Name: Daman Wandke
Education: Western Washington University (Masters of Business Administration)
Occupation: Founder of Access Travel
What disability do you have?
Why did you start this business?
I travel a lot and what I have noticed was that when I went to hotels and different places, they only had 1 option for handicap people and I know that everyone is different. So I created a solution that can cater to 37 needs.
We are collecting data on the hotels so that we can match hotels who can cater to different disability needs.
Though we focus on people with disabilities, we also allow anyone to book hotels on our website.
How are you so young and producing this kind of work?
I have always been involved in school. In college, there were 200 clubs, but there were no clubs for disability students so I created one.
I have really put myself out there from a young age. I do everything I can to grow awareness for those with disabilities.
Networking has been key to me.
What kind of productivity tools do you use?
– Google Drive
Who do you model yourself off?
Justin Dart who became a paraplegic from polio.
He is known as the father of American with disabilities act. It is a civil right law for people with disability. He traveled all around the U.S. collecting the stories from people with disabilities about why disability rights are important.
What advice would you give to someone with an acquired disability?
There is this idea of normal. People who are born with disability see their handicap as normal but someone who acquires a disability doesn’t see it as normal.
My advice to him/her would be to get involved in the disability culture. Find ways to continue doing what you like to do.
Don’t let this stop you.
How do you define success?
It is not about the money. It is being able to impact others and your community.
What’s your strategy when you hit rock bottom?
Surround myself with good people. I really enjoy being by the water. I live in a small city by the water and I will take every opportunity I can to get down to the waterfront. I get energy simply by being by the water.
What book are you reading right now?
Hit Refresh – Satya Nadella (CEO of Microsoft)
His son was born with cerebral palsy and because of him, Microsoft is doing a lot of great work in the area of accessibility.
Thank you Daman Wandke for taking the time to interview with Influence Digest