Brittany Dejean

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Brittany Dejean

2014 Global Fellow
Founder of AbleThrive

Brittany Dejean 2014 Global Fellow

Bold Idea 

Transform the way people with disabilities live by connecting communities on a user-generated information support network.

Summary 

AbleThrive empowers people with disabilities and their families to overcome challenges and negative stereotypes by providing a support network of crowdsourced how-to videos and information. With this free and accessible community-based resource, we reach even the most isolated geographic areas. Our platform leverages technology to filter and sort content by user details and interests - everything from basic tasks to adapted sports - connecting users in a peer-to-peer learning model that accelerates the path to living well with a disability. Users exchange experiences and innovations in an ever-evolving, customizable resource that unites a global community and redefines living with a disability.

Experience 

Brittany (Martin) Dejean is founder and executive director of AbleThrive, a user-generated, how-to video and information support network that helps people with disabilities adapt their lives. After her father was paralyzed in a car accident, Brittany saw that learning from others facing similar challenges helped her family adapt to their situation, and she envisioned using technology to replicate such support globally for all disabilities. In 2007, she was accepted into the Harvard Kennedy School's Social Entrepreneurship Collaboratory, where her venture received recognition from Harvard Business School Pitch for Change and Ashoka YouthVenture. A 2008 Harvard University graduate, Brittany also volunteered with disability communities in China and Africa, giving her a sense of the common struggles for people with disabilities across geographic areas. Brittany co-founded and developed SPINALpedia.com, a pilot resource serving the paralysis community, as a side project for seven years, publishing her work in Huffington Post and in disability magazines. In 2013, she left her job as a teacher and coach to devote herself to uniting and empowering a global disability community.

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