Derek Heard is a graphic artist, entrepreneur, public speaker, and disability justice advocate based in Albany, Georgia. Derek believes in the power that images have in creating positive change and evoking emotions.
Derek first learned about graphic facilitation in 2019 and hasn’t put down the pen since. As a person with Autism, he uses graphics to help understand and communicate with the world. His work showcases how the human condition cannot be defined by a word written on his medical history. For the last few years, he has used his love of art to help educate others about the rights of people with disabilities by illustrating the importance of equality, self-determination, and the power of using one’s voice. As a passionate disability voter advocate, he has also created visuals to highlight the importance of people with disabilities having equitable access to voting. Derek has had the pleasure of working with several disability rights advocacy groups. He currently serves as a leadership collective member of Uniting for Change, a grassroots network of self-advocates in Georgia, and is a board member of REV Up Georgia. Derek is also a Fannie Lou Hammer Fellow, a Youth Ambassador for the Center on Youth Voice Youth Choice, and is a member of Stacey Abrams’ Disability Council. When he isn’t drawing, he enjoys good food, painting, and playing video games and he aspires to become a professional character design artist.