Dawson College grad with non-verbal cerebral palsy making a difference for others with disabilities

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WATCH: Bradley Heaven addressed hundreds of students at Dawson College on Monday to talk about his journey with cerebral palsy and how he’s making a difference for others with disabilities – Feb 3, 2020

Bradley Heaven has overcome a lot of barriers just to be able to be at Dawson College on Monday for a social science week presentation in front of hundreds of students.

Heaven, 23, was born with non-verbal cerebral palsy. Last fall, he graduated from Dawson College, and he says the decision to go there was an easy one.

“When we arrived at Dawson, we were greeted at the door and were shown to the accessibility booth,” he said.

During his time at the school, Heaven was loved by his fellow students and teachers. His former teacher, Sarah Beer, says the new grad and his assistant were academic game-changers for Heaven’s fellow students.

“What they really brought to the class was that they opened up the eyes of the other students,” Beer said.

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Heaven and his assistant, Danny O’Connor, met in 2010. Ever since then, they have been attached at the hip.

The duo hangs out all day and plays video games together. Their friendship has grown, and they started a YouTube channel two years ago and a website called All Access Life. The All Access Life YouTube channel takes an in-depth look at the life, friendship and journeys that Heaven and O’Connor share, while the website showcases the impact technology has had on Heaven’s life.

The two realized how difficult it can be to keep up with accessible gadgets currently on the market, so their goal was to create a website that updates its audience on the latest trends and movements in accessible technology, apps and general information.

READ MORE: Boy with cerebral palsy learns to skateboard in powerful video

Heaven is non-verbal. He communicates through eye movements and body gestures with the help of a computer.

After he was done his presentations at Dawson College on Monday, he allowed students and others in the audience a chance to try the sophisticated eye-tracking system he uses to communicate.

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Students were amazed and impressed by the technology.

“I had no idea about the eye thing at all. It’s amazing, though, how fast he’s capable of making videos and discovering this new technology,” said Clara Bajraktari, a third-year social science student. “I mean, we were watching it. We’re literally crying; it’s amazing how much there is out there for them.”

All Access Life was started with the motivation to change the world for people with disabilities. Both are hoping to grow All Access Life to impact the lives of people with disabilities all over the world.

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