Today’s featured guest is Catarina Rivera A.K.A. @blindishlatina is a disability advocate, public speaker and DEI consultant. We caught up with her to learn some fun facts about her day-to-day life and interests.
Q. Tell us about the service and or good you provide? I'm a disabled public speaker and DEI consultant. I work with companies and organizations to advance disability awareness, inclusion, and accessibility. I offer keynotes, workshops, presentations, talks, and consulting. I'm also a disability lifestyle content creator on Instagram with my @BlindishLatina platform.
Q. What should my audience look forward to when doing business with you? When doing business with me, everyone should know that I show up authentically and passionately. I care about what I do. I'm honest about what my areas of expertise are. I'm consistent in my message and approach. I always follow up and continue conversations. I'm also confident in the value I provide.
Q. What was the last good book you read? I read "On Being Heumann" which is a memoir by Judy Heumann. She's a prominent disability rights activist and was featured in the Netflix documentary Crip Camp. The book was very well-written, and I appreciated how she told the story of the disability rights movement alongside her life journey.
Q. What are your top 3 stress relievers? 1. Exercise 2. Salsa dancing (even though I don't get to do it as often as I would like) 3. Drinking tea
Q. What is one thing that you have to do every day? Every morning, I have to start my day with green tea.
Q. What do you enjoy doing during your free time? Traveling, dancing, exercising, trying new restaurants, spending time with loved ones, and going to art museums or exhibits.
Q. Biggest accomplishment to date? My biggest accomplishment is taking Blindish Latina from an idea to a legitimate business and brand. In January 2021, I started working on my LinkedIn and Instagram strategy. I've grown my LinkedIn audience by 185% this year and my Instagram audience by 1600%. I launched my public speaking and DEI consulting offerings in July 2021 and have worked with over 30 clients now. It's amazing to see your vision happening in real life.
Q. Do you listen to podcasts? If so, what are your faves? I don't listen to a lot of podcasts because I'm hard of hearing and I prefer to read instead of listen to audio-only content. Many podcasts unfortunately do not offer transcripts of their episodes.
Q. If you could have dinner and invite 5 guests of your choice (anyone in the world, dead or alive) who would it be & why? 1. Frida Kahlo because she's my favorite artist and if you know anything about her life, you know she would make it a memorable party! 2. Molly Burke. She's a blind YouTuber with almost 2 million subscribers. I'd love to meet her and learn more about her journey as a creator. 3. Oprah. I just want to talk to Oprah and she's a badass business leader. 4. Solange. I love Solange's music and she seems like such a creative force. My hope is that Solange would sing after dinner. 5. Jennifer Lopez. I respect her as an artist, actress, and businessperson. She seems like she'd be a lot of fun to hang out with and I'd love to learn from her too. Okay, now I need this dinner party to happen. It would be legendary!
Q. Where's the furthest place you've ever traveled? The furthest away in terms of flight time was Hong Kong, But the trips that pushed me out of my comfort zones were Bulgaria and Honduras. I didn't know what to expect when I traveled to both of these countries, and they were amazing experiences.
Q. If you could tell the 18 yrs old you one thing, what would it be? I was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome at 17 years old. This meant I would be losing my vision progressively over time and there is no cure. I felt very upset about my diagnosis at the time and struggled with my disability identity for years after that. Now I'm in a place of disability pride and I feel so empowered. Looking back at my 18-year-old self, I feel so much love and compassion for the struggle I was going through at the time. I would tell myself: "Being disabled is beautiful. Connect with the disability community. Learn about disability history and disability justice. Know that you'll still be able to live an amazing life, and don't be afraid of your future."
Q. Where else can my audience find you? My website is www.catarinarivera.com and I'm on Instagram @BlindishLatina (www.instagram.com/blindishlatina) and on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/catarinarivera). Looking forward to connecting with you!