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This Changed My Personal and Professional Life

Text written on a wall reads, "Dream Big and Work Hard! Jean Driscoll. 10-6-18. Boston Marathon. 1996, '91, '92, '93, '94, '95, '96, 2008

By Ryan Wilson

Team Trust, CEO

I grew up in the middle of cornfields in a small town in Illinois.

It seemed I was the only person in the entire county in a wheelchair, though that is not statistically accurate.

When I transitioned to the University of Illinois, an hour and a half away from home, I encountered, almost immediately, extremely talented athletes with disabilities and massive hearts.

They let me into their communities and worlds.

It was amazing.

At the same time, I noticed most media outlets — radio, newspaper, TV, digital — were not covering these athletes. 

It was disappointing, and certainly a missed opportunity.

So, I assembled a few friends, and we proposed to create what was the only Paralympic-specific radio program in the nation at the University of Illinois.

Our pitch was successful, and we eventually landed a Friday drive-time slot.

We interviewed many of the greatest athletes in the world in our studio, even the one and only Jean Driscoll.

She, like all our other friends who visited the studio, signed the wall.

The show did fizzle out after my graduation, but it unquestionably inspired the creation of Team Trust.

There never really is a bad day to authentically promote the disability community.

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You Might Think I Need Help, but I Don’t

Ryan is shown in a hospital room wearing a white cap.

By Ryan Wilson

Team Trust, CEO

Because I have a disability, I think people assume I need help with everything.

They may think I need help with everyday tasks, and require a whole staff of personnel assistants (PAs) to fill my needs.

This was the case for about 24 years of my life, but not any more.

I used to have a staff of about eight PAs in college, and I had an aid in elementary, junior and high schools to help me navigate crowded hallways and carry books.

I even had PAs up until the pandemic hit, and then the world shut down.

My PAs were all college students, and they were gone indefinitely. 

I had three options:

Stay with my parents for the duration of the pandemic;

Scramble to find any human being who would help me;

Forge ahead independently without any PAs.

I chose option 3, perhaps the riskiest of the three options.

While I had no help, I did have athlete friends with disabilities who led independent lives. 

They didn’t have PAs, and it seemed, with my increasing strength, I didn’t need PAs, either.

When I did have PAs, I carefully tested my strength and independence.

Could I cook without burning my home down? Yes.

Could I do laundry independently? Yes.

Could I transfer into the shower independently? Yes.

Turns out, I didn’t need PAs at all.

While this Is not universal for all persons with disabilities, it is one dose of a small, yet large achievement anybody with a disability has.

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Brands Need To Include Disability

Ryan Wilson was interviewed on the Enrollify podcast to discuss how and why brands need to include disability in their marketing.

Ryan discusses:

Easy ways to learn more about the disability community

Affordable methods to integrate disability into your current marketing plans and communications

Why building a relationship with the disability community is a win-win for everyone.

Listen to the interview: https://podcasts.enrollify.org/the-enrollify-podcast/ep-134-exploring-higher-eds-dei-marketing-gaps-why-universities-need-to-be-more-inclusive-of-the-disability-community

Access our free disability marketing guide.

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This Video Means A lot To Me. I hope it does to you, too.

By Ryan Wilson, Director

Feb. 26, 2022

Every video we produce is special. The stories we hear and tell are magical.

I feel grateful to be in a position of listening to people, and validating their experiences.

We recently had the honor of telling a rather personal story to me. It is the story of the Osteogenesis Imperfecta Foundation. The OIF helps support ground-breaking and even life-changing research for persons living with Osteogenesis Imperfecta like myself.

OI, as it’s commonly called, is a condition that causes one to have brittle bones. In other words, we — well, I — break a lot of bones.

I have broken 50 to 60 bones, in fact.

In our video for the OIF, we highlighted the organization’s long-standing commitment to support ground-breaking research for persons with OI.

The OIF often also brings together the community of us OI-ers for a number of events.

This connecting and learning from others is particularly important for anyone in the disability community.

Even with the tremendous amounts of information we can access online, persons with disabilities may not find that one resource that or person who will change their lives.

But … the OIF makes it so much easier.

If you would like a similar story told about your organization, please reach out.

We are here for you.

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Now Is The Time to Help Disabled People

When we are talking with prospective clients, they, more times than not, don’t understand the importance and significance of supporting the disability community in more ways than is required by law. This is understandable, considering most business owners we talk with don’t have disabilities.


Some businesses do want to help the disability community, but are afraid their lack of knowledge about living with a disability will result in a “PR disaster.” So they will procrastinate on making changes until it is too late. However, with a little practice and understanding anyone can empathy with experiences unlike their own.


The primary goal of Team Trust is to help businesses understand the disability community. We will tell you in great deal why persons with disabilities need certain accomodations, for example, and we’ll share personal stories to deepen your awareness. Additionally, we will share many examples of the disability services that work at businesses like yours and the services that have not worked.


We can and want to help any business excel at tapping into a diverse and large audience that is the disability community. We hear “now isn’t the right time” to address their disability services frequently. If not now, though, then when is? The disability community has waited too long for your help.

To join Team Trust in making a difference, contact info@teamtrustproductions.com.

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Introducing Our Partnership with Catalyst Sports

Team Trust Productions is proud to unveil a partnership with Catalyst Sports. Catalyst Sports is a non-profit organization that changes the lives of persons with disabilities through adapted adventures.

Catalyst Sports is traveling to nine cities across the southeast to introduce individuals with disabilities to adaptive mountain biking. Team Trust is filming this tour, and is producing a short film at each stop.

Here is Team Trust’s first video, filmed in Chattanooga, Ga.

To learn more about Catalyst Sports, go to https://www.catalystsports.org.