Juliana Carvalho was born in 1981 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. When she was 19, a spinal cord inflammation left her in a wheelchair.
Instead of feeling sorry for herself, she turned this life-changing event into an amazing opportunity for growth and development. Juliana created and presented the Brazilian public television show Make a Difference, which promotes Human Rights and respect for diversity. She is the author of the Comedies of Crippled Life blog and also collaborated with the media group RBS to create the blog No Barriers, addressing topics pertaining to accessibility.
She produced and directed the award-winning short film If the Eyes Cannot See, The Legs Cannot Feel (2008) and won the Award for Best True Story from Marie Claire magazine Brazil (2012) for an essay on her sexual rediscovery after becoming paraplegic. Juliana coordinated the first two editions of Movimento Superação (Overcome’s Parade - celebrates diversity, timed to commemorate the International Day of People with Disabilities) in her native state in Brazil.
Juliana's autobiography In My Chair or Yours? was published by Terceiro Nome in 2010. Her inspiring story made headlines across her native Brazil. Garnering a strong public response, her book sold more than 30,000 copies and has been distributed to public schools throughout the country by the Ministry of Education. Major television networks have interviewed Juliana, and before long she had become a spokeswoman for the inclusion movement.
Her book is now available in English on Amazon.
In 2012, Juliana moved to New Zealand to join her mum, brother, and sisters. She worked for 3 years for the Health and Disability Commission (HDC). Juliana currently is leading a campaign to change the NZ immigration policy that discriminates on disability or health grounds. Her petition has gathered more than 28K signatures and made international headlines.
To learn more and contact her, visit www.juliana.co.nz