Anjali Makes the A-List! Leading Authorities Speakers Bureau Adds Paralympian Anjali Forber-Pratt

Anjali is a born fighter … and has a powerful story to share ... One of the top speakers’ bureaus in the country agrees.

“For as long as I can remember, I have used a wheelchair. When I first saw the wheelchair athletes racing in the Boston Marathon, I knew I could do anything in my life that I wanted. I had to set my goals, and fight.” – Paralympian Anjali Forber-Pratt

(Chicago, IL – August 14, 2012) With the London 2012 Olympic Games ending, the London 2012 Paralympic Games begin in just over two weeks. Athletes are known for their dedication to hard work, teamwork, training discipline and winning attitude. Leading Authorities, one of the top speakers bureaus in the world, has now added Anjali Forber-Pratt to their A-List of inspirational and motivational speakers. Joining Olympians including Mike Eruzione , Jackie Joyner-Kersee , John Naber , Peter Vidmar , Mitch Gaylord , Dan Jansen , and Dana Torres , Forber-Pratt is their first Paralympic athlete .

“Leading Authorities could not be more excited about representing Anjali Forber-Pratt for speeches, says Mark D. French, president Leading Authorities, Inc.  “Not only is hers a remarkable story, but she is a true inspiration to those who want to perform at the highest level and lead better and more meaningful lives.  She has shattered all expectations of what is possible, showing people how to push beyond our boundaries and achieve success. Anjali is also a very powerful speaker and communicator.” 

Forber-Pratt is passionate about sharing her story, with the goal of transforming perceptions of what it means to be an individual with a disability, helping others accept their own differences and motivating others to take action in their own lives and communities. So that all, regardless of their physical limitations can, indeed live her motto, "Dream. Drive. Do.”

In April 2012, through its Amazing Awards, U.S. Paralympics recognized outstanding individuals and organizations in six categories noting their major contributions to the Paralympic movement in the United States. Wheelchair athlete Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt , a Paralympic Medalist in Beijing and now a member of Team USA for the 2012 London Paralympic Games, was presented with the Amazing Mentor Award for her contributions to others.

“I’m thrilled for this tremendous honor to again represent my country,” Forber-Pratt said. “Sport is important to me because it transcends supposed physical boundaries and an outlet to achieve what others may deem impossible. This is particularly important to me because I have a physical disability and was so often told growing up “you cannot.” Competing at this level is powerful and has largely shaped me into who I am today: a world-class Paralympic athlete and an advocate for those left on the sidelines. Leading Authorities provides great opportunities for me to tell my story.”

About Anjali Forber-Pratt

Born in Calcutta, India, Forber-Pratt was adopted by her loving family from Natick, Massachusetts. Two months after arriving in the United States, she contracted transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord. She was not expected to live, however, her fighting spirit prevailed and she survived. But, transverse myelitis left her paralyzed from the waist down.

What some people might view as a tragedy, Anjali sees as a positive life altering event. Through this adversity she developed an innate drive and determination that she has utilized in every facet of her life.

Anjali also had to fight to get an education. She was challenged and many doubted that she had what it takes to “make it.” At age 14, she hired her own lawyer to take on her school district fighting for a public education and to stand up to injustices and discrimination on the basis of her disability. This, coupled with her athletic successes, provide the platform for her to help transform perceptions of what it means to be an individual with a disability and encourage others to accept their own differences.

Paralympic Medalist Anjali Forber-Pratt became Dr. Anjali Forber-Pratt earning a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Human Resource Education with a concentration in Human Resource Development.  The degree was completed within the College of Education at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. She was presented the Emerging Scholar Award for her dissertation at the AERA conference in Vancouver. Anjali completed her undergraduate and master’s degrees also at the University of Illinois, graduating in the top 3% of her class.

Anjali enjoys traveling for speaking engagements around the country and volunteering with local organizations for kids with disabilities. Forber-Pratt co-authored an educational children’s coloring book about disabled sports, Color Learn & Play: All About Sports for Athletes with Physical Disabilities . Aimed at educating young aspiring Paralympians on the variety of sports they can play, she often shares the book with her school-age audiences at her motivational talks hopefully teaching young children that disabled people can play sports too!

About Leading Authorities, Inc. (LAI)
Leading Authorities, Inc. is one of the nation’s most progressive event design firms, a renowned speaker’s bureau, and an award-winning production company. LAI represents thought leaders in business such as AG Lafley and Lee Scott , prominent political figures like Charlie Cook , and Governor Haley Barbour , legendary Americans like General Stanley McChrystal and Dakota Meyer , leaders in foreign affairs like Ambassador Nicholas Burns and General Michael Hayden , and nationally-recognized entertainment acts. Our award-winning video and production departments provide cutting-edge media products and professionally managed events .

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Anjali Forber-Pratt Anjali is a born fighter. Born in Calcutta (now known as Kolkata) India, Anjali lived in an orphanage for two and a half months before being adopted by her loving family from Natick, Massachusetts. Two months after arriving in the United States, she contracted an illness resulting in the diagnosis of transverse myelitis, a neurological disorder that affects the spinal cord. Rushed to the hospital, she was not expected to live. However, her fighting spirit prevailed and Anjali survived. Transverse myelitis left her paralyzed from the waist down. Anjali was introduced to the world of disabled sports at the young age of 5. She attended a sports clinic for children with disablities at the Massachusetts Hospital School in Canton, MA. Exposed to a variety of sports, young Anjali took a strong liking to track. She quickly excelled and by the age of 9 she was competing at the national level in track and field. Anjali found her way back to the track in 2006. Currently she is ranked among the top three fastest T53 women in the world for the 100 meter, 200 meter and 400 meter events.

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With the London 2012 Olympic Games ending, the London 2012 Paralympic Games begin in just over two weeks. Athletes are known for their dedication to hard work, teamwork, training discipline and winning attitude. Leading Authorities, one of the top speakers bureaus in the world, has now added Anjali Forber-Pratt to their A-List of inspirational and motivational speakers. Joining Olympians including Mike Eruzione, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, John Naber, Peter Vidmar, Mitch Gaylord, Dan Jansen, and Dana Torres, Forber-Pratt is their first Paralympic athlete.
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“Leading Authorities could not be more excited about representing Anjali Forber-Pratt for speeches, says Mark D. French, president Leading Authorities, Inc. “Not only is hers a remarkable story, but she is a true inspiration to those who want to perform at the highest level and lead better and more meaningful lives. She has shattered all expectations of what is possible, showing people how to push beyond our boundaries and achieve success. Anjali is also a very powerful speaker and communicator.”
Mark D. French, President of Leading Authorities
“I’m thrilled for this tremendous honor to again represent my country,” Forber-Pratt said. “Sport is important to me because it transcends supposed physical boundaries and an outlet to achieve what others may deem impossible. This is particularly important to me because I have a physical disability and was so often told growing up “you cannot.” Competing at this level is powerful and has largely shaped me into who I am today: a world-class Paralympic athlete and an advocate for those left on the sidelines. Leading Authorities provides great opportunities for me to tell my story.”
Anjali Forber-Pratt