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David Sharif

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

David Sharif smiling headshot

David Sharif

David Sharif is a global autism advocate and motivational speaker for the world of neurodiversity. Born in Los Angeles, he graduated valedictorian from a multi-disciplinary school administered by The Help Group, and became its first student to attend a four-year university out of state. A Magna Cum Laude graduate of Pace University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Peace & Justice Studies, Sharif spent most of his undergraduate life traveling abroad carrying his learning differences to new educational environments. He was a member of the award-winning Model United Nations team participating in global negotiations, delivering impromptu speeches. Sharif is a recipient of the Indelible Mark Student Award, given to a student who leaves a legacy of outstanding contributions that significantly and positively influence the Pace student community. In his senior year, he received a research grant to conduct a study titled, “The Challenges and Successes of Post-Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” which he presented at several conferences. Sharif is also an alum of Pace’s Oasis program, a comprehensive support setting for students with learning differences and is one of their strongest advocates. He currently works for a large New York City based non-profit serving neurodiverse adults in building fulfilling lives and has attended conferences with other New York state non-profits that strive for disability rights.

Sharif has been a long time member of Kehillat Israel in Pacific Palisades, California. For his mitzvah project, he wrote a speech on what it is like to be autistic and gave it at multiple schools throughout Los Angeles. It was later made into a claymation video titled, “My Name is David.” He also attended Camp Havaya, a Reconstructionist overnight camp, where he discovered the magic of everlasting friendships, traveled to Israel for a month, and worked as a camp counselor.

Sharif has traveled to forty countries in five of the seven continents in the world, and shares his autism journey and worldwide expeditions on his platform, “Venturing Incredible Abilities.” Sharif’s passion is sharing his experiences to transform people’s perceptions of autism. Since the pandemic, Sharif has been a guest on three podcasts Autism Knows No Borders, For All Abilities, and Abilities in Motion and looks forward to in-person engagements.

About RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau

RespectAbility’s National Disability Speakers Bureau offers diverse speakers with disabilities to teach about disability inclusion; and/or to offer their expertise in an array of topics, ranging from Art and Entertainment to Entrepreneurship, Education, Finance, Law, Psychology, Religion (of many faiths) and every vocation in between. Our Speakers Bureau and its divisions are expanding. If this is of interest to you or you know a professional with a visible or nonvisible disability who might be interested, you (or she/he/they) can email Speakers@RespectAbility.org.

Meet the Author

Eric Ascher
Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

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