The life of visionary and activist Spencer West has been marked by both obstacles and triumph. After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, he entered a world that might have easily defeated him. Instead, he tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate in a world set against those with disabilities. His many accomplishments and lessons learned along the way, led him to discover the techniques business leaders, professionals, educators, and young people can use to redefine possible in their own lives and careers.
Whether headlining, in-person or live-streaming virtually, at corporate conferences, inspiring audiences at employee/client appreciation events, or mesmerizing audiences in 20,000-seat stadiums, Spencer’s charisma and dynamism captivates all. Sharing his journey from losing both legs as a child, to climbing – and summiting – Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair, Spencer’s words and actions have encouraged millions to stand up, face challenges and embrace change. Everyone leaves with pertinent lessons they can apply to redefine what their possible is.
Spencer’s incredible story is documented in both film and print. His journey is featured in the documentary Redefine Possible: The Story of Spencer West, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival and in his book Standing Tall: My Journey.
As the opener on a Demi Lovato world tour across North America, Spencer spoke to and inspired tens of thousands of her fans. He has spoken alongside luminaries and performers such as former U.S. Vice-President Al Gore, Mia Farrow, Martin Luther King III, Jennifer Hudson, and Natalie Portman, to name a few.
Spencer West has appeared countless times in the media including, ABC News, Buzz Feed, 60 Minutes, CTV, BBC News, TMZ, CNN, Forbes, and The Globe & Mail, CBS This Morning, Bloomberg, was a featured guest on Season 2 of Karamo The Podcast, hosted by Karamo Brown, he has a character actor role, The Window Washer, in Murdoch Mysteries and is social media influencer with over 4-million TikTok followers.
Spencer’s inspiring words have reached millions of listeners around the world, including Virgin Atlantic, KPMG, Staples, P&G, GAP Inc., Financial Institutions, Insurance, Microsoft, Universal McCann, Ministry of Education, Colleges & Universities, YPO/WPO, SickKids Foundation, Boys & Girls Clubs, and more.
Infused with humor and humility, Spencer’s thought provoking and genuinely enlightening experiences offer take-home tips and life-lessons on how to find opportunity in every challenge, while instilling hope and empowering leaders to motivate others to create positive change.
Join Spencer West in this thought-provoking presentation where he will discuss not only why you should leverage talent with disabilities, but also how.
The life of visionary and activist Spencer West has been marked by both obstacles and triumph. After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five, he entered a world that might have easily defeated him. Instead, he tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate in a world set against those with disabilities.
From climbing the workforce ladder to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Spencer shares his insights on how bringing in talent with disabilities can have a very positive impact on your employees and customers.
Join Spencer West in this thought-provoking and genuinely enlightening presentation where he will discuss the importance of leveraging talent with disabilities as well as the queer community and how both identities are necessary in the workforce.
The life of visionary and activist Spencer West has been marked by both obstacles and triumph. After losing both legs from the pelvis down at the age of five and coming out as gay at the age of 21, he entered a world that might have easily defeated him. Instead, he tackled challenge after challenge, learning to navigate in a world set against the queer community and those with disabilities. From climbing the workforce ladder to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, Spencer shares his insights on how bringing in talent with disabilities and the queer community can have a positive impact on your employees and clients.
Spencer invites audiences to experience the transformation that can occur when we “redefine possible”. With his trademark humour and humility, Spencer spins a spellbinding story of the challenges he faced after losing his legs from the pelvis down at age five, and the journey of discovery that ultimately enabled him to summit Mount Kilimanjaro using his hands and wheelchair.
Spencer applies the insights gleaned from a lifetime of overcoming obstacles to help leaders and employees identify their own roadblocks and push past them. His inspiring message and tangible life lessons motivate business audiences to believe they can tackle any goal, whether personal or professional.
Spencer West lost his legs from the pelvis down when he was just five years old and faced overwhelming physical and emotional challenges. Rather than give up or turning inward, West learned that by connecting with others and working to make the world a better place he could transform his life.
Alternating between walking on his hands and using his wheelchair, West has accomplished a list of feats, including building schools in poverty-stricken villages in Kenya and India, and walking 186 miles from Edmonton to Calgary in Alberta, Canada. One of West’s biggest achievements was climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise money for a global clean water initiative while raising awareness of the devastating drought in Africa.
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"Spencer, on behalf of Gap Inc., and the Equality & Belonging Team, thank you for such an inspirational and informational keynote today. As you saw, the chat was active with praise from the attendees - what you didn’t see were the texts I was receiving from leaders raving about what you shared from workplace inclusion to adaptive. So many gems you dropped ignited our teams to really think about how we approach this work, and the mindset shifts that are so critical to drive true inclusion in the workplace, especially for people with disabilities.”
Maria Febre, Head of Employee Belonging, Equality & Belonging - Gap Inc.
"Spencer was fantastic. He perfectly balanced a message of positivity and hope while tying in wellness and Pride.”
Alex Meers, Director of Employee Experience, Real Matters l Solidifi
“Spencer West was a real treat to have at our Annual General Meeting. Spencer’s keynote address was inspirational, heart-wrenching, and funny. Spencer has a way of sharing stories that is humble and relatable yet inspiring. He has that incredible ability to highlight ableism and discrimination in a way that invites curiosity and personal reflection. After such a difficult year in 2020, it was a true delight to work with Spencer and his team to have him as our keynote speaker. We would highly recommend Spencer West to anyone!”
Maddi MacDonald, Executive Council Member, Nova Scotia Disability Employee Network
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