Landing 13 August, 2020

Have you ever wondered how a differently abled person experiences the world? Or how you might see yourself after an unthinkable accident?

In this episode, host Mike Hill sits down with Ashla Rani, a disability activist and motivational speaker based in Trivandrum, Kerala.  When she was 26, Ashla fell from the door of a moving train while on her way home from work. She awoke in hospital days later with a life-altering spinal cord injury.

Initially fearing she would be bed bound, Ashla is now one of the leading voices for disability-rights in her home country of India. 

Mike first met Ashla in Southern India several years ago. Ashla’s courage, good humour and activism have influenced many, including Mike and the entire Futurists World team. In fact, Mike considers Ashla one of the greatest inspirations of his life.

In 2018 Mike helped Ashla travel to San Francisco where she shared the stage with world-renowned physician, Dr BJ Miller. This interview was filmed shortly after that event.

Ashla brings a human face to this thought provoking and important conversation, which will stay with you long after it wraps. 

‘Without people’s help, you cannot move forward.’

Ashla Rani

Here, Ashla and Mike examine the physical, and social barriers that prevent differently abled people from living their lives like other citizens. We think it will challenge the way you view the future in a completely new way. 

In this episode Mike asks:
01:31 What does being differently abled mean to you? And is this an expression that you favour?
02:22 Can you tell me about your life before the accident, a little about the accident, and what’s happened since then?
03:03 Tell me how you learned about your situation and how you adapted to it.
04:44 How important was it for you to be able to get back to using a computer? How did you get there?
05:46 After that period of rehabilitation, could you return to your home?
06:14 So you haven’t been back to your home since your accident?
06:47 If returning home wasn’t an option, what did you do?
07:41 What’s important for people who aren’t differently abled? What do we need to know about your experience as someone who’s been through this?
08:44 We’re meeting here in the United States, how does it compare here being differently able to in your home country of India?
09:30 How much of a role will technology play in the future for differently abled people?
10:17 Can you tell me more about the work that you’re doing at the moment? 
11:48 You told us about wanting to break down the barriers so that people who are differently abled can see the potential of what they’re able to do. Have you been able to get back to the beach since your accident?
13:59 So you’re wanting an accessibility ramp all the way to the ocean?
14:49 How do you get policy makers and politicians to pay attention?
15:45 Is part of the future of being differently abled, that the voices of people who are in this situation are heard?
16:35 Can you tell me about your journey from the accident to where you are now – travelling, sharing your story and being an advocate.
17:56 You’ve come to San Francisco, are you learning something while you’re here?
18:33 I understand that you also shared the stage with Dr. BJ Miller?
19:19 What do you think the future of this area is for differently abled people?

There is so much to get out of this episode. Please enjoy the show and share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.

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The purpose of this series is to move humanity forward, think bigger and cast our minds into the future.

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