About Kara Aiello
Kara Aiello, born with Osteogenesis Imperfecta “brittle bones” from birth and uses a wheelchair for mobility, discovered mobileWOMEN.org by accident after being approached at a conference for social workers and given information about the organization. Excited to join as a writer, Kara is very active in the disabled community and writes as a freelance writer for Montgomery County CommunityCollege, Life in Action Magazine for persons with disabilities and United Spinal Association, which she also serves as a board member. Kara has written articles for the Philadelphia Inquirer on disability and beauty, dance and other related topics.
Kara is also an LSW in social work but recently obtained a certificate in Therapeutic Recreation and now works at Meadowood Community, as a recreation therapist. She studies dance currently with American DanceWheels Foundation. As a whole, Kara has studied dance for over 15 years having danced with the Kardon Institute of Performing Arts.
In addition to dance, Kara sings with the Academy Chorale, volunteers with Caring Hospice and Amnesty International. Kara loves to travel and has had the opportunity to travel through Western Europe, four cruises, much of North America and South America as well. Kara would love to share her stories and experiences of travel with mobileWOMEN.org and with the right information and support, anything is possible.
About Wendy Crawford
Driving to the airport for her first international contract, fashion model Wendy Crawford at the age of 19 was struck by a drunk driver and, as a result, was paralyzed. Following her accident, the Attorney General’s Office of Ontario (Canada) hired Ms. Crawford for several years as spokesperson to warn others about drinking and driving. During this period, Wendy was given the “Ontario Crime Prevention Award” twice by the Solicitor General of Ontario and honored as “Citizen of the Year” in her hometown.
Growing into womanhood with a disability, Ms. Crawford identified a need and utilized her fashion and public-speaking experience to develop unique means of raising awareness of and becoming an advocate for women in wheelchairs. In 2002 Wendy founded mobileWOMEN.org, in an effort to provide a forum for women wheelchair users who wanted answers to questions and a community of their peers.
Other previous endeavors included: co-founding Discovery Through Design, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring women and raising funds for programs for disabled women and for spinal cord injury research; she served as chairperson of “Women Without Limits”, a committee of the United Spinal Association, whose mission is to enhance the lives of women with spinal cord injury and disease. She was also named by The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis as one of their “Women of Style and Substance” for 2012, named one of the “XIX Most Fashionable Women of Philadelphia” for 2013 by fashion designer, Nicole Miller.
In addition, Wendy is one of the founders of The Raw Beauty Project, a photography exhibit that celebrates women with disabilities, educating viewers to redefine perceptions and beauty, unleashing potential for all.
About Bethany A. Hoppe
Bethany A. Hoppe, born with Spina Bifida, grew up in northwestern Pennsylvania, on a dairy farm. She holds a master’s in Communication Studies from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, and taught as a university lecturer in Middle Tennessee for nearly twenty years.
Bethany believes that the power of storytelling, voice, and creative projects is the most effective way to break down social barriers faced by women and girls with disabilities. Combining her talents and training, Ms. Hoppe elected to resign from higher education to pursue creative advocacy for women and girls with disabilities full time. As a former Ms. Wheelchair Pennsylvania (1994) she embraces the Arts, fashion, film, public speaking platforms, and writing as the most accessible means for inclusion.
Ms. Hoppe is an Ambassador for The Raw Beauty Project Greater Nashville, the facilitator for SB Connect of Nashville, serves as a volunteer on both the Spina Bifida Steering Committee and the Georgia-Tennessee Advisory Board. She is a wife, full-time mother and “Glamma” (grandmother), who serves as Secretary and First Grade Rep on the PTO Board for her son’s school. Bethany and her family reside in the Greater Nashville area.
Bethany is honored and privileged to be the new editor for mobileWOMEN.online.
