Elise roy - Founder
In 2015, Elise travelled to Leveque, Haiti as a volunteer affiliated with International Deaf Rescue. Leveque was a place that intrigued Elise right away. It was one of the few communities in the world where a large concentration of deaf individuals lived together, and it was a place full of extremes. Extreme poverty, hunger, thirst, illiteracy, unemployment, prejudice, and violence. Initially drawn by the challenge of solving a complex problem, she found herself fall in love with the community almost immediately. Their resilience continues to inspire her today.
When she's not trying to save the world, Elise works as a consultant for her company, Elise Roy & Co, helping organizations analyze problems, products and services from the perspective of people with disabilities to create better solutions that benefit everyone. As she says, "this isn’t about accessibility. It’s about a business necessity. If you want your company to stay ahead of the innovation curve, you need to design for disability because this is where true innovation happens."
Elise has a long history of being involved with the disability community. Before her days as a designer, she worked as a disability rights lawyer where she had the honor of leading NGO's in Article 31 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). She has worked with disability communities from all over the world, including Africa, Southeast Asia, the Gulf, and the Caribbean.
Her 2015 TEDx talk, When We Design for Disability, We All Benefit garnered more than 1.2 million views to date.
Josenel Exalus - Program manager
Josenel joins us as the project manager for Dis/Rupt Leveque. Josenel currently serves as the Vice President of Haiti’s National Association for the Deaf and the President for LeVeque’s Association for the Deaf. Josenel quickly became a well respected leader in the deaf community immediately following the 2010 earthquakes where he was responsible for helping secure food and shelter for the deaf.
Elise and Josenel are joined by a group of volunteers heavily invested in the Haiti deaf community. Dis/Rupt could not do the work they do without their steadfast support. If you would like to learn more about how you could volunteer, please contact us. We are specifically looking for interpreters, experienced field workers, and individuals with business backgrounds.