Shawn Fair has built a platform that enables motivational and inspirational speakers to reach a wider audience. Shawn continues to support people from different backgrounds share their stories and the lessons they have learned through his Leadership Experience Tour. He recently announced the next person to join the roster of accomplished speakers on this tour, and that is none other than Latrea Russ, founder of More Than My Disability.
Latrea Russ was born with Pfeiffer Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes the improper fusion of bones in the skull and other parts of the body. She also has hearing and vision impairments related to this disorder and has undergone over thirty surgeries to address various health concerns.
Her experience living with a disability inspired Latrea Russ to build More Than My Disability. She shared, “I understand first-hand what people with disabilities experience on a day-to-day basis. Though each of us is unique, we have a lot of similar experiences and problems. I wanted to show people with disabilities and the rest of the world that we are more than some label or diagnosis. We have a voice, and we have a purpose.”
More Than My Disability is a company that caters to the disability population differently. The company does not just work with young adults but also with parents who are disabled or who have children that are disabled. Her company provides job readiness training, self-esteem building, and workshops for parents of children with disabilities. “Navigating the world when you have a disability is always a unique challenge,” Latrea shared, “But with the training and services we provide, I hope that more people are better equipped to handle what life has in store for them.”
Her medical condition was not the only challenge Latrea Russ had to face. Because of drug-addicted parents, Latrea and her sister entered the foster care system when they were twelve and four years old, respectively. Unfortunately, throughout their time in the system, she and her sister encountered abuse. Fortunately, things changed for the better when Latrea turned sixteen, and she and her sister were adopted.
Her experiences have become a part of her, and while Latrea Russ has moved past them, they remain a significant part of her life. Latrea earned a BA in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Education. Later on, she became a Professional Certified Life Coach and certified in disabilities ministries. In addition, Latrea travels all over North Carolina to speak at events hosted by various disability organizations.
In 2019, she was a panelist on the Crazy Like a Fox Tour, a tour designed to spotlight mental health concerns in the Afro-American community. The following year, Coach Latrea joined The Exposure Network where she was given her own streaming channel Disability Insider, and show Uniquely Designed. “I used these platforms to provide society with an inside look into the lives and experiences of people with disabilities,” this life coach said, “And these shows also served as a platform for people to share their stories and have their voices be heard.” Aside from her speaking engagements and shows, Coach Latrea has also published eight books, one of her books, Intimate Conversations with God. This book was published in 2017 and was highlighted as an influential book at the NAACP convention.
Latrea Russ has had a significant positive impact on the disability community, using her story and experiences to uplift others. And her efforts to shed light on different disabilities have not gone unnoticed. Shawn Fair has trained over 300,000 leaders in the United States and abroad. His methods put him at the top of the training industry, and he has delivered hundreds of award-winning presentations. His coaching methods emphasize leading by example, mutual respect, establishing trust-based relationships, and giving praise where praise is due.
Shawn Fair founded the Leadership Experience Tour to help connect speakers with valuable knowledge and insight to a broader audience. So naturally, he only invites the best for these tours, and Latrea is the newest speaker on the roster. Latrea Russ is a life coach and disabilities advocate. She was recently chosen to join Shawn Fair’s Leadership Experience Tour program, one of the first persons with disability on this tour. For more information, you can check Coach Latrea’s website and Instagram page.