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Summer 2017 Fellows standing or seated in wheelchairs, smiling and posing for the camera

Katie Townes, Communications Apprentice

Nation Leadership Program, Fall 2017

RespectAbility fellow Katie Townes smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner

Katie Townes

Katie Townes was a Communications Apprentice in RespectAbility’s National Leadership program. Here she began her journey as an advocate for people with disabilities who dream of working in Hollywood, or in their everyday lives.

Townes earned her Bachelor’s Degree at The City College of New York. She majored in art with a concentration in Graphic Design. She enjoys photography, video games, wood burning, knitting, and drawing. Her favorite medium to use in art is charcoal.

Before beginning her journey with RespectAbility, Townes was the vice president of her college club Access Future. The club’s purpose was for students with and without disabilities to come together and talk about school or daily lives. This club allowed people without disabilities to interact with people who have different disabilities, which helps break any stigma that people without disabilities may have about any disability. Access Future is actually what began her journey to advocacy. In the club, she felt comfortable for the first time and in a judgment-free zone.

After college, Townes continued her advocacy work online through Twitter. She created a community for gamers with disabilities under the handler name “GW_disabilities.” This community was created for gamers who have different disabilities. The community was a safe place for people with a common interest, while making friends.

Townes wants to be an advocate because she wants more people to feel not like “the only one.” In the future she sees herself creating a blog and other social media platforms for people with and without disabilities to come together and meet. She wants to change people’s perspective so they can see that even with a disability, a person is still able to do anything a person without a disability can do but maybe even better.


RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for and with people with disabilities. Learn more about the National Leadership Program and apply for the next cohort! Contact [email protected] for more information.



Meet the Author

Katie Townes

Katie Townes is a Communications Fellow at RespectAbility and a graduate of City University of New York City College. She wants to break perceived thoughts people might have about a person with a disability. She created a platform for gamers with and without disabilities to come together in a judgement-free environment.

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