Disability inclusion

Don’t ‘Dis’ My Ability

What’s it like living with a physical disability? We understand that a person may use a wheelchair, but what does that really mean on a daily basis?

This week Nicole Demos talks honestly about living with a disability. Nicole opens up, not only about her own emotional journey, but how she’s been able to use her life experiences to better serve the students she teaches in special education.

In listening to Nicole, you will learn how to be inclusive about disability why visibility is so important, and when not to be ‘helpful’.

Nicole Demos is proud to be a disabled third culture kid herself with over 25 years of experience in the US and overseas. She holds an M.A in Education from the University of Connecticut, an M.Ed in International Counseling and is currently enrolled in a pilot Social Emotional Behavioral Wellbeing Certificate also from Lehigh University. For the past ten years, Nicole has been a Learning Support teacher for students in grades 6-12 at the International School of Helsinki. Advocacy, Inclusion and Social Emotional Wellbeing are core beliefs that Nicole values and implements daily.

Nicole is also a SENIA Europe Board Member and seeks to spread awareness regarding inclusion for all in education. Spending time with loved ones and her toy poodle Sisu, singing, reading, traveling and cooking are Nicole’s hobbies when she is not at work.


DeMystifying Disability by Emily Ladau

Disability Visibility First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century – edited by Alice Wong

Crip Camp – Documentary

Being Huemann: An Unrepentant Memoir of A Disability Rights Activist by Judith Huemann and Kristen Joiner

Nina Tame – The Disabled Step-Mum you never knew you needed 

Find Nicole at

Follow Cath at Drawn to a Story

Episode information

Music by Grant McLachlan

6 thoughts on “Don’t ‘Dis’ My Ability

  1. Nicole, you are truly exceptional and ISH is lucky to have you. As a parent of one of your former students I can’t thank you enough for the support and encouragement you gave both her and myself. You believe in your students and your belief in them brings them success. I’m lucky to know you as a teacher, a colleague and a friend. Bravo Nicole!

    1. Kris, your words and friendship nourish my heart. Thank you for your trust in me, with your beautiful daughter, and you. I am lucky to be at ISH and work beside you.

    2. Kris,
      Thank you for listening. Nicole is pretty special isn’t she? I loved reading your comments.

  2. Nicole, enjoyed listening very much. It has been wonderful watching you support the kids at school and help them have a terrific experience and help them grow.
    Our friendship has always given me great support and a ‘safe place’.

    1. Gerry,
      So pleased you enjoyed listening! It must be a privilege to watch her work at school and see the impact of her passion to help kids.


    2. Gerry – humbled to work with you and the many students who have learned, grown and succeeded in our ‘safe space’ . Wouldn’t do anything else

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