Imani Barbarin

Imani Barbarin is a disability rights and inclusion activist and speaker who uses her
voice and social media platforms to create conversations engaging the disability


Born with cerebral palsy, Imani often writes and uses her platform to speak from the perspective of a disabled black woman. In the last few years she has created over a dozen trending hashtags that allow disabled folk the opportunity to have their perspectives heard while forcing the world to take notice. #PatientsAreNotFaking, #ThingsDisabledPeopleKnow, #AbledsAreWeird and others each provide a window into disabled life while forming community. 

Imani is from the Philadelphia area and holds a Masters in Global Communications from the American University of Paris, her published works include those in Forbes, Rewire, Healthline, BitchMedia and more. She runs the blog and a podcast of the same name. She currently serves as the Communications Director for a nonprofit in Pennsylvania.

photo of Imani Barbarin


Nothing about us without us: Community-building and bridging within and with the disabled community
The passage of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990 ensured disabled people equal opportunity under the law, but, as disability advocates Judith Heumann and John Wodatch have written, “[L]aws can only do so much.” Indeed, although disabled people make up 20 percent of the US population—constituting the largest minority group in the country—they remain severely underrepresented in spaces of power and influence. In spite of increasing public awareness around disability issues, disabled people continue to remain largely locked outside our halls of power, with real...