Dylan Rafaty

Dylan Rafaty profile photo

Dylan Rafaty

DylanListed & C-Hear, Inc.

“I firmly believe that mentoring consists of a strong and working relationship between people that delivers a sense of direction, guidance, motivational support and hold each of us accountable. Mentorship is often provided by advocates and leaders of our community who help navigates us to reach for successful outcomes.”

We are proud to induct Dylan Rafaty into the Susan Daniels Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame.

On August 24th, 1990, Dylan M. Rafaty was born — just a month after the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed and signed into law. Dylan proudly self-identifies as being deaf (right-ear), hard of hearing (left-ear) with hearing aid, and with spinal back and neck fusions. Rafaty is an activist, disability inclusion advocate, public speaker, social entrepreneur and nonprofit professional. Dylan has received his associate’s degree at Collin College in Frisco and a bachelor of science degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology at the University of Phoenix.

Dylan Rafaty of Plano, TX currently serves as the Director of Business Development & Partnerships for C-Hear, Inc, a company that has developed a way to make images accessible and heard and serves as the Founder/Chief Navigation Officer for DylanListed, a transition support services provider for people with disabilities and veterans. He also currently serves on many volunteer executive boards, including:

  • Vice-Chair, Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (TX-GCPD)
  • Chairman, Social Responsibility Committee, International Association of Ice Cream Distributors and Vendors (IAICDV)
  • Commissioner, Community Relations Commission, City of Plano
  • Founding Board Member, Disability Chamber of Commerce – Rio Grande Valley (DCC-RGV)
  • Board Member, Sandlot Children’s Charity
  • Advisory Council Member, Angel City Sports (ACS)
  • Advisory Board Member, Creating A Safer Tomorrow (C.A.S.T.)
  • Dallas Ambassador, Abilities Expo
  • Advisory Board Member, Care and Mercy Foundation
  • Member, Plano ISD School Health Advisory Committee (SHAC)
  • Member, Plano ISD Special Education Advisory Committee

Throughout Dylan’s life, he faced many obstacles and challenges but his positivity and love for people have always kept him moving forward!

One of those challenges includes being a special education student (and graduate) who wanted to be academically challenged but wasn’t given the chance. He then struggled at Collin College where Dylan was required to go through two and a half (2-1/2) years of developmental courses prior to starting his associate’s program. In April 2012, this enabled him to later self-publish his book; Occupy Special Education – Children Should Be Seen and Heard. It recaps Dylan’s young, multicultural life and a critical look back during his time in special education. This book encourages students with disabilities to speak up about their personal educational experiences, the need to build strong working relationships with teachers, administrators and the need to have proper transitional guidance throughout their time in school.

In November 2012, Dylan founded the concept/idea that the cross-disability community needs to do a better job to collaborate, share ideas, partner and transact in meaningful ways that increase opportunities for people with disabilities across North Texas and the United States. Eventually, this led Dylan to start his own business that initially focused on employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities.

In 2015, Dylan expanded his efforts to serving others in different communities. These efforts include providing mentorship, consulting and motivational support to current/incoming entrepreneurs with disabilities, families, disabled veterans, the homeless, nonprofit executives, businesses, service providers, colleges and government agencies. In addition, Dylan takes a continuous interest in getting involved in advancing innovative ideas/projects that support the cross-disability community.

In Spring 2019, Dylan pursued an inspiring journey to run for local office. He was running for a school board trustee position at Plano Independent School District (PISD). Despite his loss, this journey was challenging and rewarding for him. It opened new doors and expanded the importance of disability inclusion. This experience has encouraged Dylan to continuously stay involved locally, attend meetings and be an active voice for the local disability community. Its community leaders and members recognize Dylan as a devoted, passionate, energetic, caring self-advocate who seeks to advance meaningful, sustainable opportunities for all.

Throughout each of these real-life experiences, Dylan is fortunate to come from a blessed, multicultural, and intelligent family that continues to guide him throughout his journey. In addition, he plans to continue his efforts including mentoring our youth and adults with disabilities to reach for meaningful opportunities.