No Barriers



No Barriers empowers people to break through barriers, find their inner purpose and contribute their best to the world. The No Barriers Podcast is an exploration of the gritty reality of the struggles we all face, with the detailed stories of those that have persevered to find amazing outcomes on the other side. The No Barriers Podcast is a production of No Barriers USA, a not-for profit corporation as designated under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations are tax-deductible.To learn more about No Barriers, visit and find out how you can get involved in our programs.


  • The Ability App with Alex Knoll

    06/10/2021 Duration: 37min

    16-year-old Alex Knoll is a tech founder and international speaker with a passion for helping others. He has been featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, BBC, Irish Times, NBC Nightly News, Sky News & many more.Alex developed Ability App, a global crowd-sourced web app that helps people with cognitive, hearing, vision, and/or mobility disabilities and caregivers search for specific accessible and inclusive features at locations around the world. Ability App launched globally on May 1, 2020. Please visit the Ability App website for more information at recently, Alex was awarded The Diana Award, given out by the charity of the same name with the support of The Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex, and was created to honor Princess Diana’s work while inspiring others to action.Special thanks to Wells Fargo for their sponsorship of today’s podcast in a series featuring folks who are breaking barriers in the business and the workplace.Resources:Visit the Ability App Website: https://th

  • Accessible Design with Faith Malton

    29/09/2021 Duration: 37min

    Faith Malton is a natural-born engineer.  She was born missing her right arm and thus, grew up problem-solving and adapting to her environment through innovation.  More importantly, she engineered her mental aptitude and psyche to be rooted in a growth mindset.  A student ambassador, she found herself inquisitive on how other cultures worked and how culture determines the perception of disability. Her curiosity led her to places like Antarctica, India, and Tanzania. Every trip was an awakening and revealed to her how the built environment shapes the way in which humans experience the world.  She now works at Walter P. Moore, an international civil engineering firm, doing site design. She believes design teams have a responsibility for their designs to be universally accessible, inspire the human spirit, and nurture a connection to the natural world.Malton also works to help others break through mental barriers and navigate the world with limb differences through her YouTube channel, One Arm Wonder.Resources:Y

  • The Ultra Barrier Breaker: Amy Rusiecki

    22/09/2021 Duration: 49min

    Amy Rusiecki is the owner of Beast Coast Trail Running and the Race Director for the Vermont 100 mile race, Seven Sisters Trail Race, Chesterfield Gorge Ultra Event, and Mount Tobey 50k, as well as a winning endurance athlete herself. Amy is a true barrier-breaker in the ultra community. She successfully petitioned for the Vermont 100 to be the first ultra race in the country to recognize AWDs (athletes with disabilities) in their own division and has taken the Vermont 100 partnership with Vermont Adaptive to new heights. Since becoming the race director seven years ago she has helped raise close to $1M for the adaptive sports organization. She has made bold moves to push past gender barriers, creating non-binary divisions in all of her events and she has led conversations nationwide about how to better manage gender equality within the race industry. Amy has been coaching for 18 years, working with High School and College running and XC ski teams, named ‘Coach of the Year’ three times. Amy herself fell in lo

  • Regaining Purpose with Mark Yearsley

    08/09/2021 Duration: 38min

    Mark served in the United States Air Force for ten years, starting out as an aircraft mechanic. He loved his job but was looking for more challenges, so he switched to air traffic control for the remainder of his time in service. During a deployment in Kuwait, he sustained injuries resulting in his right leg needing to be amputated above the knee. He went into a deep depression and lost all hope and was very inactive. Eventually, he found outdoor therapy programs like No Barriers and regained purpose and meaning in his life. Now he is the Founder and Executive Director of Outdoor Salute to Veterans. There are 22 veterans that commit suicide every day and OSTV strives to reduce these numbers by taking disabled veterans on outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing, rafting, rock climbing, and camping.   Mark has also been married to his wife for 34 years and has three wonderful and successful children and five beautiful grandchildren.Special thanks to CoBank for sponsoring today's episode in a series highligh

  • Humor as a Mirror with Josh Blue

    01/09/2021 Duration: 01h06min

    Comedian, Josh Blue, sat down with Erik and Jeff at our studio in Golden, CO to discuss his career as a comic who happens to have cerebral palsy. Following his groundbreaking win on NBC’s Last Comic Standing in 2006, Josh Blue has risen through the ranks to become a well-established headliner at venues throughout the world. His story has been featured on Fox, CBS, ABC, MSNBC,  and CNN.  He was the first comedian to perform stand-up on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, was named Best Winning Reality Show Guest on Live with Regis and Kelly, and made standout appearances on Comics Unleashed. Recently, Josh crushed his set on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and was honored with a performance at the William H. Macy Gala at the prestigious Just for Laughs Comedy Festival in Montreal, Canada. He also just recorded his fifth-hour special at his home club, Comedy Works in Denver, CO. Josh does over 200 shows a year, continuing to spread laughter and break down stereotypes of people with disabilities. His stand-up rout

