Mayaan - Photographer, Appmaker, Activist & Entrepreneur
Find Creative ways to live your dream
Mayaan is a passionate photographer, entrepreneur, and disability activist living in Toronto, Canada. Born with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan is a self-taught photographer who believes her photography has benefited from her disability in creating her own signature style. The first time Maayan picked up a camera was on a fieldtrip to New York with her class. As luck would have it her wheelchair broke down and she could not keep up with her classmates, so instead she started taking photos of what she observed.
Mayan went on to study Media at Ryerson University. Today her website boasts an impressive portfolio which is diverse and in particular her portraiture will draw you in, and creates a sense of curiosity about the subject matter.
Mayaan says 'I think my background in media communications, art and in theatre has really influenced my photography. I do all of my own processing in Photoshop and Lightroom before I consider any photo finished.'
When people ask her how she takes photographs she responds that she has used her disability to be creative and seek out different ways of doing things. The fact that her wheelchair can elevate is a huge benefit and allows her to adjust her height for different photos and to engage with people at eye-level. She quips ...."and I can see which ice cream flavours I want at the counter."
Mayaan is now an accomplished photographer who has worked with celebrities, models, and other well-known individuals, and her work has been featured in magazines, galleries, and television. Her work is focused on shedding light on disability, and in 2016 she received the City of Toronto Access Award and the David C. Onley Leadership in Accessibility Award for efforts in improving the quality of life for those with disabilities.
Mayaan the Activist
Frustration can be the mother of Invention
Since Mayaan has used a wheelchair her whole life, she has always had to worry about whether the places she planned to go were wheelchair accessible. Here frustration got to the point as an adult where having to ask the question, “Is it accessible?” became such a hindrance to her life that she decided to do something about it.
Realizing there was an app for practically everything except accessibility and that millions of people could benefit from an app of this nature, Mayaan decided to create AccessNow in 2015.
AccessNow is a crowdsourcing app that is changing the lives of people around the world - it allows users to navigate an interactive map of accessible locations around the world. The app allows users to both search for specific locations with specific accessibility features as well as tag and rate the accessibility of new locations. AccessNow’s goal is to map the accessibility of as many places as possible and develop an international community focused on positive change and improving access for all people with disability. The app currently has 11,538 places pinned in 32 countries, with more places being added continuously.
Since creating AccessNow, she has been a regular advocate in the media for disability inclusion. Mayaan believes that real change will occur when people start an ongoing conversation and work collaboratively instead of fighting back. With AccessNow she is seeking to give people with disability a voice and show that they too are regular people who want to enjoy life like everyone else.
Check out AccessNow at their website or facebook, or download the app through the App Store or Google Play. The app does have some venues rated and pinned in Australia and given the crowdsourcing nature of the app it, the more Australians we can encourage to use it and rate it the better! Please spread the word.
To learn more about Mayaan Ziv and her work, visit her website
Is developing a career in photography one of your NDIS goals? To find out which NDIS registered providers offer photography skills, type in 'photography' into the MyCareSpace browser.