A Valentine’s Day Special

It’s February, and Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. So, we decided to mark this time of year by inviting Dan and Viola Dwyer on the show. They are a married couple, and we invited them on Disability Rap to talk about their marriage and common misconceptions about people with disabilities in relationships.

At the age of nine, Dan was in a hit and run accident that left him in a coma for three months and resulted in a Traumatic Brain Injury that he lives with today. Throughout his elementary and high school years, he attended Widener Memorial School in Philadelphia, learning alongside children with physical and developmental disabilities. This experience taught him how to love others and empathize with them. He studied Political Science at Edinboro University and sought a career in government.

Viola was born with a genetic, neuromuscular disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). She grew up using a wheelchair and continues to do so to this day. She attended the same elementary school, Widener Memorial School, as Dan, her husband, but they missed each other by one year! She studied Entrepreneurship and International Relations at Johns Hopkins University and pursued a career in financial services. After working in various roles within the financial services industry, she went back to school to earn an MBA from Duke University.

Last year, Dan and Viola started a YouTube channel called The Ginchiest, where they talk about disability experiences and what these experiences teach people about being human. They are working to create a society where differences are intriguing and accepted, not shameful and feared. Keep an eye on their YouTube channel for an upcoming video with FREED’s very own Carl Sigmond and Brian Snyder. They will be discussing emergency preparedness for people with disabilities.

Here’s their video, 10 Seconds to Love, that we play a clip from on the show.