Rolling Entrepreneur and PUSHLiving Publisher Deborah Davis Shares Her Passion for Elevating Others
Deborah Davis is the heart behind the PUSHLiving enterprise and publisher of all content. She is an entrepreneur and a self-proclaimed visionary, connector, supporter, lover, fighter and wisdom seeker. She endured a spinal cord injury in 1985 when she fell asleep at the wheel on a dark, winter road in Maryland after a long day’s work. Deborah resides and runs her business in sunny Florida and is the mother of two exceptional young women.
Deborah Davis had been rolling for over 20 years when she decided she’d had it.
In her early 40’s, she was working long hours as a sales representative for a medical supply company, while juggling life as a single mom and trying to date. And none of it was easy. Her body hurt from the constant travel and transferring and she was tired of encountering unnecessary obstacles at every turn.
She realized she was tired. Tired of fighting an aversion to people with disabilities. Tired of being discriminated against.
Dating, for example, seemed sometimes like an uphill battle. New relationships always required breaking down misconceptions and fears related to her disability, and lack of access in social settings sure didn’t help. “I had to convince people I could actually be a decent girlfriend [despite the wheelchair]. I could go out. I could travel,” Deborah shares.
VIDEO: Acceptance of Loss with Deborah Davis
Speaking at the Push Nation Fest in Tampa, Florida in April 2016, founder of PUSHLiving.com and PUSHLivingPhotos.com, Deborah Davis speaks to the audience about how to rebuild life after spinal cord injury, disability or any other loss.
Around the same time that Deborah was gathering the courage to take the leap to follow her dream, the Sundance Channel’s hit show Push Girls hit the screens. For the first time, there was a show that represented a large segment of our community: successful, happy women who roll with big goals and bold personalities, whom were also concerned with fashion, beauty, dating, careers and building a family.
And just like that, perspectives began to shift a bit. Deborah remembers, “I didn’t have to do all the educating anymore. I could direct people to a show that represented so much of what they didn’t know about me.”
Being a passionate woman with an entrepreneurial spirit, Deborah decided it was time to take action.
She recalls “wanting to make it easier for others to navigate and overcome the lack of understanding and knowledge.” And from that motivation, the vision of PUSHLiving was born.
Filling a Need for Inclusive Imagery
It was 2012 when Deborah Davis created what was then known as PhotoAbility. She launched with 40 photos with a pretty clear mission.
“Our goal is to see disability images become main stream. When that happens, imagine the power that comes with that.”
Deborah envisions a future when the images that represent our community are present in every aspect of our society. If children grow up seeing these images from day one, it will absolutely reduce the aversion to disabilities that people tend to develop when they’re young.
Today, as the leading inclusive imagery website, PUSHLiving Photos has a collection of over 6,000 photos and videos available to advertisers everywhere.They’ve worked with models and photographers with disabilities all over the U.S., and even internationally, and continue to grow their diverse portfolio of images.
If you’re a model who uses a wheelchair or a photographer that’s interested in earning a commission on your sold images through PUSHLiving Photos, shoot them an email to find out more.
If you work for a company that is looking for inclusive images for your PR and advertising, click here!
PUSHLiving: A Disability Magazine that #ElevatesDisability
In 2015, Deborah Davis incorporated PUSHLiving with the desire to be helpful to others. Today, the enterprise includes an online publication, accessible travel concierge and property listings, a virtual store featuring mobility products and, of course, inclusive stock images. Deborah also hosts an educational and uplifting podcast that you can listen to here.
You can find the following promise on PUSHLiving’s website:
- “We will inspire people to travel, to see things differently, and to want to create change.
- We will educate, enlighten and show the way while we transform the thoughts of what people can do, and of what people will expect us to be able to do.
- We will affect what people are prepared to do to make the world “accessible to all”.
- So together, let’s tell the stories, provide the inspiration AND show the way.”
What’s ahead for PUSH Living?
There’s a lot on the horizon for PUSHLiving! They plan on having some new contributors come on board and already have some great content lined up to kick off the new year.
Readers can expect a series for entrepreneurs with disabilities, including valuable business advice, as well as a disability cartoon series. Also, look forward to a relaunch of their website with a national campaign!
Advice for Entrepreneurs
Deborah doesn’t mind being the busy woman she is because she loves her work and is whole-heartedly committed to pursuing all her passions. She says that if someone “really wants” to pursue their dreams, resources exist to make it happen. People are out there that want to help and support you.
Doing what you love can be your greatest gift to the world.
Finding a mentor or group of people you can bounce ideas off of is a great place to start. Deborah was sure to give credit to one of her mentors and role models with a disability – a gentleman by the name of Scott Rains, PhD, creator of the Rolling Rains Report.
His guidance and encouragement was instrumental in Deborah following her heart to create PUSHLiving.
Dr. Rains coined the term “aversion” about disability and describes it as the negative emotions, dislikes or fears that most people are conditioned to have regarding disabilities.
If we work to educate and lift each other up, Deborah believes, we can be much more successful and fulfilled. It takes a village, they say.
“Most of the issues in the disability community we can solve ourselves,” Deborah says. “If we just stick together and support each other’s noblest causes and self-employment business efforts, all those who put in the effort and provide value can succeed. We shouldn’t have to beg for our human rights and money to survive; we have the intelligence and the ability, we just need to form the coalitions to advocate for each other and bring each other UP to financial independence and political power.”
Cure Medical is proud to partner with PUSHLiving in 2018! We appreciate all they do to elevate our community and improve quality of life for their readers. Stay tuned for our joint stories and podcasts.
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