Previous Guest

Aunia Kahn (she/her)

Aunia joined Momma on May 15, 2023 live on Twitch to talk about Thriving with Disabilities

About Aunia

Aunia Kahn is the CEO of Rise Visible. With 24 years in the industry, she is a highly sought-after digital marketer, strategist, designer and public speaker. Rise Visible was named a Top-Ranking Woman-Owned Digital Agency by Clutch and is a certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (DOBE®). Kahn is also an internationally renowned artist and photographer and has been in over 300 exhibitions in 10 countries; at places such as SDAI, iMOCA, and the SLAM. She founded Create for Healing, is the host of the Rise Above Be Visible Podcast and has been featured on Yahoo, Prevention Magazine, Authority Magazine and Entrepreneur on Fire. She also identified as a disabled business owner in STEM surviving and thriving with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (Type 3), MCAS, Dysautonomia, POTS, PTSD, etc.

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References / Things Mentioned During the Stream

Episode Summary

In this insightful episode, we engage in a candid and eye-opening conversation about the often misunderstood and underrepresented world of disabilities, mental health and invisible challenges. Aunia Kahn, who herself deals with invisible disabilities, brings a unique perspective that sheds light on the importance of empathy, understanding and inclusivity.

Our conversation begins with Aunia sharing her journey, highlighting the moment when she recognized her own disabilities, despite her initial hesitance to identify as a disabled person. She underscores the fact that many individuals, like herself, have invisible disabilities that are not immediately apparent to others. This creates a significant gray area in society where people may be dealing with disabilities or mental health issues without visible signs.

Aunia passionately advocates for normalizing the representation of disabled individuals in various aspects of life, including advertising and marketing. She stresses the significance of treating people with disabilities as human beings and emphasizes that they, too, want to be seen and treated as such. This involves engaging in respectful conversations, offering assistance when appropriate and, most importantly, asking for consent before helping.

Our discussion extends to children and the valuable lesson they can teach adults about approaching individuals with disabilities. Aunia points out that children often ask candid questions about disabilities, showing a genuine curiosity, while adults may shy away from such conversations. She encourages adults to adopt a similar curiosity and be open to learning from individuals with disabilities.

One recurring theme throughout the podcast episode is the importance of authenticity. Aunia speaks about her personal experiences, emphasizing the significance of being true to oneself and embracing one's uniqueness. She encourages people to let go of judgments, whether self-imposed or from others, and just be authentic. Authenticity, she believes, fosters a safe space for individuals to thrive and connect.

We talk about self-care and self-acceptance in this episode as well. Aunia shares her self-care routines, which include reaching out to friends, maintaining a balanced lifestyle and seeking help when needed. She advocates for being kind to oneself on challenging days and recognizing that self-improvement is an ongoing journey.

Aunia and I wrap up with a powerful message: everyone has the potential to connect with others when they are authentic. No matter how unique or different you might feel, there will always be someone out there who can connect with and appreciate your authentic self. 

In summary, this podcast episode offers a profound exploration of the world of disabilities and mental health. Aunia's personal experiences and insights serve as a compelling reminder of the importance of empathy, inclusivity and authenticity in our interactions with others. We need a shift in perspective - one that recognizes and respects the experiences of individuals with invisible disabilities, ultimately leading to a more compassionate and understanding society.