Michael Dergar is a visual artist whose life mission is to bring public awareness to those with special needs in an effort to create a better and more inclusive society and world.
Suffering from a neurological condition that left him unable to walk as a child while growing up in his native Mexico, Mr. Dergar experienced early on in life that people with disabilities faced mobility hurdles on a daily basis that “normal” people take for granted, such as crossing the street or climbing down stairs.
As a disabled person, he was frequently teased and purposely excluded from participating in outdoor activities by neighborhood children. With the help of his family and his own self-determination, Mr. Dergar overcame his neurological condition and began to walk again without pain in his legs.
This difficult period of his life shaped Mr. Dergar’s view of the world. Life was a struggle financially for his family, but this lack of resources served to make him realize that he had to work especially hard to achieve his dreams, regardless of his disability, and to never lose hope that he could build his own future. This led him to found the Academy of Special Dreams, which provides opportunities to people with disabilities that encourage, promote, and showcase their artistic expressions.
Mr. Dergar is exhibiting his artwork at UCLA and painting for private and selective clients.