Olivia Anderson

BFA | Visual Communication Design


As a senior BFA in Visual Communication Design, I am grateful for my decision to transition into design my sophomore year. My creative pursuits have led me to a diverse range of freelance opportunities, from web and and branding to packaging and book design. It has also guided me towards entrepreneurial endeavors, like Juke, the company I am working on alongside a wonderful team assembled through the Idea Center. Outside of design work, I love to bike, share food with friends, and be in nature. After graduation, I will be earning my Masters in Education through the Alliance for Catholic Education, which will send me to Atlanta, Georgia to teach 5th grade. The unifying goal in all that I do, whether it is art, design, or teaching, is to make people feel seen and heard.


The emotional support available for individuals transitioning into full-time wheelchair use is deficient, which follows the larger pattern of disabled persons being underserved. The world is designed primarily for able-bodied people — this is the case in architecture, fashion, entertainment, etc. Therefore, the physical adjustment into using a wheelchair is only one component of a multifaceted period of transition.

In the early phases of transitioning into a wheelchair, no matter if it is due to an illness or a physical trauma, medical professionals place a heavy emphasis on the patient’s physical recovery out of necessity. With this as a priority, the mental and emotional strain of such a life-altering event can consequently be overlooked. The person is left to relearn their routines, regain intimacy with their own bodies, and even redefine their identities, all while tediously compiling resources for themselves. The insufficient emotional support accompanying their transition can result in lasting feelings of isolation, resentment, and disorientation. This is where my design effort would serve to relieve the weight of these early burdens in order to promote a healthier transition overall. Anew provides opportunities to reflect privately, connect with others, and fund resources effortlessly. Amidst the muddled road of change, there are moments of clarity, solidarity, and independence to be found.