  • Caregiver Advocate and Alchemist: Colleen Rose

    25/08/2021 Duration: 42min

    Colleen Rose is a military caregiver for her husband, John, an active duty Marine. While on his 2nd tour in Afghanistan, John was wounded by an IED blast sustaining vision loss and extensive injuries. Colleen acted as his caregiver, and then, in 2016, the roles were reversed when Colleen was diagnosed with breast cancer. Several years later, Colleen has helped her husband retain his active duty status, and Colleen is cancer-free and in remission, and they are proud parents to their baby, Declan. Colleen now serves as a Dole Caregiver Fellow, placing her in a great position to advocate and provide encouragement for all caregivers, sharing her experiences as a caregiver and care recipient.Thank you to our sponsor, Prudential, for sponsoring this episode and more featuring alchemists like Colleen.Resources:For Military and Veteran Caregiver resources as part of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation: Dole Foundation FB group: more a

  • Veteran Hiring with Sean Passmore

    18/08/2021 Duration: 38min

    Sean Passmore served 22 1/2 years in the Army before retiring in 2014. Today, he leads the Military Talent Strategic Outsourcing (MTSS) team and oversees enterprise military and veteran initiatives at Wells Fargo, supporting the military community with housing affordability, financial wellness, small business support, and career transition assistance programs. The MTSS team is 100% dedicated to attracting, recruiting, coaching, and advocating for veterans seeking career opportunities at Wells Fargo.Wells Fargo is a longtime supporter and partner of No Barriers. We are grateful for their ongoing support and their sponsorship of this episode - the first in a series highlighting folks who are working to increase inclusion and representation in career mobility. Resources:Sign up for the No Barriers Summit 8/28-8/29 (both in-person and virtual options):  Make sure to check out Wells Fargo’s career panel on 8/29 at 1 PM Mountain.Wells Fargo Military Resource Page: https://www.wellsfargo

  • Whitewater Healing with Antoinette Lee Toscano

    12/08/2021 Duration: 45min

    Antoinette, an 11-year United States Army Veteran,  is an American Adult Cross-Cultural Kid (ACCK) and Third Culture Adult (TCA) with family ancestry in Nigeria, Ireland, China, and Jamaica. Antoinette is a former IT executive, a blogger at the New Normal Big Life blog, Producer of New Normal Big LifeTV for Culturs Global Multicultural TV, Contributing Writer at Paddling Magazine and Culturs, global, multicultural magazine. Antoinette is also a transformational public speaker and an advocate for people living with traumatic brain injury, health challenges, and those diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. She is also the Producer of WhitewaterTV, a Kokatat National Brand Ambassador, and co-founder— Diversify  Whitewater to name a few of her many accomplishments.Thank you to our sponsor, Prudential, for sponsoring this episode and more featuring alchemists like Antoinette.Resources:

  • Meet the StrokeHacker: Sean Entin

    04/08/2021 Duration: 41min

    Sean Entin was a successful entrepreneur who suddenly had a stroke at 39 years old. After many surgeries, doctors told him he would never walk, talk, drive or be independent again. It has been 10 years since he had his stroke and he has not only regained his independence — in his recovery process —Sean became the StrokeHacker; learning how the brain works and what it takes to make it better. His mantra “I can, I shall, I will” helped him through the mostdifficult times in his life. That knowledge allowed him to teach thousands of people how to do the same. He is currently a survivor coach, podcast host, and founder of the StrokeHacker Community.Resources:Learn more: Sean on ABC:

  • Equity in Entertainment with Keely Cat-Wells

    28/07/2021 Duration: 42min

    Keely Cat-Wells is an Entrepreneur and Disability Activist dedicated to making social, systematic, and economical change. Keely is the Founder/CEO of C Talent, Zetta Studios, and Zetta Finance. She founded her first company at a very early age while in the hospital, which eventually evolved into C Talent. C Talent represents Deaf and Disabled artists, athletes, and influencers globally to normalize disabled people being experts in subjects beyond disability. After noticing the lack of access in the entertainment industry, Keely formed Zetta Studios, which is the world’s first-ever studio to be fully accessible, designed with disabled people in mind.Keely is a Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe Entertainment 2021 honoree, an Aerie Change-Maker, Advisory Board Member at Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, a Disability Subject Matter Expert at Google and The Lego Group name a few of her awards and recognitions.Special thanks to Wells Fargo for their sponsorship of today's podcast in a series featuring leaders who are f

