Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

A Message on Ryan’s Gratitude for Life

An open space with tables and chairs.

By Ryan Wilson

Team Trust

Recently, I came across this picture.

I haven’t seen it since I was in the hospital last year.

I believe my mom took this photo to show me what the cafeteria area of the St. Louis Children’s Hospital looked like.

I had been in the ICU there for a few days.

I had fallen out of my wheelchair, and needed surgery.

The surgery took a turn for the worse, and I was unconscious for three days.

Once I came to, I was looking for the outside world.

When I first ventured to this cafeteria (in the picture), I vividly remember two things: watching a man helping a little girl (presumably his daughter) and a fish tank.

The little girl was in a hot pink manual wheelchair. Her chair was shaped similar to one of my manual chairs, and it, just like hers, gives off the hospital-wheelchair vibe.

I remember seeing this girl, thinking of all the athlete-friends I have in wheelchairs, and, of course, feeling deeply grateful for all those who have helped me.

As my parents grabbed my food, I sat alone at the table, under a cluster of drugs, and with no functioning limb.

I thought to myself:

“What am I doing? So many disabled people have helped me. I need to make sure I help many disabled kids just like her.”

A few minutes earlier, the fish tank took my breath away.

It was remarkably colorful, and the fish, shimmying up, down and around a bright blue tank, looked so alive.

That, I admit, almost made me tear up.

I was — and still am — so grateful to be alive.

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on Leave a comment

How Trust Is Life or Death For Persons with Disabilities

Ryan Wilson poses with two occupational therapists in a hospital room.

By Ryan Wilson,

Team Trust, CEO

I am led to believe some persons with disabilities might have a more critical take on trust.

There are times when we have to rely on people, even strangers, to help us with very personal tasks, and I think we are all probably well aware of the inherent risks of such a level of trust.

When I transitioned to college, I, truthfully, had not spent much time away from my parents.

My mom and dad were always by my side, making sure I was safe and secure.

That was not the case when I lived in a dorm.

Mom and dad were an hour and a half away, and I had to immediately learn how to tell complete strangers how to lift me out of my wheelchair.

If they dropped me, I could break many, many bones.

So it was kind of a life-or-death situation.

This is not a rare scenario for a portion of persons with disabilities, especially if you have fragile bones like I do, but it does open our eyes to what really matters:

Trust. Security. Safety.

If I don’t trust you, you aren’t lifting me.

And if you don’t trust you, you aren’t lifting me.

Regardless of how physically strong you are.

Posted on 1 Comment

Ryan: Why My Shaq-Sized Wish Changed

A young Ryan is pictured with Shaquille O'Neal

I grew up in the middle of central Illinois.

It seemed I was the only disabled kid in the entire county, although that is not statistically accurate.

I was a huge Shaquille O’Neal fan.

He was my guy, my hero.

Super big, relatable and kind of funny.

I watched every NBA game with Shaq, and I dreamt of playing alongside Shaq, winning NBA titles like never before.

But, as I watched his games, I saw something that dimmed my Shaq-sized dreams.

It was the commercials of kids who looked like me, and even had my disability.

They were always shown in hospitals, wrapped in bandages like a mummy, plugged into a number of devices, and surrounded by friends and family as if the end was near.

Honestly, I know what it’s like to be that kid in the hospital

I did not need or want to see reminders of my days in the hospital.

Rather, what I needed as a kid was to see kids who looked like me living the dream I had.

Playing basketball.

And winning.

After developing personal relationships with many Paralympic athletes in the U.S. and around the world, I realized disabled people can play basketball, and we can win a lot.

A woman is shown pushing her black wheelchair racing chair.
When I spent time with Paralympic athletes, like Amanda McGrory (shown), my perspective on my own dreams changed

That’s why I created Team Trust: to show — and prove — that disabled people, sure, endure some challenges, but we also have very, very awesome lives.

To learn why and how to easily integrate disability into your marketing, check out our free disability marketing guide.

Consumers want brands to show diversity in their ads.

Diversity includes disability.

Posted on Leave a comment

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.

Posted on 1 Comment

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.

Posted on 1 Comment

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.