Debra Ruh received her call to action when she was told by so-called “experts” that her daughter, Sara, who was born with Down Syndrome (Trisomy 21), would never walk or talk. She refused to accept the prognosis and perception of this condition. Driven by her unshakeable faith in the power of human potential and the love for her daughter, Debra was determined to dedicate her life to create a path to empowerment and the success for all those with disabilities. Her husband aged into disabilities due to a TBI sustained when he was hit by a drunk driver as a child. Sadly, his brain aged into Dementia due to the TBI.
Debra had built a multi-million-dollar firm focused on ICT accessibility. Debra was convinced that "the real disability is being unable to see human potential" formed Ruh Global Communications. This new firm focuses on Global Disability Inclusion Strategies, Digital Marketing, and Branding among many other services.
Debra consults with Multi-National and National Corporations and the United Nations. Debra is now internationally renowned global keynote speakers and travels the world inspiring and advocating for governments and corporations to include people with disabilities.
Debra Ruh is an active public figure and she was invited to address the United Nations General Assembly at the Conference of State Parties 9th session (COSP9) by the President’s office of the UN on May 13, 2016. More recently Debra was selected to support the United Nations (UN), International Labor Organization´s (ILO), Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN). Additionally, in 2018 the U.S. State Department selected Debra Ruh as a global speaker and ambassador for the United States when visiting foreign nations and speaking on inclusion and disability. Selected as a Global Goodwill Ambassador in 2018.
Proud to serve on the board of directors and board officer for World Institute on Disabilities (WID) – 2018 to Present. Board of Advisors for AI in Women and Ethics.
Honored to be an Ambassador for these amazing organizations.
• Business Disability Forum (UK): 2019 to present
• Valuable 500 (Global): 2018 – to present
• Purple Light Up (UK): 2019 to present
Debra is a recognized global influencer, frequently interviewed by various media outlets and she has gathered a significant presence on many social media platforms, with over 400,000+ followers across all mediums. Co-founder of the award winning #AXSChat one of the world’s largest tweet chats with over 8 billion+ tweets.
Named the “Top 5% of Social Media Influencers”, #11 in “Global Digital Influencers by Digital Scouts in April 2020”, and “Top 0.1% of people talking about Disability Inclusion and Accessibility” by KLOUT and KRED. Named #11 in Digital Scouts Top #100 Global Digital Influencers in 2020, 2019 & 2018.
Debra Ruh Selected Speaking Engagements Links
WITI Keynote, December 2020
Future Governments & Cities: Road to Smart Inclusive Cities, December 2020
Access Israel, Sept, Oct, Nov and Dec 2020
China ILO Global Business and Disability Network, December 2020
Fortune – Tech4All, November 2020
Business Disability Forum (BDF), November 2020
AI Women and Ethics, November 2020
NDEAM, Disability Inclusion for Flex Technologies, October 2020
Global Innovation Summit, October 2020
Creating a Culture of Inclusivity, September 2020
mEnable, September 2020
Women in AI Ethics and Inclusion, August 2020
Work Trends – Power of Disability, March 2020
Business Disability Forum, Podcast Jan and Feb 2020
International Paralympics Committee, Germany, December 2019
International Labor Organization, Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) in Geneva, Switzerland November 2019.
US Government: Interagency Forum on Accessibility, Oct 2019
Citi Financial, NY, Oct 2019
Huawei Connections, Shanghai China, September 2019
International Labor Organization, Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) in Geneva, Switzerland, November 2017:
Macau Inclusion Conference 2018: https://www.facebook.com/inclusionconferencemacau/videos/2083747991908024/
The Agenda with Steve Paikin – Canada TV Interview with Debra Ruh – 2015
The Ability of Disability
UN General Assembly: a Panel discussion on “Disability-Inclusive Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)” Dec. 03, 2014 (section 42:10 through 54:20):
Debra Ruh Selected Awards / Achievements
• Shortlisted as CEO Today Magazine’s Women CEO of 2021. December 2020
• Selected as Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame 2019 from National Disability Mentoring Coalition
• Named as US Expert partner for The Valuable 500
• Debra Ruh named #15 in Digital Scouts – Top #100 Global Digital Influencers
• AXSChat wins the #DES2018 Best Digital Campaign Award – Digital Enterprise Show. European Digital Mindset Awards 2018 – Digital Transformation
• Debra Ruh named Global Goodwill Ambassador in January 2018.
• Debra Ruh named as #38 in Global “Top 50” 2018 Data Science Influencers in The Fintech Community. buff.ly/2GCOmnV pic.twitter.com/DxURL1WZla
• In 2018, the US The State Department selected Debra Ruh as a global speaker and ambassador for the United States when visiting foreign nations and speaking on inclusion and disability.
• In 2017 Debra was selected as the United States representative for the United Nations (UN), International Labor Organization´s (ILO), Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN).
