photo of Emily Ladau

Emily Ladau

Founder, writer
Words I Wheel By

Emily Ladau is a passionate disability rights activist, writer, speaker, and digital communications consultant whose career began at the age of 10, when she appeared on several episodes of Sesame Street to educate children about her life with a physical disability. A native of Long Island, New York, Emily graduated with a B.A. in English from Adelphi University in 2013. In 2017, she was named as one of Adelphi’s 10 Under 10 Young Alumni. In 2018, she was awarded the Paul G. Hearne Emerging Leader Award from the American Association of People with Disabilities.

Emily is dedicated to harnessing the powers of communication and social media as tools for people of all abilities to become informed and engaged about disability and social justice issues. She is the Editor in Chief of the Rooted in Rights Blog, a platform focused on amplifying authentic writing on disability rights issues. Additionally, Emily provides consultation services and manages online presence and communications for disability-related organizations. And, she is a co-host of The Accessible Stall Podcast with her friend Kyle Khachadurian.

More about Emily’s work can be found on her website, Words I Wheel By, and her writing has been published on websites including The New York Times, SELF, Salon, Vice, and Huffington Post. Alongside her work as a writer, Emily has spoken before numerous audiences, ranging from a panel about the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act at the U.S. Department of Education, to a keynote presentation at the 2018 Green Mountain Self-Advocates Voices and Choices Conference.

Currently, Emily serves as a board member of WAM!NYC, the New York City-based affiliate group of Women, Action, and the Media.

All of Emily’s activism is driven by her firm belief that if we want the world to be accessible to people with all types of disabilities, we must make ideas and concepts surrounding disability accessible to the world.

[Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.]

Programming descriptions are generated by participants and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of SXSW.

Events featuring Emily Ladau
Events featuring Emily Ladau