“MMC’s academic program in Speech-Language Pathology taught me so much that laid the groundwork for my organization, Different & Able.”
Having overcome speech and learning difficulties of her own as a child, Alexandra Nicklas ’14 has long been an advocate for the differently abled. Grateful for the support and resources she always had access to, she launched the not-for-profit Different & Able in early 2019 to make sure others could have the same experience. Different & Able is an online support platform geared toward individuals with physical, learning, speech, emotional, and medical differences, offering dynamic self-help and professional resources from leading doctors and researchers. As the Founder and President, Nicklas aims to create an inclusive community that empowers and inspires. “At Different & Able, we use the word ‘difference’ instead of ‘disability’ to emphasize ability and not inability,” explains Nicklas.
Nicklas transferred to MMC during her sophomore year and majored in Speech-Language Pathology (SLP), which proved to be a crucial step. “I would have never thought that, as a college student studying prominent speech therapists in the stuttering field, I’d be learning about the key people who would later be involved with my foundation.” Uri and Dr. Phil Schneider, leading clinicians and educators whose work she studied in classes at MMC, are now advisory board members for Different & Able.
In addition to her work with Different & Able, Nicklas is a leader and volunteer for several organizations dedicated to advocacy for individuals with health conditions, including FACES (Finding a Cure for Epilepsy and Seizures), where she serves on the steering committee.