, “Walk in My Shoes: An Anthology on Usher Syndrome” and a second book about service dogs called “Walk in My Paws: An Anthology on Service Dogs.” 


Social Media Links

Kate Katulak LinkedIn

Brian Switzer LinkedIn

Brian Switzer-DeafBlind Athlete Facebook page


Trevon Jenifer

Trevon Jenifer was born without limbs due to a rare disease called Congenital Phocomelia. He has 3 brothers (2 older, 1 younger) and 1 older sister. He is the only one with a disability. Trevon’s biological father left him and his mother when he saw that Trevon did not have legs. When Trevon was 4 years old, his stepdad (Eric Brown) came into his life and helped raise him. All of Trevon’s siblings were participating in sports, so Eric found an organization that offered Wheelchair Track and Wheelchair Basketball. Trevon broke and still holds the records in the 100, 200, 400 and 800 meter races for Wheelchair Track in the U11 and U14 age groups. He competed in Wheelchair Track and Basketball until the age of 12, he then changed Schools. Trevon grew up in a high crime area, where he could not play outside or at the playgrounds due to broken glass and violence. When he was 15 years old, his stepdad moved them to the country. and competed in Wrestling his junior and senior year in High School. His senior year he finished 3rd in the State of Maryland and had a record of 32-8. Trevon was inducted into the Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006.  In 2006, Trevon wrote an autobiography about his life called, From the Ground Up.  

From 2006-2011, Trevon attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania where earned his bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Sociology. He was a member of the Edinboro University Wheelchair Basketball Team, where he went from being the 8th man on an 8 man roster to the best player on the Team by 2009. He was a 2x All-American (2010 and 2011) and Captain from 2009-2011. Trevon made his first Team USA appearance in 2009 when he was on the U23 Team that took Gold in Junior World’s Championship. He then made the Men’s National Team in 2010 and has been a member ever since. He has won Gold in the Parapan American Games in 2011 (Guadalajara, Mexico) and 2015 (Toronto, Canada). Trevon won two Silver in the Worlds Championship Games in 2014 in Incheon, South Korea and in Hamburg, Germany in 2018. He is a 2X Paralympic medalist, winning a Bronze Medal in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London (this was the first time they medaled in 12 years) and Gold Medalist in the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio (this was the first time in 28 years that they won Gold). In 2013-2015, Trevon played professional Wheelchair Basketball in the south of France. 

In October of 2015, Trevon became a father to a baby girl named Saraeya.  While being a fulltime father, Trevon is also an active member in his community, where volunteers as an assistant coach for the Edinboro University Wheelchair Basketball Team. He does countless demonstrations and motivational speeches, for schools (elementary and up), ADA, FBI, YMCA, etc. all over the United States, speaking on topics that cover perseverance, Paralympic movement, bullying and adaptive/disability awareness.  

In this interview, with our Different & Able President and Founder, Alexandra Nicklas, Trevon shares his story of determination, explains Congenital Phocomelia, and his love for sports. Trevon also discusses employment opportunities for the differently abled and his position at the U.S Secret Service as a Personnel Security Specialist in the Security Management Division. When Trevon is not playing, working, or spending time with family, he continues to inspire others through motivational speaking. “You have to find what motivates you, as it's different for every person. We have to understand why it motivates us, so we don't lose our focus while attempting to achieve our goals. Continue to fight for it,” Trevon states.

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