This week, we met with Caitlin Conner, fitness enthusiast, fashion model, and founder of Be More Adaptive. Six years ago, Caitlin lost her leg after being hit by a car. After the accident, she kept her leg for two weeks before deciding that amputation was going to help her return to the most regular life she could get. She soon found out that she was pregnant, and that news inspired her to persevere and find ways to adapt to her new normal. Ever since her disability caused her life to change, she has dedicated her time to helping people with disabilities find the resources that they need to succeed.
Caitlin faced a lot of obstacles when she first began adjusting to life with one leg. Her previous job had required lots of standing, a task that was fatiguing and difficult to do for more than an hour. She was unable to apply for Disability Benefits because she had only lost one leg, so she had very few resources to help her navigate the job market. She had to relearn how to do seemingly basic tasks like walking up the stairs, all while preparing to be a first-time parent. Caitlin felt like she had inadequate tools to begin an adaptive life, and she wants to ensure that no one else has to feel the same.
Bemoreadaptive.org works to make sure people with disabilities never feel alone. The company began as a Facebook page for people with disabilities to explore health and fitness, but has since grown into a huge support system for people with disabilities. While the Facebook group is still very active, as of 2018, the company expanded and began their journey as a non-profit organization. Be More Adaptive’s purpose aligns closely with Caitlin’s personal interests. Be More Adaptive highlights many different opportunities for people with disabilities and gives them resources to experience many different things.
Caitlin sees disabilities as always changing and very unique. Her company welcomes people of all abilities and interests and encourages them to work together to support each other. The goal of the page is to show that the best way to succeed in life with a mental or physical disability is to find support through other people. Be More Adaptive works to ensure that everyone has the support they need to live their best life. While anyone can post in the group, Caitlin personally ensures that people are aware of all of the different resources available to people who have been affected by a disability. There are many amazing resources out there (Buttons 2 Buttons by Wareologie, anyone?), and many people are simply not aware of those resources. Be More Adaptive allows people to come together and share their tips and tricks for reaching success. Be More Adaptive is open to anyone and everyone. Their groups and resources are easily accessible on Facebook, Instagram, and bemoreadaptive.com.
Caitlin is also working to promote body positivity and individual, adaptive style. Caitlin has modeled for numerous companies such as Target and Amazon, and even got to walk the runway at LA Fashion Week. One of her favorite fashion companies is York Athletics, specifically their shoes. When Caitlin first lost her leg, she reached out to York and asked them to sponsor her by making adaptive shoes. They were interested, and now Caitlin models their most adaptable, slip-on shoe. Having a pair of shoes that she could wear safely and comfortably was a game changer for Caitlin. Adding a loop-hole to the shoe drastically improved the process of putting on shoes. Like the Wareologie team, Caitlin believes that there are a lot of easy solutions to everyday problems – someone just has to make the solutions a reality.
Caitlin wants to get everyone involved in her mission to provide resources to people with disabilities. Whether you are living with a disability or know someone with a disability, joining the Facebook Group is the first step to finding adaptive products and inspiring necessary products to be designed. To join the adaptive community that Caitlin has created and to learn how you can be more adaptive, head to Be More Adaptive’s website and Facebook page.
The interview premiers on our Facebook page on Sunday, May 31st 2020 at 4 pm!