Emily Ladau is extremely passionate about disability advocacy and fights alongside her fellow disability advocates. Instead of a sword, she wields the power of the written word.
Born and raised in Long Island, Emily uses a wheelchair for mobility, as she was born with a genetic disorder called Larsen syndrome, which causes joint dislocations and muscle weakness. Currently, Emily uses a Quantum® Edge 3 Electric Wheelchair with iLevel® power adjustable seat elevation at 4.5 mph.
“I like that I’m able to raise myself up higher using iLevel, but I can still ride around at a speed that allows me to keep up with people walking alongside me,” Emily said.
Emily also likes to use power tilt and recline on her TRU-Balance® 3 Seating System.
“I like being able to relieve pressure by changing positions,” Emily said. “And of course, I love that my chair is purple!”
With her electric wheelchair, Emily can be out and about in the world, driving while elevated for greater confidence and visibility.
“Whether I’m at a show or a speaking engagement, I can get around with ease,” Emily said.
As the editor in chief of the blog, Rooted in Rights, Emily knows the importance of providing authentic narratives on the disability experience. She also co-hosts the Accessible Stall podcast, which discusses a wide range of disability issues. For Emily, it’s important to focus on disability identity and share stories of individuals living with disabilities.
“By harnessing the powers of communication and social media…people become engaged in disability and social justice issues,” Emily said.
Emily has spread the message of advocacy in a variety of publications, including the New York Times, SELF, Salon, Vice and the Huffington Post. She’s served as a source for notable outlets such as NPR, Vox and the Washington Post.
Emily has been recognized as a leader in the disability community. She was named as one of Adelphi University’s 10 Under 10 Young Alumni and was awarded the Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award by the American Association of People with Disabilities.
In her spare time, Emily enjoys other interests including theater, traveling and trying new restaurants.