Welcome to Bridges Builders, a new video series about people with disabilities in our community. Our first guest is entrepreneur, Oliver Hilario. Oliver is the owner of a clothing company, OhHats. In this interview with BRIDGES, Oliver shares insights about his business, disability, motivation, and the CDPA program. The following is a written transcript of the above video.
Tell us about yourself
Hi, my name is Oliver Hilario. I’m the owner of OhHats. I was born with cerebral palsy but that never stopped me from achieving my goals. In 2013, I started my own business because I wanted to motivate people and let them know that no matter the situation, there’s always a way out. You can always motivate, not only yourself, but other people.
How has CDPA affected you?
Note: Consumer Directed Personal Assistance (CDPA) allows Medicaid recipients in need of personal care, home health and nursing services to recruit, hire, train, supervise and terminate their own personal assistants, which include family and friends. BRIDGES offers CDPA enrollment services to all of its clients.
CDPA has helped me in so many ways because I’m able to have my own personal aides that come and provide services for me. Especially in these unfortunate circumstances (COVID-19), I feel blessed because it provides assistance and comfort.
Tell us about your business. How has BRIDGES helped you achieve your goals?
BRIDGES, back in 2011, helped me start my own business. They helped me get in contact with my business consultant, Walter Goldman. From there, I got introduced to ACCES-VR who gave me money to start my own business. From there I was able to sell my own hats, t-shirts, and also do events in the community.
What was the motivation behind starting OhHats?
I started this business because I wanted people to see my life and my perspective. Your motivation can drive you to be the best you can possibly be. You need to find motivation in something you love and my business is something I love. My first motivation was all the things that I’ve been through with cerebral palsy with my nine surgeries. I needed someone to trust so I relied on my faith and also my family to keep on going.
What do you want the world to know about people with disabilities?
I want people top know that we’re just as normal as everybody else. We just have to fight a little harder to get to where we want to be.
Where can people learn more about you and OhHats
They can find me at firstname.lastname@example.org. My homepage is www.ohhats.com. My Instagram and social media is bigoh87. So, contact me there and let’s motivate ourselves!
Thank you, Oliver, for your time and insight!