  • Leading with Vulnerability: Chris Prange-Morgan

    21/07/2021 Duration: 42min

    Chris Prange-Morgan has worked extensively in the field of mental health and is familiar with the topics of trauma and resilience, grief and loss, adoption, and adapting and overcoming obstacles. Today, Chris and her husband, Scott, host a podcast and website, Full Catastrophe Parenting, which is dedicated to helping parents and professionals in the trenches of working with challenging family/life circumstances. Over the past several years she has provided clinical pastoral care to hospitalized patients, created an adaptive rock climbing program, taken second in the para-climbing nationals (2015 female leg amputee division), and summited her first Colorado 14’er with her family. Chris’ book, Full Catastrophe Parenting: Adoption, Disability, Trauma and Other Joys of Motherhood, is forthcoming.Resources: WEBSITE: TODAY:

  • Meet Feminist Plumber: Judaline Cassidy

    14/07/2021 Duration: 47min

    Judaline Cassidy hails from the twin islands of Trinidad and Tobago. Having experienced, first-hand, the challenges and injustices women working in male-dominated fields face, Judaline has devoted her life and work to being a force of change. By day, she’s a history-making plumber in NYC, where she’s mastered her trade over the last two decades while fighting for equality in the construction industry. She dedicates every other waking second to her trademarked "Jobs Don’t Have Genders" activism, and to Tools & Tiaras Inc., the pioneering nonprofit she founded in 2017.Through hands-on, mentoring workshops and summer camps led by tradeswomen leaders, her organization introduces girls and young women to skilled trades jobs like electrician, carpenter, plumber, and auto mechanic. Girls gain awareness of these rewarding and lucrative career options, along with invaluable life skills. Ultimately, Judaline is empowering girls with the grit, moxie, and self-confidence needed to succeed in whatever professional pat

  • The Roots of No Barriers with Mark Wellman

    07/07/2021 Duration: 52min

    Mark Wellman is a nationally acclaimed author, filmmaker, and motivational speaker. Despite being paralyzed in a mountain climbing accident, Mark has inspired millions to meet their problems head-on and reach for their full potential. A two-time Paralympian and former Yosemite Park Ranger, Mark's NO LIMITS philosophy encourages individuals to adventure into new horizons; to go beyond the seemingly unreachable.An accomplished wheelchair athlete, Mark is best known for the first historic paraplegic ascents of the sheer granite faces of El Capitan and Half Dome, in Yosemite National Park.His notoriety has been acclaimed on national television, by congressional commendation and meetings with two United States Presidents. The first paraplegic to sit-ski unassisted across the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Mark has also carried the flaming torch up the 120-foot rope, shocked by thousands of spectators, and lit the cauldron for the opening of the Paralympic Games in Atlanta.Mark shares his story in the autobiography

  • Radical Vision with Two Blind Brothers

    30/06/2021 Duration: 43min

    We are honored that Prudential is sponsoring today's podcast highlighting people who are alchemists.Bradford and Bryan Manning are two blind brothers on a mission to cure blindness. At a young age, they were diagnosed with an eye disease that causes blindness over time. To fight back, they left their former careers to start Two Blind Brothers, a small charitable clothing company that donates 100% of its profits to drive life-changing research for a cure for blindness. Their condition inspired special attention to detail, a passion that carries over into the construction of their clothing line. Two Blind Brothers focuses on quality, comfort, and "sense of touch." Thank you again to Prudential for supporting our podcast today and for allowing us to elevate these diverse and unique voices.Resources: Shop: Blind: Bryan and Bradford on Ellen

  • A Champion Role Model: Reggie Showers

    23/06/2021 Duration: 45min

    At 14, Reggie had a tragic electrical accident that left him a double amputee. But, his “never-say-die” attitude has propelled him to also become an accomplished pilot, inspirational speaker, certified snowboard instructor, and marathoner. In 2017, he was part of ROMP, the Range Of Motion Project’s elite team of amputee & able-bodied climbers that climbed Cayambe, an 18000’ stratovolcano in Ecuador as part of a fundraising effort that benefitted amputees in third world countries. Reggie continues to inspire folks around the world with his speaking career, athletic accomplishments, and mentorship programs. Special thanks to the Winnebago Industries Foundation for their support of this podcast and their advocacy for accessibility in outdoor spaces.Resources:Check out Reggie’s website: Reggie on Facebook and InstagramIntroducing Reggie Showers on National Geographic’s Mygrations

