Luda founded INCLUDAS Publishing in 2015. We are so excited to have her with us!
Tell us about yourself.
I am not someone who gives up easily, and when you fight towards what you want or what is right, it’s empowering in the end. My disability really gave me a perspective and a lens to look out from, so being in a wheelchair, growing up as a kid with a disability, has influenced me and how I persevere.
What makes you proud of yourself, and what are your aspirations?
Starting INCLUDAS publishing is one of my greatest accomplishments I’m proud of because it’s been a lot of work. I started it in 2013 not as a publishing company but as disability services for college recreational spaces. In 2015, it grew more into publishing and became what I wanted to focus more on—changing the world by writing inclusive disability narratives. For INCLUDAS in the future, I hope for it to be a positive reflection of disability diversity with at least 10 book titles that can be really positive influences on readers and society. I also hope to grow our team and field of authors and illustrators.
Why are you interested in working in publishing?
It gives you the ability and power to build any world you want; the power of control that I don’t have in reality. It’s empowering and lets me take my power back because others are not making decisions for me. I don’t have to worry about steps or not being able to access something in the fictional world. I can create whatever I want and make my own decisions.
Why is disability diversity in stories important to you?
More awareness brings more acceptance of people who may look or sound different. I want to see more diverse, disabled superheroes or characters for kids because they are at the core of shaping future inclusion. Including fictional disabled characters of any race or gender in the kids’ space is so important. I think the more kids are exposed at a young age to disability diversity, the more understanding they’ll have as they grow up, and they’ll be more curious and also open to asking questions and be more accepting of different things. It also helps kids with disabilities not to feel ashamed or outcasted.
What’s the most fulfilling part about being on the INCLUDAS team?
Launching this brand so it can change and give a voice to disability representation in an authentic and honest way where it’s not just a trend but where it’s impacting others culturally and making a more inclusive environment.
Any advice for those wanting to work in the publishing industry?
Research, research, research! Never stop learning. There are always ways to improve something. Publishing changes all the time, so it’s good to know what’s happening in the industry and how to make things better.