• Debra Ruh Named as “Top 5% of Social Media Influencers” and “Top 0.1% of people talking about Disability Inclusion and Accessibility” by KLOUT for 2018, 2017, and 2016
• Debra Ruh ranked #6 in "Global Online Influencers" 2018, ranked in the Global Top #10 since 2015 by Rise Market Insight
• Debra Ruh ranked "Top 100 Digitalization Influencers in 2018 and 2017" by Digital Scouting
• Debra Ruh included in the “Top 50 Over 50 Global Marketing & Though Leaders for 2016” by Brand Quarterly
• "Top #5 Social Media Influencer in Accessibility, Social Media, Disability Inclusion, Social Good and Digital Inclusion" in 2018, 2017, and 2016 by SocialFav
• Ruh Global Communications was Awarded “Business Excellent Winner: Strategic Digital Marketing Firm of the Year by the 2016 AI Awards”
• Debra Ruh named as a finalist in the “Global Women in IT Awards Women in IT Awards” by Information Age magazine in 2016
• Federal Computer Week’s Fed Top 100 Award, 2008;
• Wells Fargo and NAWBO (National Association of Women Business Owners), Trailblazer Award, 2007
Debra Ruh – Published Books
• “Inclusion Branding: Revealing Secrets to Maximize ROI” Published March 29th, 2018 http://a.co/hzMRsxp (Now available in Spanish, Arabic, and Audible – 2019)
• “Uncovering Hidden Human Capital: How leading corporations leverage multiple abilities in their workforce.” Published May 2016, Publisher: G3ict http://tinyurl.com/hnvzswu
• “Finding Your Voice by Using Social Media” Published on Amazon March 2013, revised April 2015, http://ow.ly/kxglR
Debra Ruh Hosted Weekly Radio Shows
• Human Potential at Work filmed Live on Facebook. Then the audio becomes a podcast and is placed on over 35 channels including iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, I Heart Radio and Empower Radio http://www.ruhglobal.com/podcasthuman-potential-work/. The Show is watched in 86 countries and 113 regions with downloads hitting a high of 20,000 downloads and views for some episodes. Audience of over 200,000 listens.
• AXSChat – One of the worlds largest tweet chat in the world with over 8+ billion tweets.
AXSChat is held every Tuesday at 3pmET and 8pm London Time. www.AXSChat.com
Speech Topics with Descriptions.
1. Aging in place.
Debra is a recognized expert in why aging employees are valuable, and how they can impact not only a brand´s bottom line but also brand loyalty. Debra explains how to work with aging employees and help them stay relevant and productive in the workplace.
Debra explores how technologies like AI, Robotics, Wearables and other newer technologies and communications can support people with disabilities, and the people that are aging and acquiring disabilities continue to age in place, thrive and be included in every aspect of society including education, employment, transportation, and other segments of society. Understanding how to navigate technologies, including voice devices and other AI/Machine Learning technologies can support the empowerment of our community and reduce digital divide and the built barriers and enhance digital inclusion.
3. Navigating Disability Requirements.
Debra Ruh is a well-known expert in the disability and inclusion space. She can guide corporations, universities, agencies and governments on how to be compliant and embrace the community of People with Disabilities without being concerned about being sued for wrongful termination or failing the ADAAA Physical Accessibility Requirements.
4. Inclusion Branding.
Debra Ruh recently published her 3rd book on that topic, explaining how brands can learn to engage with the Community of Persons with Disabilities and other minorities in creating solid ROI and positive social impact.
5. Digital Divide and Digital Inclusion
Debra analyzes the importance of inclusion and diversity in the efforts we are making to reduce the Digital Divide and Digital Inclusion. She explains the economic impact, and social factors with regard to the access and use of ICTs.
6. Women´s Rights and Disability Inclusion.
Debra Ruh and her daughter Sara Ruh (diagnosed with Trisomy 21, Down´s Syndrome), are both fierce advocates for women with disabilities all over the world who are shamed, bullied, raped, murdered, and treated as if they do not matter. They discuss how it is past time for all women to be empowered and to support all genders.
7. Return on Investment (ROI) of Inclusion and Diversity.
Debra Ruh has a unique position as a market influencer and advocate to speak about how Inclusion and Diversity initiatives have proven benefits; nevertheless, the best efforts are those that fit the overall company strategy and the design of their programs into their business model, policy, and culture. Understanding this is essential, and it can yield unprecedented ROI.
8. Understanding the community of Persons with Disabilities.
Debra and her company Ruh Global Communications are sought after as a bridge between companies and the community of PwDs. Today more than one billion people or about 15% of the world's population live with disabilities – that is 1 in 7 people. 1 in 5 people identifies as having a disability in the United States. There are many myths surrounding the community, but the facts show the potential and capability of this generally untapped market and talent pool.