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25. A Student's Journey to Access & Advocacy with Deanna Yadollahi

In this episode

Deanna Parvin Yadollahi shares their journey of self-discovery, self-love, and ensuing advocacy for access, not just for themself, but for the range of diverse humans within their learning community, and the wider community. A wealth of experiences and knowledge, Deanna broadens our understanding of the many meanings of access, and why access is so important. I hope you will benefit from Deanna's insight as much as I have. 


Deanna Parvin Yadollahi (they/them) Bio

Deanna Parvin Yadollahi (they/them) is a FATDISABLEDNEURODIVERGENTMAD, non-binary, diasporic mixed-race Iranian and Toltec-Mexican community activist, organizer, and dog parent with 8 years of disability justice scholar-art-activism about collaboratively undoing ABLEISM and INTERSECTING OPPRESSIONS, especially as it relates to COLLECTIVE ACCESSIBILITY.

They hope to enact institutional change and radical reimagination that will lead to more supportive and just realities through community-building, resource-creating, presenting, writing, and via Deanna’s Creative Access Consulting practice.

Their work is based in deep appreciation for DISABILITY JUSTICE, which is INTERSECTIONAL and CALLS FOR CROSS-MOVEMENT SOLIDARITY as well as COMMUNITY-ADVOCATED ACCESSIBILITY PRACTICES. Deanna studied Disability Studies at the graduate level, and most highly values knowledge that is co-created within their communities.

Deanna acknowledges, with respect, that they are a settler on the unceded, traditional lands of the KIZH NATION. They support the LANDBACK MOVEMENT, CLIMATE JUSTICE, acknowledging historic oppression and intergenerational trauma, and dismantling its continuations today.



Links Mentioned

Aimi Hamraie - Building Access: Universal Design and the Politics of Disability (free online book)

Deanna's LinkedIn Learning Course

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Film

Talila Lewis (no gender pronouns) Working Definition of Ableism

Abled Advocators Article

A Resolution in Support of Inclusion and Accessibility for Students with Disabilities

Adrienne Maree Brown - Pleasure Activism

Alice Sheppard - Intersectional Disability Arts Manifesto 


Stay Connected with Diana

Diana's Website

Free Resource - 5 Keys to Going Beyond Awareness 

Beyond Awareness: Bringing Disability into Diversity in K-12 Schools & Communities - Diana's Book

Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights - Diana's Children's Book

Ed Roberts: Champion of Disability Rights Thematic Unit/ Disability History Lesson Plans

"Beyond Awareness" Digital Course

Diana's TEDx Talk

Beyond Awareness Facebook Page

Diana on Instagram

Beyond Awareness Tote Bag 

Beyond Awareness Pullover Hoodie

Beyond Awareness Raglan Baseball T-Shirt

Beyond Awareness Journal/Notebook

Diana's Teachers Pay Teachers Store - Disability as Diversity

Diana's Brand New Resource: Beyond Disability Awareness: An Educator's Guide, Published by National Professional Resources, Inc. (NPR, Inc.)


Credits and Image Description

Intro and outro music courtesy of Emmanuel Castro.

Podcast cover photo by Rachel Schlesinger Photography.

Podcast cover image description: Black and white photograph of Diana, a Spanish-American woman with long, wavy, brown hair. She is wearing a flowy, white blouse and smiles at camera as she leans against wooden building. Photo is colorfully framed with gold and orange rays of seeming sunshine on top half, and with solid sage green color on bottom half. Text reads "Beyond Awareness: Disability Awareness That Matters, Diana Pastora Carson, M.Ed."