My name is Marshall Hohmann and I have Quadriplegic, non-verbal Cerebral Palsy.
I knew from a very young age that I had something to say. I felt that my purpose in life was to create positive change for special needs persons with disabilities like my own. My experience living with cerebral palsy motivated me to pursue an avenue of working in multiple research teams and societies that support the unique needs of people with disabilities. Having been given the voice to do so with my Augmentative Communication device, I have set out on a journey to educate the public. Teaching them that it is one’s ability NOT disability that makes the person. My passion is to give a voice to those that cannot speak for themselves.
My burning desire to share my lived experience with others, especially youth, led me to a 10-year stint as the Ability Awareness Presenter for Grandview Children Centre. In this role, I have presented to a wide range of community groups across the Durham region and the GTA, striving to help others understand that every individual deserves an equal opportunity to succeed in this world, which becomes attainable through community awareness, accessibility, advocacy and inclusiveness. By sharing my life challenges, as well as achievements, I hope to inspire others to work towards a more diverse, inclusive, and accessible community.
I began mentoring children who also had a voice output system, and soon realized that the only way to make a change was to educate and I began to put together presentations. I have given presentations across the region in educational facilities and various levels of government about the importance of awareness, accessibility and inclusiveness.
I have worked in the research department at Bloorview Kids Rehab for the Canadian Institute for Health Research Team working on optimal environments for severely disabled youth. I also worked at the Ontario College of Art and Design, as part of the team who developed cell phones for nonverbal users. I recently participated in the Scotia Bank Harbourfront Marathon and am a member of the International Society for Augmentative and Alternative Communication.
I’m striving to do more speaking at the elementary school level to teach them early about awareness, advocacy and inclusion. Hopefully my education will create understanding and empathy within the school settings. When they reach high school, their hearts will remain in the right place, and they will be allies and friends to those of different abilities.
Disabled doesn’t mean you can’t do something. It just means you do things differently.
You can do anything that you put your mind to!
I’d love to hear from you!
Durham Region | Ontario, CA