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Let’s change the narrative of disability.

We are Hannah and Shane, aka Squirmy and Grubs, and we share our love story with the world in hopes of changing the way society thinks about disability. Far too often, our relationship is perceived by others as remarkable, bizarre, tragic, and unrealistic, but these perceptions originate from a flawed—and extremely damaging—understanding of disability. If one takes the time to look a little deeper, they’ll see that our relationship is really no different than any other. Below is a short recap of our love story, and we’d love nothing more than to bring our story and message to your classroom, workplace, or event!

The Early Days

If anything is exceptionally unique about our story, it’s the unlikely circumstances that brought us together. Shane was living in Pennsylvania working as an author and a nonprofit executive in the disability sector. Hannah was living in Minnesota and studying sociology at Carleton College. One fateful night, Hannah stumbled upon a documentary that had been produced about Shane’s life. She connected with his interests and his humor, so she shot him an email to say hello. To this day, Hannah maintains that her email was a result of late-night exam-cramming delusions. Regardless, we struck up a conversation the next day, and it turned out we DID have a lot in common, from our adoration of traveling to our extreme enjoyment of trying delicious new foods.

In the weeks to follow, we became inseparable, which is ironic considering the 1000+ miles that separated us. We texted and FaceTimed constantly, and very quickly we realized there was a serious spark between us. A few months later, Hannah flew to PA for our first-ever in-person meeting, which Shane inaugurated by arriving an hour late at the airport to pick her up. His lateness did not stop her from saying “Yes” when Shane ~officially~ asked her out the next day.

Over the next two years, we trudged through a long-distance relationship that was both extraordinarily happy and distressingly hard. Thankfully, we had many visits in-person during those two years, and those trips included some unforgettable (and ridiculous) memories. During those years, Hannah learned the nuances of Shane’s daily care. More importantly, we learned that we truly enjoyed each others‘ company, and both of us wanted nothing more than to be together all the time.

The YouTube Channel

After two years of long distance, our desire to be closer became overwhelming. Shane packed up his belongings and made the move to Minneapolis, where we got an apartment together while Hannah finished her senior year of college. Hannah became Shane’s primary caregiver, which often alarms those who are new to our story. So much sacrifice! So much hardship for a young woman! Actually, those ideas can’t be farther from the truth, and one of our favorite speaking topics is how we combine caregiving with intimacy in our relationship.

A few months after moving in together, we had the silly little idea to start a YouTube channel together. We were doing some upcoming travel, and traveling with a disability is always rife with challenges, so we figured we should document it in our humorous tone. We named our channel Squirmy and Grubs, which are the (slightly embarrassing) nicknames that we gave each other early in our relationship. We never expected the channel to take off in the way that it did.

After doing a viral interview with a large YouTuber called Special Books By Special Kids, our channel quickly began to gain hundreds of thousands of followers. We started getting constant calls from talk shows wanting to feature us, national brands wanting us to represent their products, and thousands of emails each week from people connecting with our story. We were thrust into the forefront of disability activism, and although we didn’t expect it, we certainly honored the opportunity. We decided to put everything we had into improving the way society understands disability.

The Future

The rise of Squirmy and Grubs began in January 2019 and so much has happened since then. We got engaged in June of 2019 and bought a house together in November of that same year. Throughout 2019 and 2020 we performed dozens of speaking engagements all over the world, from universities with thousands of audience members to elementary schools via Zoom (thanks, COVID-19). We’ve partnered with many leading businesses to amplify diversity and inclusion in their workplaces. We were even asked to co-author a book about relationships and disability (Interabled: Love Stories - coming to a book store near you in 2022).

In everything that we do, our goal is to normalize the disability experience. We strive to educate while we entertain. Both of us bring boatloads of love and passion to our presentations, and we believe your audience will love laughing and learning with us!

Previous Speaking Clients

  • Google Headquarters

  • Johnson & Johnson Headquarters

  • Dropbox Headquarters

  • Target Headquarters

  • The Ohio State University

  • Harvard University

  • Princeton University

  • University of Connecticut

  • American Library Association

  • Eastern Illinois University

  • St. Olaf University

  • University of Minnesota

  • Roche Pharmaceutical

  • CureSMA Conference

  • Illinois Genetic Counselor Society Conference

  • OneRare Conference

  • Assistive Technology Industry Assoc. Conference

  • 250+ elementary, middle, and high schools

Social Media Fast Facts

  • 100 MILLION views on our YouTube videos

  • 800,000+ YouTube subscribers

  • Shane’s Instagram: 350,000+ followers

  • Hannah’s Instagram: 300,000+ followers

  • We offer event promotion through these channels if you are interested in increasing awareness for your event!

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