Although freedom means many things to Andraéa LaVant, one definition recently became a reality to her.
My power wheelchair that I’d had for over seven years began to malfunction,” Andraéa said. “I’d grown accustomed to the independence that the push of a button could bring.”
Andraéa resides in Tempe, Arizona. She has with spinal muscular atrophy, requiring a mobility device for daily living activities. Without her power chair, Andraéa couldn’t go places, complete MRADLs or even work the same hours.
“I spent many days working from the side of my bed and foregoing activities that made my life so rich,” Andraéa said.
Enter the 4Front® 2 Power Chair! Andraéa loves the maximum speeds of 6.25 mph, as well as the backup camera and her Raspberry Beret and White Satin color combination. She also loves the safe seat elevation on her wheelchair, which allows her to elevate 10 inches for activities such as cooking or transferring.
“My wheelchair is my means for independence,” Andraéa said. “I use a wheelchair full-time, so it’s what enables me to work, travel, spend time with friends and family, and everything in between.”
The Netflix Documentary “Crip Camp”
Andraéa’s busy career keeps her on the go! She worked as an impact producer on the Netflix documentary, “Crip Camp.” She and her team produced campaigns that maximized the reach and impact of the film. And what an impact it made!
“Crip Camp,” which was executive produced by Barack and Michelle Obama, follows the story of a group of teenagers who attended Camp Jened in the 1970s. Located in the Catskills in New York, Camp Jened was a utopia, offering individuals a place where they could experience liberation and full inclusion. This groundbreaking camp impacted lives so much that a group of alumni joined the radical disability rights movement to advocate for historic legislation changes. The film demonstrates that inspirations during youth can lead to world-changing results.
“Crip Camp” was nominated for an Oscar in 2021 for Best Documentary Feature. Although the film did not win an Oscar, it’s still a win for the disability community. Andraéa is proud of her team and the role they played in leading the “Crip Camp” impact campaign. She celebrated many achievements that night, including becoming the first visibly disabled black woman on the red carpet.
Working as a Disability Consultant
In addition to her work in making “Crip Camp” a success, Andraéa is passionate about cultivating community cultures that are inclusive of disabled people. She is the founder of LaVant Consulting, a company that shapes the way the world reaches, views and values disabled people. In her role as an inclusion specialist, Andraéa works on programs that support youth and adults with disabilities and other underserved populations, including black, indigenous and people of color (BIPOC).
“I am inspired by my peers within our community that continue to fight daily to ensure disabled BIPOC folks are at the center of every movement and conversation,” Andraéa said.