Video: Beyond the Finish Line

Indian children walk, sit and push Anjali's wheelchair
World-class athlete Anjali Forber-Pratt taps into disability communities worldwide through sports diplomacy.

Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt lives life in the fast lane - literally. But besides standing out as a competitive wheelchair racer who has competed in the Paralympic Games in Both London and Beijing, the American athlete and doctorate degree-holder gets an added rush from the travels themselves - and the opportunities they present for disability outreach. 

As a citizen diplomat, Anjali has been involved with international projects in India, Bermuda, and Ghana, where she conducted wheelchair track clinics and raised the level of awareness on disability policy and education.

"I have learned from my work in Ghana, Bermuda and India in particular that sport can be a catalyst for social change. Providing individuals with an opportunity to succeed athletically gains the attention of policy makers, educators, and community members. In these cases, I have seen perceptions of disability change to become more open and accepting."

While in Ghana, Anjali used her time to discuss human rights with local leaders and how sports can unite people of all abilities and backgrounds. "I’ve never been one who likes traditional rules—and I am changing the world every second I am here."

Dr. Forber-Pratt is Assistant Professor at the Department of Human & Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University. Read more about Anjali's visit to Ghana in her blog, "Dream. Drive. Do."