About Robyn Keller
In the summer of 1974, Robyn Keller, a 15 year old cheerleader suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury which left her paralyzed from the chest down while executing a dismount off of a fellow cheerleader. After 9 months of being in the hospital and rehabilitation, Robyn completed high school through the use of an intercom system set up in her home, since her high school wasn’t accessible for a wheelchair. After graduating with her class, she struggled with what to do with the rest of her life. In 1982, she had the opportunity to work for a small consulting firm and realized her love for the computer. With the support of family and friends, she went back to school and was certified in computer programming. Upon completion, the company where she was working hired her on a permanent basis in their accounting department where she continued to work for 29 years.She claims the best part about working for this company was a chance meeting with a woman who had a son that was also a quadriplegic. Seeing that Robyn was well adjusted in life, the woman asked her to contact her son which Robyn did and had a pleasant conversation with him, with no further contact. However, as fate would have it, six years later she came across his name and decided to call him. A month later, they went on their first date and within a few months were engaged and married within a year. They have been happily married for over 21 years! She admits that marriage isn’t always easy with two disabled people but she feels they truly understand each other and have managed to find a way to make their marriage work beautifully.When she stopped working, she was looking for something to fulfill her when she was introduced to Wendy Crawford, Founder of mobileWOMEN.org. They connected immediately because of their similar injuries and goofy senses of humor regarding their lives and living with a disability. Robyn is presently the outreach coordinator for mobileWOMEN.org and due to her passion for food and cooking, writes a regular “Mobile Friendly Recipe”. You can view some of Robyn’s cooking tips on the Reeve Health Minutes for the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation.
About Cheryl Price
Cheryl Price has been an active member in the disabled community most of her life. Paralyzed at birth, Ms. Price was raised as an active wheelchair-user who participated in wheelchair tennis camps and events, wheelchair racing, numerous camps for children with physical disabilities, and also participated in able-bodied sports in school.
After attending University of Miami and receiving her Bachelors of Science in Education, Cheryl was the editor for S.W.A.T.s Up! ® Calendar Concepts, an internationally circulated fundraising calendar featuring children and adults with disabilities; and Ms. Price worked for ten years as editor of Entertainment News & Views, later renamed ENV Magazine. While with ENV–a Miami-based arts, dining and entertainment weekly–Cheryl made sure to print articles centered around the disabled community, whether the topics involved the Paralympics, disabled artists and authors or her column Inspirational Moments.
A Boca Raton, Florida resident, Cheryl Price enjoys family time with her husband and children, volunteering at school, and traveling. Cheryl is thrilled to be involved with mobileWOMEN.org as Assistant Editor.
About The Rollin’ RN’s: Patty Kunze & Roberta Palmer
Patty Kunze has been a Registered Nurse since 1983. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Nursing and worked several years in a Spinal Cord Injury Unit at the local Veterans Administration Medical Center as a new graduate. She has been a flight transport nurse for Neonatal Intensive Care, an assistant manager of Labor and Delivery, and an instructor of nursing students. In 2009, she was involved in an auto accident which left her paralyzed (T3-4 complete paraplegic) from the chest down. But she continues her nursing career while sitting in her wheelchair as a nurse paralegal and writing articles for others with spinal cord injuries as The Rollin RN ™.
Roberta Palmer has been a Registered Nurse for 20 years. She has knowledge in Family Practice, Allery and Immunology, Special Pharmacy Medication and Counseling, and she is a RN Health Coach. In 2014, she was involved in an ATV accident which also left her paralyzed (T3-4 complete paraplegic) from chest down.
About Amy Saffell
Growing up in the disability-aware but still predominantly able-bodied centered setting of Metro Atlanta, Amy Saffell has always had one foot firmly planted in disability culture and the other foot firmly planted in mainstream able-bodied culture. In her early years, it was common for Amy to come home from wheelchair tennis lessons to play the rest of the afternoon with the able-bodied kids in the neighborhood and be equally comfortable in each setting.
Academics and school leadership, many times with a focus on writing, and wheelchair sports, were two of Amy’s main interests growing up. Amy was also crowned Jr. Miss Wheelchair Georgia, giving her the opportunity to hone her public speaking and advocacy skills as a high school student.
After graduating with a BA in Communications from Furman University, Amy moved to Nashville, TN, where she works in sales and marketing for a record label. She has been recognized by the Mayor’s Advisory Committee For People With Disabilities with the Trey Pointer Young Citizen Award. Amy was crowned Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2007 and made numerous public and media appearances around the state during her reign.
She is currently on the board of directors for ABLE Youth, a Nashville area wheelchair independence and sports group for students. She plans ABLE Youth events, handles publicist duties, and acts as a peer mentor to kids who were just like Amy at that age. In 2011, Amy won the opportunity to appear on ABC’s “What Would You Do?” after writing a scenario based on the misconceptions of people with disabilities that she has experienced in her own life.