Anna Johannes: Inclusion Without Equity Leaves Us Behind

Credit: Katherine Taylor
Savanna Collins
Jun 08, 2022

Anna Johannes is a 2012 Paralympic bronze medalist and disability inclusion advocate. 

Since she was young, Anna Johannes has competed in both able-bodied and Paralympic events in swimming.

She was born without her left hand and forearm but has never let that absence stop her from being competitive. Swimming became her career; she participated in the Paralympic Games and won a bronze medal at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London.

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Currently, she works at Porter Novelli on the internal marketing team. She serves as a leader for the Disability Inclusion Task Force and is the DE&I champion for the Boston office. She is also a part of Porter Novelli’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Advisory Services Counsel.

Her talk focused on how the athletic opportunities she encountered were due to work-around systems and coaches who purposefully accommodated her. She explains that she succeeded not because of institutions working in her favor but because she was able to hang on to the edge with “hard work, determination and a little bit of luck”.

You can watch Johannes’ full TEDxBoston talk below:

Over 15% of the world's population is born with a disability yet only a fraction of us compete in sports.
Anna Johannes

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