  • Embracing Vision with Kyle Coon

    16/06/2021 Duration: 34min

    Kyle Coon lost his sight at the age of six after a battle with Retinoblastoma—cancer of the eye. However, not having sight has not stopped him from pursuing his vision. Since then he has become a competitive rock climber, downhill skier, runner, and triathlete.After summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro at the age of 15, Kyle knew he needed to live a life filled with adventure. After getting his college degree and trying the working world for a bit, he decided to pursue his dream of becoming an endurance athlete, competing in numerous marathons and triathlons.In 2018, he was a member of the first team of tandem cyclists with all blind or visually impaired stokers to complete Race Across America—the world’s toughest bicycle race—racing from Oceanside, Calif to Annapolis, Md in seven days 15 hours. Later in 2018, at Ironman Arizona, Kyle became the first totally blind person to complete an Ironman branded Triathlon (2.4 mi swim, 112 mi bike, 26.2 mi run) in under 11 hours. He continues to push himself physically and mental

  • Mt. Everest 20th Anniversary

    09/06/2021 Duration: 46min

    Mountaineers and others scoffed at the notion that Erik Weihenmayer, blind since 14, could climb Mt. Everest. They thought he would be a danger to himself and his team. But, on that day in 2001 Erik and his team, through preparation, personal sacrifice, and the belief that they would succeed, stood together on the top of the world. To celebrate this milestone Erik and members of their record-holding team reunited virtually and shared fond memories and recounted their struggles. Most importantly, they reflected on the advice their team leader, PV Scaturro, gave them on their descent: “Don’t make Everest the greatest thing you ever do.”Resources:Watch Michael Brown’s documentary film, Farther Than the Eye Can See on AmazonOutside MagazineLuis BenitezPV ScaturroBrad Bull (and his father, Sherman Bull)Kami Tenzing SherpaKevin Cherilla & K2 Adventure TravelJeff Evans

  • A KWEEN of Social Justice - Parker McMullen Bushman

    02/06/2021 Duration: 53min

    Parker (she/her) aka KWEEN WERK is an outspoken social media diva who focuses on environmental justice and social justice matters. Parker tackles these complex, interconnected issues by addressing them through head-on activism and education. She is the founder of a DEI Consulting Firm called Ecoinclusive, the creator of KWEEN WERK, and the co-founder of Inclusive Journeys. As a leader at the intersection of culture and justice, Parker believes in using social media as a tool for social change. As a woman, as a Black person, as a curvy hiker, as a mother, as a Black business owner, she stands at the intersection of multiple identities. Her work shines a light on racism, ageism, sexism, heterosexism, and ableism; and aims to also give people tools for change.KWEEN Werk is dedicated to disrupting the narrative that only white able-bodied people care about the environment and participate in outdoor recreation activities. KWEEN stands for Keep Widening Environmental Engagement Narratives. Special thanks to the Win

  • Determination and Faith with Chris Norton

    26/05/2021 Duration: 52min

    As an 18-year-old freshman at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Chris Norton suffered a devastating spinal cord injury during a college football game. Told by doctors that he had only a 3 percent chance of regaining movement below the neck, Chris has continually defied medical odds and, in 2015, successfully accomplished his goal of walking across his college graduation stage with the help of his then-fiancee, Emily. Video from the event went viral, inspiring millions worldwide. Most recently, he walked Emily 7 yards down the aisle of their wedding - documented in his film “7 Yards” now available on Netflix.Chris believes that our lives aren’t shaped by circumstance. They’re shaped by us. Perseverance isn’t about the physical act of standing: it’s about attitude, and the ability to shape yourself in the face of adversity.Resources:Read more about Chris and book him for your next speaking gigWatch 7 Yards on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or AppleTVFollow Chris on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn

  • An Inclusive Circus with Lisa Lewis

    19/05/2021 Duration: 40min

    Lisa Lewis began her career with Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey Circus. She earned a master’s degree in Clown/Circus History from NYU. During the same period, she co-founded the Super Scientific Circus, a STEAM-based series of 6 shows which tour the country using Circus Skills to make science fun and accessible for all learning styles. Lisa received her certification from Marquis Studios as a teaching artist for District 75 specializing in Autism and at-risk youth in NYC where she taught for four years. Lisa performed with the Big Apple Circus Clown Care Unit and inspired by the efforts to serve new audiences, she became project coordinator for Circus of the Senses, a performance adapted for blind, visually impaired, Deaf, hard of hearing, and those who are neuro-diverse. Lisa doubled the reach of the program and seeing a need in the community, she created the Embracing Autism performances. Lisa expanded both offerings and audiences, created an inclusive training program for staff, and supported organi

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