Alice Wong (activist)

Alice Wong (born 1974) is a disability rights activist based in San Francisco, California.

Alice Wong
Alice Wong participated at the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act via robot in the White House
Wong at the White House via robot in 2015
OccupationActivist, journalist

Early lifeEdit

Alice Wong was born in the suburbs of Indianapolis, Indiana to parents who had immigrated to the US from Hong Kong.[1] She was born with spinal muscular atrophy, a neuromuscular disorder.[2] Wong stopped walking at the age of 7 or 8.[1]

Wong attended Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis, where she earned a BA in English and sociology in 1997.[3] She received a masters degree from the University of California, San Francisco in medical sociology in 2004.[4]


Wong is the founder and Project Coordinator of the Disability Visibility Project (DVP),[5] a project collecting oral histories of people with disabilities in the US that is run in coordination with StoryCorps. The Disability Visibility Project was created before the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.[6] As of 2018, the project had collected approximately 140 oral histories.[7]

Wong works the Disabled Writers project, which is funded by a grant from Wong and The Disability Project.[8] Disabled Writers is a resource to help editors connect with disabled writers and journalists.[8] #CripLit, is a series of Twitter chats for disabled writers with novelist Nicola Griffith, and #CripTheVote, a nonpartisan online movement encouraging the political participation of disabled people.[9]

Wong serves as an advisory board member for Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC). She was a presidential appointee to the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency which advises the president, Congress, and other federal agencies on disability policies, programs, and practices, from 2013 to 2015.[10][11]

In 2015, Wong attended the reception at the White House for the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act via telepresence robot. She was the first person to visit the White House and the President by robot presence.[12]


For her leadership on behalf of the disability community, Wong received the Mayor’s Disability Council Beacon Award in 2010, the first-ever Chancellor’s Disability Service Award in 2010, and the 2007 Martin Luther King, Jr. Award at her alma mater of UCSF. In 2016, Wong received the 2016 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award, an award for emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the broader cross-disability community.[9] Wong was selected as a Ford Foundation Disability Futures Fellow in 2020.[13] The same year Wong was on the list of the BBC's 100 Women announced on 23 November 2020.[14]


Online articlesEdit

"Finding Dory, Disability Culture, and Collective Access". Disability Visibility Project. Retrieved 9 March 2019.


Disability Visibility podcast


  • Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-First Century
  • Resistance and Hope: Essays by Disabled People


  1. ^ a b Wong, Alice (3 April 2014). "A Mutant from Planet Cripton, An Origin". The Nerds of Color. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  2. ^ Mitzi Baker (2016-03-22). "Alice Wong Wins National Disabilities Organization Award". University of California San Francisco. Retrieved 2017-02-28.
  3. ^ "Alumni & Giving". School of Liberal Arts. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  4. ^ "Sociology graduate Alice Wong publishes NYT Opinion Piece | Sociology Doctoral Program". Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  5. ^ "Alice Wong Sets Out to Chronicle Disability History - NBC News". Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Telling Our Stories: Why I Launched the Disability Visibility Project". 30 July 2015. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  7. ^ "The visibility of disability: an interview with activist Alice Wong". Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  8. ^ a b "About Us – Disabled Writers". Retrieved 2020-10-11.
  9. ^ a b "About". Disability Visibility Project. 2014-06-03. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
  10. ^ Cisneros, Lisa (January 30, 2013). "President Obama Appoints Alice Wong to National Council on Disability". University of California, San Francisco. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  11. ^ Powell, Angel (January 10, 2019). "The visibility of disability: an interview with activist Alice Wong". Retrieved August 14, 2020. I served one term as a member of the National Council on Disability from 2013-2015.
  12. ^ Shumaker, Laura (Jul 22, 2015). "San Francisco's Alice Wong's historical White House visit". Laura Shumaker. Retrieved Nov 24, 2020.
  13. ^ "Disability Futures Fellows". Ford Foundation. Retrieved 2020-11-03.
  14. ^ "BBC 100 Women 2020: Who is on the list this year?". BBC News. 2020-11-23. Retrieved 2020-11-23.