After being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2005, this Air Force veteran refused to let MS define her. She has also refused to let her wheelchair confine her. Sylvia has visited 57 countries, 48 of those as a wheelchair user and 34 of those by herself. Her mission is to share information about the accessibility of her destinations with fellow wheelchair users around the world and inspire them to explore the world around them. She only writes about destinations she has personally visited, and as a result provides only authentic and reliable information about a location’s wheelchair accessibility.
Sylvia’s writing about wheelchair accessible travel has been featured in The New York Times, New Mobility magazine, on Lonely Planet, and the Matador Travel Network. She also posts regularly on her award-winning accessible travel blog, Spin the Globe. In November 2017, Sylvia published her first travel photography book, The View from Down Here, and The View from Down Here II was published in January 2019. She has published four accessible travel-related books, including the award-winning solo wheelchair travel memoir What Happened to You?, the award-winning definitive guide Everything You Need to Know About Wheelchair Accessible Cruising, and a book on how wheelchair users can earn money writing from home, Blogging While Disabled.
Sylvia won the title of Ms. Wheelchair USA in July 2016 with a platform of promoting programs that support children of parents with disabilities. This platform grew out of The PreJax Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she founded in November 2015 to provide college scholarships to students affected by MS. As a solo wheelchair traveler, Sylvia continually tries to inform and educate the hospitality sector and businesses large and small about accessibility issues. She has also created a series of PSA-style videos about how to improve accessibility at the local level, one of which has garnered over one million views and counting.
While COVID-19 has temporarily halted Sylvia’s ability to travel, she has found other ways to speak about accessible travel through national video projects with Adobe and Glamour Magazine. She is also a very busy voice actor with a new media company, Wheels Up Media.
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