Catarina Rivera She/Her

Disability Public Speaker & DEI Consultant

Fields of expertise:

Catarina grew up in a Cuban and Puerto Rican family, and Spanish was her first language. She learned the value of diversity from her family. She also developed a passion for making the world a better place. As a young child, she began wearing hearing aids. At 17, she was diagnosed with Usher Syndrome, which includes progressive vision loss. Currently, she has about 5% of her vision remaining.

After graduating from Duke University as a Roberton Scholar, Catarina became a bilingual elementary school teacher in the Bronx through Teach for America. She earned a graduate degree in education from Bank Street College.

After 4 years in the classroom, Catarina became passionate about health and nutrition. She started a community health program in her uptown Manhattan neighborhood. She worked for two large nonprofit organizations and earned a second graduate degree in public health from CUNY School of Public Health-Hunter College where she was the valedictorian of her class.

While her disability was difficult for her in the past, she has now developed disability pride and is empowered by sharing her story. In 2020, Catarina founded Blindish Latina, a platform smashing disability stigmas. She launched a business as a public speaker and DEI consultant focused on disability inclusion in the workplace. She has been featured in Nasdaq, Authority Magazine, and as a top 21 DEI influencer of 2021. She was also named one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices on Disability Advocacy for 2022. Past clients have included HarperCollins Publishers, LinkedIn, Hachette Book Group, Whole30, Grant Thornton, ColorStack, and BCG Digital Ventures. Catarina is a TEDx Speaker and spoke at TEDxRolandPark in June 2022. Catarina is committed to social justice. Catarina is a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies (IAAP).

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